State-Controlled Elections: A Framework

  • Guy Hermet


With sporadic exceptions, political scientists concentrate upon supposedly free and competitive elections while they loftily ignore those in which one candidate gains 99 per cent of the votes. The approach which justifies this bias in research is well known. On the one hand, holding free and competitive elections is accepted as a sign of pluralist democracy;1 on the other hand, political science conceives itself as being primarily concerned with multi-party systems and with competitive elections. Postulating that one-party elections or other types of state-manipulated ballots are necessarily rigged leads to their being denied any significance. This removes the political scientist’s obligation to examine how rigged these elections really are, or to consider the implications of electoral politics so dissimilar from the liberal democratic model.


Electoral System Authoritarian Regime Electoral Competition Electoral Politics Control Election 
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© Guy Hermet 1978

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  • Guy Hermet

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