Strengthening Electoral Integrity: The Pragmatic Case for Assistance

Pippa Norris

The trilogy of books from the Electoral Integrity Project has focused upon three core questions:




  • What happens when elections violate international standards of electoral integrity?

  • Why do elections fail?

  • And what can be done to mitigate these problems?



Today a general mood of pessimism surrounds Western efforts to strengthen elections and democracy abroad. Observers claim that democracy is in decline or retreat. Skepticism among scholars has spread to political leaders. Donald Trump calls American attempts to build democracy from Iraq to Egypt to Libya a dangerous mistake triggering instability and chaos. This fuels isolationist calls for Western powers to abandon nation-building abroad and put domestic interests first.



To counter the prevailing ethos, this book presents new evidence for the pragmatic case why international programs of electoral assistance work. Systematic research demonstrates that electoral integrity is strengthened by a series of practical projects where international organizations and bilateral donors support the efforts of local stakeholders –to reform electoral laws, strengthen women’s representation, promote the independent media, regulate political money, and improve voter registration.



Success should not be exaggerated. Not everything works, by any means. Electoral assistance is most effective where the strengths and weaknesses of international agencies and programs match the threats and opportunities facing reforms in each society.  Efforts are often greatest in the riskiest contexts. Expectations are commonly inflated. Agencies need to gather better evidence to evaluate programs. But this does not mean that international attempts to strengthen elections should be reduced or even abandoned. Since 1948, the world has been committed to supporting free and fair contests reflecting the general will of the people. It would be a tragedy to undermine progress now by slipping backwards, withdrawing from international engagement, neglecting requests for support by local reformers, and thereby weakening prospects for democracy and fundamental electoral rights to self-determination.

 
External link: https://sites.google.com/site/pippanorris3/publications/books/strengthening-electoral-integrity
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Analyzing National Change in Citizen Secularism Across Four Time Periods in the World Values Surveys [Li, Liman Man Wai & Bond, Michael H.]
Context Matters - The Effect of National-Level Factors on the Relationship between Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Individuals on Their Life-Satisfaction [Eichhorn, J.]
Cultural Differences on Values about Conflict, War, and Peace [Díez-Nicolás, J.]
Democracy Misunderstood: Authoritarian Notions of Democracy around the Globe [Welzel, C., Kirsch, H.]
Does Individual Secularism Promote Life Satisfaction? The Moderating Role of Societal Development [Li, Liman Man Wai & Bond, Michael H.]
Dynamics of Cultural Change: The Human Development Perspective [Abdollahian, M., Coan, T., Oh, H., Yesilada, B.]
Economic Individualism and Government Spending [Arikan, G.]
Evidencing and Explaining Democratic Congruence: The Perspective of Substantive Democracy [Welzel, C., Klingemann, H.-D.]
Evolution, Empowerment and Emancipation [Welzel, C.]
Examining Environmental Concern in Developed, Transitioning and Developing Countries - A Cross-Country Test of the Objective Problems and the Subjective Values Explanations [Running, K.]
Forms of Civic Engagement and Corruption: Disentangling the Roles of Voluntary Associations, Elite challenging Mass Movements and the Type of Trust within Social Networks [Griesshaber, N.]
From Materialist to Postmaterialist Happiness? [Delhey, J.]
Generalizing Trust - How Outgroup-Trust Grows Beyond Ingroup-Trust [Delhey, J., Welzel, C.]
Islam and Patriarchy: How Robust is Muslim Support for Patriarchal Values? [Alexander, A.C. & Welzel, C.]
Mapping the Cooperative Landscape: Spatializing an Intangible Social Capital Variable [Witte, A.E., Tensaout, M.]
Measuring Effective Democracy: A Defense [Alexander, A.C., Inglehart, R. & Welzel, C.]
Measuring Effective Democracy: The Human Empowerment Approach [Welzel, C., Alexander A.C.]
Misconceptions of Measurement Equivalence: Time for a Paradigm Shift [Welzel, C.; Inglehart, R.]
Peace Through Integration or Peace Through Separation? [Reher, S.]
Pitfalls in the Study of Democratization. Testing the Emancipatory Theory of Democracy [Welzel, C.; Inglehart, R.; Kruse, S.]
Religiosity and Attitudes towards the Involvement of Religious Leaders in Politics [Mueller, T.]
Religious Regimes and Prospects for Liberal Politics: Futures of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi-Arabia [Moaddel, M.]
Testing the Revised Theory of Modernization: Measurement and Explanatory Aspects [Dülmer, H.; Inglehart, R.; Welzel, C.]
The Legitimacy Puzzle: Why So Many People Confuse the Absence of Democracy with Its Presence [Kruse, S., Ravlik, M., Welzel, C.]
Two Contradictory Hypotheses on Globalization: Societal Convergence or Civilizational Differentiation? [Diez-Nicolás, J.]
Unity, Plurality and/or Hybridity? Assessing the Global Pattern of Political Cultures [Schubert, S.]
Value Structures and Dimensions: Evidence from the German WVS [Held, M., Mueller, J., Deutsch, F., Grzechnik, E., Welzel C.]
Values, Repression, and Subversion [Zavadkaya M., Welzel C.]
World Values Survey Response and Behavior. Emancipative and Secular Values Predict Cooperation, Protection of Property and Pro-Social Behavior [Kistler, D.; Thöni, C.; Welzel, C.]