Biometrics and the Disciplining of Democracy: Technology, Electoral Politics, and Liberal Interventionism in Chad - Université Paris Nanterre Access content directly
Journal Articles Democratization Year : 2021

Biometrics and the Disciplining of Democracy: Technology, Electoral Politics, and Liberal Interventionism in Chad

Abstract

In a large number of countries in Africa, biometric identification technologies have become a key element of voter registration procedures. Based on an in-depth study of biometric voter registration in Chad, a country marked by a long history of political violence, the article explains how the technology has been construed as a “solution” to address a situation labelled as a political crisis. To make sense of the unlikely introduction of biometrics in Chad, two main elements are considered: the socially constituted belief in the potential of biometrics and – paradoxically – the unfulfilled promises and fallibility of that same technology. Combining the literature on biometrics, election technologies, and liberal democracy promotion, the analysis concludes that biometric voter registration is a disciplining technology. In addition to capturing the personal data of individuals, it fosters the framing of democracy in narrow technological and procedural terms.
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Dates and versions

hal-04337371 , version 1 (12-12-2023)

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Marielle Debos. Biometrics and the Disciplining of Democracy: Technology, Electoral Politics, and Liberal Interventionism in Chad. Democratization, 2021, 28 (8), pp.1406-1422. ⟨10.1080/13510347.2021.1907349⟩. ⟨hal-04337371⟩
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