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  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The April 2010 elections in Sudan were mandated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). They were intended to be instrumental in setting the stage for the referendum and corresponding negotiations and were envisioned as a critical part of a broader democratic transformation. In the period between the CPA's signing and the holding of the national elections, political rights and freedoms were circumscribed, placing limits on political parties and civil society and fostering distrust between the ruling parties and the opposition in the North and South that was to prove central in undermining the inclusiveness and credibility of the elections.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Electoral rights are based on fundamental human rights, namely the civil and political freedoms of opinion, expression, association, and peaceful assembly that are solidly established on a global and regional basis under numerous international conventions. The right to enjoy free and fair elections also derives from the right to participate in governance, both directly and through representatives, which is also established through these instruments. Finally, the treaties also require protection of electoral as well as other human rights through an effective system of appeal.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Treaties and Agreements
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: One of the most important democratic experiments of the last 25 years has been the movement in more than 600,000 villages across China toward open, competitive elections, allowing 75 percent of the nation's 1.3 billion people to elect their local leaders. For over a decade, at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National People's Congress, The Carter Center has worked to help standardize the vast array of electoral procedures taking place in this new democratic environment and foster better governance in local communities. Since 1996, The Carter Center has observed numerous village elections, provided training to local government officials on electoral procedures, and helped conduct a nation-wide survey on villager self-governance.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Dec. 6, 2009, presidential and legislative elections were the first elections held under the new constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The high rate of citizen participation in the voter registration process and the general elections confirmed that the Bolivian people have a strong commitment to democratic life and that elections are regarded as a legitimate means to settle differences. The Carter Center mission in Bolivia was targeted, focusing on long-term observation of the voter registration process. As such, the mission did not conduct a comprehensive assessment of the entire electoral process. The Carter Center opened a field office in La Paz that operated from Aug. 15 to Dec. 15. During this time, voter registration was assessed through direct observation, as well as technical and legal analysis. The mission also included a limited observation of the Dec. 6 general elections. The mission was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. This report covers the findings of The Carter Center mission.
  • Topic: Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In mid-December 2008, the Second Vice President of the Legislation and Oversight Commission (CLF) – the contact between the legislative body and international contacts and supporters – invited the Carter Center to serve as one of the international observers to monitor the process of selection, evaluation, appeal and appointment for the members of the temporary Council on Citizen Participation and Social Control (CPCCS).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Upon the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, The Carter Center observed the country's May 15, 2005, elections for the national and regional parliaments. The May elections marked an historic event in the country, as Ethiopia witnessed its first genuinely competitive campaign period with multiple parties fielding strong candidates. Unfortunately, what began with a comparatively open period of campaigning and an orderly voting process on election day was followed by flawed counting and tabulation processes in many areas; repeated incidents of serious postelection violence, including the killing of many dozens of people during electoral protests; a significant delay in finalizing election results; and an ineffective complaints review and investigation processes. In spite of the positive pre-election developments, therefore, The Carter Center concludes that the 2005 electoral process did not fulfill Ethiopia's obligations to ensure the exercise of political rights and freedoms necessary for genuinely democratic elections.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The April 9, 2009, legislative elections in Indonesia marked the beginning of the third set of national elections since a return to democratic rule following the end of the New Order of former President Soeharto and the first based on an open-list system. This was the world's largest centrally administered, single-day election, with more than 171 million names on the voter register and approximately 519,000 polling stations. Thirty-eight political parties contested nearly 19,000 seats in national, provincial, and district assemblies, while an additional six local parties competed for seats in Aceh province.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Carter Center led a small electoral observation mission for Ecuador's constitutional referendum on Sept. 28, 2008, to help promote a transparent and fair electoral process and accompany the country as it continues its political-institutional transformation. One of the major milestones in the process was the convening of the national constituent assembly (CA), which held session between November 2007 and July 2008. The CA's efforts culminated in the approval of a draft constitution, which was also approved by 63.93 percent of Ecuador voters during the Sept. 28, 2008, referendum.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Ecuador
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: As described in the Transitional Regime of the Constitution approved by referendum on September 28, 2008, the Constituent Assembly held its final session (the 98th) in order to appoint the members of the Legislation and Oversight Commission, as well as the members of the temporary electoral authorities that together form the Electoral Branch: the National Electoral Council (NEC) and the Litigious Electoral Tribunal (LET). For the first time in Ecuador's modern history, the organization and evaluation of its elections have been left to two autonomous agencies: the NEC will be in charge of organizing and executing electoral processes and the LET will have jurisdictional authority on electoral matters. This report provides an account of the process of selecting and naming the temporary representatives of these two agencies. The Carter Center's principal motivation in writing this report is to make a contribution to informing national and international audiences about the process of institutional transformation taking place in Ecuador. Although they are temporary, the new electoral authorities have an important and specific purpose in organizing and judging the fairness of the next general election scheduled for April of 2009.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Nepal's constituent assembly (CA) election is an important milestone on the country's path to permanent peace and prosperity. The Nepali people have demonstrated their dedication to ending the decade-long conflict and their interest in a new and inclusive leadership that will tackle the difficult issues involved in drafting a new constitution and restructuring the Nepali state, and will work to address the critical need for poverty alleviation and widespread development in Nepal.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Nepal
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The increasing use of new electronic voting (e-voting) technologies in elections around the world has been recognized by the international election observation community as one of the paramount challenges facing election observation today. As a whole, international election observation organizations have had relatively little experience observing elections in which e-voting technologies are used. In addition, the inherent lack of transparency of electronic voting technologies discourages easy observation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, International Cooperation, International Law
  • Political Geography: Venezuela
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: International election observation is conducted by dozens of organizations around the world. As election observation activity has grown and the number of organizations involved has proliferated, several critical challenges have emerged. Foremost is the need for greater coordination and standards of professionalism among election observation organizations. To this end, The Carter Center, the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD), and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), launched a collaborative project to build consensus on best practices in this field.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, International Cooperation, International Law
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: At China's invitation, The Carter Center sent a seven-person, international team led by Dr. Robert Pastor, a Carter Center Fellow and expert on elections, to observe the village electoral process in Fujian and Hebei provinces. The delegation also held discussions with officials in Beijing on election issues and on future areas of cooperation between The Carter Center and China. The delegation concluded that the village elections are a serious and positive development in empowering China's 900 million villagers, even though many parts of the country might not have fully implemented the election rules yet.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Carter Center conducted a targeted observation mission of Ecuador's September 30, 2007, elections for 130 members of the Constituent Assembly with the goal of demonstrating the Center's interest and support for Ecuador's constitutional reform and political transition process. The Carter Center assessed the political and electoral environment prior to the Constituent Assembly elections and the transparency of the process.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: With USAID funding, The Carter Center conducted a targeted observation for Guyana's Aug. 28, 2006, national elections to demonstrate the Center's interest in and support for Guyana's democratization process. The Center also sought to assess the political and electoral environment in Guyana surrounding the 2006 elections in follow-up to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's 2004 visit to Guyana. The 2006 elections marked a historic event in the country as Guyana experienced its most peaceful election in recent history.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Guyana
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Liberians went to the polls in great numbers on October 11 and November 8, 2005, to elect a president, vice president, 30 senators, and 64 representatives. In these first elections since the end of 14 years of civil war, voters across the country demonstrated their commitment to peace and democratic governance. Both elections were widely praised as violence-free, orderly, and well-administered. Throughout the electoral process, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center sought to demonstrate international support for Liberia's democratic process and to provide Liberians and the international community with an impartial and accurate assessment of the electoral process and the political environment surrounding it.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Carlos Ayala Corao, Pedro Nikken Bellshaw-Hógg
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: At the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in June of 2005, the member states enjoined Secretary General José Miguel Insulza to prepare a report on past use of the Inter-American Democratic Charter (IDC) and make suggestions to the Permanent Council concerning possible improvements in its application. The resolution on “Promotion of Regional Cooperation for Implementation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter” also urges the Permanent Council to receive input from civil society concerning the IDC, and conscious of this invitation, The Carter Center and the Andean Commission of Jurists (CAJ) have responded to this invitation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Automated voting (sometimes referred to as electronic or e-voting) technologies are increasingly used in elections across the world, particularly because they are often seen as symbolic of a country's level of modernization. The possibilities for rapid aggregation and analysis of results, as well as potentially greater accuracy, have all added to the attractiveness of computer-based voting equipment. There is little doubt that the ability to quickly publish results can be of particular advantage in conflict and post-conflict scenarios, where a prolonged period of counting can heighten tensions and reduce confidence in the final results. The potential to remove some traditional elements of unintentional voter error or intentional fraud can also contribute to greater confidence, while at the same time raising new questions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), in partnership with The Carter