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Yuhui Li


Primary Field: Comparative Politics
Secondary Field: International Relations
PhD June 2017

Dissertation Committee Composition
Matthew S. Shugart (Chair), James Adams and Ethan Scheiner

Research Focus

My research interests focus on how formal institutions, especially electoral systems and executive structures, affect policy outcomes and democratic performance, with special attentions paid to applied theories in institutional design that built on scholars such as Taagepera, Lijphart and Shugart. 

My dissertation, Multiparism and the “Beauty of Cycling”: Explaining Minorities' Bargaining Power under Majority Rule>, connects social choice theories with the comparative studies of party systems and addresses two long established but insufficiently answered questions in political science: First, why do the losers of the electoral games receive more distributive benefits in some democracies than in others? And second, in countries where distributions are highly biased against the minorities, does there exist an effective institutional solution? It first advances a theory on the relationship between minority protection and the defection costs from the winning coalition and tests it with a novel online rational choice experiment. It then makes the argument that parliamentarism and proportional representation just by themselves can reduce the defection costs and supports it with an analysis of an original largest party vote share data.

My other published and working papers study institutional effects on party fragmentation and democratic longevity. I also started new projects on applying institutional theories on Chinese leadership transitions.

Dissertation: "Multiparism and the “Beauty of Cycling”: Explaining Minorities' Bargaining Power under Majority Rule"


Selected Publications

  • Li, Yuhui. “Electoral System Effects Re-examined Using the Largest Vote Share Data”. Democratization 27 (2017): 01-20
  • Li, Yuhui, and Matthew S. Shugart. "The Seat Product Model of the Effective Number of Parties: A Case for Applied Political Science." Electoral Studies 41 (2016): 23-34. 


Introduction to Comparative Politics

Electoral Systems

Chinese Politics