Andreas Schedler's research while affiliated with Central European University and other places

Publications (49)

Article
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Since the inauguration of Mexican democracy in 2000, organised criminal violence had been leaking into the political arena. Yet, it escalated in the 2018 elections, when dozens of local candidates were killed. In most of these cases, the concrete perpetrators and motives remained in the dark. How did Mexican society make sense of this opaque, unpre...
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During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, Mexico’s so-called drug war claimed around a quarter of a million lives. Adapting to this enduring epidemic of violence, the print media have adopted a minimalist reporting style that gives only thin, formulaic accounts of violent events. As I argue, established journalistic minimalism does...
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Even before the invention of modern democracy, political theorists have warned about the dangers of ‘majoritarian tyrannies.’ While the concept has been perennially suspicious of serving as an antidemocratic stratagem, I propose to revalue it as an antipopulist tool of horizontal accountability among citizens (‘demos accountability’). Subverting th...
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Ante la persistencia de la violencia criminal organizada en México, se ha discutido la posibilidad de superarla usando medidas de justicia transicional. ¿Qué tan viable sería su aplicación? Tratamos de responder a esta pregunta en dos pasos. Primero, trazamos un mapa conceptual de la violencia societal organizada que nos permite identificar la llam...
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Erratum to: Z Vgl Polit Wiss 2019 10.1007/s12286-019-00438-0 The article title has been …
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Revolution and Reaction: The Diffusion of Authoritarianism in Latin America. By Kurt Weyland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 320p. $99.99 cloth, $34.99 paper. - Volume 18 Issue 1 - Andreas Schedler
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Is US president Donald Trump a threat to democracy? Alerting against his manifold transgressions of democratic norms, many comparative political scientists have thought so. Their practical worries, however, have been inconsistent with prevalent theories of democratic stability. As careful examination shows, his main democratic norm violations have...
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In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework to analyse the communicative imperatives authoritarian regimes face as a consequence of their self-inflicted opacities. The most important facts about the actors and factors that sustain authoritarian rule are unobservable. To demonstrate their power, authoritarian rulers have to render them visible...
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The most important facts about the actors and factors that sustain authoritarian rule are unobservable and uncertain. To demonstrate their power, authoritarian rulers have to render them visible. They have to play political theater and present on the front stage what they want people to know about the backstage of authoritarian politics. Dictatorsh...
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Standard methodological advice in political science warns against the distortion of measurement decisions by judgmental elements. Judgment is subjective, common wisdom asserts, it produces opaque, biased, and unreliable data. This article, by contrast, argues that judgment is a critical intersubjective ingredient of political measurement that needs...
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Over the past decades, (mostly) private actors have been providing the public good of cross-national political data in a decentralized, uncoordinated, and unregulated fashion. They have been successful in generating an incessant supply of data. However, as this paper claims, the success of current practices of data production has been masking sever...
Book
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The book is a reader on transparency and accountabillity edited for the School for Public Administration of Mexico City. Six chapters integrate the reader and refer to mexican cases as well theoretical issues.
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Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). He is the recipient of the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for a two-year research project on populism in Europe and Latin America, which he will undertake at the University of Sussex during the 2011–2013 academic years. With re...
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The temporal boundaries of democratization are often fuzzy and controversial. Yet students of regime change have paid little systematic attention to issues of temporal delimitation, despite their profound methodological as well as political implications. Scholars routinely define, but almost never study, processes of democratic transition and conso...
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The quantitative study of comparative politics is often described as a data driven enterprise. Employing an original dataset of comparative politics articles published in leading academic journals between 1989 and 2007, this article offers the first empirical analysis of data usage in comparative research. Tracing potential biases induced by data d...
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We live in an era of unprecedented abundance of cross-national political data. Even if we still lack data for innumerable research questions, many areas of inquiry host not just one, but several competing datasets. We thus face the luxury, and necessity, of choice. Selecting data consciously, rather than faithfully, involves four seemingly simple t...
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Losing parties or candidates almost invariably claim to be victims of fraud when they refuse to accept the results of an election. Democracy demands that losers consent to their defeat; fraud sets them free to reject it. In many cases, though, citizens and observers have a difficult time in assessing the veracity of their claims. As the present ess...
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The new electoral authoritarian regimes of the post–Cold War era have formally adopted the full panoply of liberal-democratic institutions. Rather than rejecting or repressing these institutions, they manipulate them.
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In recent years, we have seen the rise of a “new institutionalism” in the study of authoritarian regimes that takes seriously previously neglected pillars of non-democratic governance: nominally democratic institutions, such as legislatures, multiple parties, and elections, that form integral parts of most authoritarian regimes. Drawing together pr...
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The major comparative public opinion surveys measure popular support to democracy by means of direct questions on democracy in the abstract sense. However, as the citizens may have divergent concepts of what democracy is, we do not know to what extent standard questions capture citizen support to liberal democracy. In order to solve the validity pr...
