The Hidden History of the Secret Ballot
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The Hidden History of the Secret Ballot

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Description

We assume that voting by secret ballot is an essential and fundamental principle of representative democracy, but the social history of the secret ballot has rarely been investigated, until now. Voting by secret ballot is a surprisingly recent phenomenon in the West. While it may indeed offer opportunities for broader political participation, its introduction has sometimes limited the electorate, excluding certain groups, even precipitating violence. This original and thought-provoking volume questions the universality of the supposed link between voting secrecy and individual political freedom. Case studies from around the world and various historical eras combine anthropology, political theory, and social history to good effect. The result is an innovative analysis of the cultural history of the West's democratic norms and their imposition on other societies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 137.16 x 210.82 x 15.24mm | 22.68g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253219426
  • 9780253219428
  • 1,314,768

Review quote

"Every once in a while, a book comes along that is refreshingly original and makes one think anew about a 'well-known' topic. This is such a book: a breath of fresh air in the literature on democracy." -Akhil Gupta, Stanford Universityshow more

About Romain Bertrand

Romain Bertrand is Research Fellow, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris. Jean-Louis Briquet is Research Fellow, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. Peter Pels is Professor of Anthropology, Leiden University, and Research Associate, Amsterdam School of Social Science Research.show more

Table of contents

Introduction: Towards a Historical Ethnography of Voting Romain Bertrand, Jean Louis Briquet and Peter Pels The Secret Ballot in Nineteenth-Century Britain Frank O'Gorman Uses and Abuses of the Secret Ballot in the American Age of Reform John Crowley 'Chad Wars': Voting Machines and Democracy in the United States Denis Lacorne Voting in India: Electoral Symbols, the Party System and the Collective Citizen Christophe Jaffrelot Imagining Elections: Modernity, Mediation and the Secret Ballot in Late-Colonial Tanganyika Peter Pels The Engineers of Democracy: Election Monitoring Agencies and Political Change in Post-Suharto Indonesia Romain Bertrand Politics in the Village: Voting and Electoral Mobilisation in Rural Corsica Jean-Louis Briquet From Acclamation to Secret Ballot: The Hybridisation of Voting Procedures in Mexican-Indian Communities David Recondo Commodification of the Vote and Political Subjectivity in Africa: Reflections Based on the Case of Benin Richard Banegas Return of the Repressed: Indonesia's New Order Elections Revisited John Pemberton Elections in Iran: Religion, Nation and the Public Sphere Mahmoud Alinejadshow more