Northwestern Events Calendar


Comparative Politics Workshop: Ora John Reuter, "The Demand for Elections"

When: Friday, March 4, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Central

Where: Scott Hall, 201 Ripton, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Stephen Monteiro   (847) 491-7451

Group: Department of Political Science

Co-Sponsor: Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies (REEES) Research Program

Category: Academic


Please join the Comparative Politics Workshop as they host Ora John Reuter, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, for a presentation on "The Demand for Elections: How Voters React to the Cancellation of Elections in Russia". 

The session will take place in Scott Hall Ripton 201 with an option for virtual attendance. Lunch will be served. 

ABSTRACT Most contemporary autocracies hold elections. Does the public value these elections and, if so, do they value them enough to punish incumbents that subvert elections? We examine this question in the case of contemporary Russia by examining whether individuals withdraw support from regime leaders when local elections are canceled. Over the past 20 years, most Russian cities have replaced their directly elected mayors with appointed chief executives. This paper utilizes the largest dataset on public opinion ever assembled in Russia--containing over 1.4 million polling responses drawn from two decades of polling by Russia's top polling agencies--to analyze how the cancellation of elections in Russia's large cities has affected public attitudes toward the authorities. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that election cancellation reduces support for President Vladimir Putin. The effect is stronger among the young, who are presumably more likely to value elections. We also find that the effect is stronger in more democratic regions and in cities where mayoral elections were competitive. This suggests that the public is more likely to punish incumbents for canceling elections when those elections are perceived as meaningful.


Ora John Reuter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His search is in the areas of comparative political institutions, authoritarianism, elections, democratization, comparative political economy, and Russian politics. Navigate the links above to learn more about my research and teaching.

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