Pippa Norris, Harvard University: Why malpractices generate pressures for electoral reform: An agenda-setting model
CSDP AMERICAN POLITICS COLLOQUIUM
CO-SPONSORED BY THE COMPARATIVE POLITICS COLLOQUIUM
Faculty and graduate students only
Thursday, November 29, 2012
300 Wallace Hall
Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Professor Norris's research compares election and public opinion, political communications, and gender politics. She also served as Director of the Democratic Governance Group in United Nations Development Programme, NY and as an expert consultant to many international organizations such as the World Bank, Council of Europe and OSCE. In 2011 she was awarded the Johan Skytte prize with Ronald Inglehart for contributing innovative ideas about the relevance and roots of political culture in a global context. Recently she launched the Electoral Integrity Project, a major new multi-million 5-year research study based at the University of Sydney in collaboration with many partner organizations, including International IDEA, IFES, the Carter Center, UNDP, and OAS.
Synopsis: Do electoral malpractices strengthen public pressures for reform? The study develops an agenda-setting model postulating that where flawed elections fail to meet international standards of electoral integrity, this colors public perceptions of electoral malpractices, undermines feelings of political legitimacy, dampens voter turnout, and encourages protest politics. To support these claims, Part I sets out the theoretical framework and core propositions. Part II outlines the research design, data, and indices. Data is drawn from a new battery of survey evidence measuring perceptions of electoral integrity and malpractices, included for the first time in the 6th wave of the World Values Survey 2010-2012 (WVS). The results in Part III confirm that public perceptions of electoral integrity closely reflect independent assessments of the quality of elections in the countries under comparison. Moreover, lack of confidence in elections undermines feelings of political legitimacy and encourages protest activism. The conclusion in Part IV theorizes that this process strengthens the likelihood that elites will respond to popular pressures, although the outcome may be democratic concessions, or state repression, or regime transitions, depending upon the type of regime. More details: www.electoralintegrityproject.com