21 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2014 Last revised: 17 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2015
This paper discusses electoral quality in the western Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Drawing upon a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence it argues the electoral malpractice the two countries experience is a product, foremost, of three political economies. The first of these a national political economy which produces incentives for Members of Parliament in both countries to neglect electoral process and systems. The second political economy is an international one, in which aid actors are afforded some power to serve as a countervailing force to a domestic tendency towards decaying electoral capacity. The third political economy is localised, to do with power and how campaigns play out in individual electorates. Thanks to weak national systems there is considerable scope for actors to engage in malpractice at a local level, although local-level balance of power, and something akin to local political culture, causes the degree of localised malpractice to vary considerably.
Keywords: elections, electoral integrity, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Wood, Terence, The Three Political Economies of Electoral Quality in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (March 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2497206 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2497206