Thursday, 29 May 2014

Egyptian presidential elections get the facts

Here are some recommended links for researchers to keep up to date.

IFES has background facts on the presidential elections and the electoral system.
the Ace project also has background electoral information.

the Egyptian government state information service has official news.
There is also a special Presidential Elections Committee which has details of the procedures and candidates.

EU observers have been monitoring the conduct of the election. Their website provides free access to press releases and reports.

Newspaper coverage.
Al-Alhram has a background guide to the election plus English language news stories.
Al-Monitor reports.
Al Jazeera
New York Times
BBC world service twitter

Other good analysis from think tanks and human rights organisations include:
Council for Foreign relations blog.
Pew Research Centre analysis of attitudes amongst Egyptians.
Amnesty International
Atlantic Council blogs.
Carnegie Endowment.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

EU elections will they be good for women?

According to the Guardian newspaper the first Feminist Party MEP is likely to win a seat in the European Parliament this week.
The European Parliament website has official data on the distribution of male and female MEPs since 1979
it also breaks this down by country. in 2009 a Eurobarometer survey on women and Parliamentary elections
examined women‟s attitudes and behaviour towards elections in general and their opinions
about the European elections and activities of the European Parliament in particular.found that half of European women would like 50% or more of the European Parliament members
to be women
The Centre for Women and Democracy has a briefing on women in the 2014 elections which predicts gains.
Its website also has a blog and other factsheets on the political representation of women.
The findings are echoed by the Hansard Society.

the European Women’s Lobby, the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the EU has set up an online manifesto for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to pledge to act for gender equality. Its website also has a gender audit of the manifestos of the main parties.see historic materials relating to earlier elections on their 50/50

EU elections recommended news sources.

Follow the European parliament elections in these recommended news sources.
These services aggregate news from different sources.

Eurotopics: How will Europe Vote?

eurotopics is a service provided by the Federal Agency for Civic Education. They sift through more than 300 newspapers, magazines and blogs in 30 countries (the EU plus Switzerland and Turkey),provided translated introductions and links to the original sources.


Alos translates news from Europe's main newspapers.

EU Feeds- list of News feeds from hundreds of European newspapers

Special Coverage from Newspaper and news services.

European Voice - Economist Group.

BBC Politics Guide.
This includes links to party election broadcasts.

Guardian has a fun quiz who should you vote for in the elections? an interactive guide to battles in specific countries.

Le Monde

Die Welt

Irish Times

La Stampa




OpenDemocracy - blog postings.

The Conversation - comment and analysis form UK academics.

EUROPP - LSE European Politics and Policy Blog - has basic user guides to the election and discussion.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

European Elections starting points

This week see our recommendations for finding information on the European Elections. Here are some basic starting points.

Voter education guides on the European Elections.

In 2013 the European Commission declared an aim of increasing voter turnout.
In an effort to make voting more interesting the EP has sponsored a number of tools to help voters. In addition to the traditional 2014 elections website which has news and guides on voting. They have create a Box your EP app for tablets and the hashtag EP#2014 and a special website called Happy Vote which is based on the pop song. They have also had a  presidential debate format

Votewatch has created a My Vote 2014 site for young voters which has a game that will help pick a party with similar views.

EUvox is another voter application sponsored by the Open Society Institute. Voters are encouraged to select the party that meets their preferences.

Euandi from the European University Insitute is another site which covers Europe Wide.

EuroVote+ is a research project which provides information to voters about different electoral systems. It asks people to consider if they would vote isf the system was different.

Electio2014 from Votewatch Europe has vote matching, interestingly this is based not just on policies but European Parliament activities. Other features of the site are a poll watching feature.

 Academic dossiers on the European Elections.

European Parliamentary Information service has some interesting blog postings.
European Sources online has a guide to the role and legal operation of the parliament.
Robert Schuman Centre has a really good page with a basic guide, quizzes and interactive maps of candidates.
European Policy Centre is aggregating polls in the run up to the elections.
Europe Decides is website created by Burson-Marsteller Brussels it includes a pollwatch feature from Votewatch and also extensive coverage of the use of social media in the elections.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

South Africa Elections: see our recommended resources.

The 2014 South African general election was held on 7 May 2014 . Here are some sites which will help you find academic resources and discussion.

The IFES election guide is a good basic introduction to the electoral system. Plus summaries of earlier results.

More detailed electoral regulations, lists of candidates and breakdowns of results can be obtained from the official South African Election Commission website.

Google has created a special election hub. Which has links to the latest news stories, youtube video channels, links to political manifesto and parties.

African Studies Centre at Leiden has an excellent website with special dossiers, manifestos and more.

Election Observers.

These organisations have been monitoring the conduct of the elections. Try their websites in forthcoming days for press releases and reports.
African Union

Newspaper Coverage.

Mail and the Guardian special report.
All Africa.Com has free headlines and many full stories from the continent.

Business daily news.
BBC World Service

Economist Blogs.
Africa report from Jeune Afrique has some news coverage.

Public Opinion

IPSOS South Africa has some recent polls of voters

Earlier public surveys on government and the state of democracy in South Africa can be downloaded from the Afrobarometer website.These cover the period 2000-2011.

The Reconciliation Barometer is a national public poll from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.It tracks reconciliation in a number of areas such as human security. social relations and politics. Full text reports can be downloaded from the website.

South African Election studies has coverage of earlier elections You can download code books and find articles on voters attitudes from 1999 onwards.

Background on human rights.

Amnesty International reports on South Africa

Africa Media Barometer has assessments on the state of the Media in South Africa.
Human Rights watch South Africa
Transparency International reports on Corruption ion South Africa
Freedom House has reports on civil liberties it also includes up to date election comment.

Academic and think tank analysis of 2014.

Useful starting points

The Conversation has discussion and comment from academics.
Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa has a series of election updates discussing events.
LSE Africa blog has discussion of African political issues. Although no specific coverage of the elections yet.
ISS Institute for Security Studies South Africa has recent reports and assessments of the media and political violence
Africa Watch from IDA has some background analysis of political conditions in Southern Africa,

Finally see LSE Library Africa Guide for links to websites and subscription databases

Friday, 2 May 2014

Women and the Indian elections

there has been various discussion of the role of women in the Indian elections.

India Ink blog from the New York Times states that most parties ignore women voters.

In the past women voters had a lower turnout. Statistics on this can be obtained from the Indian Election commission which compare rates over time by gender.
in 2007 Women Politicians, Gender Bias, and Policy-making in Rural India (published as a UNICEF state of the World's Children background paper)   found significant under representation. which was
in 2012 research  from Warwick University and the IMF found that Using state-level variation in the timing of political reforms an increase in female representation in local government induced a large and 
significant rise in documented crimes against women in India

However in an extract from a book. new book, 'An Undocumented Wonder: The Great Indian Election', former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi describes how the Indian Election Commission has been targetting women.

In 2014. 70 independent civil-society activists have launched the Womanifesto 2014 to get the major parties to address issues relating to women's rights.
A pdf version with list of signatories can be viewed on the AVAAZ website.

For further details of women's rights and political participation in India try these websites.
Council on Foreign Relations analysis from 2013.
Search the Iknow politics site for references. Such as this study on the challenges women in India face.
IPU has data on womens's political participation worldwide so you can cross compare with other nations.
UN Women in India has details on projects designed to increase women's political leadership. In 2013 Norad reviewed the effectiveness of some of these and suggested plans for future development.