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A Bureaucratic Bias? EU Election Observation Missions in Africa: Between Independence and Development Industry. EU Diplomacy Paper 03/2017

Ronceray, Martin (2017) A Bureaucratic Bias? EU Election Observation Missions in Africa: Between Independence and Development Industry. EU Diplomacy Paper 03/2017. [Policy Paper]

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    Abstract

    The European Union is the second provider of Electoral Observation Missions (EOMs) worldwide. It is partly to the credit of ‘Normative Power Europe’ that international election monitoring has become an international norm. This paper develops a framework which conceptualises EOMs as ‘dealers of legitimacy’ in a foreign political marketplace, due to their ability to endorse or condemn (parts of) electoral processes. This role of EOMs gives a particular importance to the question of their independence: can they be subjected to interferences, why and through which processes? While standardisation ensures a high level of neutrality throughout the span of EOMs, significant glitches make them prone to episodic interest-driven interference. Based on secondary literature and interviews with a range of practitioners, this paper develops the argument of a ‘bureaucratic bias’ of a donor and democracy promoter, which accounts for some of the breaches of EOM independence. This bias is linked to the conditionality of development aid and the possibility of its suspension in case the government in power loses too much international legitimacy – to which a negative EOM report contributes. Policy recommendations include a modification of the final phases of the EOM.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-ACP
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > EU Diplomacy Paper
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 15:30
    Number of Pages: 30
    Last Modified: 11 Apr 2017 15:30
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/85954

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