Karel Kouba

Karel Kouba
University of Hradec Králové · Department of Political Science

PhD

About

41
Publications
19,366
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287
Citations
Citations since 2017
19 Research Items
220 Citations
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Introduction
Karel Kouba is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. He graduated from Miami University (M.A.) and Palacký University in Olomouc (Ph.D.). His research focuses on voting behavior, electoral institutions, comparative politics and higher education policy of Latin American and European post-communist countries. He served as Vice-Dean for International Affairs at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Hradec Králové (2011-2016) and Vice-Rector for International Affairs of the University of Hradec Králové (2016-2018). He has published in journals like Electoral Studies, Government and Opposition, Revista de Ciencia Política, Higher Education, Environmental Politics, Czech Sociological Review or Democratization.
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - present
Palacký University Olomouc
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Women politicians face two distinct glass ceilings – when becoming candidates and when turning these candidacies into elected offices. While existing research posits important explanatory accounts of both these processes, both stages are often studied separately when the determinants of women’s descriptive representation are analyzed. This generate...
Article
Municipal size affects local democracy through two mechanisms – participation and contestation. By drawing on national-level theories of democracy, this article identifies a necessary tradeoff: decreasing municipal size maximises the participatory dimension of local democracy but reduces the level of contestation, which is similarly crucial for a h...
Article
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Despite theoretical arguments suggesting the strong effects of presidential term limits and re-election on democracy, there is surprisingly little empirical evidence to evaluate them. We test both the effect on democracy of the existence of a consecutive re-election rule and of reforms introducing it for incumbent presidents. Using evidence from La...
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With participation quorums present in elections and referendums, supporters of the status quo have to decide whether to vote against the proposition or boycott it by abstaining altogether to achieve the same result. This paper examines why one strategy or the other is implemented, using data from recall elections in 376 Peruvian municipalities mand...
Article
The Czech 2020 regional elections were won by ANO, a party led by prime minister Andrej Babiš. ANO received a plurality of votes in 10 of the 13 regions, but joined the regional government in only 3 of them. This election report explains this puzzling outcome as a result of three main causes: the national political polarization which facilitated co...
Article
Holding two second-order elections simultaneously is expected to increase electoral participation. We exploit a natural experiment in which one group of Czech precincts was “as if” randomly assigned to holding subnational elections concurrently with senatorial ones. Using a unique data set containing variables on more than thirteen thousand precinc...
Article
Adopting compulsory voting (CV) legislation is expected to produce near-universal turnout, which in turn is assumed to iron out class-based differences in political influence and representation. The article traces the historical process generating the sequential adoption of CV in 8 of the 17 Cisleithanian crownlands of the Austro-Hungarian empire i...
Article
The response of the Nicaraguan government to the COVID‐19 emergency is an extreme case of disease denialism. Such denialism is a major threat to public health, so understanding the sources of this attitude is paramount. Three explanations are offered: (a) the autonomous logic of a polarised political conflict; (b) an explanation based on an economi...
Article
The determinants of voter turnout in local elections are examined using global cross-national time-series comparative evidence from 97 countries. Despite the vast research agenda on turnout, only a few comparative tests at the local level are available. Filling this lacuna, the article explores how seven institutional features are related to local...
Article
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The April 2018 protests in Nicaragua inaugurated the Latin American protest wave that subsequently spread across the region in 2019. The protests and their governmental suppression ushered Nicaraguan politics into a regime crisis. Yet, despite international pressure, the harsh reality of a serious economic downturn, low and diminishing public suppo...
Article
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Large numbers of invalid votes in elections can present a threat to the legitimacy of democratic systems. Focusing on the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, three theoretical models explaining the incidence of invalid votes are tested using aggregated data from all legislative elections. While the protest behavior powerfully sh...
Article
The determinants of study abroad student inflows and outflows are analyzed by comparing the faculties of all Czech public universities. The article develops an institutionalist theoretical perspective that views higher education institutions not only as passive senders and receivers of students but also as active gatekeepers that regulate student f...
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The principal defense of compulsory voting suggests that it bridges socioeconomic inequalities by fostering a higher, and hence less socioeconomically biased, turnout. However, this article argues that this does not automatically translate into a less biased political voice because compulsory voting also generates socioeconomically biased invalid v...
Article
Research on invalid voting has expanded rapidly over the past few years. This review article for the first time examines its principal findings and provides a new theoretical perspective on the origins of invalid votes based on a two-dimensional framework. The main results of 54 studies using both individual-level and aggregate-level data as well a...
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Student participation in higher education governance is low in most countries. This is puzzling especially in countries like Czechia that have established radically democratic academic structures open to student involvement. This article therefore seeks to explain the determinants of student turnout (an important form of student participation) in e...
Article
Part of the literature views high numbers of presidential candidates as a threat to political stability in presidential democracies. A contradictory model proposes that an overconcentration of the presidential party system is problematic. Both models are hard to reconcile. We approach this puzzle by arguing that the relationship between the level o...
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Choosing the type of electoral system in new democracies has become a contested issue for social scientists as well as for political actors. Contrary to the state of the public debate on the issue, the article advances the position from a multidisciplinary standpoint (political science, historical sociology, economics) that proportional representat...
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An explanation of the recent wave of constitutional changes in favor of more permissive reelection rules in Latin America is presented based on a principal-agent model of intraparty relations within the presidential party. The theoretical model suggests causal mechanisms through which institutionalized presidential parties constrain the decision to...
Article
Implications from three theoretical models explaining the incidence of invalid voting are tested using data from all presidential elections in post-communist and Latin American democracies. Institutions such as the rule governing the possibility of reelection, compulsory voting, the rule for electing presidents, and the concurrence of elections, al...
Research
Full-text available
Para entender los retos de la Ciencia Política latinoamericanista en la República Checa, se presenta primero su evolución histórica desde el punto de vista de la Ciencia Política checa en general y de la perspectiva de los estudios latinoamericanos en particular. Segundo, se ofrece un panorama de la formación y docencia en la disciplina y su base i...
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The second rounds of elections to the Czech Senate consistently suffer from the lowest voter turnout among all types of elections in the Czech Republic. Moreover, voter turnout and the share of invalid votes decrease substantially between the first and the second rounds of the Senate elections. This article enquires into the causes of the decrease....
Article
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Several women have been successful candidates in Latin American presidential elections during the last decade. But this historical success has been limited to only a few countries in the region. What are the main causes of this variation? The article develops arguments stemming from the institutionalist theory and proposes that electoral-institutio...
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Latin American countries have recently experimented with their systems for electing presidents which makes them an ideal testing ground of the effects of different presidential election formulas. Drawing on existing theories, five hypotheses regarding the consequences of three electoral rules (plurality, qualified plurality and absolute majority) a...
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Why are Women Underrepresented in Czech Politics? An Analysis of Candidate Lists and Voting Behavior in the Olomouc Region The article explores several reasons why women in Czech politics are underrepresented not only relative to their overall share in the society but also relative to their presence at lower levels of politics. The article tests tw...
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This article examines the impact of the CAP on the Czech Republic. Specifically, it focuses on implementation of the CAP and its economic, social and political effects, as well as the domestic debate about CAP reform. It argues that CAP implementation has gone fairly smoothly and the economic and social effects of the CAP have been generally positi...
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The application of the so called Mill's methods in comparative political science research has recently become a controversial methodological issue. This article attempts to delineate the proper research situations in which the use of these methods is justifiable. It does so by analyzing the rather strong methodological assumptions which underlie th...
Article
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This article explores the spatial influences that shape the contemporary Czech party system and their consequences for the institutionalisation of the party system. First, the regionalisation of the party system is measured to identify the specific regional clusters of votes for individual parries. Second, after controlling for the impact of social...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the spatial influences that shape the contemporary Czech party system & their consequences for the institutionalization of the party system. First, the regionalization of the party system is measured to identify the specific regional clusters of votes for individual parties. Second, after controlling for the impact of social c...

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Project (1)
Project
El Proyecto de Reformas Políticas en América Latina busca contribuir al fortalecimiento de los procesos políticos de los sistemas políticos de la región, en particular al sostenimiento de la democracia como la mejor opción para garantizar la paz, la seguridad y el desarrollo. La Organización de los Estados Americanos tiene experiencia de larga data en el asesoramiento a sus Estados Miembros y en la provisión de cooperación técnica en asuntos clave para el funcionamiento de los sistemas políticos. En este marco, en la actualidad, la Secretaría de Asuntos Políticos [SAP/OEA] se encuentra articulando esa capacidad de apoyo con el propósito de elevar el nivel de sensibilización y conocimiento respecto a los procesos de reforma política en América Latina así como facilitar la difusión y el intercambio de conocimientos y experiencias entre los Estados miembros y otros actores relevantes. El Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, cuenta con una extensa trayectoria en la generación de conocimiento, la elaboración de análisis comparados y el diseño e impulso de procesos de reformas políticas en América Latina. A partir de 2017, el IIJ-UNAM se suma como el gestor académico y administrador de este proyecto, con el objetivo de contribuir en la deliberación y reflexión sobre los contenidos, los ritmos y los efectos de las reformas políticas en la región. En este marco, el proyecto concibe al sistema electoral de manera amplia, en la que se tienen en cuenta los cambios en los elementos claves que hacen al “corazón del sistema electoral” en materia de elección de cargos representativos (Lijphart 1995) como la fórmula electoral, los distritos, los umbrales o la estructura de voto, así como también se incluyen otras dimensiones claves como las medidas orientadas a mejorar la representación política y la protección de los derechos políticos de las mujeres (cuotas de género y/o paridad), el acceso a los medios de comunicación, la financiación de la política, los derechos de los que participan en la competencia o los procesos de selección de candidaturas. Todos estos elementos influyen sobre la dinámica de la competencia y/o la distribución de los incentivos con los que cuentan los actores políticos. El constante cambio de esas reglas de juego responde a las exigencias de la clase política, las demandas de la ciudadanía, los cambios en la doctrina jurídica constitucional e internacional y los avances de la tecnología. Asimismo, esas reformas también se originan por la presión de los movimientos sociales y la sociedad civil organizada; por el efecto contagio que se genera a partir de la experiencia de otros países vecinos o como parte de la agenda de reformas de la cooperación internacional. Los objetivos de este proyecto son: 1. Elaborar un mapa de las reformas políticas y electorales en 17 países de América Latina en los últimos 40 años (1978-2018). 2. Identificar tendencias u olas de cambio en diferentes dimensiones de las reformas políticas. 3. Difundir de manera accesible conocimiento sobre los diferentes procesos de reformas políticas realizados en los países de América Latina. 4. Presentar estudios comparados sobre los cambios que se han desarrollado en los sistemas electorales de la región, con la intención de identificar efectos concretos y poder realizar tareas de asistencia técnica en procesos concretos. 5. Identificar lecciones generadas por reformas que tuvieron efectos positivos sobre diversas dimensiones del sistema político. 6. Construir materiales y herramientas didácticas que permitan la difusión, la asistencia técnica y la enseñanza en materia de reforma política. Uno de los productos claves para la difusión de los conocimientos desarrollados por este proyecto es el Portal www.reformaspoliticas.org,