Center (TCC), organized a 76- member international delegation to monitor the January 2005 Palestinian presidential election. The delegation was led by former United States President Jimmy Carter, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt and former New Jersey Governor and United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, and supported by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In recent years discussions about the quality of democracy in the Western Hemisphere have focused increasing concern on the financing of political parties and their campaigns. Unlimited spending on campaigns is believed (correctly or not) to have raised the cost of elections to the point where poor candidates stand little chance of competing and the prospect of creating a level playing field for parties and their candidates has become decidedly remote. Undisclosed contributions of licit or illicit origin by wealthy donors have meanwhile intensified the dependence of elected officials on their campaign funders, increasing the likelihood that politicians respond to donor interests and hindering effective representation for the ordinary citizen in the making of public policy. In tandem, these trends are contributing to public cynicism about parties and candidates, and about the possibilities for meaningful citizen participation in politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Citizens throughout the hemisphere increasingly question the integrity of political processes with opaque methods of financing and access. After a quarter-century of democratic governance, money-conscious voters in Latin America's troubled economies have begun to ask whether elections really allow them to hold governments accountable for enacting promised reform s or whether instead politicians respond primarily to the special interest groups who fund their campaigns. Democracy remains a valued good, but questions are being asked about how much it costs, who pays, and whether the need to raise funds distorts policy agendas.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Laura Neuman
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Following the 1997 elections, the Jamaican electoral authorities instituted a number of reforms to improve the electoral process and increase voter confidence in its credibility. Measures such as purifying the electoral registry, appointing a nonpartisan corps of election day workers, and instituting a policy of consultative decision-making underpinned these successful administrative efforts. More difficult to address than the technical components of the election, however, was the continuing fear of violence and intimidation. Innovative models of conflict prevention and resolution were designed and, to a greater or lesser degree, implemented. Overall, The Carter Center found the 2002 Jamaican elections to be exemplary in its organization and preparations and to reflect adequately the will of the people. Nevertheless, we remain concerned over the violence during the campaign period and the voter intimidation that persisted in these elections, as well as the deleterious effect of the political tribalism and garrison phenomenon.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Jamaica
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Kenya's independence leader, Jomo Kenyatta, of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), held power from independence in June 1963 to the time of his death in August 1978. He was succeeded by then Vice President Daniel arap Moi, who retained the presidency through Kenya's multiparty elections in 1992 and 1997. However, both elections were marred by controversy owing to political violence, widespread voting irregularities, and fraud.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Corruption, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Laura Newman
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Citizens and their leaders around the world have long recognized the risk of corruption. Corruption diverts scarce resources from necessary public services, and instead puts it in the pockets of politicians, middlemen and illicit contractors, while ensuring that the poor do not receive the benefits of this "system". The consequences of corruption globally have been clear: unequal access to public services and justice, reduced investor confidence, continued poverty, and even violence and overthrow of governments. A high level of corruption is a singularly pernicious societal problem that also undermines the rule of law and citizen confidence in democratic institutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Jimmy Carter, Robert Rubin
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In 1992, The Carter Center hosted a conference for Global Development Cooperation. The purpose of the conference was to identify specific and practical ways to improve development cooperation on a global scale. President Carter and United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali co-chaired the event, which convened world leaders, development experts, and representatives from donor institutions, developing nations, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, private foundations, and the private sector. In the ensuing decade, the need for improved development cooperation was central to the formulation of strategies designed to reduce human suffering and narrow disparities.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: This report describes in detail The Carter Center's activities in China from July 1998 to January 1999 with a focus on the observation of China's village and township elections and recommendations to improve the quality of those elections. The report is divided into two parts. Part I is a report on the Center's observation of township elections in Chongqing. Part II covers the Center's activities with respect to village elections in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA ).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Mali's 2002 presidential elections mark an important step in Mali's democratic consolidation following the completion of President Alpha Oumar Konare's two terms in office.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Marcela Szymanski
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Carter Center has a long history of engagement with Mexico with the shared goal of improving the electoral system in that country. In the early 1990s, the Center helped national observer groups to form and sent international observers to assist in domestic election monitoring. It also invited Mexicans to observe the U.S. elections in 1992. In 1994, the Center was among the first international observers to monitor elections in Mexico, and its observations helped shape electoral reforms that framed those and the 1997 elections, which the Center also observed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Laura Neuman, Jennifer McCoy
