Publications & Works in Progress

Below is a sample of published works.

"The Alternative Incumbency Effect: Electing Women Legislators in Indonesia" (2012) Electoral Studies 31(3): 576-587

Between the 1999 and 2009 elections the proportion of national female legislators in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority democracy, more than doubled. While this substantial increase may partly be explained by the recent imposition of a gender quota and placement mandate that have forced parties to increase the number of female candidates, quotas cannot fully explain the strong performance of women in the 2009 elections. First, many parties placed women higher on their lists than the laws required; second, voters appeared to over vote for women in some districts. Although  incumbency’s typical effect is to inhibit female electoral success by advantaging traditional (male) competitors, I argue that women benefited largely from an alternative effect: female incumbency can improve female candidate placement and electability by demonstrating female capacity and capability. Female newcomers benefited strongly from the presence of female incumbents in their own and bordering districts, thus suggesting a positive diffusion effect of female incumbency.

Party Replication Data

Voter Replication Data

"Tall, Grande or Venti: Comparing Presidential Powers in the US and Latin America" (2013) Journal of Politics in Latin America 5(2): 37-70

Comparative constitutional studies rank the US prsident as relatively weak and most Latin American presidents as strong. However, specialized studies suggest that US presidents have great abilities to implement their agendas. We argue that presidents with weak formal powers "reinforce" their ability to impose an agenda (scope), as well as their ability to make those decisions stick (force). These reinforced powers, however, have diminishing returns as formal powers rise. As a result, the sum of presidential powers ranges from high (the US) to very high (Latin America).

JEAS sample figure image

"A Comparative Measure of Decentralization for Southeast Asia" (2014) Journal of East Asian Studies 14(1): 85-107
In this article we set out a fine-grained measure of the formal authority of intermediate subnational government for Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand that is designed to be a flexible tool in the hands of researchers and policymakers. It improves on prior measures by providing annual estimates across ten dimensions of regional authority; it disaggregates to the level of the individual region; and it examines individual regional tiers, asymmetric regions, and regions with special arrangements. We use the measure and its elements to summarize six decades of regional governnace in Southeast Asia and conclude by noting how the Regional Authority index could further the dialogue between theory and empirics in the study of decentralization and democratization.

Supporting raw data available at: