Why do elections fail?

13 March 2013

Vote-rigging, bribery, coercion, voter suppression, ballot-stuffing and fraud mean that too often elections fail. How common are these problems worldwide? Why do they arise? And what can be done about them?

On Thursday night, Professor Pippa Norris will deliver the inaugural Insights lecture 'Why Elections Fail' at the University of Sydney in order to answer some of these questions.

The Insights lecture series is presented by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

An ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Norris is from the University of Sydney's Department of Government and International Relations.

She is director of a five-year ARC-funded project called The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), which was launched last year and will be undertaken in partnership with the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The EIP seeks to monitor electoral integrity.

"As elections have spread to almost every country around the globe, including many non-democracies, the issue of electoral integrity has generated growing concern, catalysing a new body of research among both the academic and policymaking communities," Norris said.

The EIP plans to analyse the impact of common forms of electoral malpractice, to understand the causes of these problems, and to ascertain the most effective policy interventions to improve electoral processes worldwide.

A well-known public speaker and prize-winning author, Professor Norris has published about 40 books. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

She also served as Director of the Democratic Governance Group in United Nations Development Programme, New York, and as an expert consultant to many international organisations including the UN, UNESCO, NDI, OSCE, the Council of Europe, International IDEA, the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the UK Electoral Commission.

Event details

What: Why Elections Fail, part of the Insights 2013 lecture series by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

When: 6pm, Thursday 14 March. Refreshments served in the Nicholson Museum from 5.30pm

Where: General Lecture Theatre 1, the Quadrangle, Camperdown Campus

Cost: $10

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Contact: Jacqueline Chowns

Phone: 02 9036 5404; 0434 605 018

Email: 3e0426090f20002c1f305d02021939234529201f111756017a324f3e47024d