Too often, elections around the globe are, unfortunately, deeply flawed or even fail. What triggers these problems? In this second volume of her trilogy on electoral integrity, Pippa Norris compares structural, international, and institutional accounts as alternative perspectives to explain why elections fail to meet international standards. The book argues that rules preventing political actors from manipulating electoral governance are needed to secure integrity, although at the same time officials also need sufficient resources and capacities to manage elections effectively. Drawing on new evidence, the study determines the most effective types of strategies for strengthening the quality of electoral governance around the world. With a global perspective, this book provides fresh insights into these major issues at the heart of the study of elections and voting behavior, comparative politics, democracy and democratization, political culture, democratic governance, public policymaking, development, international relations and conflict studies, and processes of regime change.
This book is the first in a planned trilogy by Pippa Norris on challenges of electoral integrity to be published by Cambridge University Press. Unfortunately too often elections around the globe are deeply flawed or even fail. Why does this matter? It is widely suspected that such contests will undermine confidence in elected authorities, damage voting turnout, trigger protests, exacerbate conflict, and occasionally lead to regime change. Well-run elections, by themselves, are insufficient for successful transitions to democracy. But flawed, or even failed, contests are thought to wreck fragile progress. Is there good evidence for these claims? Under what circumstances do failed elections undermine legitimacy? With a global perspective, using new sources of data for mass and elite evidence, this book provides fresh insights into these major issues.
Concern about the integrity of American elections did not start with Trump's election; flaws in procedures have gradually grown during recent decades. The contemporary "tipping point" that raised public awareness was the 2000 Bush v. Gore Florida count, but, the 2016 campaign and its aftermath clearly worsened several major structural weaknesses. This deepened party polarization over the rules of the game and corroded American trust in the electoral process. Disputes over elections have proliferated on all sides in Trump's America with heated debate about the key problems--whether the risks of electoral fraud, fake news, voter suppression, or Russian interference--and with no consensus about the right solutions. This book illuminates several major challenges observed during the 2016 U.S. elections, focusing upon concern about both the security and inclusiveness of the voter registration process in America. Given the importance of striking the right balance between security and inclusiveness in voter registration, this volume brings together legal scholars, political scientists, and electoral assistance practitioners to provide new evidence-based insights and policy-relevant recommendations.
The flaws in the American electoral process have become increasingly apparent in recent years. The contemporary tipping point in public awareness occurred during the 2000 election count, and concern deepened due to several major problems observed in the 2016 campaign, worsening party polarization, and corroding public trust in the legitimacy of the outcome. To gather evidence about the quality of elections around the world, in 2012 the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) was established as an independent research project based at Harvard and Sydney universities. The results show that experts rated American elections as the worst among all Western democracies. Without reform, these problems risk damaging the legitimacy of American elections—further weakening public confidence in political parties, Congress, and the U.S. government, depressing voter turnout, and exacerbating the risks of mass protests. Why American Elections Are Flawed describes several major challenges observed during the 2016 U.S. elections arising from deepening party polarization over basic voting procedures, the serious risks of hacking and weak cyber-security, the consequences of deregulating campaign spending, and lack of professional and impartial electoral management. Pippa Norris outlines the core concept and measure of electoral integrity, the key yardstick used to evaluate free and fair elections. Evidence from expert and mass surveys demonstrate the extent of problems in American elections. She shows how these challenges could be addressed through several practical steps designed to improve electoral procedures and practices. If implemented, the reforms will advance free and fair elections, and liberal democracy, at home and abroad.
Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections
Author: John Gastil
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Political Science
John Gastil challenges conventional assumptions about public opinion, elections, and political expression in this persuasive treatise on how to revitalize the system of representative democracy in the United States. Gastil argues that American citizens have difficulty developing clear policy interests, seldom reject unrepresentative public officials, and lack a strong public voice. Our growing awareness of a flawed electoral system is causing increased public cynicism and apathy. The most popular reforms, however, will neither restore public trust nor improve representation. Term limits and campaign finance reforms will increase turnover, but they provide no mechanism for improved deliberation and accountability. Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public. America has a long history of experimentation with electoral systems, and the proposals in By Popular Demand merit serious consideration and debate.
Maguire Lecturer in Comparative Politics Pippa Norris
Author: Maguire Lecturer in Comparative Politics Pippa Norris
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Political Science
Today a general mood of pessimism surrounds Western efforts to strengthen elections and democracy abroad. If elections are often deeply flawed or even broken in many countries around the world, can anything be done to fix them? To counter the prevailing ethos, Pippa Norris presents new evidence for why programs of international electoral assistance work. She evaluates the effectiveness of several practical remedies, including efforts designed to reform electoral laws, strengthen women's representation, build effective electoral management bodies, promote balanced campaign communications, regulate political money, and improve voter registration. Pippa Norris argues that it would be a tragedy to undermine progress by withdrawing from international engagement. Instead, the international community needs to learn the lessons of what works best to strengthen electoral integrity, to focus activities and resources upon the most effective programs, and to innovate after a quarter century of efforts to strengthen electoral integrity.
"Recent years have seen resurgent interest in the potential capacity of transparency - the public availability of information - to improve democratic governance. Timely, accurate, granular and freely-available information is generally regarded as intrinsically valuable, as well as having many instrumental benefits. In development, transparency and accountability is generally thought to help plug the leaky pipes of corruption and inefficiency, channel public spending more efficiently, and produce better services. In the field of electoral governance, openness about the rules and procedures, outcomes, and decisions processes used by electoral authorities is widely assumed to build public trust, improve policy-making, and facilitate accountability. In the age of WikiLeaks, Twitter and Google, open governance, expanding information and communication, often seems like an unqualified good. Nevertheless, beyond popular buzzword sloganeering, evidence suggests that the impact of transparency on the quality of governance and elections remains mixed. Transparency also has a dark side, threatening trust, privacy, and security. To understand these issues more fully, this book seeks to assess the contemporary drive towards open electoral governance and to identify several conditions predicted to determine the success of transparency policies in strengthening electoral integrity. Chapters look at transparency in electoral governance at the international and state levels, as well as within civil society"--
When International Election Observation Works, and why it Often Fails
Author: Judith G. Kelley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Political Science
In recent decades, governments and NGOs--in an effort to promote democracy, freedom, fairness, and stability throughout the world--have organized teams of observers to monitor elections in a variety of countries. But when more organizations join the practice without uniform standards, are assessments reliable? When politicians nonetheless cheat and monitors must return to countries even after two decades of engagement, what is accomplished? Monitoring Democracy argues that the practice of international election monitoring is broken, but still worth fixing. By analyzing the evolving interaction between domestic and international politics, Judith Kelley refutes prevailing arguments that international efforts cannot curb government behavior and that democratization is entirely a domestic process. Yet, she also shows that democracy promotion efforts are deficient and that outside actors often have no power and sometimes even do harm. Analyzing original data on over 600 monitoring missions and 1,300 elections, Kelley grounds her investigation in solid historical context as well as studies of long-term developments over several elections in fifteen countries. She pinpoints the weaknesses of international election monitoring and looks at how practitioners and policymakers might help to improve them.
Is European party politics hovering above society? Why do voters pick one party over others? Is it a question of class? Of religion? Of attitudes about taxes or immigration or global warming? Or is it something else entirely? The Structure of Political Competition in Western Europe takes a detailed look at the ways in which Western Europe’s party systems are anchored in social and ideological structures. The book’s first section focuses on the role of social structures - particularly education, class and religion - and analyzes the complex interplay among these factors. The second section addresses the ways that the sociological structures such as class and religion interact with voters’ values. The third section examines the way that these structures and values shape the space of political competition among parties. The conclusion integrates the findings of the empirical articles, putting them into broader comparative perspective, discussing whether relatively predictable structures have been overwhelmed by media-driven spectacles, political personalities and focus on short-term economic performance. This volume will appeal to scholars and graduate students in Europe and those from North America, Asia and other regions who study European politics, political parties, cleavages and political behaviour. This book was published as a special issue of West European Politics.