Why Elections Fail

Author: Pippa Norris
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107052840
Release Date: 2015-07-08
Genre: Political Science

Too often, elections around the globe are, unfortunately, deeply flawed or even fail. What triggers these problems? In this second volume of her trilogy on electoral integrity, Pippa Norris compares structural, international, and institutional accounts as alternative perspectives to explain why elections fail to meet international standards. The book argues that rules preventing political actors from manipulating electoral governance are needed to secure integrity, although at the same time officials also need sufficient resources and capacities to manage elections effectively. Drawing on new evidence, the study determines the most effective types of strategies for strengthening the quality of electoral governance around the world. With a global perspective, this book provides fresh insights into these major issues at the heart of the study of elections and voting behavior, comparative politics, democracy and democratization, political culture, democratic governance, public policymaking, development, international relations and conflict studies, and processes of regime change.

Why Elections Fail

Author: Pippa Norris
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107679028
Release Date: 2015-07-08
Genre: Political Science

Unfortunately too often elections around the globe are deeply flawed or even fail. What triggers these problems? In this second volume of her trilogy on electoral integrity, Pippa Norris compares structural, international, and institutional accounts as alternative perspectives to explain why elections fail to meet international standards. The book argues that rules preventing political actors from manipulating electoral governance are needed to secure integrity, although at the same time officials also need sufficient resources and capacities to manage elections effectively. Drawing on new evidence, the study determines the most effective types of strategies for strengthening the quality of electoral governance around the world. With a global perspective, this book provides fresh insights into these major issues at the heart of the study of elections and voting behavior, comparative politics, democracy and democratization, political culture, democratic governance, public policymaking, development, international relations and conflict studies, and processes of regime change.

Elections in Hard Times

Author: Thomas Edward Flores
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316660089
Release Date: 2016-08-19
Genre: Political Science

Why are 'free and fair' elections so often followed by democratic backsliding? Elections in Hard Times answers this critical question, showing why even clean elections fail to advance democracy when held amidst challenging structural conditions. The book opens with a comprehensive, accessible synthesis of fifty years of research on elections and democratization, a resource for experts, policymakers, and students. It then develops a new theory of why elections fail in countries with little democratic history or fiscal resources, and a history of violent conflict. In a series of five empirical chapters, the book leverages an eclectic mix of cross-national data, short case studies and surveys of voters to support this theory. It closes with a careful examination of popular strategies of democracy promotion, evaluating steps designed to support elections. This book will attract academic experts on democratization and elections, students and policymakers.

Why Electoral Integrity Matters

Author: Pippa Norris
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107052802
Release Date: 2014-06-30
Genre: Political Science

The book is the first in a planned trilogy by Pippa Norris on Challenges of Electoral Integrity to be published by Cambridge University Press. Unfortunately too often elections around the globe are deeply flawed or even fail. Why does this matter? It is widely suspected that such contests will undermine confidence in elected authorities, damage voting turnout, trigger protests, exacerbate conflict, and occasionally lead to regime change. Well-run elections, by themselves, are insufficient for successful transitions to democracy. But flawed, or even failed, contests are thought to wreck fragile progress. Is there good evidence for these claims? Under what circumstances do failed elections undermine legitimacy? With a global perspective, using new sources of data for mass and elite evidence, this book provides fresh insights into these major issues.

Why American Elections Are Flawed And How to Fix Them

Author: Pippa Norris
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9781501712746
Release Date: 2017-04-01
Genre: Political Science

The flaws in the American electoral process have become increasingly apparent in recent years. The contemporary tipping point in public awareness occurred during the 2000 election count, and concern deepened due to several major problems observed in the 2016 campaign, worsening party polarization, and corroding public trust in the legitimacy of the outcome. To gather evidence about the quality of elections around the world, in 2012 the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) was established as an independent research project based at Harvard and Sydney universities. The results show that experts rated American elections as the worst among all Western democracies. Without reform, these problems risk damaging the legitimacy of American elections—further weakening public confidence in political parties, Congress, and the U.S. government, depressing voter turnout, and exacerbating the risks of mass protests. Why American Elections Are Flawed describes several major challenges observed during the 2016 U.S. elections arising from deepening party polarization over basic voting procedures, the serious risks of hacking and weak cyber-security, the consequences of deregulating campaign spending, and lack of professional and impartial electoral management. Pippa Norris outlines the core concept and measure of electoral integrity, the key yardstick used to evaluate free and fair elections. Evidence from expert and mass surveys demonstrate the extent of problems in American elections. She shows how these challenges could be addressed through several practical steps designed to improve electoral procedures and practices. If implemented, the reforms will advance free and fair elections, and liberal democracy, at home and abroad.

