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There are competing global trends in terms of gender equality. International concern with gender inequality is significant. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000), and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (2015), among other instruments, pushed countries to increase women’s access to decision-making and basic rights such as education, paid labor, and health care. Yet more recently, there has been a “backlash” against progress in gender equality (Berry, Bouka, and Kamuru 2021; Chenoweth and Marks 2022; Piscopo and Walsh 2020; Roggeband and Krizsán 2018).
The study of global politics is frequently organized around fields, but the boundaries of these fields are little understood. We explore the relationship between two proximate fields, human rights (HR) and democracy promotion (DP), in order to understand the emergence and maintenance of field boundaries. The two fields are closely linked in international law and practice, yet they have remained largely separate as fields of action, despite vast changes in global politics over four decades. The disjuncture has been largely maintained by HR organizations who police the boundary to keep DP out. We identify differences in anchoring norms as the key factor driving boundary maintenance. Actors in the two fields hold different foundational ideas about how to protect and advance rights, norms that we describe as cosmopolitan and statist. This account is superior to alternate explanations that emphasize functional demands or resource flows, and complements historical institutionalist accounts. Our research offers a theoretical contribution to the study of fields and practical insight into two important areas of global practice. Our qualitative research is supplemented by digital annotations, supported by the Qualitative Data Repository.
Chapter 6 focuses on how the effects of foreign interventions depend on the identity of the intervener. It shows that in Tunisia and the United States, the presence of capable and unbiased monitors (not any monitors) increased election credibility. In Georgia, an unusually certain electoral environment, the same was true when the analysis focused only on individuals with significant uncertainty in their beliefs about election credibility. Intriguingly, in Tunisia, the monitors perceived as capable and unbiased were those from the Arab League. Returning to meddlers, Bush and Prather find that most respondents did not believe meddling was likely to affect the election results. If they did believe meddlers were capable, however, then they observe the predicted negative relationship with election credibility. Moreover, in a hypothetical scenario in which a foreign actor successfully meddled in a future election in Georgia, they find the expected decrease in election credibility. This chapter shows how dependent the effects of foreign actors are on beliefs about the actor’s capabilities and biases.
Chapter 7 explores how monitors’ and meddlers’ effects are conditional on individuals’ vote choice. Bush and Prather show across the three countries they study that winners were much more likely than losers to view the election as credible. The question then in terms of theory is whether winners and losers responded differently to the information they provided about foreign electoral interventions. In terms of monitoring, they find that positive information about monitors’ presence and complimentary reports did not reassure losers, who were much more receptive to negative information from monitors’ critical reports. The evidence can be interpreted as consistent with individuals forming beliefs in both accuracy- and directionally driven ways. Similarly, the book’s meddling experiments never caused election winners to lose trust, although they did have such an effect on election losers. Moreover, election losers were much more likely to believe in the existence of foreign meddling and its success to begin with. Overall, these results are sobering since democracy depends on the consent of election losers and a commitment among election winners to the rules of the game.
Chapter 3 lays out the book’s research strategy for testing its theory. Since talking to citizens directly is the best way to see how foreign actors influence perceptions of election credibility, Bush and Prather rely heavily on evidence from nationally representative surveys that were conducted for this project, although they also rely on other forms of qualitative and quantitative evidence. In total, they conducted ten large-scale surveys across elections in three countries at different levels of democracy. Specifically, Bush and Prather studied citizens’ perceptions of the 2014 parliamentary and presidential elections in Tunisia (a transitional democracy), the 2016, 2018, and 2020 general elections in the United States (a consolidated democracy), and the 2018 first-round and second-round presidential elections in Georgia (a partial democracy). This chapter describes the book’s survey methodology, including its approach to embedding experimental vignettes designed to identify the effects of foreign actors, discusses case selection, and provides background information on each of the cases.
