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Ethan Scheiner is a faculty member in the Department of Political Science and Director of the International Relations Program at the University of California, Davis

His research focuses on Japanese politics and general issues surrounding democratic representation. He received a B.A. in Politics in 1991 at U.C. Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Political Science at Duke University in 2001.  He has been an Advanced Research (postdoctoral) Fellow in the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard University (2001-02), and a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Institute for International Studies (2002-2004).

His work examines parties and elections within both Japan-specific and explicitly comparative contexts.  He has published articles on political parties, elections and electoral systems in the American Political Science Review, Annual Review of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Japanese Journal of Political Science, Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Japanese Studies, and Legislative Studies Quarterly

His first book, Democracy Without Competition in Japan: Opposition Failure in a One-Party Dominant State (2006 at Cambridge University Press) offers an explanation for opposition party failure in Japan, a democracy dominated by one party since 1955.  The book offers analysis of not only Japanese opposition failure, but party competition failure in other countries as well.  For more information on Democracy Without Competition in Japan and additional information (including statistics) cut from the manuscript (for space reasons), click here

Professor Scheiner's second book, Electoral Systems and Political Context:  How the Effects of Rules Vary across New and Established Democracies (co-authored with Robert Moser, 2012 at Cambridge University Press), attempts to understand when electoral rules will – and will not – have the effects typically expected of them.  The book focuses on "mixed-member" electoral systems that provide voters two ballots in elections to a single house of the legislature:  one vote for a party in proportional representation (PR) and one for a candidate in a single-member district (SMD).  The book illustrates how electoral rules often have very different effects in new democracies than they do in more consolidated systems.  Most notably, plurality SMD rules tend to constrain the number of parties in established democracies, but in new democracies far more contestants compete for and receive electoral support.  The book also demonstrates that, even in established democracies, plurality rules do not undermine the effect of social diversity on the party system – diversity shapes the number of parties in similar ways under both PR and SMD rules.  Finally, the book shows that, compared to closed-list PR, plurality rules restrict the election of women to national legislative office – but not in postcommunist states, where party proliferation promotes the chances of women winning election under SMD rules.

For other information on his work, please see his CV.


Contact Information:

Ethan Scheiner

Department of Political Science

University of California at Davis
One Shields Avenue

Davis CA, 95616

    Phone: (530) 207-3205
    Fax: (530)752-8666

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