Over the past 30 years an increasing number of countries have employed elections to determine the will of their people and form representative governments. International actors, including the United Nations General Assembly, have generally welcomed this as contributing to national and thereby international peace and stability. At the same time, this positive trend brings certain challenges. These include the potential for elections to be overshadowed by political discord or violence.
Focusing on elections for a national head of state, whose high stakes are more likely to produce a political or security crisis, this paper aims to develop a typology for analysing, responding to and hopefully helping to resolve electoral crises peacefully and democratically.