Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Costa Rica elections - free academic resources which we recommend

On the 2nd Feb 2014 elections will be taking place in Costa Rica.
here are some resources we recommend for researchers.

IFES Election guide has basic data on the electoral system and voter turnout from previous elections.
The Political Database of the Americas also has basic electoral system and elections data from previous elections.
Vanderbilt University LAPOP has previous surveys of voter opinion  and attitudes to democracy in Costa Rica.
the Electoral Tribunal has official information from the government in Spanish. See documents.

Newspaper coverage
Try La Nacion which has a special section.
Ojo al voto launched by the University of Costa Rica (the weekly newspaper Semanario Universidad, Canal UCR - Channel UCR - and three radio broadcasters) and the University’s research centers, to create an election news platform

For coverage from political commentators see.
Global voices has discussion of new online platforms for young voters as well as comment from bloggers in the region.
The Americas Society/ Council of the Americas blog is covering events.

Election analysis is being undertaken by the OAS there are some recent press releases on the  website.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Thailand elections and violence - recommended research resources.

Despite protests elections are going ahead in Thailand.

Here are our recommended links for students.

The BBC has an introductory guide to the protests

IFES has basic information on the electoral system

The Office of the Electoral Commission has official statements and laws in Thai

The Thai government website has official statements in English about the protests

For newspaper coverage try

the Economist
Asian Correspondent.
Prachatai independent site has reports and interviews.
Bangkok Post

For Think tank and academic analysis try
Council on Foreign Relations blog
Thai politics@Leeds from Leeds university. This has an image archive and the thai politics bibliography

The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal. has some useful articles

Human rights groups coverage can be found on the website of the Asian Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
International Crisis Group

The National Library of Australia has archived websites relating to human rights and protests from the mid 2000-2011

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Egypt Constitutional Referendum - get some academic resources free

Egyptians have been voting in a referendum to change the constitution. Here are some recommended sites for geting the facts.

IFES has some basic details about the system and previous Egyptian referendums.

the Egyptian government website has recent notices and reports.

Some good basic guides to the content of the new constitution can be found in

Atlantic Council website which has an excellent section called Egypt Source which has news and analysis on the politics of the region.

al Ahrams guide.

For more detailed analysis cross comparing with earlier constitutions see the Comparative Constitutions Project. which looks at 1971, 2012 and 2013.

The EU has some observations from its observer mision

Background information plus news coverage can be read on the websites of these leading think tanks
Washington Institute.

Council on Foreign Relations.

Carnegie Endowment.


Brookings Institution.

Useful blogs covering events are
Egyptian streets blog.
OpenDemocracy has a useful collection of news stories plus links to postings from the region.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bangladesh elections - were they marred by violence?

According to the BBC the elections in Bangladesh this week have been marred by violence.
The Bangladesh Election Commission should have the official version (site currently does not seem to be working )
Here are some other recommended resources for considering the state of democracy in the region.

Newspaper reports of the elections.
Washington Post

local and Bengali media include:
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, thestate-operated news agency
United News of Bangladesh, a private news agency in service since 1988
Bangladesh Daily Star.
also useful are blogs via Global voices online as they feature local input.

Human rights reports.
Concerns about the state of human rights in Bangladesh have been expressed by

National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh has general assessments of the state of democracy and human rights in the region.

Appraisals by think tanks ahead of the elections included:
South Asia Analysis Group.
Asia Foundation.