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Elite Statecraft and Election Administration: Bending the Rules of the Game? [Hardcover]

Dr Toby S. James

Price: 60.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 July 2012
All electoral laws produce winners and losers.  They can give advantages to some candidates, parties and voters but cause disadvantages to others.  So to what extent do political elites seek to change them to maximize their chances of maintaining power? In this book, Toby S. James explores this question by looking at the under explored area of election administration.  He identifies why election administration might be used by political elites to win and maintain power.  The book explores the role of elite interests in shaping election administration in the USA, UK and Ireland since the birth of democracy in each country.  The book offers a new theoretical model, the statecraft approach, for understanding continuity and change in electoral institutions.

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'Toby James has written an important book. Election administration has been a neglected subject but, as James demonstrates, by ignoring the intricacies of how elections are managed and run we are ignoring an important aspect of politics and power. As this well written and informative book demonstrates, the rules of elections affect the outcome and the book does an excellent job in drawing out attention to running of elections. It also highlights how, when thinking about constitutional reform we need to think about how citizens vote.' - Martin J. Smith, Professor, University of Sheffield, UK 
'Elite Statecraft and Election Administration presents an innovative integration of election administration and politics to present a framework for evaluating administrative arrangements and for explaining when these arrangements will change. This book is important for understanding cross-national variations in the ways in which elections are run.' - Thad Hall, Professor, University of Utah, USA

The book makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of the politics of election administration. James makes a compelling case that election administration matters, that it can affect turnout or electoral outcomes, and that party elites seek to manipulate election administration to further their own interests. This is the first in-depth comparative examination of continuity and change in election administration in three different democracies (USA, UK, and Ireland). This is a masterful study.

André Blais
Canada Research Chair in Electoral Studies
Université de Montréal

Book Description

Explores how, when and why politicians have reformed election administration for their own political interests

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