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Major cross-national surveys measure popular support for democracy through direct questions about democracy in the abstract. Since people may entertain competing democratic ideas and ideals, however, we ignore the extent to which standard questions capture citizen support for liberal democracy. To solve the validity problems associated with direct...
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The article examines the “moral economy” of electoral clientelism – the exchange of votes for goods – on the basis of qualitative interviews conducted in late 2000 in rural Mexico. Contrary to common assumptions about physical needs forcing the “poor and powerless” to trade their political rights for material favors, it finds that respondents rejec...
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Elections,usually taken to be a hallmark of democracy,can also become a tool of authoritarian powerholders seeking to legitimate their rule.
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The present article develops an analytical framework for the comparative study of processes of democratization by elections. It first lays out the techniques of electoral manipulation authoritarian rulers employ to control electoral outcomes. It then argues that manipulated elections tend to trigger two-level games in which electoral competition is...
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Many scholars view vote buying as a simple economic transaction: parties and candidates distribute material benefits to individual citizens in exchange for support at the ballot box. Drawing upon a variety of comparative experiences, this paper argues, however, that the commercial aspirations of vote buyers often run into objective as well as inter...
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Electoral governance is a crucial variable in securing the credibility of elections in emerging democracies, but remains largely ignored in the comparative study of democratization. This article develops some basic analytical tools to advance comparative analysis and understanding of this neglected topic. It conceptualizes electoral governance as a...
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Electoral governance is a crucial variable in securing credible elections in emerging democracies, but remains largely ignored in the comparative study of democratization. The article develops some basic analytical tools to advance comparative analysis and understanding of this neglected topic. It conceptualizes electoral governance as a set of rel...
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In contemporary Mexico, political parties have subject electoral authorities to tight legal regulation. Their reliance on “bureaucratic” control sheds light on a crucial premise of “post-bureaucratic” approaches: deregulation presupposes trust. The article describes the distrust-driven regulation of three areas of electoral governance: record keepi...
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The concept of democratic consolidation has become a pivotal concept in comparative politics. In its most widespread acceptation, a "consolidated" democracy is one that is unlikely to break down. For all its apparent thinness and simplicity, this conceptualization poses considerable problems of operationalization and measurement. As the article arg...
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How should we observe democratic consolidation? The author considers the possibilities for observing democratic consolidation. He identifies the various observation rules used implicitly by researchers, in accordance with the medical metaphor of health and illnesses of democracies, in 4 ways: the “symptoms logic”, the “tried and tested logic”, the...
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In contemporary Mexico, political elections have turned into fundamentally free, fair, competitive, and clean contests. Yet, in political debate, the idea prevails that the country's transition to democracy is still on its way. How can we explain this apparent divergence? First, as the article argues, empirical disagreements over the state of democ...
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After a long history of electoral fraud and especially after the fraudulent and conflictive presidential elections of 1988, Mexicans entered the 1990s with deep skepticism toward political elections. In the present decade, however, government and opposition parties have agreed to several profound electoral reforms that have succeeded in bringing fr...
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After a long history of electoral fraud, Mexicana entered the 1990s with deep skepticism towardspolitical elections. Subsequent electoral reforma succeeded to bring fraud under control. How did Mexican citizens react to these institutional changes f Did they hibernate under theprotectivecover of un unchanging "culture ofdistrust"? Or did they adapt...
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Much of the literature on 'democratic consolidation' has adopted a forward-looking, future-oriented perspective. Rather than studying past regimes, it tries to assess the life expectancies of contemporary 'third wave' democracies. The article contends that authors have usually been unaware of the methodological complexities this choice of time pers...
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Journal of Democracy 9.2 (1998) 91-107 During the past quarter-century, the "third wave" of global demo-cratization has brought more than 60 countries around the world from authoritarian rule toward some kind of democratic regime. This is no small achievement, of course, but it has also become apparent that sustaining democracy is often a task as d...
Chapter
We live in antipolitical times. Many symptoms point in this direction: the reemergence of right-wing populism in western Europe, the antistate rhetoric of the new Republican Right in the United States, the recurrent success of antipolitical establishment candidates in Latin America, the ethnic recoding of politics in the former Soviet Union and Yug...
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A specter is haunting contemporary party politics: the specter of anti-political-establishment parties. In old as well as in new democracies, fears run high and the literature is booming. Specters are evasive, however. Political scientists have tried to get hold of this one under labels like protest, populist or extremist parties. Yet the `anti-pol...
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This article attempts to reformulate and resuscitate the seemingly prosaic methodological task of description, which is often derided in favour of causal analysis. First, the problem of definition is addressed: what does this category of analysis ('description') refer to? Secondly, a taxonomy of descriptive arguments is offered, emphasizing the div...
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Standard methodological advice in the social sciences tells us to base our measurement decisions on observations, not judgments. It presupposes that we divide the process of measurement into two phases. In a first judgmental stage, we reach all the judgments necessary to build our theories, form our concepts, delineate our objects of observation, a...
