In recent decades, governments and NGOs--in an effort to promote democracy, freedom, fairness, and stability throughout the world--have organized teams of observers to monitor elections in a variety of countries. But when more organizations join the practice without uniform standards, are assessments reliable? When politicians nonetheless cheat and monitors must return to countries even after two decades of engagement, what is accomplished? Monitoring Democracy argues that the practice of international election monitoring is broken, but still worth fixing. By analyzing the evolving interaction between domestic and international politics, Judith Kelley refutes prevailing arguments that international efforts cannot curb government behavior and that democratization is entirely a domestic process. Yet, she also shows that democracy promotion efforts are deficient and that outside actors often have no power and sometimes even do harm.
Analyzing original data on over 600 monitoring missions and 1,300 elections, Kelley grounds her investigation in solid historical context as well as studies of long-term developments over several elections in fifteen countries. She pinpoints the weaknesses of international election monitoring and looks at how practitioners and policymakers might help to improve them.
Judith G. Kelley is associate professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. She is the author of Ethnic Politics in Europe: The Power of Norms and Incentives (Princeton).
"Monitoring Democracy is an impressive attempt to assess the success of international election monitoring by systematically comparing several hundred monitoring missions across the globe. . . . [Kelley] also offers extensive concrete suggestions for improving monitoring in the future. This book addresses a major gap in the literature, in which there are numerous individual case studies but little serious comparative work. It is, therefore, mandatory reading for election monitoring professionals and for scholars doing research in that area."--Choice
"Monitoring Democracy provides an insightful analysis of a topic of utmost policy relevance. Kelley carefully considers confounding factors, selection problems and possible biases in the data. The book touches on many interesting questions, and even offers advice to practitioners. The data work is impressive, both in terms of the codification of monitors' reports and the number of case-studies."--Karina Cendon Bóveda, International Affairs
"This probing, nuanced, and insightful analysis of international election monitoring splendidly illuminates and assesses a key area of international democracy support. The book's conclusions about the mixed utility and many dilemmas of election monitoring are persuasive and deserve wide attention. Extra kudos to Judith Kelley for providing an all-too-rare example of sophisticated, rigorous political science methods being brought to bear on the domain of democracy promotion."--Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Table of Contents
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Judith G. Kelley: