Politics Society Teaching Prize for “Best Lecture” 2019

Last week, I received the teaching prize for “Best Lecture 2019” for my “Introduction to Comparative Politics” lecture. The prize is awarded annually by the Politics Society at the Political Science Department of Leibniz University Hannover in the categories “Best Seminar” and “Best Lecture”. I am very grateful for the award (especially given that my lecture took place Fridays at 8am…) and look forward to ‘defending’ it next year.

Review of Chaisty/Cheeseman/Power “Coalititional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective” now published in Europe-Asia Studies

My review of the book “Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective. Minority Presidents in Mulitparty Systems” by Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy J. Power has now been published in Europe-Asia Studies.

In my view, the book presents a major leap forward in research on coalitional presidentialism and comparative studies of presidential politics alike. It presents an excellent and insightful analysis based on an unrivalled breadth and depth of quantitative and qualitative data. As the first cross-regional analysis of coalitional presidentialism to date this book will undoubtedly serve as inspiration and benchmark for future studies of this intriguing phenomenon.

Read the full review here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2019.1674530

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.

Why dictators veto: Presidential vetoes in Kazakhstan and Russia – New publication in Democratization

A new article of mine has just been published in Democratization. In it, I investigate the question why authoritarian presidents still (need to) use their legislative veto power. You can find the abstract below

Why dictators veto: legislation, legitimation and control in Kazakhstan and Russia

Why do authoritarian presidents still use their legislative power? Although recent studies have argued that authoritarian legislatures are more than “rubberstamps” and can serve as arenas for elite bargaining over policy, there is no evidence that legislators would pass bills that go against presidential preferences. This article investigates this apparent paradox and proposes a theoretical framework to explain presidential activism in authoritarian regimes. It argues that any bills that contravene constraints on policy-making set by the president should generally be stopped or amended by other actors loyal to the regime. Thus, presidents will rather use their veto (1) to protect the regime’s output legitimacy and stability, and/or (2) to reinforce their power vis-à-vis other actors. The argument is tested using two case studies of veto use in Kazakhstan and Russia over the last 10 years. The analysis supports the propositions of the theoretical framework and furthermore highlights the potential use of vetoes as a means of distraction, particularly in relation to international audiences. The article extends research on presidential veto power to authoritarian regimes and its findings contribute to the growing literature on the activities of authoritarian legislatures.

Read the full article here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2019.1678029

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.

Interview with Latvian Daily “Diena” about indirect presidential elections

In the run-up to the presidential elections in Latvia, I was interviewed by Latvian Daily ‘Diena’ about the pros and cons of indirect presidential elections and how the Latvian system compares to other systems (especially the somewhat more complicated system in Estonia).

Link to the article: Personības, ne vēlēšanu procesa spēks [paywall]

Common features in indirect presidential elections and their effects: The case of Estonia – New publication in East European Politics

A new article of mine has just been published in East European Politics. In it, I analyse the effect of common features in the indirect election of presidents in parliamentary republics using the example of Estonia, 1996-2016. You can find the abstract below:

The effects of majority requirements, selectorate composition and uncertainty in indirect presidential elections: The case of Estonia

This article assesses the effects of common features in the indirect election of presidents in parliamentary republics. In particular, it examines the influence of majority requirements, selectorate composition and uncertainty on party strategies, using Estonia (1996-2016) as a crucial case for analysis. The analysis demonstrates that the lack of a plurality run-off effectively eliminated incentives for inter-party cooperation and strategic voting. It furthermore shows that shifts in the partisan composition and control of the selectorate from parliament to electoral college provided considerable opportunities for agenda manipulation. Subsequently, results only rarely reflected the parliamentary balance of power. Last, although overall indicators suggest greater congruence between parliament and electoral college over time, this proliferated rather than reduced parties’ uncertainty over the electoral outcome as non-parliamentary electors voted based on local interests and acted independently from national party leaders.

Read the full article here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2019.1604339

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.