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The International Dimensions of Electoral Frauds and Electoral Malpractices. The South Caucasus

Dominioni, Samuele (2016) The International Dimensions of Electoral Frauds and Electoral Malpractices. The South Caucasus. Advisor: Badie, Prof. Bertrand. Coadvisor: Morlino, Prof. Leonardo . pp. 277. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

Electoral frauds and electoral malpractices relate to the domain of electoral affairs, which is the one of the core elements of a regime with representative institutions. During the last decades at the international level there have been many documents, charters and organizations that contributed to craft the standards of electoral integrity. With the end of the Cold War these standards have been spread and adopted in almost every country in the world. Yet, more than 25 years later elections are still rigged especially in hybrid regimes. During the last years many research have been conducted to analyse why elections fail, what is their role in hybrid as well as authoritarian regimes, and there is a growing stream of literature that is investigating electoral frauds and electoral malpractices. This thesis provides a contribution in this debate by pointing to one of the less analysed factors in the study of electoral frauds and electoral malpractices, which is the international dimension. The latter is conceptualized in two ways: the first one relates to Western democratizing pressure and how it can affect the change or the evolution of electoral frauds and malpractices. The second one concerns socialization dynamics in terms of methods of frauds and malpractices among authorities in different countries. It is argued that where there is a stronger Western democratizing pressure authorities change the way they conduct elections, even if this change does not forcefully means democratization. Rather, along with formal improvements in elections management, authorities alter and modify methods of frauds and malpractices as a way to elude Western criticism. In order to properly modify electoral frauds and malpractices, authorities resort to learning practices by looking at other experiences. These theoretical arguments have been verified on three cases study, which are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. These countries share some key characteristics, which allowed for cross-temporal and spatial analysis regarding electoral frauds and malpractices since their independence from the Soviet Union. The empirical analysis demonstrates that the more a regime suffers from Western democratizing pressure, the more authorities would change methods of frauds and malpractices. In doing so, they learn from other positive and negative experiences. Therefore, thanks to the inclusion of the international dimension in the study of electoral frauds and malpractices, this thesis argues that electoral mismanagement changes, evolves and adapts to new international conditions and poses continuous challenges to the electoral integrity. Keywords: Election, Electoral Fraud, Electoral Malpractice, International Dimension, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Western Democratizing Pressure, Learning, South Caucasus, Hybrid Regimes.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
PhD Course: Political History
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/206
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 13:47
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/206

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