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Defending Democratic NormsInternational Actors and the Politics of Electoral Misconduct$
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Daniela Donno

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199991280

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199991280.001.0001

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The Effects of Enforcement

The Effects of Enforcement

(p.94) 5 The Effects of Enforcement
Defending Democratic Norms


Oxford University Press

This chapter uses quantitative evidence to assess the effects of international conditionality and diplomatic engagement on electoral conduct and outcomes. It shows, in short, that enforcement works. Specifically, post-election conditionality—the wielding of concrete sticks and carrots—is associated with improvements in electoral quality in the next election, while pre-election conditionality is associated with opposition electoral victories. Softer tools of diplomatic engagement—mediation, diplomatic missions and shaming—instead are associated with immediate post-election concessions, namely, a decision by the incumbent to step down or cancel electoral results. Crucially, the efforts of international actors interact with, and augment, the effect of opposition protests, indicating that international validation and support are indeed key ingredients for the success of mass mobilization after flawed elections. The chapter concludes by probing the robustness and nuances of these findings. It shows, first, that enforcement by regional organizations proves to have the strongest and most consistent positive effects, which points to these organizations’ unique combination of leverage and legitimacy. Second, no evidence is found to support the idea that enforcement is imposed disproportionately in “easy” cases that are otherwise more likely to democratize. On the contrary, conditionality tends to be imposed in more intransigent regimes where change is harder to achieve.

Keywords:   Elections, Democratization, Protests, Electoral manipulation, Electoral fraud, Institutional reform, International organizations, Multilateralism

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