cover image: Electoral Denialism in American Democracies


Electoral Denialism in American Democracies

17 May 2023

Recent political crises in Peru, Brazil, and the United States have exposed a new threat to democracy: electoral denialism, or misleading claims about fraud intended to prevent normal alteration in public office between government and opposition. Electoral denialism weakens the core electoral components of democracy by encouraging a substantial part of the electorate to distrust elections as a mechanism for conflict resolution. A key driver of electoral denialism in the three cases discussed in this research paper is extreme polarization and the radicalization of the right. The moral panic that has led the right to challenge electoral outcomes is, in each case discussed here, a reflection of deeper processes of democratization that have undermined traditional structures of authority based on class, race, gender, and nation. It is therefore vital that the international community actively support free and fair elections and discourage backsliding by supporting robust, inclusive, and participatory citizenship.


Maxwell A. Cameron

Published in
71, No. 3