A new article co-authored by Allan Sikk (UCL) and me has just been published in Party Politics. In it, we propose a new three-dimensional approach to party newness and an interval index of party congruence/novelty. Building on this, we also propose a split-vote-by-congruence (SBC) approach to electoral volatility that employs the index. Four elections from different countries that exhibited different forms of party change are used to illustrate the approach. The congruence/novelty index corresponds to our qualitative case knowledge, and the SBC approach leads to meaningful volatility scores. Ad hoc coding of parties as new/old or singular successors/predecessors can seriously over- or underestimate volatility that explains divergence among volatility scores in literature. By eliminating the need for dichotomous and often controversial coding decisions, the SBC approach allows for a substantially more reliable calculation of volatility.
8th December 2017 18:00-19:00, followed by a wine & snacks reception UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies 16 Taviton Steet, London WC1H 0BW
This book is one of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential activism and veto power in Europe. Focusing on presidential vetoes and the formation of governments, it maps patterns of presidential activism and its determinants across nine Central and East European democracies between 1990 and 2010. Thereby, it combines the analysis of original quantitative data on the use of presidential powers with in-depth case studies in an innovative mixed-methods framework. Based on regression analyses and unique insights from numerous elite interviews, the study shows strong support for the hitherto insufficiently tested assumption that popularly elected presidents are more active than their indirectly elected counterparts. This book will be a key resource not only for area specialists but also for scholars of presidential studies, comparative government, and executives.
The book examines the use of presidential powers in Central and East Europe between 1990 and 2010, focusing on presidential vetoes and the formation of governments. Based on original quantitative data and unique insights into presidential politics gathered through a large number of elite interviews, it provides one of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential activism and veto power in Europe.
“Despite the prominence of presidential powers in academic debates, until now only few scholars have tried to analyse and explain how presidential actually use them. My study attempts to fill this gap in the literature and add to our understanding of presidential politics in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems.”
The book has already received praise from established scholars. Ferdinand Müller-Rommel, Professor of Comparative Politics at the Leuphana University Lüneburg, highlights the originality and scientific rigour of the study: “The book is an inspiration for scholars of comparative government. It has set a new approach of excellence for those seeking to understand presidential activism in democracies across the globe.”
The book is available as hardback and ebook – you can download a flyer here. I would of course also be grateful if you would recommend it to your library. Last, you can watch a short book trailer summarising the book’s key features below.
The issue (Vol 95, No. 1) includes a co-authored article on Paradigm Shifts in Corruption Studies that I co-authored with my co-editors as well as contributions by other leading scholars in the field of corruption studies and anti-corruption.
Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration). The central criterion for this prize is that, with suitable amendments, the thesis would make an outstanding book, addressing central themes in the relevant subfield(s) of the discipline. The prize comes with a cash reward of €1,000 and is thus one of the most highly endowed dissertation prizes worldwide.
The prize committee highlighted that the thesis makes an important contribution to studies of presidential activism. It suggests an innovative research approach to explain this activism and, moreover, it is elegantly constructed and the dissertation is a pleasure to read.
My review of Anna Gwiazda’s book ‘Democracy in Poland. Representation, participation, competition and accountability since 1989’ (Routledge, 2015) has been published in East European Politics. The book provides one of the first comprehensive empirical studies of Polish democracy between 1989 and 2011. You can read the full review here (subscribers only).
While accessing the video itself requires a subscription, the transcript is freely available to all users. You can find out more about my videos here; the whole video collection is available at http://methods.sagepub.com/video.
My review of Csaba Nikolenyi’s book ‘Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Europe’ (Oxford University Press, 2014) was published in the latest issue of Europe-Asia Studies (Volume 67 (10), pp. 1727-1728). You can download the full review here (subscribers only).
Yesterday, I spent the day filming two videos for the new SAGE Research Methods Video collection. The videos are a new initiative that aims to provide high quality video for instruction at university level and are produced by Lambent Productions. SAGE commissioned me to film both a video tutorial (i.e. a mini lecture) as well as a case study video, in which I talked about my own research, for them. The latter was based on a paper I previously published in SAGE Research Methods Cases. My videos are as follows (titles tbc):
Video Tutorial: Introduction to Elite Interviewing
Video Case Study: Stuying Presidential Activism Using Mixed Methods
My videos are part of the Politics & International Relations collection which will officially be launched in March 2016. Access to the videos itself will be subscription-based, yet the first 30 seconds and the full transcripts will be available non-subscribers as well. Until then, you can download my paper on elite interviewing in CEE here [subsribers] or here [open access version].