Ekaterina Rashkova-Gerbrands

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2015/2016
discipline Political Science
Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria

Research project

Rules of Competition: District vs. National Constraints for Party System Development in Central and Eastern Europe

 

What legal constraints determine party system size and explain different paths of party system development? This project takes a fresh look at the debate on the link between electoral and party systems. The main goal is to evaluate the extent to which district and national electoral incentives intervene in party system development. For years, scholars have believed that the number of seats each district allocates to the national parliament is the key determinant of how many political parties there are. More recent work however, has shown that similar constraints fail to have similar effects when put to work in different places. Why? Using an institutionalist, rational-choice, framework of analysis, this project argues that other factors, such as national regulations which trump district incentives may be at play. The project will thereby not only fill the existing gap in the empirical study of the number of parties but will also integrate the disciplines of political science and constitutional and public law through a systematic and comprehensive comparative analysis of electoral regulation in Central and East-European democracies. Furthermore, it will evaluate the effect of ethnic heterogeneity and other social characteristics on party system development. The proposed research contributes to the debate on the quality of democracy most generally. It studies the important for many new, but also established, democracies question of what and how affects party system development. Examining specific electoral constraints, the project adds to the growing discussion on the effect of regulation on party democracy and from a new angle - that of the rules of competition - taps into the idea that political parties are becoming ever more linked to and dependent on the state. The focus of the project of discerning district from national institutional and social constraints and explaining how each of these determines electoral competition enriches the electoral and party system literature dealing with the number of parties by providing deeper and broader comparative analysis of party system development. By examining the relationship between party systems and legal regulation of electoral competition as stipulated in the electoral law, the project integrates the disciplines of political science and constitutional and public law, encouraging more interdisciplinarity and offering results which can be useful in both fields. In addition to the research output that the project brings, a significant asset to the community interested in party system development and/or regulation will be the systematic database of Central and East European Electoral Laws and district-level indicators. The database will be made available online and offered free to the public.

Biography

Ekaterina R. Rashkova is an Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She previously held a three-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. Her research interests include party system development, electoral institutions, political parties and party regulation, and gender politics. Her dissertation Political Learning and the Number of Parties: Why Age Matters won the UniCredit and Universities Foundation Best CEE PhD Thesis Award in May 2011. She is also co-editor of European Political Science Journal.

Selected publications

 

‘Party Regulation and the Conditioning of Small Political Parties: Evidence from Bulgaria’, with M. Spirova, East European Politics, vol. 30, no. 3, 2014, pp. 315-329.

 

‘The Legal Regulation of Political Parties: Contesting or Promoting Legitimacy’, with I. van Biezen, International Political Science Review, vol. 35, no. 3, 2014, pp. 265-274.

 

‘The World Upside Down: De-legitimizing Party Funding’ with F. Casal Bertoa, D. Piccio & F. Molenaar, International Political Science Review, vol. 35, no. 3, 2014, pp. 355-376.

 

‘When Less Means More: Influential Women of the Right – the Case of Bulgaria’, with E. Zankina. in K. Celis & S. Childs (eds), Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation, ECPR Press, Colchester, 2014.

 

‘Party Laws in Comparative Perspective: Evidence and Implications’, with F. Casal Bertoa & D. Piccio, in I. van Biezen and H. ten Napel (eds), Political Parties and Public Law, Leiden University Press, Leiden, forthcoming, 2014.

 

‘Ethnic Parties Regulation in Eastern Europe’, with M. Spirova, in I. van Biezen and H. ten Napel (eds), Political Parties and Public Law, Leiden University Press, Leiden, forthcoming, 2014.

 

‘Does Parity Exist in the ‘Macho’ World?’: Party Regulation and Gender Representation in the Balkans, with E. Zankina, Representation, vol. 49, no. 4, 2013, pp. 425-438.

 

‘Gender Politics and Party Regulation: Quotas and Beyond’, with I. van Biezen, Representation, vol. 49, no. 4, 2013, pp. 393-400.

institut

junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Linguistics
2013
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Economics
2011
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Linguistics
2011
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline History
2017