Former US President Jimmy Carter has made it his goal to spread democracy and peace at a global scale. These goals are sought realized through the work of the Carter Center, and it is the purpose of this thesis to examine one specific part of Carter and his Center’s activities.
Through their election mediation, Carter and his Center set out to establish more democratic societies which they again hope will bring peace. This thesis tests the connection between election work and the peaceful conduct of states, and is driven by the hypothesis that Carter and the Center can contribute to peace by a method of election mediation. The main questions the thesis sets out to answer are: Did Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center meet their own objectives through election mediation, and was their approach a successful strategy for peace? What are possibilities and limitations of Carter and the Center’s involvements, and how did certain conditions influence their work?
Two test cases are examined in order to test the hypothesis, and answer the underlying questions. One positive example and one negative are included as to show possibilities and limitations of Carter and the Carter Center’s work. Hence, Carter and the Center’s election mediation in the 1990 Nicaraguan and 2006 Palestinian elections are evaluated in this thesis.
Carter and the Center are influenced by a number of conditions when involving in election mediation. Four such factors are included in this thesis in order to discuss under what circumstances Carter and his Center are more likely to succeed. The conditions of other organizations involved, Carter’s presidency as influencing his and his Center’s later work, regional initiatives for democracy and peace, and US foreign policy towards the two test cases, are all included to debate what role Carter and his Center can play in a myriad of actors and interests.