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

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  • Dirk Kohnert

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.

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
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/0305624042000258432
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    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.

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