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Venezuela under President Hugo Chávez undertook a bold experiment to revamp its political system and address economic inequities and poverty. The country held seven votes in two years as voters chose Hugo Chávez to lead them in December 1998 and then supported his radical reform program, beginning with a new constitution. A Constitutional Assembly was elected in July 1999 to draft a new constitution, which voters approved in December 1999. Every elected position in the country was then presented to the voters again in a two-stage election in July and December 2000. While we do not believe that the election irregularities would have changed the 2000 presidential results, the significant politicization of the elections and organizational deficiencies contributed to a lack of confidence in the process and the nonpresidential results, thus leading us to characterize the July 2000 elections as flawed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Hugo Chávez, Manuel Antonio Garretón M., Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, Kenneth H. Jr. MacKay, Philip Oxhorn, Kenneth Roberts, Matthew Soberg Shugart, Jorge Vargas Cullel, Laurence Whitehead, Adolfo E. Nanclares
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Recent events in Latin American and the Carribean, including the election of a former coup leader in Venezuela, the third-term candidacy of Peru President Alberto Fujimori, a coup in Ecuador, and the failed constitutional reform in Guatemala and subsequent election of a party led by retired military officials, have led to serious concerns about the direction of democracy in the region. Americas Program's Council of Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Americas selected the conference topic as an expression of their concern. Held in October 2000 at The Carter Center, the conference addressed the resurgence of populist leaders, the decline of political parties, the need for greater public security, and the many ways the military continues to intervene in Latin American politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Shortly after Mozambique gained independence in 1975, civil war erupted and continued to rage for the next 16 years. In 1992 a peace agreement was negotiated, and in 1994 the country's first multiparty elections were held under U.N. auspices. President Joaquim Chissano and the ruling Frelimo party won the presidency and a majority in Parliament. Renamo, the former guerilla movement headed by Afonso Dhlakama, received nearly 34 percent of the presidential ballots and won 112 of the 250 seats in parliament.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Mozambique
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), People's Republic of China, The Carter Center sent a delegation to observe villager committee (VC) elections in Hebei Province from January 4 to 13, 2000. The delegation was led by Ambassador Gordon L. Streeb, Associate Executive Director of the Center, and made up of nine Center staff members, election experts and China scholars from various universities in the United States and Denmark. This was the fourth time since 1997 that the Center has observed village elections in China and the first time that an international organization has been invited to observe a primary VC election.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Denmark
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The May 1998 departure of Indonesian President Suharto, following a 32-year dictatorship, raised hopes of independence for East Timor, where some 200,000 people had died since Indonesia's 1975 invasion of the Portuguese colony. In January 1999, Suharto's successor, Bucharuddin Jusuf (B.J.) Habibie, in an effort to appease the East Timorese and international community, suggested that a vote would be held on autonomy with or in- dependence from Indonesia. Details of this referendum were set forward in the May 5 Agreement, signed by Indonesia, Portugal, and the United Nations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Portugal, Timor
  • Author: Jennifer McCoy, Shelley McConnell
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Carter Center's Americas Program and its Council of Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Americas have initiated a multiyear project to work with governments and civil society to develop monitoring mechanisms to help combat corruption in government transactions and serve as a model for the rest of the world. Greater "transparency" in government-business interactions can improve investor confidence, spur economic growth, provide better public services to the population, and increase public confidence in democratic institutions. At a high-level conference May 4-5, 1999, leaders from across the hemisphere came to The Carter Center to evaluate specific anti-corruption efforts and seek commitments from other governments to implement similar strategies in their own countries. In preparation for that conference, The Carter Center partnered with three countries—Ecuador, Jamaica, and Costa Rica—to develop and assess specific anti-corruption tools.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Human Rights, Migration
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: This report describes in detail The Carter Center's activities in China from July 1998 to January 1999 with a focus on the observation of China's village and township elections and recommendations to improve the quality of those elections. The report is divided into two parts. Part I is a report on the Center's observation of township elections in Chongqing. Part II covers the Center's activities with respect to village elections in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA ).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 03-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the government of the People's Republic of China, The Carter Center sent a delegation to observe village elections in China from March 2-15, 1998. In addition to evaluating nine village elections in Jilin and Liaoning provinces, the nine-person team, led by Carter Center Fellow Dr. Robert Pastor, reached a long-term agreement with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) on election-related projects.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Vikram K. Chand
