Standards for Free and Fair Elections

Targeted to civic leaders aiming to improve the integrity of Iran’s electoral processes toward compliance with international standards, the course will instill familiarity with the principles and rights that constitute international obligations, as well as the challenges to and best practices for achieving them in Iran. Students will examine the specifically Iranian impediments to fulfillment of these principles and rights while surveying the history of efforts to address them. Students will use International IDEA manuals on standards, translated to Persian by Tavaana, to assess internal democratic processes within Iranian trade associations, teachers’ unions and student associations, comparing to other countries’ experiences of internal elections within powerful civic associations and the relation between the democratization of these groups (such as trade associations in Central and Eastern Europe and more recently, in Tunisia) and democratization broadly. Lecturers team teaching from partner organizations will instruct students on standards while addressing Iran’s challenges and facilitating critical thought and discussion on real world solutions toward planning, managing, observing, and reporting on credible elections in pre-transition contexts. Students will gain knowledge of election standards including democratic electoral legal frameworks and model legislation; non-partisan, neutral, and accurate election administration designed to serve voters; independent monitoring; and equal suffrage unrestricted by law or by practice.  Special attention will be paid to civil society experiences of organizing and protecting volunteer election monitors, as well as civic uses of technology for achieving international standards.     

 

 

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