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LECTURE: Monitors and Meddlers: How Foreign Actors Influence Local Trust in Elections

March 25 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Program for Middle East Studies and the Department of Political Science invite you to a talk:

Monitors and Meddlers: How Foreign Actors Influence Local Trust in Elections 

Sarah Bush
University of Pennsylvania

Monday, March 25, 2024
4 pm in ten Hoor 347

Abstract: 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.

Sarah Bush is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of the author of two books- The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Monitors and Meddlers: How Foreign Actors Influence Local Trust in Elections (Cambridge University Press, 2022). Her research examines how international actors try to aid democracy, promote women’s representation, and influence elections globally. Her work has also appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review and International Organization and has been covered in outlets including the Economist and Washington Post. Dr. Bush received her Ph.D. from Princeton University, has previously held faculty positions at Yale University and Temple University, and received fellowships from Perry World House and the Harvard Kennedy School.


ten Hoor Hall, Room 347
350 Marrs Spring Rd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 United States
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