Why Elections Fail
Discussants: Ruud Koopmans and Justin Valasek
Moderated by Wolfgang Merkel
The spread of elections to all parts of the globe has been one of the most dramatic developments transforming our world during the twentieth century. Yet, as numerous reports have highlighted, the quality of contemporary contests commonly fails. Contentious elections undermine the legitimacy of elected authorities, political participation, and stability in fragile states. Pippa Norris determines the reasons why elections are undermined by numerous kinds of flaws. She argues that rules preventing political actors from manipulating electoral governance are needed to secure integrity, although at the same time officials also need sufficient resources and capacities to manage elections effectively. Drawing on new evidence, her study determines the most effective types of strategies for strengthening the quality of electoral governance around the world.
Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Electoral Integrity Project.
Wolfgang Merkel is Director of the WZB research unit Democracy and Democratization.