Sarah Sunn Bush and Lauren Prather, Monitors and Meddlers: How Foreign Actors Influence Local Trust in Elections (Cambridge University Press, 2022).
Foreign influences on elections are widespread. Although foreign interventions around elections differ markedly-in terms of when and why they occur, and whether they are even legal-they all have enormous potential to influence citizens in the countries where elections are held. Bush and Prather explain how and why outside interventions influence local trust in elections, a critical factor for democracy and stability. Whether foreign actors enhance or diminish electoral trust depends on who is intervening, what political party citizens support, and where the election takes place. The book draws on diverse evidence, including new surveys conducted around elections with varying levels of democracy in Georgia, Tunisia, and the United States. Its insights about public opinion shed light on why leaders sometimes invite foreign influences on elections and why the candidates that win elections do not do more to respond to credible evidence of foreign meddling.
Sarah Sunn Bush, The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Few government programs that aid democracy abroad today seek to foster regime change. Technical programs that do not confront dictators are more common than the aid to dissidents and political parties that once dominated the field. What explains this ‘taming’ of democracy assistance? This book offers the first analysis of that puzzle. In contrast to previous research on democracy aid, it focuses on the survival instincts of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that design and implement democracy assistance. To survive, Sarah Bush argues that NGOs seek out tamer types of aid, especially as they become more professional. Diverse evidence – including three decades of new project-level data, case studies of democracy assistance in Jordan and Tunisia, and primary documents gathered from NGO archives – supports the argument. This book provides new understanding of foreign influence and moral actors in world politics, with policy implications for democracy in the Middle East.
For more: The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can read the introduction here. Click here to read a roundtable about the book published by H-Diplo.