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Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracyby Eric Bjornlund
Synopses & Reviews
"Thorough and richly documented... Contains the right mix of facts and statistics... Those interested in election monitoring will find it indispensable." — Law and Politics Book Review "Authoritative study of an important but neglected topic." — Future Survey
Book News Annotation:
Bjorlund is a lawyer who has designed and directed election monitoring and other programs to promote democracy in over 25 countries. He strives here to improve the understanding and analysis of promoting democracy among policymakers, program implementers, and scholars by reviewing the experiences in the subset of election monitoring over the past 15 years.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy draws on worldwide experience since the mid-1980s to evaluate international election monitoring and domestic monitoring, and their contributions to democracy promotion and democratic change. In this book, Eric Bjornlund provides an overview of what election monitoring is, where it comes from, and how it is currently conducted, and he educes general lessons for democracy promotion. Bjornlund reports on actual practice, including case studies of particular election monitoring efforts and the author's own experience in the field, and on a few previous efforts to synthesize guidelines and lessons learned.
Case studies include Cambodia, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, and Indonesia, with the last especially providing an opportunity to show how domestic monitors can be supported by international monitors, funders, and advisers. Bjornlund also devotes a chapter to the influential election monitoring work of former president Jimmy Carter.
The author criticizes the tendency to view elections and election monitoring narrowly rather than as part of broader strategies to build democracy. He makes practical recommendations about how election monitoring should evolve in the future if it is to continue to contribute to genuine democratization.
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