Election Observation in Nigeria & Madagascar: Diplomatic vs. Technocratic Bias
African Political Economy (ROAPE), Vol. 31, No. 99, pp. 83-101, 2004
Posted: 14 Jul 2006
International election observation has become a valuable means of supporting African democratic polity. Notably, EU observer missions adopting a professional approach are meant to shield against political pressures from partisan stakeholder interests. However, this growing professionalism did not necessarily lead to less biased observation results.
Available evidence suggests that in crucial cases, the origin and orientation of the bias changed from 'diplomatic' to 'technocratic'. The latter can be as least as damaging to the declared aims of election observation as the former.
Two outstanding examples, the observation of transitional elections in Nigeria and Madagascar, will serve to illustrate this hypothesis and its consequences for the necessary reorientation of election observation methodology.
Keywords: democratization, aid, election observation, Nigeria, Madagascar
JEL Classification: A14, D72, O57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation