Choosing from the Menu of Manipulation Explaining Incumbents’ Choices of Electoral Manipulation Tactics
46 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
How do political actors choose between different tactics of electoral manipulation, and how does the context in which elections take place shape those decisions? In this paper we argue that choices for specific manipulative tactics are driven by available resource and cost considerations, as well as evaluations of the effectiveness of various tactics. We further argue that cost considerations are importantly shaped by the context in which elections take place, most notably by the level of democratization. We test our hypotheses on a complete time- series-cross-section data set for 1506 elections in 160 electoral regimes around the world from 1974 to 2012. We find that democratization initially leads to increases in vote buying as “cheap” forms of electoral manipulation available to incumbents such as intimidation and manipulating electoral administration become less viable.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation