Elections and trust

Elections 2014, 7 May 2014: Long queues outside a polling station in Alexandra, next to Malboro in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 06 October 2015


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Therese Pearce Laanela


Emma Larking
+61 (0)2 6125 1513

Elections underpin our societal commitment to manage political change inclusively and peacefully. If an electoral process is discredited, the loss of citizen trust may be so great that the results are rejected as illegitimate, which can lead to instability or violence.

In the electoral cycle, political agitation and tensions run high precisely when operational demands are at peak, creating difficult, sometimes impossible, situations for electoral authorities to navigate with their reputation intact. Stakeholder anger and feelings of injustice can complicate transactions and information flow with the electoral authorities.

Many electoral management bodies now strive to incorporate trust building practices and mechanisms into their operational structures. This PhD Mid-term Review seminar presents a model (under construction) for understanding trust building in the election management space, linking the well understood technical delivery imperatives of election administration with additional relational dimensions of empathetic communications and procedural clarity.

About the speaker

Therese Pearce Laanela is a mid-career PhD Student at Regnet. She has a background working with elections on the field, headquarters and policy levels, serving with organizations such as International IDEA, UNDP and the Carter Center.

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