Monday, September 20, 2010

From REEI: Lectures & Local Conferences

Monday September 20, 2010: Professor Regina Smyth, Department of Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington, “Explaining Transitional Representation: The Rise and Fall of Women of Russia.”
12:00PM-1:00PM, Ballentine Hall 004
In 1993, the Women of Russia (WR) party won unexpected vote support Russia’s first multi-party competitive elections.  Just two years later, the party lost almost half of its vote share and fell below the five percent electoral threshold.  As a result, the party splintered and although it gained ballot access in 1999 it managed to secure less than two percent of the national vote.  Since that time, no women’s party successfully competed in national parliamentary elections.  The consensus explanation for WR’s decline is that WR was ineffective in the national parliament, the State Duma, and therefore alienated voters.  Using a new technology to analyze legislative decision-making, we argue that WR’s irrelevance in legislative decision-making was more a function of party system structure than poor leadership or lack of political strategy.  The argument presented in the paper not only has implications for the evolution of transitional representation in Russia but also for a more general theory of which parties survive founding elections to occupy permanent places in the party systems of a new democracies. 
Professor Regina Smyth’s lecture represents the second installment in the Russian and Eastern European Institute’s lunchtime lecture series.  A professor in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University-Bloomington since 2006, Professor Smyth’s research focuses on the relationship between democratic development and electoral competition by focusing on candidates, political parties and party systems in post-Communist states.  Her book Candidate Strategies and Electoral Competition in the Russian Federation: Democracy without Foundation (Cambridge 2006) explains the failure of Russian democracy in terms of the factors that impeded cooperation among candidates and party leaders and failed to produce a viable opposition to the ruling party.
Monday, September 20, 2010; Thursday September 23, 2010: Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities 2011 Fellowship Information Sessions
Monday September 20, 12PM-1PM, IDAH Conference Room E170 Wells Library
Thursday September 23, 12PM-1PM, IDAH Conference Room E170 Wells Library

IDAH invites interested IU faculty to come learn about fellowship opportunities available for the coming year.  Please see the call for submissions below and follow the link to the IDAH website.  Email for more information.

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