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"Citizen Election Observers in Theory and Practice", with Martyna Hoffman and Rebecca Wagner

Tuesday, March 21, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Robert Sutherland Hall
Room: 202
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The Department of Political Studies, the Electoral Integrity Project, the Institute for Intergovernmental Affairs, and the School of Policy Studies Present:

“Citizen Election Observers in Theory and Practice": a panel discussion with Martyna Hoffman and Rebecca Wagner of the Electoral Integrity Project

International election observation has become one of the key instruments of international democracy promotion. Less well known but equally widespread, however, are citizen observers. Yet the Copenhagen Document of 1990 and the Venice Commission of 2002 have affirmed that “the participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process in States where elections are held.” Against the backdrop of global democratic backsliding, this seminar will provide a historical overview of the origins of international and domestic election observation, as well as their fundamental norms and principles. Two empirical case studies will discuss recent developments and challenges in citizen election observation and its role in promoting citizen trust in elections. First, a case study will examine how citizen observers face restrictions and threats during elections, how they respond, and the role of trust in their ability to respond. Second, the case of Poland will be used to discuss the role that citizen observers can play in building trust in elections, and how their actions might be considered to have the opposite effect.


Rachel Lang | Communications and Events Assistant | Department of Political Studies
Free! Light lunch served!
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