Political Economy of Elections in Melanesia

Summary

Level of study: Career Based/Vocational

This micro-credential examines the political economy of elections in Melanesia (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Bougainville). It considers the factors shaping the conduct of elections across the region, and implications of elections on democracy, governance, development and security. Incorporating insights from comparative politics, anthropology and development studies. The micro-credential explores how elections in the region differ from developed country electoral experiences and what this means for efforts to support electoral processes. Implications for the development of electoral support programs that respond to the specific Melanesian context are also considered. The focus of the readings is to provide a deeper grounded and contextual understanding of elections, drawing heavily on applied research conducted in Melanesian countries. Regional case studies are used to elucidate key aspects of elections.
Topics
The political economy of elections in Melanesia
Elections and (in)security
Elections, governance and development
Money politics and electoral competition in Melanesia
Political parties and campaigning
Elections, ICTs and social media
Women and elections
Electoral administration and electoral integrity in Melanesia
Elections in PNG
Elections in Solomon Islands
Elections and external actors – interests and engagement
Supporting elections in Melanesia – policy and programming challenges
Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion, enrollees will have the knowledge and skills to:
Understand the contextual factors that condition how elections in Melanesia work
Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between elections and security, governance, development and stability
Appreciation of the challenges faced by key political and social actors such as women and civil society in participating in elections in Melanesia
Demonstrate a good understanding of the policy challenges involved in administering elections in Melanesia.
Appreciation of the distinctiveness of Melanesian elections in a comparative context

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