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

See all articles by Dirk Kohnert

Dirk Kohnert

GIGA - Hamburg, Institute of African Affairs

Abstract

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

Kohnert, Dirk, Election Observation in Nigeria & Madagascar: Diplomatic vs. Technocratic Bias. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=913739

Dirk Kohnert (Contact Author)

GIGA - Hamburg, Institute of African Affairs ( email )

German Inst. of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
D-20354 Hamburg
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://dirk2011.jimdo.com/

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