Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Methods of Election Manipulation and the Likelihood of Post-Election Protest

  • Cole J. Harvey (a1) and Paula Mukherjee (a2)

Abstract

The risk of popular protest is one of the few deterrents against election manipulation in authoritarian regimes and unconsolidated democracies, but why are some fraudulent elections met with popular protest while others are not? We use data from elections in 108 countries, from 1980 to 2004, to show that the regime’s choice of election manipulation tactics affects the likelihood of post-election protest. Leaders signal their strength and resources by manipulating elections, but some manipulation tactics send stronger signals than others. We find that opposition groups are more likely to protest when relatively cheap administrative fraud is employed, but not when more costly forms of manipulation – extra-legal mobilization and voter intimidation – are used. This study demonstrates the importance of accounting for variation in electoral manipulation tactics, and the information communicated by those tactics, in explaining post-election protest and the stability of electoral authoritarian and newly democratic regimes.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: paulamukherjee@gmail.com

References

Hide All
Auyero, J (2007) Routine Politics and Violence in Argentina: The Gray Zone of State Power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Auyero, J, Lapegna, P and Poma, FP (2009) Patronage Politics and Contentious Collective Action: A Recursive Relationship. Latin American Politics and Society 51(3), 131.
Bader, M (2012) OSCE Electoral Assistance and the Role of Election Commissions. Security and Human Rights 23(1), 1929.
Beissinger, MR (2007) Structure and Example in Modular Political Phenomena: The Diffusion of Bulldozer/Rose/Orange/Tulip Revolutions. Perspectives on Politics 5(2), 259276.
Birch, S (2011) Electoral Malpractice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Blaydes, L (2011) Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bratton, M (2008) Vote Buying and Violence in Nigerian Election Campaigns. Electoral Studies 27(4), 621632.
Brownlee, J (2007) Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brownlee, J (2009) Portents of Pluralism: How Hybrid Regimes Affect Democratic Transitions. American Journal of Political Science 53(3), 515532.
Bunce, V and Wolchik, S (2010) Defeating Dictators: Electoral Change and Stability in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes. World Politics 62(1), 4386.
Calingaert, D (2006) Election Rigging and How to Fight It. Journal of Democracy 17(3), 138151.
Carlin, RE and Moseley, M (2015) Good Democrats, Bad Targets: Democratic Values and Clientelistic Vote Buying. Journal of Politics 77(1), 1426.
Carothers, T (2002) The End of the Transition Paradigm. Journal of Democracy 13(1), 521.
Chernykh, S (2014) When Do Political Parties Protest Election Results? Comparative Political Studies 47(10), 13591383.
Chong, D (1991) Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Collier, P and Vicente, PC (2012) Violence, Bribery, and Fraud: The Political Economy of Elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. Public Choice 153(1/2), 117147.
Coppedge, M, Gerring, J, Lindberg, SI, Skaaning, S-E, Teorell, J, Altman, D, Bernhard, M, Fish, MS, Glynn, A, Hicken, A, Knutsen, CH, Krusell, J, Lührmann, A, Marquardt, KL, McMann, K, Mechkova, V, Olin, M, Paxton, P, Pemstein, D, Pernes, J, Petrarca, CS, von Römer, J, Saxer, L, Seim, B, Sigman, R, Staton, J, Stepanova, N and Wilson, S (2017) V-Dem [Country-Year/Country-Date] Dataset v7.1, www.v-dem.net/en/data/data-version-7-1/.
Daxecker, UE (2012) The Cost of Exposing Cheating: International Election Monitoring, Fraud, and Post-election Violence in Africa. Journal of Peace Research 49(4), 503516.
Diamond, L (2002) Thinking about Hybrid Regimes. Journal of Democracy (13)2, 2135.
Diamond, L, Linz, JJ and Lipset, SM (1989) Democracy in Developing Countries: Latin America. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Fearon, J (2011) Self-Enforcing Democracy. Quarterly Journal of Economics 126(4), 16611708.
Fortin-Rittberger, J (2014) The Role of Infrastructural and Coercive State Capacity in Explaining Different Types of Electoral Fraud. Democratization 21(1), 95117.
Frye, T, Reuter, OJ and Szakonyi, DS (2014) Political Machines at Work: Voter Mobilization and Electoral Subversion in the Workplace. World Politics 66(2), 195228.
Gandhi, J and Przeworski, A (2006) Cooperation, Cooptation, and Rebellion under Dictatorships. Economics and Politics 18(1), 126.
Gandhi, J and Przeworski, A (2007) Authoritarian Institutions and the Survival of Autocrats. Comparative Political Studies 40(11), 12791301.
Gans-Morse, J, Mazzuca, S and Nichter, S (2014) Varieties of Clientelism: Machine Politics During Elections. American Journal of Political Science 58(2), 415432.
Gehlbach, S and Simpser, A (2015) Electoral Manipulation as Bureaucratic Control. American Journal of Political Science 59(1), 212224.
Golos (2012) Analytical Report of the Golos Association on the December 4, 2011 Elections. http://archive.golos.org/news/4567 (accessed 24 August 2018).
Greene, KF (2007) Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico’s Democratization in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hale, HE (2014) Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Harvey, CJ (2016) Changes in the Menu of Manipulation: Electoral Fraud, Ballot Stuffing, and Voter Pressure in the 2011 Russian Election. Electoral Studies 41, 105117.
Hill, J (2004) Reducing Bias in Treatment Effect Estimation in Observational Studies Suffering from Missing Data. ISERP Working Paper 04-01.
Ho, D, Imai, K, King, G and Stuart, E (2007) Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reducing Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference. Political Analysis 15, 199236.
Holzner, CA (2007) The Poverty of Democracy: Neoliberal Reforms and Political Participation of the Poor in Mexico. Latin American Politics and Society 49(2), 87122.
