UN Electoral Assistance: Does it Matter for Election Management?
29 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2016 Last revised: 29 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
Between 2007 and 2014 the United Nations (UN) provided technical, financial and logistical assistance to half of all elections held outside of established democracies. Does UN Electoral Assistance (UNEA) substantially contribute to the quality of election management? My analysis of original data on UNEA in combination with new indicators from the Varieties of Democracy-Project suggests that elections with UNEA are on average better managed than elections without it. Case studies illustrate that UNEA can effectively supplement and develop election management capacities – at least if the incumbent regime complies with the provided advice. Nevertheless, serious deficiencies in terms of electoral freedom and fairness remain in many UN-supported elections due to challenging political contexts.
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