The Organization of American States: Evolution of Election Observation in the Inter-American System 1962 - 2017


  • Lisa Vasciannie The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus


The Organization of American States (OAS) has provided a regional multilateral forum for its member states for almost 70 years. Since its inception in 1948 it has facilitated and steered several policies and proposals within the mandate of achieving peace and justice and defending the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its members. In the area of promoting democracy, the OAS has been the pioneer in observing elections in sovereign states. This paper traces the evolution of international election observation by the OAS from the earlier ad hoc missions in the 1960s throughout the Cold War entangled missions of the 1970s and 1980s. It shows how election observation has become a regularized feature of elections in the majority of OAS member states during the Twentyfirst Century. Finally, it explores some of the