Chapter 2 develops the theoretical framework that Bush and Prather test later in the book. It posits that people form their beliefs about election. First, people desire to hold accurate beliefs about an election’s credibility. Second, they desire to hold beliefs about election credibility that are consistent with their partisan attachments. Given the accuracy motive, for foreign actors’ interventions to provide new information to the public about the electoral playing field, citizens must believe that foreign actors are capable and willing to influence it. And both accuracy and directional motivations point to vote choice as an essential moderating factor in terms of the effects of foreign actors on local trust. The predictions Bush and Prather develop contrast sharply with an alternative perspective on foreign interventions around elections that expects citizens to respond with hostility to any outside intervention due to their tendency towards nationalist backlash.
To conclude the book, this chapter considers the implications of the theory and findings for the political behaviors that are important to democracy, including voter turnout, and for scholarship on international relations and democratic backsliding. Bush and Prather discuss how the evidence presented in the book complicates the narratives scholars and others have told about how foreign actors shape local trust in elections. Without taking seriously the psychology of citizens, we cannot understand who the most vulnerable individuals in society are to the influence of foreign actors. This chapter also explores how the book’s theory might be expanded to incorporate the role played by elites and political parties in amplifying or diminishing foreign actors’ effects and the effects of other forms of international interventions on domestic politics. Finally, the authors conclude with thoughts on how foreign interventions in elections contribute to polarization and thus to some of the threats to democracy currently facing our world.
Foreign influences on elections are widespread. In the introduction, Bush and Prather explain how and why outside interventions influence local trust in elections. The chapters introduces the book’s theoretical framework and new survey evidence that will interest scholars, students, and practitioners who want to understand the conditions under which foreign actors enhance or undermine election integrity.
Bush and Prather turn to election meddling in Chapter 5. Similar to Chapter 4 for monitors, the chapter begins with descriptive information about election meddling and its prevalence, as well as showing substantial public concern about it globally. The authors further demonstrate that across all three countries in our study, individuals who believed foreign actors had a negative influence on elections had lower levels of electoral trust in their elections. But the book’s experiments again offer only limited support for the conventional wisdom. The treatments priming individuals about election meddling either had no effect on perceptions of election credibility or only had an effect when the experiments were able to reassure people that meddling had not occurred. In summary, Chapters 4 and 5 do not offer a great deal of support for the conventional wisdom. But the authors show in Chapters 6 and 7 that these analyses of the overall effects of foreign interventions mask considerable variation.
In Chapter 4, Bush and Prather begin testing the theory with respect to election monitoring. After discussing the ecology of international election monitors and showing general public acceptance of them, they find limited support for the hypotheses about average effects of monitors. In none of the book’s cases did information simply about the presence of international monitors increase trust in elections. Bush and Prather find more support for the conventional wisdom about the effects of monitors’ reports, as positive reports increased trust relative to negative reports in Tunisia and the United States. The substantive effect was fairly modest, however, and they do not find evidence that monitors’ reports had the same effect in Georgia.
Gender differences in concern about climate change are highly correlated with economic development: when countries are wealthier, a gap emerges whereby women are more likely than men to express concern about our changing climate. These differences stem from cross-national variation in men’s attitudes. Men, more than women, tend to be less concerned about climate change when countries are wealthier. This article develops a new theory about the perceived costs and benefits of climate mitigation policy to explain this pattern. At the country level, the perceived benefits of mitigation tend to decrease with economic development, whereas the perceived costs increase. At the individual level, the perceived costs of mitigation tend to increase with economic development for men more than for women. Evidence from existing surveys from every world region, an original 10-country survey in the Americas and Europe, and focus groups in Peru and the United States support the theory.
Foreign influences on elections are widespread. Although foreign interventions around elections differ markedly-in terms of when and why they occur, and whether they are even legal-they all have enormous potential to influence citizens in the countries where elections are held. Bush and Prather explain how and why outside interventions influence local trust in elections, a critical factor for democracy and stability. Whether foreign actors enhance or diminish electoral trust depends on who is intervening, what political party citizens support, and where the election takes place. The book draws on diverse evidence, including new surveys conducted around elections with varying levels of democracy in Georgia, Tunisia, and the United States. Its insights about public opinion shed light on why leaders sometimes invite foreign influences on elections and why the candidates that win elections do not do more to respond to credible evidence of foreign meddling.