Modernization & Democracy

General Description

Modernization and Mobilization in Eurasia: During the past two centuries, the introduction of parliamentary and presidential institutions in traditional polities has often ended in mixed results: political modernization attempts were often interrupted by significant and long lasting institutional ruptures. Economic development and occupational transformations in traditional economies resulted in eras of transient electoral democracies and autocratic rule. Each of these episodes provide a fertile ground for testing hypotheses on the logic of political order: for example, why did Russia experience a revolution at the end of World War I, but similar attempts at initiating radical politics failed in Germany? Or why did autocratic stability in Iran failed to establish durable electoral authoritarianism prior to the 1979 revolution and after, while Turkish parliamentary politics increasingly shifted towards majoritarian rule after 2002? What are the elements of stability or dysfunction in the Chinese development trajectory?  In a comparative study of China, Iran and Russia in contrast to three shadow cases of Japan, Turkey and Germany, this project aims at elucidating a logic for the diverging paths of political organization in relation to institutional and historical legacies. Such a logic of democratic and autocratic breakdown has implications for ongoing political transformations of the popular rule in the Eastern and Western contexts.

Book Project
  • [Revise and Resubmit, Cambridge University Press] Political Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy
Current Paper Projects (for drafts see "Research" page)
  1. Voting Together: Economic Adversity and Voter Turnout in Authoritarian Elections
  2. The Logic of Voter Turnout in Authoritarian Elections
  3. Special Interest Politics and Public Goods Provision in the Face of Ethnic Diversity
  4. Democratic Breakdown: New Party Entries and Strategic Utilization of Cleavages
  5. Structure of Political Deliberation as a Method of Ideology Estimation
  6. Redistribution and Democratization: Evidence from the 1990s Russia
  7. State Capacity and the Logic of Anti-Corruption Campaign in China
  8. Rise of Radical Parties in German Politics, Logic and Illustrations
  9. Determinants of Voter Turnout in Contemporary Russia
  10. Ethnic Divisions and Origins of Electoral Democracy in the Turkish State
Research Group
  • Post Cold War Datasets
    • Russia turnout and socioeconomic indicators (provinces) 2000-2012
    • Privatization statistics in Russia 1992-1999, socioeconomic indicators
    • Iranian parliamentary elections, results and turnout, socioeconomic indicators (districts) 1980-2016
    • Turkey electoral results, turnout and socioeconomic/ethnic indicators (provinces) 2000-2015
    • Unified Germany election results, socioeconomic indicators
    • China anti-corruption campaign dataset
  • Historical Data
    • Iranian complete data set of parliamentary elections results, 1906-1975
    • Iranian occupational/demographic censuses (select tables) 1956,66,76
    • Russian Duma 1905-6 and the Constituent Assembly elections (uezd level) 1917
    • Russian occupational/demographic census 1897 (Full occupational sectorization, uezd level)
    • Early Weimar Republic’s electoral data and socioeconomic indicators
    • Late Ottoman ethnic composition (district level)
Events, Courses, Related Projects
  • Organized Events
    • October 2019: Book Conference on Political Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Yale University
    • April 2018: Two-day workshop on Varieties of Democracy, HSE Moscow Link to Workshop Agenda
  • Teaching: Comparative Politics of Eurasia – Syllabus