Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Latin America

Hardcover | January 8, 2013

bySharon F. Lean

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What role do civic associations play in generating free and fair elections? For over two decades, civic and social movement organizations throughout the Americas have mobilized thousands of individuals to act as civic watchdogs over the actions of state officials and political parties during elections. Although it is widely recognized that democratic consolidation depends on national actors, the existing literature on election monitoring focuses almost exclusively on the work of international observers. Lean's work fills this gap with a detailed analysis of the work of domestic election monitors. This book advances our understanding of when and how civic activism can strengthen election processes and provides new insight into the role of elections in democratic consolidation.

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What role do civic associations play in generating free and fair elections? For over two decades, civic and social movement organizations throughout the Americas have mobilized thousands of individuals to act as civic watchdogs over the actions of state officials and political parties during elections. Although it is widely recognized ...

Sharon F. Lean is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She is co-editor of Promoting Democracy in the Americas (2007). Since 1996, she has observed various elections in Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, and Liberia in collaboration with domestic and international election monitoring orga...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:212 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:January 8, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230339794

ISBN - 13:9780230339798

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Table of Contents

Civil Society and Electoral Accountability Election Monitoring in Latin America Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Mexico Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Venezuela Regional Networking for Electoral AccountabilityCivil Society and Electoral Accountability: Lessons from Latin America

Editorial Reviews

"An informative, helpful resource . . . Following on the heels of the recent Venezuelan election, this book provides an excellent resource for educators interested in contextualizing democratic change through responsible civic movements . . . Highly recommended." - Choice "As elections have spread to nearly every country in the world, domestic election observers have not yet received the comprehensive academic treatment they deserve. Lean provides an insightful, accessible, and much needed analysis of the power of these organizations, as well as the challenges they continue to face in encouraging democratic development. Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Latin America is required reading for anyone interested in democracy promotion or the role of civil society in democratization." - Susan D. Hyde, associate professor, Yale University "In addressing the impact of domestic election monitoring organizations on electoral accountability and democratization in the Americas, Lean documents an important phenomenon that has received relatively little academic attention. By explaining how domestic election monitoring builds social capital, Civil Society and Electoral Accountability in Latin America will enrich understanding about the role of civil society in consolidating democracy and reinforcing democratic norms. Beyond improving the quality of particular elections, domestic election monitoring can also spur democracy by energizing civil society, involving citizens more broadly in public affairs, and focusing attention on the need for civic education and political reform. In this way, domestic monitoring both differs from and complements international election observation. This book represents an extremely important contribution to the understanding of the complex relationship among civil society, electoral accountability, and democratization." - Eric Bjornlund, president, Democracy International, and author, Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy