General Interest:

I have pursued my general fascination with political institutions and the historical dynamics of democratic development through three separate projects:

A) Party Development and Democratization in interwar France and Germany

The project dealt with the question of why some parties in interwar France and Germany courted voters more ardently than others when allegedly all parties need votes to gain office ? In answering this question, I demonstrated how political institutions determine the degree to which parties behave as entrepreneurial agents of voters or as inert bureaucratic behemoths and how different levels of party responsiveness affect democratic consolidation.

The project is now completed and has produced two articles and a book (see cover below):

 The Book:        

Cover.gif (19970 bytes)

Have a look at: Table of Contents, Introduction:*

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

Reviews: American Political Science Review (Dec. 2002), Central European History (Spring 2004); Comparative Political Studies (Aug. 2002), History (Fall 2001);  German Studies Review (Feb. 2003); French Politics, Culture and Society (Summer 2003); Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Nov. 2002).

*Should be interested in more but can't afford the book, please contact me I will be happy to send you the chapters that interest you.


The following articles related to this project have appeared:

B) Structuring Political Representation in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (in collaboration with Vello Pettai)

This project grapples with the paradox that in post-communist democracies political parties are the central agent of political representation even though they are barely formed themselves. Parties lack well established governance structures, mass membership, brand names, partisan electorates, yet they are far more important than the even more disorganized civic organizations and economic interest groups. The fact that post-communist parties are by default the primary vehicle of political of representation make it crucial that we learn more about their organizational development and how these developments structure the overall party system and its ability to provide adequate political representation. The project so far has focused primarily on the conceptual issues related to the organizational effervescence of post-communist parties, gathering data on their organizational (dis-) continuity and understanding the calculus of party affiliation in post-communist democracies. The next stage will proceed to explain the cross-national and cross-party patterns in party affiliation and electoral alignments.

The following articles related to this project have appeared

C) The Development of Liberal Democracy in 19th Century Europe

Resulting from my earlier work on interwar party politics, I was struck by the fact that the historical origins of liberal democracy frequently were neither liberal nor democratic and that the circumstances propelling its development were only tangentially related to people's desire for self-government and to limit governmental power. If viewed historically, liberal democracy remains an only partly understood mystery. This project is in the very early stages trying to sort out conceptual issues, identifying relevant theoretical literatures and exploring potential cases. 

D) Miscellaneous Research:


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