Howard, MM and Roessler, PG (2006) Liberalizing Electoral Outcomes in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes. American Journal of Political Science 50(2), 365381.
Hyde, SD (2011) Catch Us If You Can: Election Monitoring and International Norm Diffusion. American Journal of Political Science 55(2), 356369.
Hyde, S and Marinov, N (2012) Which Elections Can Be Lost? Political Analysis 20(2), 191210.
Hyde, S and Marinov, N (2014) Information and Self-Enforcing Democracy: The Role of International Election Observation. International Organization 68, 329359.
Kalyvas, SN (2003) The Ontology of Political Violence: Action and Identity in Civil Wars. Perspectives on Politics 1, 475494.
Kelley, JG (2012) Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Often Fails. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kitschelt, H and Wilkinson, SI (2007) Patrons, Clients and Policies: Patterns of Democratic Accountability and Political Competition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Knoke, D (1990) Networks of Political Action: Toward Theory Construction. Social Forces 68(4), 10411063.
Kovalov, M (2014) Electoral Manipulations and Fraud in Parliamentary Elections The Case of Ukraine. East European Politics and Societies 28(4), 781807.
Kuran, T (1989) Sparks and Prairie Fires: A Theory of Unanticipated Political Revolution. Public Choice 61(1), 4174.
Lazar, S (2007) El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Lehoucq, F (2003) Electoral Fraud: Causes, Types, and Consequences. Annual Review of Political Science 6, 233256.
Lehoucq, F (2007) When Does a Market for Votes Emerge? In Schaffer FC (ed.), Elections for Sale: The Causes and Consequences of Vote Buying. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, pp. 3345.
Lehoucq, F and Molina, I (2002) Stuffing the Ballot Box: Fraud, Electoral Reform, and Democratization in Costa Rica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Little, AT (2012) Elections, Fraud, and Election Monitoring in the Shadow of Revolution. Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7(3), 249283.
Little, AT, Tucker, JA and LaGatta, T (2015) Elections, Protest, and Alternation of Power. Journal of Politics 77(4), 11421156.
Lust-Okar, E (2006) Elections under Authoritarianism: Preliminary Lessons from Jordan. Democratization 13(3), 456471.
Magaloni, B (2006) Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and its Demise in Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Magaloni, B (2010) The Game of Electoral Fraud and the Ousting of Authoritarian Rule. American Journal of Political Science 54(3), 751765.
Marshall, MG, Gurr, TR and Jaggers, K (2014) Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions 1800–2013. http://www.systemicpeace.org/inscrdata.html.
Nichter, S (2008) Vote Buying or Turnout Buying? Machine Politics and the Secret Ballot. American Political Science Review 102(1), 1931.
Popova, M (2006) Watchdogs or Attack Dogs? The Role of the Russian Courts and the Central Election Commission in the Resolution of Electoral Disputes. Europe-Asia Studies 58(3), 391414.
Reuter, OJ and Robertson, GB (2015) Legislatures, Cooptation, and Social Protest in Contemporary Authoritarian Regimes. Journal of Politics 77(1), 235248.
Robertson, GB (2010) The Politics of Protest in Hybrid Regimes: Managing Dissent in Post-Communist Russia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rundlett, A and Svolik, MW (2016) Deliver the Vote! Micromotives and Macrobehavior in Electoral Fraud. American Political Science Review 110, 180197.
Schedler, A (2002) The Menu of Manipulation. Journal of Democracy 13(2), 3650.
Schelling, TC (1960) The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Sekhon, JS (2009) Opiates for the Matches: Matching Methods for Causal Inference. Annual Review of Political Science 12, 487508.
Simpser, A (2013) Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections: Theory, Practice, and Implications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Simpser, A and Donno, D (2012) Can International Election Monitoring Harm Governance? Journal of Politics 74(2), 501513.
Sjoberg, FM (2013) Autocratic Adaptation: The Strategic Use of Transparency and the Persistence of Election Fraud. Electoral Studies 33, 113.
Smith, HL (1997) Matching with Multiple Controls to Estimate Treatment Effects in Observational Studies. Sociological Methodology 27(1), 325353.
Stokes, SC (2005) Perverse Accountability: A Formal Model of Machine Politics with Evidence from Argentina. American Political Science Review 99(3), 315325.
Stokes, SC, Dunning, T, Nazareno, M and Brusco, V (2013) Brokers, Voters, and Clientelism: The Puzzle of Distributive Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Trejo, G (2014) The Ballot and the Street: An Electoral Theory of Social Protest in Autocracies. Perspectives on Politics 12(2), 332352.
Tucker, J (2007) Enough! Electoral Fraud, Collective Action Problems, and Post-Communist Colored Revolutions. Perspectives on Politics 5(3), 535551.
Van Ham, C and Lindberg, SI (2015) From Sticks to Carrots: Electoral Manipulation in Africa, 1986–2012. Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics 50(3), 521548.
Wang, CS and Kurzman, C (2007) Dilemmas of Electoral Clientelism: Taiwan, 1993. International Political Science Review 28(2), 225245.
Weingast, BR (1997) The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of Law. American Political Science Review 91(2), 245263.
Wilkinson, S (2006) Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
World Bank (2014) World Bank Development Indicators. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator
Ziblatt, D (2009) Shaping Democratic Practice and the Causes of Electoral Fraud: The Case of Nineteenth-Century Germany. American Political Science Review 103(1), 121.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Harvey and Mukherjee supplementary material
Appendix

 Word (96 KB)
96 KB

Methods of Election Manipulation and the Likelihood of Post-Election Protest

  • Cole J. Harvey (a1) and Paula Mukherjee (a2)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed