The SAGE Handbook of Comparative Politics presents in one volume an authoritative overview of the theoretical, methodological, and substantive elements of comparative political science. The 28 specially commissioned chapters, written by renowned comparative scholars, guide the reader through the central issues and debates, presenting a state-of-the-art guide to the past, present, and possible futures of the field.

Electoral Corruption

Electoral corruption


Modern authoritarian and semi-authoritarian states hold elections; even text-book autocracies such as Saudi Arabia and China have recently begun experimenting on a small scale with electoral mechanisms for the choice of public officials. The prevalence of elections is not, however, associated with an equal prevalence of democracy, in the sense that this term is commonly understood in Western political science. The discrepancy between the institution of elections and the reality of democracy can be largely (though not exclusively) traced directly or indirectly to electoral corruption and manipulation.

The modern study of electoral corruption takes two principal forms: historical studies of corruption in unreformed electoral systems, and studies of electoral malpractice following (notional) democratization. The historical accounts of electoral corruption have in some cases ...

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