Our research

CEDAR undertakes research projects, organize events, and work with academics and those beyond the academy to understand better elections, democracy, accountability and representation across the globe.

Elections, campaigns, and mobilization

We examine elections and popular mobilization across the world, and their broader effects on society, political stability and democracy. In particular, members of CEDAR examine how campaigning explains election outcomes, and the consequences of digital technology for electoral manipulation.


Nic Cheeseman. 2022. Is multi-party democracy the best form of governance in African countries?, In William Moseley and Kefa Otiso (eds), Debating African Issues Conversations Under the Palaver Tree, Routledge. 

David Cutts and Tim Haughton, 2021. Winning Votes and Influencing People: Campaigning in Central and Eastern Europe East European Politics, 37 (2), pp. 239-266 

Tim Haughton. 2021. Ruling Divisions: the Politics of Brexit, Perspectives on Politics, 19 (4), pp. 1258-1263 

Desatova, Petra. and Saowanee Alexander. 2021. Electoral Commissions and Non-Democratic Outcomes: Thailand’s Contentious 2019 Election, Politics, online first. 

Tim Haughton, Marek Rybar and Kevin Deegan-Krause. 2021. Leading the Way, But Also Following the Trend: The Slovak National Party, Politics and Governance, 4 (9). 

Nic Cheeseman, Justin Willis and Gabrielle Lynch. 2021. The history of elections in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda: What Can We Learn From These “National Exercises”?, Journal of African Elections 20, 2. 

Nic Cheeseman, Justin Willis and Gabrielle Lynch. 2020. The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Tim Haughton and Kevin Deegan-Krause. 2020. The New Party Challenge: Changing Patterns of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press 

Nic Cheeseman. 2019. The Oxford Dictionary of African Politics, Oxford University Press 

Democratic backsliding and resurgent authoritarianism

We explore the causes and consequences of democratic erosion and the rise of authoritarianism around the globe. In particular, members of CEDAR explain autocratic turns in Africa and Europe, as well as challenging some of the prevailing terminology.


Petra Alderman. 2023. Branding Authoritarian Nations: Political Legitimation and Strategic National Myths in Military-Ruled Thailand. Routledge. 

Petra Alderman and Kristin Anabel Eggeling. 2023. Vision Documents, Nation Branding and the Legitimation of Non-democratic Regimes, Geopolitics (online first), pp.1-32. 

Licia Cianetti and Seán Hanley. 2021. The end of the backsliding paradigm Journal of Democracy 32.1: 66-80. 

Nic Cheeseman, Hilary Matfess, and Alitalali Amani. 2021. The Roots of Repression in Tanzania, Journal of Democracy, 32, 2: 77-89. 

Edalina Rodrigues Sanches, Nic Cheeseman, Wouter Veenendaal and Jack Corbett. 2021. African Exceptions: Democratic Development in Small Island States. Journal of International Relations and Development

Nic Cheeseman and Sishuswa Sishuwa. 2021. Democracy, African Studies Review

Nic Cheeseman and Jonathan Fisher. 2020. Authoritarian Africa: Resistance, Repression and the Power of Ideas, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Licia Cianetti. 2019. Rethinking ‘Democratic Backsliding’ in Central and Eastern Europe. Routledge.

Accountability, policymaking, and corruption

We research whether governments are accountable to citizens, and the threats posed by state capture and corruption. In particular, members of CEDAR examine the effectiveness of different anti-corruption policies and the extent to which they encourage public participation while preventing apathy and resignation.


Luciano Da Ros and Manoel Gehrke. 2024. Convicting Politicians for Corruption: The Politics of Criminal Accountability. Government and Opposition. doi:10.1017/gov.2023.48

Tim Haughton, Marek Rybar and Kevin Deegan-Krause. 2022.  Corruption, Campaigning and Novelty: The 2020 Parliamentary Elections and the Evolving Patterns of Party Politics in Slovakia, East European Politics and Societies, 36 (3) (), pp. 728-752 

Nic Cheeseman and Caryn Peiffer. 2022. The Curse of Good Intentions: Why Anti-Corruption Messaging Can Encourage Corruption, American Political Science Review, 116(3): 1018-1095. 

Nic Cheeseman, Jonathan Fisher, Idayat Hassan and Jamie Hitchin. 2020. Social Media Disruption: Nigeria’s WhatsApp Politics, Journal of Democracy, 31, 3: 145-59. 

Nic Cheeseman, Gabrielle Lynch and Karuti Kanyinga. 2020. The political economy of Kenya: Community, clientelism, and class, in Nic Cheeseman, Gabrielle Lynch and Karuti Kanyinga (eds) The Handbook of Kenyan Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas. 2019. How to Rig An Election: Revised Edition, New Haven: Yale University Press. 

Chaisty, Paul, Nic Cheeseman, and Timothy J. Power. 2018. Coalitional presidentialism in comparative perspective: Minority presidents in multiparty systems. Oxford University Press. 

Representation and the politics of inclusion

We study how and why certain groups and sections of society are excluded or marginalized from decision making. In particular, members of CEDAR explain how cities make institutions more inclusive, the role of civil society groups, and how to build trust in fragile democratic polities.


Licia Cianetti. 2023. Here we go again! Repetition and the Politics of Inclusive Institutional Reform Journal of European Public Policy

Nic Cheeseman. 2021. How Could We Design Democracy to Make it Work in the African Context?, in Fombad, Charles M., and Nico Steytler, eds. Democracy, Elections, and Constitutionalism in Africa. Oxford University Press. 

Licia Cianetti. 2020. Governing the multicultural city: Europe’s ‘great urban expectations’ facing austerity and resurgent nativism. Urban Studies

Licia Cianetti. 2019. The Quality of Divided Democracies: Minority Inclusion, Exclusion, and Representation in the New Europe. University of Michigan Press. 

Licia Cianetti. 2018. Consolidated Technocratic and Ethnic Hollowness, but no Backsliding: Reassessing Europeanisation in Estonia and Latvia. East European Politics.

Policy briefs

Our research is relevant to policy makers and practitioners interested in strengthening and defending democracy. The following briefs are available for download.

CEDAR Policy Brief #1: Diagnosing And Responding To The Challenges Facing Democracy (PDF).

The Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation