The politics of electoral reform in the Russian State Duma, 1993--2005

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Description: When incumbent politicians amend institutions, what makes them select some institutions but not others? I suggest that incumbent leaders depend on coalitions of supporters to remain in power. Consequently, institutional reforms constitute a strategy aimed at preserving reliable coalitions. By applying the seat maximization, the sociological and the strategic-institutional theories of institutional reform this thesis explains three separate instances of electoral reform in Russia: in 1993, 1995 and 2005. I find that while the seat maximization and the sociological approaches explain certain aspects of some of these reforms, the strategic institutional approach, based on Bueno de Mesquita et al.'s selectorate theory, elegantly yet parsimoniously explains each one of the three instances of electoral system change that has taken place in Russia since the early 1990s.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work