When discussing elections, people tend to focus on the candidates and the outcome. When they ask, “Who won?” they mean which of the candidates got the most votes. In this issue of the SAIS Review, we change the focus to the other actors using elections. Through nine articles, we will see that voting can produce winners and losers who are not on the ballot: institutions, foreign countries, and the political system itself can all be strengthened or weakened depending on how the voting happens.
This year’s slew of elections and other leadership selection processes will see new heads of state in many capitals around the world. Leadership matters—as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “there is properly no history, only biography….” Presidential elections have already been held in Taiwan and Russia this year, as have parliamentary elections in Greece and […]