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Rules and Allies
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Book description

When and how do states intervene in elections in other countries? Foreign interveners may aim to further the process of clean elections, or they may support the campaign of a candidate they like. It could also be in their best interest to do both at the same time. Bubeck and Marinov systematically analyze various scenarios using a dataset covering more than three hundred elections in over a hundred countries. They show both theoretically and empirically that states with a liberal mission, such as the United States, combine promoting democracy with helping their political allies win office. Political divisions invite foreign interventions, and foreign interference, in turn, makes targeted societies more polarized along political lines. Whilst the authors argue that foreign interventions do not always harm democracy and may even help the cause of free elections, they also show how elections can turn into proxy wars, in which powerful states compete against each other, through their local allies.


‘Bubeck and Marinov have written a excellent book on the politics of external electoral intervention. The book reminds us that recent examples of outside interference in democratic elections are part of a long history in international relations. Theoretically innovative and empirically rich, the book places electoral intervention into the broader context of international relations and great power politics. An important book for anyone interested in domestic politics and international relations.'

Jon Pevehouse - Vilas Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison

'Foreign election meddling is a timely topic, yet it remains poorly understood. Johannes Bubeck and Nikolay Marinov break new ground with Rules and Allies. They draw on a sophisticated mix of game theory, statistical analysis, and case studies to show how and why great powers intervene in other countries’ elections throughout the world.'

Sarah Bush - Yale University, Connecticut

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