IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Election observation in Nigeria & Madagascar: diplomatic vs. technocratic bias


  • Dirk Kohnert


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Kohnert, 2004. "Election observation in Nigeria & Madagascar: diplomatic vs. technocratic bias," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(99), pages 83-101, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revape:v:31:y:2004:i:99:p:83-101
    DOI: 10.1080/0305624042000258432

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2015. "Donor’s double talk undermines African agency : Comparative study of civic agency in Burkina Faso and Togo," EconStor Conference Papers 120921, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:revape:v:31:y:2004:i:99:p:83-101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.