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.