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Electoral integrity in unconsolidated democracies: challenges and potential remedies

Ahlbäck, Johan (2020) Electoral integrity in unconsolidated democracies: challenges and potential remedies. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004208


The thesis studies challenges to electoral integrity in unconsolidated democracies and seeks to examine possible strategies or remedies that can alleviate these. I present three empirical studies on the topic. The first empirical study focuses on female electoral participation and disenfranchisement in Pakistan and examines whether the presence of election observers at female-only polling stations can influence this. The study makes use of the random allocation of domestic observers to individual polling stations during the 2008 Pakistan general elections, to estimate causal effects of observer presence on turnout in female-only polling stations. The second study analyses electoral malpractices in individual polling stations in Ukraine and examines the association between existing local support for the fraudulent party and the use of malpractices to either inflate or suppress votes. The study compares polling station data between two consequent presidential elections in 2004 in Ukraine and uses election forensics methods to measure the occurrence and type of different malpractices. The third and final study considers politicians’ evaluations of electoral integrity in Malawi and analyses the impact of partisanship and concerns raised by election observer in determining these evaluations. To gauge politicians’ evaluations on electoral integrity, the study makes use of an elite-level survey in Malawi with an embedded experiment. The findings of the empirical studies point to some potentials but also trials when it comes to alleviating challenges to electoral integrity in unconsolidated democracies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2020 Johan Ahlbäck
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Mitchell, Paul

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