This panel will critically engage with both domestic and international election observation on the African continent.
In the last three decades, the presence of both domestic and international election observers has become a point of continuity at elections in many African countries. As a result, since the 1990s, researchers have been investigating the efficacy and impact of observation in Africa. Among the issues which they have raised, several key themes can be highlighted: How effective are observers at detecting electoral fraud? Are they biased? Against which standards do they judge elections? How are they perceived in host countries? Does their presence lead to unintended consequences? This panel will accept paper proposals addressing these or any other associated questions, including those relating to digital technology. Papers can be single country case studies or take comparative approaches, and both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are welcomed.