The Signal and the Noise

Author: Nate Silver
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101595954
Release Date: 2012-09-27
Genre: Political Science

One of Wall Street Journal's Best Ten Works of Nonfiction in 2012 New York Times Bestseller “Not so different in spirit from the way public intellectuals like John Kenneth Galbraith once shaped discussions of economic policy and public figures like Walter Cronkite helped sway opinion on the Vietnam War…could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade.” —New York Times Book Review "Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." —Rachel Maddow, author of Drift "A serious treatise about the craft of prediction—without academic mathematics—cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver's coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism." —New York Review of Books Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.com. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future. In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science. Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise. With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Democracy for Realists

Author: Christopher H. Achen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400888740
Release Date: 2017-08-29
Genre: Political Science

Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Why Nations Fail

Author: Daron Acemoglu
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780307719232
Release Date: 2012-03-20
Genre: Business & Economics

Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories. Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including: - China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West? - Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority? - What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions? Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.

By Popular Demand

Author: John Gastil
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520925009
Release Date: 2000-08-01
Genre: Political Science

John Gastil challenges conventional assumptions about public opinion, elections, and political expression in this persuasive treatise on how to revitalize the system of representative democracy in the United States. Gastil argues that American citizens have difficulty developing clear policy interests, seldom reject unrepresentative public officials, and lack a strong public voice. Our growing awareness of a flawed electoral system is causing increased public cynicism and apathy. The most popular reforms, however, will neither restore public trust nor improve representation. Term limits and campaign finance reforms will increase turnover, but they provide no mechanism for improved deliberation and accountability. Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public. America has a long history of experimentation with electoral systems, and the proposals in By Popular Demand merit serious consideration and debate.

Elections in Hard Times From Elections to Democracy Theory and Evidence 1 Introduction 2 Why have elections failed to deliver An answer 3 The third wave s and the electoral boom Part II Challenges Facing Elections in Developing Countries 4 The ephemeral power of contingent legitimacy 5 Experience matters democratic stock and elections 6 Starved states fiscal space and elections 7 Violent votes conflict and elections Part III Democracy Promotion for the Twenty First Century 8 Democracy promotion for the twenty first century 9 Conclusions Appendices

Author: Thomas Edward Flores
Publisher:
ISBN: 1316450651
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Democracy

"Why are 'free and fair' elections so often followed by democratic backsliding? Elections in Hard Times answers this critical question, showing why even clean elections fail to advance democracy when held amidst challenging structural conditions. The book opens with a comprehensive, accessible synthesis of fifty years of research on elections and democratization, a resource for experts, policymakers, and students. It then develops a new theory of why elections fail in countries with little democratic history or fiscal resources, and a history of violent conflict. In a series of five empirical chapters, the book leverages an eclectic mix of cross-national data, short case studies and surveys of voters to support this theory. It closes with a careful examination of popular strategies of democracy promotion, evaluating steps designed to support elections. This book will attract academic experts on democratization and elections, students and policymakers"--

Monitoring Democracy

Author: Judith G. Kelley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400842520
Release Date: 2012-03-25
Genre: Political Science

In recent decades, governments and NGOs--in an effort to promote democracy, freedom, fairness, and stability throughout the world--have organized teams of observers to monitor elections in a variety of countries. But when more organizations join the practice without uniform standards, are assessments reliable? When politicians nonetheless cheat and monitors must return to countries even after two decades of engagement, what is accomplished? Monitoring Democracy argues that the practice of international election monitoring is broken, but still worth fixing. By analyzing the evolving interaction between domestic and international politics, Judith Kelley refutes prevailing arguments that international efforts cannot curb government behavior and that democratization is entirely a domestic process. Yet, she also shows that democracy promotion efforts are deficient and that outside actors often have no power and sometimes even do harm. Analyzing original data on over 600 monitoring missions and 1,300 elections, Kelley grounds her investigation in solid historical context as well as studies of long-term developments over several elections in fifteen countries. She pinpoints the weaknesses of international election monitoring and looks at how practitioners and policymakers might help to improve them.

Gaming the Vote

Author: William Poundstone
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429957649
Release Date: 2009-02-17
Genre: Political Science

Our Electoral System is Fundamentally Flawed, But There's a Simple and Fair Solution At least five U.S. presidential elections have been won by the second most popular candidate. The reason was a "spoiler"—a minor candidate who takes enough votes away from the most popular candidate to tip the election to someone else. The spoiler effect is more than a glitch. It is a consequence of one of the most surprising intellectual discoveries of the twentieth century: the "impossibility theorem" of Nobel laureate economist Kenneth Arrow. The impossibility theorem asserts that voting is fundamentally unfair—a finding that has not been lost on today's political consultants. Armed with polls, focus groups, and smear campaigns, political strategists are exploiting the mathematical faults of the simple majority vote. In recent election cycles, this has led to such unlikely tactics as Republicans funding ballot drives for Green spoilers and Democrats paying for right-wing candidates' radio ads. Gaming the Vote shows that there is a solution to the spoiler problem that will satisfy both right and left. A system called range voting, already widely used on the Internet, is the fairest voting method of all, according to computer studies. Despite these findings, range voting remains controversial, and Gaming the Vote assesses the obstacles confronting any attempt to change the American electoral system. The latest of several books by William Poundstone on the theme of how important scientific ideas have affected the real world, Gaming the Vote is a wry exposé of how the political system really works, and a call to action.

Why Presidents Fail And How They Can Succeed Again

Author: Elaine C. Kamarck
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815727798
Release Date: 2016-07-26
Genre: Political Science

Failure should not be an option in the presidency, but for too long it has been the norm. From the botched attempt to rescue the U.S. diplomats held hostage by Iran in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter and the missed intelligence on Al Qaeda before 9-11 under George W. Bush to, most recently, the computer meltdown that marked the arrival of health care reform under Barack Obama, the American presidency has been a profile in failure. In Why Presidents Fail and How They Can Succeed Again, Elaine Kamarck surveys these and other recent presidential failures to understand why Americans have lost faith in their leaders—and how they can get it back. Kamarck argues that presidents today spend too much time talking and not enough time governing, and that they have allowed themselves to become more and more distant from the federal bureaucracy that is supposed to implement policy. After decades of "imperial" and "rhetorical" presidencies, we are in need of a "managerial" president. This White House insider and former Harvard academic explains the difficulties of governing in our modern political landscape, and offers examples and recommendations of how our next president can not only recreate faith in leadership but also run a competent, successful administration.

Checkbook Elections

Author: Andrea Abel van Es
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190603618
Release Date: 2016-06-03
Genre: Campaign funds

Money is essential to the functioning of electoral politics, yet regulating its appropriate use raises complex and controversial challenges in countries around the world. Both long-established democracies and emerging economies have been continually plagued by problems of financial malfeasance, graft, corruption, and cronyism. To throw new light on these important challenges, this book addresses three related questions: (1) what types of public policies are commonly used in attempts to regulate the role of money in politics?, (2) what triggers landmark finance reforms? and, (3) above all, what works, what fails, and why - when countries implement reforms? Checkbook Elections? presents an original theory for understanding policies regulating political finance, reflecting the degree to which laws are laissez-faire or guided by state intervention. Each chapter is written by an area specialist and collectively cover long-established democracies as well as hybrid regimes, affluent post-industrial societies (Sweden, the United States, Britain, and Japan), major emerging economies (Russia, Brazil, and South Africa) and developing societies (India and Indonesia).

Shattered

Author: Jonathan Allen
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780553447095
Release Date: 2017-04-18
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER It was never supposed to be this close. And of course she was supposed to win. How Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump is the riveting story of a sure thing gone off the rails. For every Comey revelation or hindsight acknowledgment about the electorate, no explanation of defeat can begin with anything other than the core problem of Hillary's campaign--the candidate herself. Through deep access to insiders from the top to the bottom of the campaign, political writers Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have reconstructed the key decisions and unseized opportunities, the well-intentioned misfires and the hidden thorns that turned a winnable contest into a devastating loss. Drawing on the authors' deep knowledge of Hillary from their previous book, the acclaimed biography HRC, Shattered offers an object lesson in how Hillary herself made victory an uphill battle, how her difficulty articulating a vision irreparably hobbled her impact with voters, and how the campaign failed to internalize the lessons of populist fury from the hard-fought primary against Bernie Sanders. Moving blow-by-blow from the campaign's difficult birth through the bewildering terror of election night, Shattered tells an unforgettable story with urgent lessons both political and personal, filled with revelations that will change the way readers understand just what happened to America on November 8, 2016.