Articles by Seema Shah

February 23, 2024

Understanding democracy’s contentious outcomes as a legitimising force

Seema Shah
Around the world, the quality of democracy – and support for it – is in decline. In this context, Seema Shah argues that the future legitimacy of the democratic model depends on the separation of democratic values from democratic procedures
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January 10, 2023

🦋 Recentring the demos in the measurement of democracy

Seema Shah
Seema Shah argues for putting the lived experiences of historically marginalised communities at the centre of democracy measurement. By doing so, she says, we can meaningfully reshape our understanding of democracy as a practice
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photograph of Seema Shah
Seema Shah
Head, Democracy Assessment, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)

Under Seema's leadership, International IDEA's Democracy Assessment Unit produces an annual Global State of Democracy report, an annually updated Global State of Democracy Indices and a monthly-updated EU-co-funded Democracy Tracker.

Seema previously served as the research and strategy lead for the International Rescue Committee's humanitarian innovation department in the Middle East region.

Prior experience also includes leading electoral integrity-related research and advocacy for a coalition of Kenyan civil society organizations in Nairobi.

As the Director of Research, she managed a team of data analysts in the development of evidence-based advocacy reports for national election reform campaigns and for Supreme Court cases challenging the credibility of the 2013 and 2017 Kenyan elections.

Seema has also worked on election violence, media development, campaign finance reform, human rights research and advocacy, and standard-setting for electoral integrity with civil society organizations in the DRC, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and the United States, as well as with International IDEA in a previous capacity.

She holds a PhD in Political Science from UCLA and a MSt in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.

Her research interests include democratisation in the developing world, electoral integrity, racism and discrimination, and economic, social and cultural rights.

She tweets @skshah23

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