Conferences and Major Events

Lunchtime Research Seminars

12 August, 2014
11.45 - 1.30PM

Lunchtime Research Seminars

 12 August 2014

 Tuesday 11.45-1.30pm

“Cleaning up Elections: The Evolution of Electoral Integrity in New Democracies and Electoral Authoritarian Regimes”



 Professor Sarah Birch

 (University of Glasgow)

Synopsis: Professor Birch argues that because in the 21st century the politics of electoral reform revolves mainly around the implementation of democratic electoral principles rather than around the principles themselves, electoral authoritarian leaders tend to employ forms of electoral abuse that entail giving unfair advantage to pro-regime electoral competitors, rather than excluding either voters or competitors from the electoral arena altogether. When such regimes become weakened, they tend to ramp up forms of manipulation that favour pro-regime political forces. This deterioration in election quality then serves as a focal point which mobilises both domestic and international pressure for electoral reform, as the erosion of established electoral rights generates grievances. Under the right circumstances, such mobilisation can lead to step changes in the quality of elections. Though not entirely original, the synthesis of these arguments yields a new one-step-back-two-steps-forward model of electoral change, which is in several ways quite distinct from existing understandings of the relationship between elections and democratisation. This model, the ‘electoral tango’, has implications for how we evaluate and address electoral malpractice in the contemporary world.

All university staff and graduate research students are welcome to attend.

Lunch and refreshments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Location: The Boardroom, 276 Merewether Building (H04)

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