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“Party Systems in Transitioning Democracies and Electoral Authoritarian Regimes”

 Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC)-Armenia 

  invites to a talk within the work-in-progress series on  

“Party Systems in Transitioning Democracies and Electoral Authoritarian Regimes”

conducted by Carolyn Coberly, PhD Candidate, University of Virginia

When:              Friday,24 November, 2017, 15:00-16:00

Where:            CRRC-Armenia, 1 Alex Manoogian Str., Yerevan State University Library bld., 6th Floor,   Room 602

Language:       English


Why do party systems in electoral authoritarian regimes and transitional democracies vary? Some ruling parties control a super-majority of votes and face a fractionalized opposition, while others control smaller majorities and face more unified oppositions. Existing research shows regimes with smaller ruling parties and unified oppositions are more likely to lose elections, but has not examined why these different types of party systems emerge in the first place. Ms. Coberly argues that a state’s infrastructural power shapes the fractionalization of party systems in these countries, conditional on political freedom in a country. As state infrastructural power increases, bargaining over policy becomes a viable option and elites have an incentive to form larger political parties, leading to a more consolidated loyal opposition and smaller ruling party. Using an original dataset of authoritarian election results from 1970-2015, she evaluates her argument using a random slope model estimating both change over time and across countries.  The study finds a positive relationship between a country’s tax ratio per capita and party system fractionalization at low levels of political freedom. Meanwhile, fractionalization declines with rising levels of state capacity and political freedom.



 The lecture is addressed to professors and graduate students in political science and professionals interested in the topic.



Ms. Coberly is a PhD candidate in Politics at the University of Virginia, where she studies party and party system development in transitional democracies and electoral authoritarian regimes. Her secondary research interests focus on the interaction of state capacity and political development and the domestic politics of Iran. A former American diplomat and Congressional aide, Ms. Coberly has a Masters in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Harvard University and completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University.

 Ms. Coberly is currently in Armenia with the aim to explore the party system and party politics in here.



 To confirm your participation, please send an email to by November 23, 17:00.

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