About ELECTOR

ELECTOR is the Election Observation Research Network. It is based at the University of Birmingham and was co-founded by Professor Nic Cheeseman and Dr Susan Dodsworth.

ELECTOR aims to:

  • Create a constructive and mutually supportive relationship between civil society groups, experts, and international and domestic election observers.
  • Enable those working at the coal face of election observation to shape the agenda of academic research.
  • Assist academic researchers to feed their findings back to the people and organizations that really matter.
  • Create a forum for building collaborations that unlock the research potential of the evidence and knowledge that international practitioners and civil society organizations have accumulated over time.

ELECTOR is funded by the Open Society Foundation through the Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI) in Brussels.


Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham. He mainly works on democracy, elections and development and has conducted fieldwork in a wide range of African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Nic’s academic articles have won a number of prizes including the GIGA award for the best article in Comparative Area Studies (2013) and the Frank Cass Award for the best article in Democratization (2015). Nic has written and edited numerous books, including Democracy in Africa (2015) and How to Rig an Election (2018). In 2019, Nic won the prestigious Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding professional achievement by a midcareer scholar, as well as the ESRC’s prestigious Celebrating Impact prize. A frequent commentator of African and global events, Nic also founded and co-edits the Democracy in Africa website.

Susan Dodsworth is a Lecturer at the University of Queensland’s School of Political Science and International Relations. The focal point of Susan’s research is the relationship between democratization and development, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. She is particularly interested in the role of political institutions (especially parliaments) in both of these processes, and the extent to which external or international actors affect democratization and development – both intentionally and unintentionally. Full details of her research are available at her personal website.

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