Electoral Rights in Europe: Advances and Challenges, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Electoral Rights in Europe

Advances and Challenges, 1st Edition

Edited by Helen Hardman, Brice Dickson


228 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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From the perspective of a number of different social science disciplines, this book explores the ways in which the election of politicians can be made more fair and credible by adopting a human rights approach to elections. It discusses existing international standards for the conduct of elections and presents case studies relating to jurisdictions within Europe, especially those emerging from conflict or from an authoritarian past, which demonstrate how problems occur and can be addressed.

Significant advances have been achieved through the Council of Europe’s soft and hard law frameworks but the book demonstrates that much more needs to be done to ensure that these and other standards are fully adhered to and developed. This collection offers a fresh examination of electoral rights and practices – and their impact on the quality of democracy – by superimposing a human rights perspective on existing election theories derived from the literatures of law, political science and international relations.

This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of electoral democracy and human rights, as well as those working in the areas of comparative politics and European politics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction [Brice Dickson and Helen Hardman]

Part I: Hard and Soft Law Human Rights Standards relating to Elections

2. The Contribution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to Soft Law in Electoral Matters

[Chemavon Chahbazian]

3.Between Soft and Hard Law Standards: The Contribution of the Venice Commission in the Electoral Field

[Amaya Úbeda de Torres]

4. The Level of the Protection of the Right to Free Elections in the Practice of the European Court of Human Rights

[Eszter Bodnár]

Part II: National and Regional Case Studies

5. Voting Rights of Minorities and the Role of Ethnicity in Elections in the Post-Yugoslav Space

[Petra Roter]

6. Prisoner Voting Saga: Reasons for Challenges

[Kanstantsin Dzhietsiarou]

7. Electoral Rights in Russia: Mapping the Situation at the European Court of Human Rights

[Olga Chernishova]

Part III: Comparative Perspectives

8. When Elections are Free but not Effective: Party Systems and Corruption

[Petra Schleiter and Alisa Voznaya]

9. The Impact of Elections and Voter De-alignment on Human Rights

[Helen Hardman]

10. Electoral Finances, Human Rights and Fairness

[Brice Dickson]

11 Conclusions

[Helen Hardman and Brice Dickson]

About the Editors

Helen Hardman is Lecturer in Transformation and European Integration, CEES, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK

Brice Dickson is Professor of International and Comparative Law at Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Elections, Democracy and Autocracy

Elections, Democracy and Autocracy is a book series designed for researchers, teachers, students of political science and practitioners that deals with the quality of elections, how and why electoral contests fall short of international standards, and the implications of flawed elections for democracy and autocracy.

Research monographs and edited books in the series emphasize comparative analysis, regional or global in scope, covering a wide variety of political regimes including electoral autocracies, hybrid regimes, and established democracies, using a variety of methodological and disciplinary approaches. The series is published in association with the Electoral Integrity Project.

Sub-themes include:

  1. Dimensions of electoral integrity. We welcome comparative research on specific aspects of election integrity, covering topics such as electoral laws and electoral administration, voter registration, political finance, campaign communications and media, gender equality and minority representation, electoral conflict and violence.
  2. Why do elections fail and how to get elections right? This includes comparative scholarship on causes of election integrity and malpractice, with a concrete focus on how to strengthen election integrity, addressing topics such as conditions and types of institutional reform, electoral reform in post-conflict and authoritarian settings, the role of domestic actors in promoting election integrity, and the role of the international community in technical assistance and democracy promotion.
  3. How do flawed elections affect democracy and autocracy? Cross-national studies on the consequences of election quality for democracy and autocracy are welcome, speaking to themes such as the impact of electoral malpractice on legitimacy, political trust and participation, the effect of flawed elections on protest, violence and regime stability, as well as research on how flawed elections help to sustain authoritarian regimes, and the role of election quality in explaining democratic reversal.

The series welcomes original empirical research on these themes. Submissions should contain a book prospectus, a short bio of contributor(s) and one or two sample chapters. To ensure the highest standard of academic quality, all submissions are subject to independent peer-review and editorial approval.

For more information, visit www.electoralintegrityproject.com The series is edited by Professor Pippa Norris, at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney and Dr Carolien van Ham at the University of New South Wales.

Learn more…

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