Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Often Fails

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Overview

"This probing, nuanced, and insightful analysis of international election monitoring splendidly illuminates and assesses a key area of international democracy support. The book's conclusions about the mixed utility and many dilemmas of election monitoring are persuasive and deserve wide attention. Extra kudos to Judith Kelley for providing an all-too-rare example of sophisticated, rigorous political science methods being brought to bear on the domain of democracy promotion."—Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

"Judith Kelley has written not only the definitive book on election monitoring for scholars and practitioners, but also an important new work on the modern practice of democracy itself. Her persuasive and carefully conducted analysis of election monitoring reveals its positive effects as well as its ambiguities and shortcomings. Election monitoring organizations should make Monitoring Democracy required reading for all their staff."—Kathryn Sikkink, University of Minnesota

"In this book, Judith Kelley shows her skills as a political detective, demonstrating with impressive social science that under certain conditions—not all—election monitoring promotes democracy. If you read only one book on election monitoring, read Monitoring Democracy."—Robert O. Keohane, Princeton University

"This timely book provides the first inclusive study of election monitoring as it has developed since the mid-1970s. It contains strong arguments, meticulous analysis, and a genuine understanding of the complexities of individual elections throughout the world."—Jrgen Elklit, Aarhus University

"No other book compares the operations of different monitoring organizations and offers such a comprehensive overview of their effectiveness."—Amanda Sives, University of Liverpool

"Monitoring Democracy answers a host of foundational questions about international election observation. What is novel about this book—and what stands as Judith Kelley's singular achievement—is her comprehensive and systematic collection of evidence. Her interpretation of this evidence is, happily, always nuanced, judicious, and just plain smart. A must-read book."—Frederic C. Schaffer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Monitoring Democracy is an impressive attempt to assess the success of international election monitoring by systematically comparing several hundred monitoring missions across the globe. . . . [Kelley] also offers extensive concrete suggestions for improving monitoring in the future. This book addresses a major gap in the literature, in which there are numerous individual case studies but little serious comparative work. It is, therefore, mandatory reading for election monitoring professionals and for scholars doing research in that area.
International Affairs - Karina Cendon Bóveda
Monitoring Democracy provides an insightful analysis of a topic of utmost policy relevance. Kelley carefully considers confounding factors, selection problems and possible biases in the data. The book touches on many interesting questions, and even offers advice to practitioners. The data work is impressive, both in terms of the codification of monitors' reports and the number of case-studies.
International Affairs - Karina Cendon Boveda
Monitoring Democracy provides an insightful analysis of a topic of utmost policy relevance. Kelley carefully considers confounding factors, selection problems and possible biases in the data. The book touches on many interesting questions, and even offers advice to practitioners. The data work is impressive, both in terms of the codification of monitors' reports and the number of case-studies.
From the Publisher
Co-Winner of the 2013 Chadwick F. Alger Prize, International Studies Association

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

"Monitoring Democracy is an impressive attempt to assess the success of international election monitoring by systematically comparing several hundred monitoring missions across the globe. . . . [Kelley] also offers extensive concrete suggestions for improving monitoring in the future. This book addresses a major gap in the literature, in which there are numerous individual case studies but little serious comparative work. It is, therefore, mandatory reading for election monitoring professionals and for scholars doing research in that area."—Choice

"Monitoring Democracy provides an insightful analysis of a topic of utmost policy relevance. Kelley carefully considers confounding factors, selection problems and possible biases in the data. The book touches on many interesting questions, and even offers advice to practitioners. The data work is impressive, both in terms of the codification of monitors' reports and the number of case-studies."—Karina Cendon Bveda, International Affairs

"Kelley has produced a fine piece of scholarship that should be required reading for scholars interested in democracy promotion, as well as practitioners. The analysis is careful, broad, and admirably conversant in the details of specific countries and elections. . . . One of her greatest contributions is the associated data set, which is publicly available and codes for both the characteristics of the monitoring missions and their detailed evaluations. Hence, interested researchers are amply supplied with the theoretical and empirical tools to build on Kelley's work."—Michael K. Miller, Perspectives on Politics

"[T]his hook provides a rich, cogent, and thought-provoking entry point. It is essential reading for those interested in democracy promotion, international organizations and norms, and international influences on domestic politics."—Daniela Donno, Political Science Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691152783
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 965,537
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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).

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Table of Contents

Illustrations xi
Tables xiii
Preface xv
Abbreviations xix

PART I

Chapter 1: Introduction 3
Two Questions 6
Methods of Analysis 12

Chapter 2: Th e Rise of a New Norm 16
The Changing Normative Environment 21
Contestation 23
Increased Supply and Demand 26
The Popularization of Monitoring 28
Monitoring Today: Organizational Variation 34
Summary 41

Chapter 3: Th e Shadow Market 43
Disagreements about Contested Elections 47
Who Invites Whom? 54
Discussion 56

Chapter 4: What Infl uences Monitors’ Assessments? 59
Analyzing Summary Monitor Assessments 60
Five Types of Bias 63
Discussion 75

Chapter 5: Do Politicians Change Tactics to Evade Criticism? 77
What Constitutes Evidence of a Monitor- Induced Shift? 78
What Are the Safer Forms of Cheating? 80
Data: Th e Varieties of Irregularities 82
The Record 84
Discussion 92

PART II

Chapter 6: International Monitors as Reinforcement 97
Altering Incentives to Cheat 99
Altering Domestic Conditions 104
If It Works, When Should It Work? 107
Summary 109

Chapter 7: Are Monitored Elections Better? 112
Measures of Election Quality 112
An Overview of the Record 115
Statistical Analysis 121
Discussion 129

Chapter 8: Long- Term Eff ects 131
Selection of Countries and Method of Analysis 133
Do International Monitors Improve Elections Over Time? 136
When Do Countries Follow the Recommendations of International Monitors? 141
Discussion 151

Conclusion: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 155
Do Monitors Assess Elections Accurately and Objectively? 156
Do Monitors Improve the Quality of Elections? 166
Closing Th oughts 176

Appendix A: Data Description 181
Two Datasets 181
Variables 184
Appendix B: Statistical Supplement to Chapter 3 195
Appendix C: Statistical Supplement to Chapter 4 197
Dependent Variable 197
Analysis 197

Appendix D: Statistical Supplement to Chapter 7 199
with Mark Buntaine
Additional Description of Matching Process 199

Appendix E: Case Summaries 211
with Kiril Kolev
Albania: Th e Importance of Leverage 211
Armenia: Paper Compliance 214
Bangladesh: Slowly but Surely? 218
Bulgaria: Motivated but Slow 221
El Salvador: International Meddling for Both Good and Bad 223
Georgia: Not So Rosy 228
Guyana: Uphill Battle 232
Indonesia: A Sluggish Behemoth 237
Kenya: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back 242
Lesotho: Deadlock 245
Mexico: Constructive Engagement 247
Nicaragua: Excessive Meddling and Deal Making 252
Panama: Both a Will and a Way 256
Russia: Goliath Beats David 258
South Africa: Remarkably Unremarkable 261

Notes 265
References 293
Index 321

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