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Until recently, the monitoring of elections in a sovereign country by outside actors was extremely rare. The United Nations (UN) had significant experience in conducting plebiscites and elections in dependent territories but did not monitor an election in a formally independent country until 1989, when it reluctantly became involved in the Nicaraguan electoral process. At the regional level, the Organization of American States (OAS) occasionally sent small delegations to witness elections in member states, but these missions were too brief to permit any real observation of the processes, and failed to criticise fraud. Since the 1980s election-monitoring has become increasingly common in transitional elections from authoritarian to democratic rule. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), domestic and international, were the first to become involved in election-monitoring in the 1980s followed by international and regional organisations like the UN, the OAS, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the 1990s. Election-monitors played a crucial role in transitional elections held in the Philippines (1986), Chile (1989), Panama (1989), Nicaragua (1990) and Haiti (1990). In addition, elections began to form a crucial element of UN 'peace-building' strategies in countries torn apart by civil strife such as Namibia (1989), Cambodia (1993) and El Salvador (1994). By the middle of the 1990s, international election-monitoring had thus become widely accepted, and fairly universal standards established for defining the term 'free and fair' elections.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Non-Governmental Organization, Sovereignty, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Philippines, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Chile, Namibia
  • Author: Robert A. Pastor
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In my travels throughout Latin America, I have always found the region's leaders eager to converse with American statesmen, but with few exceptions, they mostly had to content themselves with speaking to specialists like me. The kind of transnational dialogue that would permit hemispheric relations to rise to a higher level just did not exist. When President Carter asked if I would direct a new program at The Carter Center, my thoughts turned to the question of whether I could help form a group of senior statesmen from thoughts the hemisphere, who not only could consult with each other, but also work together to advance the ideals of human rights, democracy, social justice, and equitable development that lie at the core of the inter-American promise.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 09-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In September 1994, the Commission on Radio and Television Policy, bringing together the New Independent States, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the United States, met in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss the most important policy issue of the electronic media: how to strengthen the independence of radio and television. The members of the Commission represented several different approaches and types of government, but, in the end, there was unanimous agreement on a communiqué urging all parties to defend and extend autonomy of the media.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The national elections on August 21, 1994 will be an important milestone in Mexico's political opening. During the last four years, the Mexican Congress approved a number of important reforms to the electoral process. Yet the Mexican population remains highly skeptical about the integrity of the elections. Opinion polls show that nearly one-half of respondents expect fraud, and more than one half expect post-electoral violence.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Richard Joseph
  • Publication Date: 05-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: On May 13-14, 1994, a group of 32 scholars and practitioners took part in a seminar on Democratization in Africa at The Carter Center. This consultation was a sequel to two similar meetings held in February 1989 and March 1990. Discussion papers from those seminars have been published under the titles, Beyond Autocracy in Africa and African Governance in the 1990s. During the period 1990-94, the African Governance Program of The Carter Center moved from discussions and reflections to active involvement in the complex processes of renewed democratization in several African countries. These developments throughout Africa were also monitored and assessed in the publication, Africa Demos.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America
  • Publication Date: 11-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Robert Pastor, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program at The Carter Center and Executive Secretary of the Council, opened the conference with a reference to Mexican Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz who once said, "A nation without free elections is a nation without a voice, without eyes, and without ears." Pastor noted that the right to free and fair elections is a universal right enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Organization of American States. In the spirit of honoring that right, the Council was formed in 1986 to lend support and assistance to the democratization movement in the Americas.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: The Conference Center
  • Publication Date: 07-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In the two years that have elapsed since The Carter Center hosted "Investigating Abuses and Introducing Human Rights Safeguards in the Democratization Process," the issues we discussed then have become even more pivotal as our views of governance and the rights of individuals and of state sovereignty itself are being fundamentally transformed. It was our view that, although the Center did not previously publish the seminar proceedings, making them available at this time would serve to further inform those who are working in this field by providing insightful observations by many human rights activists, journalists, and academicians who were involved directly in political transitions in their own countries and by others who studied these events from the outside.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Publication Date: 05-1990
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: During the entire electoral process, the political system in Nicaragua gradually opened so that by election day, the major political parties acknowledged that they had an adequate opportunity to explain their positions to the Nicaraguan people. The Council of Freely-Elected Heads of Government shared the conclusion of the parties: the Nicaraguan people were free to vote their preferences in a fair election, and the official results reflected the collective will of the nation.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Publication Date: 02-1989
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The aim of the inaugural seminar of the Governance in Africa Program (G.A.P.) was to bring together a diverse group of scholars to reflect on some of the central issues which confront the continent. The program takes its acronym from the increasing gap between the democratic and developmental aspirations expressed during the anti-colonial struggle and the monopolization of power and the deepening economic predicament today.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa