Meddling in the Ballot Box: The Causes and Effects of Partisan Electoral Intervention, Dov H. Levin

Reviewed by Robert Y. Shapiro



Meddling in the Ballot Box would be of great interest if only for Dov H. Levin’s analysis of the effects of Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election (which is the reason I was interested in reading and reviewing the book after hearing Levin give an excellent talk on it). But the book is much more. It is a broader study—and deservedly so—of the causes and effects of foreign electoral intervention in which the 2016 election can be treated as the latest case outside of Levin’s original sampling of foreign interventions. Moreover, it is good social science in that it empirically examines a soft rational choice theory explanation—though he does not refer to it as “rational choice”—of the causes of and prospects for success of world powers’ efforts to influence election results in other countries. Such attempts have occurred a significant number of times—these are hardly rare and unimportant events. Levin has written a terrific book based on a major and important research project.

To start, it is easy to see how the benefits/costs trade-offs that Levin emphasizes—which include the benefits of avoiding losses—play out in his argument regarding the decision of major powers to interfere in elections. He posits th

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

Introduction: Black Power and the Civil Rights Agendas of Charles V. Hamilton, Marylena Mantas and Robert Y. Shapiro

Will the Outcome be “Democratic”?: Delegate Selection and the 2020 Primaries, Marianna Palumbo and Robert Y. Shapiro

On To the Convention, Again, Caroline Monahan and Robert Y. Shapiro

Changing Minds or Changing Channels? Partisan News in an Age of Choice, Martin Johnson and Kevin Arceneaux Reviewed by Robert Y. Shapiro

more by this author

About PSQ's Editor


Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.


Identity in Urban-Rural Political Division: Consequences and Solutions
May 23, 2024
7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. ET


Editor’s spotlight

Virtual Issue

Introduction: Black Power and the Civil Rights Agendas of Charles V. Hamilton
Marylena Mantas and Robert Y. Shapiro


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

China in a World of Great Power Competition   CHINA IN A WORLD OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS