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Dictatorship is not what it was once. Military and single-party regimes have been withering away. Today, most dictators organize multiparty elections. The Politics of Uncertainty presents an analytical framework and empirical data that allow us to understand the distinctive political dynamics of these new electoral authoritarian regimes. It argues that all autocracies suffer from institutional uncertainties: their hold on power is never secure. They also suffer from informational uncertainties: they can never know for sure how secure they are. The author identifies these uncertainties as the central axes of regimes conflicts under dictatorship. The "politics of uncertainty" comprises the struggle between rulers and dissidents over these twin uncertainties. In electoral autocracies, it unfolds primarily as competition over electoral uncertainty. The study of electoral authoritarianism is a vibrant growth industry in political science and this book is required reading for all students of elections, authoritarianism, and democratization. Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
The special issue revisits Levitsky and Way’s seminal study on Competitive Authoritarianism (2010). The contributions by North American, European, and African scholars deepen our understanding of the emergence, trajectories, and outcomes of hybrid regimes across the African continent.
Recent decades have seen growing concern regarding problems of electoral integrity. The most overt malpractices used by rulers include imprisoning dissidents, harassing adversaries, coercing voters, vote-rigging counts, and even blatant disregard for the popular vote. Elsewhere minor irregularities are common, exemplified by inaccurate voter registers, maladministration of polling facilities, lack of security in absentee ballots, pro-government media bias, ballot miscounts, and gerrymandering. Serious violations of human rights that undermine electoral credibility are widely condemned by domestic observers and the international community. Recent protests about integrity have mobilized in countries as diverse as Russia, Mexico, and Egypt. However, long-standing democracies are far from immune to these ills; past problems include the notorious hanging chads in Florida in 2000 and more recent accusations of voter fraud and voter suppression during the Obama-Romney contest. When problems come to light, however, is anyone held to account and are effective remedies implemented? In response to these developments, there have been growing attempts to analyze flaws in electoral integrity and transparency using systematic data from cross-national time-series, forensic analysis, field experiments, case studies, and new instruments monitoring mass and elite perceptions of malpractices. This volume collects essays from international experts who evaluate the robustness, conceptual validity, and reliability of the growing body of evidence. The essays compare alternative approaches and apply these methods to evaluate the quality of elections in several areas, including the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Election Watchdogs:Transparency, Accountability and Integrity presents new insights into the importance of diverse actors who promote electoral transparency, accountability, and ultimately the integrity of electoral governance.
Over the last three decades, electoral reform has moved centre stage in both new and established democracies. In Europe, the post 1989 democratisation wave brought important debates about electoral system choice and free and fair elections. But electoral reform also emerged on the agenda in a number of established democracies. Declining political participation, corruption scandals and party finance irregularities put the management of the democratic process on the political agenda. Election administration problems such as those in the Gore Bush election of 2000 thrust electoral integrity into the global political spotlight. In this edited collection, we are primarily concerned with the mechanics of how elections are run. Elections are complex administrative tasks and as International IDEA points out, they are also usually administered against a politically charged backdrop. This book brings together specialists to consider the election management process using diverse theoretical approaches and, addressing both emerging and perennial election debates such as the role of voter advice applications, election management bodies, districting, ballot design and media practices in the coverage of elections. The volume includes a number of comparative chapters which utilise data from large international datasets (VDem and CSES), several Irish case studies and an important Dutch study of voter advice applications with pioneering data. Collectively, the chapters provide insights into election administration in Ireland and many other established democracies. This book was previously published as a special issue of Irish Political Studies.

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