Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Political Science


English (en)

Date of Award

Spring 4-3-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Brian F Crisp


This dissertation focuses on electoral politics in a comparative perspective, specifically subnational variation in strategic party entry and strategic voter coordination. The dissertation studies how within-country variation both in the demographic composition of electoral districts and also in the supply-side composition of ballots can impact: where parties choose to contest elections, which and how many parties are successful, and why some voters in a country might not have the option of casting a ballot for all parties on election day. The first and third papers concentrate specifically on the supply side of electoral competition and demonstrate under what circumstances parties can be expected to compete across a broad range of electoral districts. I find that parties strategically enter those electoral districts where they believe that the outcome of the previous election indicates the electoral market is out of equilibrium. I also find that certain types of political institutions can induce parties in some countries to enter more broadly across electoral districts. The second paper explores the interaction between supply and demand to assess the impact of electoral constituency diversity on electoral outcomes. In short, I find that there exists a statistically robust relationship between driving up diversity in an electoral district and subsequently increasing the number of party offerings voters have access to on election day. This relationship, however, is substantially qualified by the permissiveness of electoral institutions.


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