Elections in Hard Times: Building Stronger Democracies in the 21st Century
Why are “free and fair” elections so often followed by democratic backsliding? Elections in Hard Times answers this critical question, showing why even clean elections fail to advance democracy when held amidst challenging structural conditions. The book opens with a comprehensive, accessible synthesis of fifty years of research on elections and democratization, a resource for experts, policymakers, and students. It then develops a new theory of why elections fail in countries with little democratic history or fiscal resources, and a history of violent conflict. In a series of five empirical chapters, the book leverages an eclectic mix of cross-national data, short case studies and surveys of voters to support this theory. It closes with a careful examination of popular strategies of democracy promotion, evaluating steps designed to support elections. This book will attract academic experts on democratization and elections, students and policymakers.
Thomas Edward Flores is assistant professor at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Irfan Nooruddin is the Al-Thani Chair in Indian Politics and professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.