How to Un-Rig an Election

Article
January 2019

A review of How to Rig an Election by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas.

Enrolling India

Article
July 2018

A review of How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise by Ornit Shani.

Brazil: The Costs of Multiparty Presidentialism

Article
April 2018

The massive corruption revealed by Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” points to fundamental flaws in multiparty presidential systems, where presidents must find ways to build coalitions in fragmented legislatures. 

Timor-Leste Votes: Parties and Patronage

Article
January 2018

In July 2017, Timor-Leste held its third parliamentary elections since independence. The party-centered campaign featured both enduring legacies of the revolutionary struggle and a distinct form of political patronage.

Reevaluating Runoffs in Latin America

Article
January 2018

The worldwide popularity of runoff rules for presidential elections has grown strikingly in recent decades. In Latin America, contrary to scholarly expectations, this shift has had important benefits for democracy. 

Elections in the Hardest Places: The Case of Somalia

Article
October 2017

Is pressing a troubled, intensely fragile “postconflict” country to hold elections a good idea? Somalia did so in late 2016 and early 2017, and the process was not pretty. But was it better than the alternative?

The 2016 U.S. Election: Fears and Facts About Electoral Integrity

Article
April 2017

In 2016, concerns about the administration of elections in the United States generated highly charged partisan debates. Are the worries justified?

The 2016 U.S. Election: The Nomination Game

Article
April 2017

Since the 1970s, the U.S. presidential-nomination system has become more democratic, making primary elections crucial, reducing the influence of political parties, and making it easier for outsiders to win.

The Ethnocracy Trap

Article
October 2012

A political system in which power is formally divided among ethnic or sectarian groups may seem like a good idea in conflict-ridden societies, but it bears a high price and makes true democratic transition harder to achieve.

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