Monday, February 11, 2019

Damage to Healthcare Infrastructure in the Donbas

Building upon our previous work published in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage Blog and a PONARS Eurasia policy memo, Cindy Buckley, Ralph Clem, and I have a forthcoming article in the journal Eurasian Geography and Economics that presents a spatial database of damaged healthcare facilities in the Donbas and discusses the implications for state legitimacy. I will post a link to the paper when it is available from the journal. UPDATE: The online version of the article is available.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

"Friends and Neighbors" Voting in Mixed-Member Electoral Systems

In a forthcoming article in the journal Representation, Michael Lynch and I demonstrate how candidates with local connections garner more preference votes than rivals without these connections in the proportional representation component of Lithuania's mixed-member system. Candidates who run for office on the list and in a constituency tend to perform better in regions where they are seeking a district seat, consistent with the literature on contamination effects in mixed-member systems. But, candidates who only run on the party list also tend to receive more votes when they have local connections, even if they are placed in hopeless positions. The findings provide additional evidence of contamination effects and also illustrate the potential advantages of list nomination strategies that ensure representation in all regions of a country. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Donbas War and Healthcare

PONARS Eurasia has published a policy memo that I co-authored with my colleagues Cynthia Buckley and Ralph Clem. In the memo, we discuss how the Donbas War has disrupted access to healthcare services by identifying facilities that have sustained physical damage. This memo is part of an ongoing research project related to state capacity in countries that border Russia.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Proxy Voting in Ukraine's Parliament

In a new article to be published in a 2019 edition of Post-Soviet Affairs, my colleagues and I assess the impact of illicit proxy voting on lawmaking in Ukraine's parliament. Although members of parliament are supposed to cast votes in the legislature personally, political parties often arrange to have votes cast even when their members are not present. This process has been captured on camera regularly by the media and non-governmental organizations (notably Chesno). 

Screenshot from Chesno video evidence
In many cases, proxy votes are necessary to pass legislation. But, relying on the votes of absentee legislators to pass laws undermines representation and accountability. The article estimates the impact of proxy voting, showing how it is a widespread phenomenon that is not limited to a single political party or partisan orientation.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Washington Post/Monkey Cage Blog about the War in Donbas

The Washington Post/Monkey Cage Blog has featured an ongoing collaboration about state capacity in post-Soviet states. Cynthia Buckley, Ralph Clem, and I (along with cartography work by UIUC student Jarod Fox) assessed damage to civilian infrastructure in Donbas, focusing on hospitals. By combining reports from many sources, we found under-reporting of attacks on healthcare facilities. These findings are part of a larger effort to understand the implications of hybrid warfare, threats to East European and Eurasian sovereignty, and possible vulnerabilities in other areas.