In the past decade, we have witnessed increasing turmoil surrounding electoral contests, featuring violent crackdowns of political opposition in some cases, electoral malfeasance in others, and attempted delegitimization of fairly held electoral contests. We have also witnessed election breakthroughs and pluralism, as contested elections have catalyzed regime change. Heightened electoral tension has touched countries across the globe, uniting well-established democracies such as the United States with authoritarian regimes such as Belarus in a shared experience of uncertainty and turmoil in governance and popular legitimacy. Yet also there are other states, such as Serbia, where elections provided a mechanism for government transition and expanded political accountability. This gives rise to the question – when do challenges to electoral fraud strengthen or weaken democracy? In this final session of Virtual ASN, we unite four election and democracy scholars in a conversation about what these experiences of the last years mean and what the next decade may portend.
Moderated by Lucan Way, University of Toronto