Article
The new electoral authoritarian regimes of the post–Cold War have set up the full panoply of liberal-democratic institutions—from constitutions to constitutional courts, from legislatures to agencies of accountability, from judicial systems to federal arrangements, from independent media to civic associations. Most important of all, they hold regul...

Citations

... Schedler viewed Trump's case of illiberalism and "breaching", as he termed it, of the established liberal democratic norms as what had stoked the anxiety of the media (Schedler, 2019). ...
... In order to demonstrate this observation, we employ process tracing. We claim that an analysis of the democratic backsliding phase could be a contribution to current debates on this topic (Alizada et al., 2021;Bermeo, 2016;Cassani & Tomini, 2019), that is, to the literature that tries to explain backsliding and conditions that favour it (Schedler, 2019;Waldner & Lust, 2018). This is the key aim of the article. ...
... Siempre será bueno recordar, sin embargo, que la política comparada no resuelve problemas políticos, más bien los identifica y, sobre todo, su utilidad radica consecuentemente en brindar un lenguaje y un debate acorde con ello, es decir, brindar marcos analíticos y herramientas conceptuales precisas (SCHEDLER, 2004). A fin de cuentas, el debate público cambia de acuerdo a cómo se interpreten algunos términos típicos de la política comparada: no es lo mismo "guerra" que "terrorismo", "revolución" que "transición", "democracia delegativa" que "populismo", o "partido hegemónico" que "partido predominante". ...
... The former includes 'pretensions to dethrone and banish politics'. 43 The latter has to do more with the dissatisfaction of citizens with the workings of a specific political system. It is a distinction that has also been identified by Clark who argues that there are two major versions of anti-politics; first 'as citizens' negativity towards the activities and institutions of formal politics', and second as an attempt 'to replace the communicative rationality of politics with another rationality from another societal subsystem'. ...
... This uncertainty over outcomes stems from a lack of credible information concerning the "true" state of other elites' and voters' loyalties-known as strategic uncertainty. Therefore, defection is costly because of the opaque nature of authoritarian politics, combined with regime strategies of shoring up mass and elite support (Schedler & Hoffman, 2016;Bunce & Wolchik, 2011). ...
... De acuerdo con Schedler (1997), una definición "amplia" del concepto de rendición de cuentas se puede resumir en el siguiente enunciado: ...
... De este núcleo simbólico se podría derivar una serie de inferencias simbólicas que sirven para evaluar los episodios o eventos que tienen lugar en la esfera pública dentro del ciclo de opinión que estamos considerando en este trabajo. Así, por ejemplo, del mapa cultural pueden desprenderse varias posibilidades lógicas respecto a cómo interpretar la Marcha del Color de la Tierra: 1) Puede ser considerada un evento democrático positivo porque incrementó la legitimidad democrática del proceso de transición, al permitir la participación y la actividad de un segmento de la población que había estado sistemáticamente aislado y desprovisto de sus derechos políticos de 13 A este respecto, véase el argumento de Andreas Schedler (2000), en el sentido de que el concepto de "transición a la democracia" se ha convertido en una especie de "punto nodal" del discurso político mexicano, con importantes funciones cognitivas, normativas y estratégicas. En términos cognitivos, este concepto permite, a quienes lo usan, dar públicamente sentido a los procesos de cambio social en el país. ...
... The clearer the argument the better, the more manipulable the input or independent variable the better, the more separated X and Y are, the better, etc. (adding the usual ceteris paribus at every step, of course). The criteria might in practice lead to tradeoffs, but they are all relevant in assessing causal research-whether causation is understood primarily in mechanistic terms or correlational terms, regularity or counterfactual terms, etc. Causal explanation is often distinguished from "mere description" (Gerring 2012a). In fact based on Gerring's treatment of it we can say that for him explanation is causal explanation throughout his massive book (2012b). ...
... On the other side, conceptualizations too attached to particular contexts lead to seriously controversial results, such as identifying the aforementioned "idea" or "essence" of populism within those contexts. To exemplify, particularities such as egalitarian stance, redistribution policies, and support for the state intervention in the economy, exhibit the leftist nature of populism in Latin American countries (Mudde, 2011;Seligson, 2007;Weyland, 2010). Focusing on this continent, some scholars evaluate populism through the economic policies in Latin America where popular governments attempt to revive national economies through redistribution of sources which is most of the time followed by massive irresponsible or ill-planned spending (Acemoğlu, Egorov and Sonin, 2013;Dornbusch and Edwards, 1991). ...
... All of these source types and data sets have different strengths and shortcomings (see e.g. Arndt and Oman 2006;Landman and Carvalho 2009: Ch. 3;OHCHR 2012;Raworth 2001;Schedler 2012;Skaaning 2017). For evaluations of specific governance and democracy indicators, see Munck (2009) The advantage of expert surveys is their utilization of the extensive, countryspecific knowledge of scholars, journalists, and so on, to capture features that are not easy to observe directly. ...