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In recent decades, governments and NGOs--in an effort to promote democracy, freedom, fairness, and stability throughout the world--have organized teams of observers to monitor elections in a variety of countries. But when more organizations join the practice without uniform standards, are assessments reliable? When politicians nonetheless cheat and monitors must return to countries even after two decades of engagement, what is accomplished? Monitoring Democracy argues that the practice of international election monitoring is broken, but still worth fixing. By analyzing the evolving interaction between domestic and international politics, Judith Kelley refutes prevailing arguments that international efforts cannot curb government behavior and that democratization is entirely a domestic process. Yet, she also shows that democracy promotion efforts are deficient and that outside actors often have no power and sometimes even do harm. Analyzing original data on over 600 monitoring missions and 1,300 elections, Kelley grounds her investigation in solid historical context as well as studies of long-term developments over several elections in fifteen countries. She pinpoints the weaknesses of international election monitoring and looks at how practitioners and policymakers might help to improve them.
Judith G. Kelley is associate professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. She is the author of Ethnic Politics in Europe: The Power of Norms and Incentives (Princeton).
Table of Contents
Methods of Analysis
The Rise of a New Norm
The Changing Normative Environment
Increased Supply and Demand
The Popularization of Monitoring
Monitoring Today: Organizational Variation
The Shadow Market
Disagreements about Contested Elections
Who Invites Whom?
What Influences Monitors' Assessments?
Analyzing Summary Monitor Assessments
Five Types of Bias
Do Politicians Change Tactics to Evade Criticism?
What Constitutes Evidence of a Monitor-Induced Shift?
What Are the Safer Forms of Cheating?
Data: The Varieties of Irregularities
International Monitors as Reinforcement
Altering Incentives to Cheat
Altering Domestic Conditions
If It Works, When Should It Work?
Are Monitored Elections Better?
Measures of Election Quality
An Overview of the Record
Selection of Countries and Method of Analysis
Do International Monitors Improve Elections Over Time?
When Do Countries Follow the Recommendations of International Monitors?
Conclusion: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Do Monitors Assess Elections Accurately and Objectively?
Do Monitors Improve the Quality of Elections?
Statistical Supplement to Chapter 3
Statistical Supplement to Chapter 4
Statistical Supplement to Chapter 7
Additional Description of Matching Process
Albania: The Importance of Leverage
Armenia: Paper Compliance
Bangladesh: Slowly but Surely?
Bulgaria: Motivated but Slow
El Salvador: International Meddling for Both Good and Bad
Georgia: Not So Rosy
Guyana: Uphill Battle
Indonesia: A Sluggish Behemoth
Kenya: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Mexico: Constructive Engagement
Nicaragua: Excessive Meddling and Deal Making
Panama: Both a Will and a Way
Russia: Goliath Beats David
South Africa: Remarkably Unremarkable
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