Thursday, 23 February 2012

Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Monitoring Works and why it often Fails

Round Table and Book Launch with Judith Kelley, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Discussants: Barbara Koremenos and Andreas Schedler
Moderated by Michael Zürn

Is international election monitoring a good idea? Sending teams to advice, observe and report on elections around the world has become the most prominent tool for promoting democracy and stability. Media organizations headline their assessments, and international leaders use them to justify their rejection or acceptance of newly elected governments. But when more and more organizations join the practice without any uniform standards, are the assessments reliable? When politicians cheat blatantly in front of monitors and they still have to return to some countries even after 20 years of engagement, are monitors really accomplishing anything?

Judith Kelley has analyzed original global data on over 600 monitoring missions and 1,300 elections and studied long-term developments over several elections in fifteen countries. Her findings argue that the practice of international election monitoring is broken, but worth fixing, but they also questions monitoring organizations’ objectivity and crystallizes several dilemmas about the promotion of democracy and liberal values that the international must face.

Barbara Koremenos is Associate Professor and Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan.

Andreas Schedler is Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexiko, and Karl W. Deutsch guest professor at the WZB.

Michael Zürn is Director of the WZB research unit „Transnational Conflicts and International Institutions.”