Blessmore Nhikiti

Blessmore Nhikiti
© nhikiti
Blessmore Nhikiti
Graduate School of Politics
Scharnhorststraße 100
48151 Münster
bnhikitiki@gmail.com
  • Projekt

    Digitally Enabled Citizen Election Monitoring. A Drive Towards Electoral Integrity in Zimbabwe?

    The essence of elections in modern day states is increasing citizen participation in state governance through free, fair and credible elections. Paradoxically, some political systems infringe these rights by confining the role of citizens to ballot casting which presumably facilitate electoral malpractices thereby negatively impacting electoral integrity. Flawed elections have become a cancer which affects electoral integrity. Some political candidates seek to maintain political hegemony through rigging, disrupting the electoral process and tempering with results in their favor. Impact of such fraudulent behavior affects citizens thereby creating discontent and mistrust of the electoral process. In response some citizens desist from participating in elections due to compromised integrity of the electoral process. The advent of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) into mainstream politics presents an opportunity to increase citizen online and offline participation in the electoral process. It further empowers citizens with the ability to monitor the complete electoral process thereby increasing accountability and transparency. The role of citizens will therefore be uplifted to digital netizens who monitor the complete electoral cycle and reportirregularities in real time. This research investigates the viability of digitalizing citizen election monitoring as a solution to the problem of electoral integrity. The research employs the Participatory Rhombus, the Electoral cycle and the concept of Integrity. The study will focus on Zimbabwe 2013 and 2018 elections as the electoral integrity of both elections was heavily contested which resulted in post electoral violence. The proposed methodology is the mixed method approach with quantitative data emanating from databases from organizations that carried digital election monitoring in both elections. From a qualitative angle of the research expert surveys will be incorporated into the study.

    Literature Survey

    • Bjornlund, E.C. 2004. Beyond Free and Fair Monitoring of Elections in Building Democracy. Washington DC. Woodrow Wilson Centre Press
    • Dahl, R.1989. Democracy and its Critics. Yale University press
    • Grömping, M.2012. Many Eyes of Any Kind? Comparing traditional and Crowd Sourced Monitoring and their contribution to democracy.
    • Grömping, M. 2014. The Crowd Sourcing Election Monitoring: Assessing Cross National Evidence. Paper Presented at the 23rd IPSA World Congress of Political Science: Montreal, 19-24 July 2014
    • Howe, J. 2006. The Rise of Crowd Sourcing. Retrieved 26.02.2017 from http//www.wired.com/2017/06/crowds
    • International IDEA, 1997. Ethical and professional Observation of Elections. International IDEA: available online from https://aceproject.org/main/samples/em/emx-o012pdf
    • Kersting, N. 2009. Local Governance Reform in Global Perspective. London: Palgrave
    • Kersting, N. 2012. Local Government Elections and Reforms in South Africa. The South African Journal for Political Science. 31(1)
    • Kersting, N. 2012. The future of electronic democracy. Berlin: Barbara Budrich Publishers
    • Kersting, N. 2013. Online participation from invented to invited spaces. Journal of Electronic Governance. 6(4) pp 270-280
    • Kersting, N. Shayo, D.P. 2015. Crowd Monitoring of Elections Through ICT: The Case of UchaguziWetu 2015 Crowd Sourcing Platform in Tanzania. International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Goverment
    • Norris, P. 2010. The New Research Agenda of Studying Electoral Integrity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
    • Norris, P. 2013. The new research agenda, studying electoral integrity. Electoral Studies. 32(4) pp563-575
    • Norris, P. 2014. Why Electoral Integrity Matters. Cambridge: Cambridge University press
    • Ronning, H and Khupe, T. 2000. The Dual Legacy of Democracy and Authoritarianism in Zimbabwe’s Media. New York: Routledge
    • Russels, B. 1948. Causal Chain Theory in Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press

  • Werdegang

    seit 2019 Aufnahme in die Graduate School of Politics (GraSP) des Instituts für Politikwissenschaft der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität in Münster.
    2015-2017

    MA Internationale Beziehungen an der politikwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der University of Zimbabwe.

    Thema der Masterarbeit: An Evaluation of the Efffectiveness of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as a Tool for Maintenance of Peace and Security in the International System: The Case of Libya (2011-2016).

    2012-2015

    BA Politikwissenschaft an der politikwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der University of Zimbabwe.

    Thema der Bachelorarbeit: A Critical Analysis of the Credibility of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in Upholding Democratic Elections: The Case of July 31, 2013 Elections.

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