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Nathan Rexford


  • B.A. Political Science, UC San Diego, 2010


Primary Field: Comparative Politics
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected June 2017

Dissertation Committee Composition:
James Adams (co-chair), Matthew Shugart (co-chair), Ethan Scheiner

Research Focus

Whether electoral rules impact party system polarization has been the focus of a lively but inconclusive debate over the last ten years. While my work also focuses on the potential impact of electoral rules on party positioning, I shift my attention away from conventional left-right measures to individual issue positions. Specifically, I argue that more proportional electoral rules lead to party systems more polarized across specific issue dimensions via parties that are willing to take more extreme positions on select issues relative to the rest of their platform as well as place a greater emphasis on these issues.  To accomplish this task, I employ more refined measures of electoral permissiveness as well as newly updated expert survey data. 

Dissertation: "The Impact of Electoral Rules on Party Issue Positions"


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