Lunch Time Research Seminar

12 March, 2013
11.45 - 1.30 pm

Electoral integrity and support for democracy in post-communist Europe


 Professor Ian McAllister

 (Australian National University)

 Chair: Pippa Norris

 Discussant: Professor Graeme Gill

Synopsis: The expansion of democracy following the collapse of communism in 1989-90 led many to believe that democratic institutions would rapidly take root. However, over the past decade, electoral malpractice has become widespread, casting doubt on democratic consolidation. This paper examines the causes and consequences of weak electoral integrity in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine. Using surveys collected since 2000, we show that public perceptions of electoral unfairness have their roots in views of society-wide corruption and in seeing democracy as an ideal, while viewing elections as fair correlates with watching television, showing the importance to the regimes of controlling the media. Views about electoral integrity have a significant impact on electoral participation, but the effect is substantially mediated by popular beliefs about democracy. Overall, the results suggest that only root and branch reform in the Post-communist societies will substantially improve public perceptions of electoral integrity.

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

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