The Strategic Manipulation of Elections

Birch Sarah

in Electoral Malpractice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606160
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731693 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

The Strategic Manipulation of Elections

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The principal argument developed over the course of the chapter is that factors that affect the legitimacy costs of electoral malpractice are central in determining whether leaders will, in any given context, run the risks associated with rigging elections. It is hypothesized that the most important of such factors are the linkage structures that mediate relations between elites and citizens, as well as a state’s international position. The data confirm the notion that domestic media play a very important role in improving the conduct of elections, and there is some evidence that the presence of widespread patronage-type relations in society facilitates electoral malpractice. A state’s international position is also important in this context. When it comes to the type of electoral malpractice chosen by leaders, the manipulation of electoral rules is most common, whereas the highly risky manipulation of administration is least common.

Keywords: electoral malpractice; civil society; patronage; clientelism; corruption; electoral governance

Chapter.  8711 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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