How election dynamics shape perceptions of electoral integrity
In recent years a growing literature focuses on how and why some election processes are viewed as having integrity while others lack it. Some scholars examine how a state's characteristics (e.g. its economic development, the education levels of its citizens, and their experience with elections) shape the voting process while others study how individual voters view the process and their role in it. The relative importance of election dynamics themselves and the process of their evaluation, however, remain unclear. What stages of the election process are most important when people evaluate elections? We argue that a better understanding of how election dynamics shape perceptions of election integrity is crucial because theoretically this process is at the heart of democratic representation and because from a policymaking standpoint these dynamics vary more over time than individual and state-level factors. This paper explains why certain parts of the election cycle are critical to determining how an election is judged—especially the fairness of election laws and media access, the conduct of election authorities, and the use of political violence. Empirical results using new data on 121 elections held in 109 countries during 2013, 2014, and the first half of 2015 are supportive of our argument.
Political Science not elsewhere classified