Title: FES international - Global Policy and Development
FES / FES international / Global Policy and Development Department / Democracy-Building and Elections

Elections Bosnia and Hercegovia; Foto: dpa


All FES publications on the topic of Democracy and Elections can be found here.


Thomas Mättig

Phone ++49 (0)30/269 35-7414
Mail Thomas.Maettig[at]fes.de


Please exchange in your e-mail program [at] by @.

Democracy-Building and Elections - Reports, Analyses and Position Papers by the Bureaus of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Global support for democratisation processes remains, as an element of peace-keeping and the promotion of development, one of the key aims of German foreign policy. Democratisation is, in many countries, the only conceivable way of containing internal conflict potential, managing fragmentation tendencies and neutralising socioeconomic conflicts of interest. This has always been among the main focus areas of political foundations. At the same time, this task goes hand in hand with the most varied theoretical and conceptual, as well as practical challenges, with which the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung concerns itself wholeheartedly. On this website, information is available on the work of the FES in the area of democracy-building, ranging from theoretical analysis of this topic to concrete practical examples from our country bureaus.

Elections in cambodia 2005; Foto: DED

Elections Worldwide

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung supports and monitors democratic processes in over 100 countries. Conditions differ significantly from country to country. However, the consolidated democracies of Western Europe, the up-and-coming states of the global South and the young democracies in post-conflict situations alike share a key functional element: elections. In general terms, they serve to legitimise democratic institutions, the articulation of the will of the people and the selection of decision-makers.

Election processes are therefore analysed in FES publications both for the purposes of planning, organisation and evaluation by our bureaus on the ground, and for the general public. On this website, we would like to make accessible these country-specific publications, together with more general publications on the significance and development of elections as a central functional element of democracy.

Please see the box on the right side for the latest publications.

Elections in Afghanistan 2009; Foto: UN Photo Library

Special Topic: Elections and Conflict

Elections represent a key challenge for the democratisation processes and stability of young democracies and societies under transformation. In transformation research peaceful changes of government legitimised by elections are a decisive criterion for the consolidation of young democracies. Frequently, elections also serve as a trigger for violence, however, since positions of power are redistributed, old lines of conflicts are reopened and the election-related expectations of political clienteles have to be satisfied.

A podcast was produced alongside the international expert workshop "Risking Elections - Milestone of Stumbling Block for Democratisation", which took place on 2 November 2009 in Berlin. It provides an insight into the dilemma of elections and conflict.

Podcast on Elections and Conflict (german, 14:46 min)


We would also like to draw your attention to two FES publications which are devoted to this complex topic.

Winrich Kühne
The Role of Elections in Emerging Democracies and Post-Conflict Countries

International policy analyses, Berlin, Sept. 2010


Jack Snyder
Elections as Milestones and
Stumbling Blocks for
Peaceful Democratic Consolidation

International policy analyses, Berlin, Sept. 2010



Country Analyses "Elections and Conflict":







net-edition:Monika Schneider and Daniela TurßFES | 2012
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