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The Pseudo-Democrat's DilemmaWhy Election Monitoring Became an International Norm$
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Susan D. Hyde

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449666

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449666.001.0001

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Signaling Democracy and the Norm of Internationally Observed Elections

Signaling Democracy and the Norm of Internationally Observed Elections

(p.28) 1 Signaling Democracy and the Norm of Internationally Observed Elections
The Pseudo-Democrat's Dilemma

Susan D. Hyde

Cornell University Press

This chapter sets out a theory on why international election observation became an international norm. It presents a stylized model of the interaction between governments seeking international benefits, democracy promoters, and international election observers. It argues that efforts by state leaders to gain democracy-contingent benefits led to a change in the expectations among democracy-promoting actors and ultimately generated an international norm of election observation. The signal of inviting international election observation was initiated by leaders wishing to demonstrate their commitment to democratization, not by leaders seeking a new norm, and was imitated by pseudo-democratic leaders when the “democracy premium” grew sufficiently large. Repeated invitations from many state leaders led to the normalization of election observation and its explicit use as a method to evaluate the democratic credentials of other states.

Keywords:   international norms, norm creation, international election observation, democratic elections, democracy, election monitoring

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