New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
The trilogy of books from the Electoral Integrity Project has focused upon three core questions:
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.
List of tables and figures
II: The strengths and weaknesses of electoral assistance programs
III: Conclusions: Lessons learnt