Our collection of resources brings together cutting-edge academic research, policy papers and online materials that practitioners and policy-makers working on election observation might find interesting.

Below, you can find a list of resources organised by themes. Many of the resources are freely available and can be downloaded directly from this website.

Election observation

Articles & books
  • Bush, Sarah Sunn and Lauren Prather. ‘The Promise and Limits of Election Observers in Building Election Credibility.’ The Journal of Politics 79, no.3 (2017): 921-935. Read here
  • Bush, Sarah Sunn and Lauren Prather. ‘Who’s There? Election Observer Identity and the Local Credibility of Elections.’ International Organization 72, no.3 (2018): 659-692. Read here
  • Daxecker, Ursula. ‘All quiet on election day? International election observation and incentives for pre-election violence in African elections.’ Electoral Studies 34, (June 2014): 232-243.
  • Dodsworth, Susan. ‘Double standards: the verdicts of western election observers in sub-Saharan Africa.’ Democratization 26, no.3 (2019): 382-400.
  • Debre, Maria J. and Lee Morgenbesser. ‘Out of the shadows: autocratic regimes, election observation and legitimation.’ Contemporary Politics 23, no.3 (2017): 328-347. Read here
  • Norris, Pippa and Alessandro Nai. eds. Election watchdogs: Transparency, Accountability and Integrity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. View here
Policy reports & online materials
  • Dodsworth, Susan, Eloïse Bertrand and Jamie Hitchen. ‘Learning from success: The implementation of election observation recommendations in Sub-Saharan Africa.’ Westminster Foundation for Democracy, September 2020.
  • Macdonald, Robert. ‘How election observers facilitated Zambia’s smooth change of power.’ African Arguments, 7 September 2021. Read here
  • Martinez i Coma, Ferran, Alessandro Nai and Pippa Norris. ‘Democratic Diffusion: How regional organizations strengthen electoral integrity.’ Electoral Integrity Project. Read here

Electoral violence

Articles & books
  • Birch, Sarah and David Muchlinski. ‘The Dataset of Countries at Risk of Electoral Violence.’ Terrorism and Political Violence 32, no.2 (2020): 217-236.
  • Birch, Sarah and David Muchlinski. ‘Electoral Violence Prevention: What Works?’ Democratization 25, no.3 (2018), 385-403.
  • Daxecker, Ursula. ‘Unequal votes, unequal violence: Malapportionment and election violence in India.’ Journal of Peace Research 57, no.1 (2019): 156-170.
  • Daxecker, Ursula and Hanne Fjelde. ‘Electoral Violence, Partisan Identity, and Perceptions of Election Quality: A Survey Experiment in West Bengal, India.’ Comparative Politics, forthcoming. Read here
  • Lynch, Gabrielle, Nic Cheeseman and Justin Willis. ‘From peace campaigns to peaceocracy: Elections, order and authority in Africa.’ African Affairs 118, no.473 (2019): 603-627.
  • Toros, Emre and Sarah Birch. ‘Who Are the Targets of Electoral Coercion? Evidence from Turkey.’ Democratization 26, no.8 (2019): 1342-1361. Read here
  • Söderberg Kovacs, Mimmi and Jesper Bjarnesen. eds. Violence in African Elections: Between Democracy and Big Man Politics. Uppsala: ZED Books, 2018. Read here
  • Birch, Sarah. Electoral Violence, Corruption, and Political Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020. View here
  • Birch, Sarah. Electoral Malpractice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. View here
  • Claes, Jonas. ed. Electing Peace: Violence Prevention at the Polls. Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. View here
  • Seeberg, Merete Bech, Michael Wahman and Sven-Erik Skaaning. Violence and Candidate Selection in Africa. London: Routledge. View here
Policy reports & online materials
  • Garber, Larry. ‘Violence Prevention through Election Observation.’ United States Institute of Peace Report No.165, August 2020. Read here
  • McCargo, Duncan, Saowanee T. Alexander and Petra Alderman. ‘Peace and Order? Peace Messaging in Thai Elections.’ Thai Politics at Leeds blog, 23 January 2022. Read here
  • ‘Mitigating Election Violence through Dialogue and Media in West Africa.’ FBA Brief 2020. Read here

Electoral management

Articles & books
  • van Ham, Carolien and Holly Ann Garnett. ‘Building impartial electoral management? Institutional design, independence and electoral integrity.’ International Political Science Review 40, no.3 (2019): 313-334.
  • Desatova, Petra and Saowanee T. Alexander. ‘Election Commissions and Non-Democratic Outcomes: Thailand’s Contentious 2019 Election.’ Politics, (April 2021). Read here
  • Cheeseman, Nic and Brian Klaas. How to Rig an Election. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. View here
Policy reports & online materials
  • Cheeseman, Nic and Jørgen Elklit. ‘Understanding and Assessing Electoral Commission Independence: a New Framework.’ Westminster Foundation for Democracy report, September 2020.
  • Johnson, Kevin, Larry Garber, Edward McMahon and Alexander Vanderklipp. ‘Guardrails for the Guardians: Reducing Secretary of State Conflict of Interest and Building More Impartial U.S. Election Administration.’ Election Reformers Network Report, September 2020. Read here
  • Southeast Asia’s contentious polls: Electoral management in comparative perspective [event video]. Watch here

Elections under COVID-19

Policy reports & online materials
  • Birch, Sarah, Fernanda Buril, Nic Cheeseman, Alistair Clark, Staffan Darnolf, Susan Dodsworth, Larry Garber, Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, Tanja Hollstein, Toby S. James, Vasu Mohan and Koffi Sawyer. ‘How to hold elections safely and democratically during the COVID-19 pandemic.’ The British Academy report, August 2020.
  • Lihiru, Victoria, Robert Macdonald and Thomas Molony. ‘COVID-19 and Tanzania’s 2020 Elections.’ African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic project.
  • Macdonald, Robert and Thomas Molony. ‘Holding Elections during Future Pandemics and Other Emergencies: Evidence-Based Recommendations.’ Westminster Foundation for Democracy report, 2021.
  • Magbe, Alain-Serge, Mychelle Balthazard, Jean-Benoît Falisse, Phuong Pham and Patrick Vinck. ‘COVID-19 and Central African Republic’s 2020 Elections.’ African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic project.
  • Molony, Thomas and Robert Macdonald. ‘Reducing the Transmission of COVID-19 during African Elections: technical considerations.’ African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic project.
  • Nugent, Paul, Gildfred Asiamah, Thomas Molony and Edem Selormey. ‘COVID-19 and Ghana’s 2020 Elections.’ African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic project.
  • Molony, Thomas. ‘COVID-19 and Kenya’s March 2021 By-Elections.’ African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic project.
  • ‘Elections and COVID-19.’ Electoral Integrity project [resource website]. View here

Technology and disinformation

Articles & books
  • Tufekci, Zeynep. Twitter and Tear Gas: The power and fragility of networked protest. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. Read here

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