How to rig an election without getting caught

Fry Room - Edgbaston Hotel
Thursday 11 October 2018 (18:00-19:00)

This event is now fully booked and registrations are closed.

how to rig an election
How to Rig an Election book cover

As part of the College of Social Sciences inaugural lecture series, we are delighted to present the inaugural lecture of Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy.

This event is now fully booked. You can still watch along with our livestream on the University of Birmingham Facebook page.

Contrary to what is commonly believed, authoritarian regimes that hold elections are generally able to remain in power longer than those that refuse to allow the populace to vote. This is the most worrying – and important – finding of Professor Nic Cheeseman’s recent publication How to Rig an Election.

Drawing on lessons from elections in countries as diverse as Brazil, India, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States, Professor Cheeseman will discuss the limitations of national elections as a means of promoting democratisation, revealing the six essential strategies that dictators use to undermine the electoral process in order to guarantee victory. In addition to bringing out the best stories and examples of election rigging around the world, the lecture will present new insights from his recent research on the highly controversial Zimbabwean election, which has already led to a widely read article in the Washington Post. He will conclude by reflecting on how international actors, policy makers and political leaders can respond to better safeguard democracy – and by asking why, given that we know how things go wrong, it is so difficult to put them right.

The Book

How to Rig an Election was the first book ever used as a front cover by the Spectator magazine and has been described as “Clear, punchy, and potentially revolutionary” by Michela Wrong, author of It's Our Turn to Eat, and “essential reading for everyone who wants to get democracy right again” by AC Grayling, author of War: An Enquiry.

Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase after the lecture. 

Nic Cheeseman

About Professor Nic Cheeseman

Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in 2017, Nic was the Director of the African Studies Centre at Oxford University, where he had previously carried out his undergraduate, masters and doctoral research in Political Science and Development. He is the Research Director of the International Development Department and co-leader of the Fighting Gender Inequality research programme. Nic has conducted a large amount of fieldwork on the issues of democracy, elections, party politics, and populism in a range of African countries. He is the author of Democracy in Africa (CUP, 2015), Institutions and Democracy in Africa (CUP, 2018) and Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective (OUP, 2018) and is the editor of Oxford Encyclopaedia of African Politics and the Oxford Dictionary of African politics.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities