Framing electoral impropriety: the strategic use of allegations of wrong-doing in election campaigns

TOROS E., Birch S.

BRITISH JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, vol.47, no.5, pp.794-810, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13530194.2019.1566694
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Geobase, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.794-810
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Concerns about electoral integrity have increasingly become the focus of political science analysis in recent years, but there has been very little systematic research on the strategic use of allegations of electoral wrong-doing for political advantage. Drawing on the literatures on legitimacy and electoral integrity, this paper develops a theoretical perspective on the strategic use of allegations of electoral impropriety for electoral ends, which, when such allegations are unjustified, constitutes a previously under-explored form of 'meta-manipulation'. An original dataset, based on press reports from Turkey at the time of the 2014 local and June 2015 parliamentary elections, is used to test these hypotheses. The analysis shows that the governing party predominantly accused opposition parties of violent practices. The opposition parties, on the other hand, used allegations of electoral fraud and other forms of misconduct coupled with violence accusations against the governing party.