Alberto Simpser, “Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections”

Alberto’s book, “Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections: Theory, Practice, and Implications” was recently published by Cambridge University Press. His work has focused on electoral manipulation and fraud; he wrote a wonderful contribution in the book that Thad Hall, Susan Hyde and I edited, “Election Fraud: Detecting and Deterring Electoral Manipulation”, on the “Unintended Consequences of Electoral Monitoring.”

Here’s the abstract of Alberto’s new book, well worth reading as it is a good contribution to this emerging field that seeks to understand the motivations for electoral manipulation:

Why do parties and governments cheat in elections they cannot lose? This book documents the widespread use of blatant and excessive manipulation of elections and explains what drives this practice. Alberto Simpser shows that, in many instances, elections are about more than winning. Electoral manipulation is not only a tool used to gain votes, but also a means of transmitting or distorting information. This manipulation conveys an image of strength, shaping the behavior of citizens, bureaucrats, politicians, parties, unions, and businesspeople to the benefit of the manipulators, increasing the scope for the manipulators to pursue their goals while in government and mitigating future challenges to their hold on power. Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections provides a general theory about what drives electoral manipulation and empirically documents global patterns of manipulation.