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2016 Graduate Student Essay on Electoral Integrity

2016 Graduate Student Essay on Electoral Integrity

Submissions are invited for the 2016 Electoral Integrity graduate student essay competition organized by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA); Electoral Integrity Project (EIP; Harvard University and University of Sydney).


The theme for this year’s essay competition is in line with a workshop on electoral integrity held prior to the 2016 IPSA World Congress in Istanbul. This workshop is titled “Contentious elections, conflict and regime change”.

Global concern about contentious elections has risen as elections have spread worldwide, becoming a standard part of the initial phases of peace-building and state-building processes even in inhospitable conditions, such as in Afghanistan, Libya, Nepal, and Iraq.

When does such conflict strengthen processes of democratization, such as where an outcry over election fraud and corruption destabilizes the old regime? When does it trigger a backlash or coup d’état which sets back democratic transitions? And when does conflict fizzle out without achieving any substantive reforms or opposition gains?

This competition welcomes papers that seek to examine and explain the consequences of contentious elections and election-related conflict for regime stability and change.


International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA); Electoral Integrity Project (EIP; Harvard University and University of Sydney)


  • The author (or authors) of the winning paper will receive an award of US$750 and a further award (up to US$1,000) for the costs of attending the award ceremony at the pre-IPSA Workshop on Electoral Integrity in Istanbul in July 2016.
  • The award recipient will also have the opportunity to present their paper at a relevant policy-makers conference (to be determined in consultation with International IDEA).


29 February 2016


  • The award will be presented to the author (or authors) of an outstanding graduate student essay written in English based on the paper’s significant contribution to the theory and practice of electoral integrity.
  • Essays can be based on any methods, including comparative cross-national time series evidence and/or case-studies of historical processes within particular countries.
  • Applicants can be from any social science discipline.
  • Papers are welcome from students enrolled in a graduate program (at master’s level, doctoral level, or equivalent) at any time from 1 January to 31 December 2016 at an accredited university, regardless of gender, age, nationality, race, ethnicity, or citizenship.
  • To be considered, all applications must include:
  1. A paper written in English should be between 25 to 50 double-spaced pages, inclusive of reference matter
  2. A cover page listing all the authors, contact details, title and a short 100 word abstract

3. A curriculum vitae

4. A photocopied document demonstrating your student affiliation during 2016.

  • Co-authored papers will be considered for the award, but only if all authors were graduate students during 2016.
  • The winning paper will be selected by a three-person award committee.
  • The award recipient will be notified in April 2016.
  • Please submit applications by email to


For inquiries, contact:

More information about the theme here:


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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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