RESEARCH

Citizen appeals and political participation in the Russian Federation (dissertation)

Citizen appeals have become an important form of political participation in Russia. The central government has increasingly emphasized platforms for formal appeals, and recent trends suggest more and more citizens are engaging with state officials in this way, despite the fact that appealing is not a guarantor of responsiveness and the process itself carries certain risks in identifying both citizen and grievance. Using large-N data collection, a representative survey, and survey experiment, this project first identifies which citizens are most willing to make an appeal, contructing a profile of who these people are under which conditions they are most likely to contact officials. Secondly, the study examines the attitudinal impact(s) that actively engaging in this particular form of participation has upon an individual user's levels of satisfaction and civic mindedness, as measures of support for the status quo versus a desire for change. Through a theory of reinforcing behaviors, the analysis highlights the agency of individual citizens within non-democratic contexts and suggests that local-level political engagement still plays a vital role in shaping political outcomes across highly centralized political contexts. 

Democracy aid and democratic outcomes: findings from a systematic review of the aid-democratization literature, forthcoming in International Studies Review. 

This study draws upon a rigorous systematic review to assess the quantitative impact of external democratic aid upon democratic indicators within recipient states and brings together the literatures on foreign aid and democratization. Overall, the evidence suggests that i) democracy aid generally supports rather than hinders democracy building around the world; ii) aid modalities and domestic conditions influence the effectiveness of democracy aid; and iv) democracy aid is more associated with positive impact on democracy than developmental aid, probably because it targets key institutions and agents of democratic change.

Emerging Donors, Foreign Aid, and Effects on Levels of Democracy Within Recipient States

Using a novel dataset, we investigate the impact that foreign aid given by 'emerging donors' – non-DAC and characteristically non-democratic states that have begun to engage in practices of international aid lending – has upon the quality of democracy within recipient states. Our findings are consistent with the view that aid not targeted at democracy will weakly interact with democratic indicators, but that the fungibilty of aid that is typical of emerging donors is driving the slight negative impact upon democratic outcomes in these states.

Report: Effects of Swedish and International Democracy Aid

This report reconsiders the evidence on democracy aid. It asks: Does democracy aid ‘work’? How? Under what conditions might it work better? It draws both on a new systematic review of the existing literature and on a new international comparative analysis using multiple advanced econometric methods. The analysis covers 148 countries during the period 1995-2018.

Illiberal regional organizations and autocratic cooperation

This research examines cooperation amongst authoritarian states within what we term 'illiberal regional organizations', that is regional organizations in which illiberal practices are permitted and illiberal norms are spread through the use of cooperation. We examine the outcomes such cooperation has upon country-level measures of human rights, repression, and domestic unrest, concluding these organizations may confer benefits to member states in reinforcing non-democratic practices at home.