War changes people and their communities. It creates refugees, veterans, orphans, profiteers, victims, perpetrators. It destroys polities’ social, economic, and physical fabrics. It profoundly alters social gender and class structures. And yet we have little systematic and theoretically supported grasp of its impact on the nature and content of political competition which follows in its wake.
ELWar – Electoral Legacies of War: Political Competition in Postwar Southeast Europe was a five-year project that aimed at understanding the political legacies of war by focusing on the evolution of political competition over the period of almost three decades – from the early 1990s until the present – in six postwar states of Southeast Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
Postwar elections have garnered tremendous interest from researchers in a variety of fields. This has been limited to establishing the relationship between electoral democratisation and the incidence and intensity of conflict. With a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods as well as a radically interdisciplinary, multi-method and innovative approach, our project aimed at filling the gap in understanding the real extent of political legacies of war.