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Electoral Malpractice

Birch, Sarah (2011) Electoral Malpractice. Comparative Politics . Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199606160

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Abstract

Elections ought in theory to go a long way toward making democracy 'work', but in many contexts, they fail to embody democratic ideals because they are affected by electoral manipulation and misconduct. This volume undertakes an analytic and explanatory investigation of electoral malpractice, which is understood as taking three principal forms: manipulation of the rules governing elections, manipulation of vote preference formation and expression, and manipulation of the voting process. The study - which is comparative in nature - starts out by providing a conceptual definition and typology of electoral malpractice, before considering evidence for the causes of this phenomenon. The principal argument of the book is that factors affecting the costs of electoral malpractice are crucial in determining whether leaders will, in any given context, seek to rig elections. Among the most important factors of this sort are the linkages between elites and citizens, and in particular the balance between relations of the civil-society and clientelist types. These linkages play an important role in determining how much legitimacy leaders will lose by engaging in electoral manipulation as well as the likely consequences of legitimacy loss. The study also shows how electoral malpractice might be reduced by means of a variety of strategies designed to raise the cost of electoral manipulation by increasing the ability of civil society and international actors to monitor and denounce it.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 13:14
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:17
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2265

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