Meddling in the Ballot Box: The Causes and Effects of Partisan Electoral Interventions
Date: November 2020
Duration: 10 hours 28 minutes
Great powers have attempted for centuries to intervene in elections occurring in other states through various covert and overt methods, with the American intervention in the 2013 Kenyan elections and the Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections being just two recent examples. Indeed, the Americans and the Soviets/Russians intervened in one out of every nine national-level executive elections between 1946 and 2000. Meddling in the Ballot Box is the first book to provide a comprehensive analysis of foreign meddling in elections from the dawn of the modern era to the 2016 Russian intervention in the US election. Dov Levin shows that partisan electoral interventions are usually an 'inside job' occurring only if a significant domestic actor within the target wants it. Likewise, a great power will not intervene unless it fears that its interests are endangered by an opposing party or candidate with very different preferences. He also finds that partisan electoral interventions frequently have significant effects on the results-sufficient in many situations to determine the winner.
A revelatory account that explains why major powers have meddled so frequently across the entire postwar era, Meddling in the Ballot Box also provides us with a framework for assessing the cyber-future of interference.