What is a Free and Fair Election? Evidence from Russia

Russian elections since 1991 have represented one of the most difficult cases for the comparative analysis of election processes. The most recent 2011-12 parliamentary and presidential elections were strongly condemned by many observers, including the OSCE monitoring team, and on that basis by Western governments. But how valid was their examination? What did other groups of international monitors have to say? And how can we - indeed can we - adjudicate among them? Beyond this, what does the evidence of a post-election survey tell us about the attitudes of ordinary Russians towards exercises of this kind: do they see international monitors as a form of helpful advice, or as interference in the country's domestic affairs?

Stephen White is James Bryce Professor of Politics at the University of Glasgow, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Applied Politics in Moscow. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and holds a PhD in Soviet Studies from the University of Glasgow and in Politics from Oxford University. He is the author of more than forty books, most recently Identities and Foreign Politics in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (with Valentina Feklyunina, 2014). While in Canberra as a Visiting Fellow at the School of Politics and International Relations he has been working particularly on Russian electoral politics, in association with Ian McAllister. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.

Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP for this event on Eventbrite by COB 24 February 2015.


Date & time

Thu 26 Feb 2015, 12am


L.J Hume Centre, Copland Building (24) 1st Floor, Room 1171, ANU


Professor Stephen White, University of Glasgow


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