Nikolaos Frantzeskakis, and Henrik Bech Seeberg. 2022.
"The Legislative Agenda in 13 African Countries: A Comprehensive Database," Legislative Studies Quarterly.
While African legislatures have been receiving increasing academic attention in recent years, efforts to expand
our understanding of these institutional bodies have been hampered by a dearth of reliable quantitative data regarding
their activity and output. To rectify this issue, we have collected and issue-classified data on the legislative agenda
in 13 African countries. We leverage this new dataset to explore how democratic development affects the
legislative agenda. We show that legislatures in more democratic countries have a larger, broader, and more dynamic agenda,
and we propose an extensive future research agenda for legislative politics in Africa.
Nikolaos Frantzeskakis, and Brandon Beomseob Park. 2022.
"Armed and Dangerous: Legacies of Incumbent-Military Ties and Electoral Violence in Africa," Electoral Studies. 80: 102531.
While a growing literature explores the danger that authoritarian military legacies pose for regime breakdown,
there is little research on the effects of similar legacies in the context of multiparty politics. This is an
important gap in the literature since in many cases the introduction of formal democratic institutions has
led to neither democratic consolidation nor regime breakdown. We start exploring this lacuna by developing
a theory that links the use of violent electoral tactics to the ties of the executive with the authoritarian
era’s military. We argue that incumbents with close ties to the authoritarian regime’s military are more
likely to instigate election violence. Empirical tests on a sample of 230 elections in 39 African
countries since 1974 show that election violence is more prevalent in countries where such ties exist. These
findings speak to several areas of study, including those on election violence, and on military legacies.
Michael Wahman, Nikolaos Frantzeskakis, and Tevfik Murat Yildirim. 2021.
"From Thin to Thick Representation: How a Female President Shapes Female Parliamentary Behavior," American Political Sicence Review 115.2: 360-378.
How does the symbolic power of a female president affect female parliamentary behavior? Whereas
female descriptive representation has increased around the world, women parliamentarians still
face significant discrimination and stereotyping, inhibiting their ability to have a real voice and
offer “thick” representation to women voters. We leverage the case of Malawi, a case where the presidency
changed hands from a man to a woman through a truly exogenous shock, to study the effect of a female
president on female parliamentary behavior. Drawing on unique parliamentary transcripts data, we argue
and show that women MPs under a female president become empowered and less confined to stereotypical
gendered issue-ownership patterns, leading to a significant increase in female MP speech making. Our
results directly address theories of symbolic representation by focusing particularly on intraelite rolemodel
Nikolaos Frantzeskakis, Yuko Sato. 2020.
"Echoes of a fading past: Authoritarian legacies and far-right voting," Electoral Studies 66: 102163.
In recent years, electoral support for the far-right has increased dramatically across the world. This phenomenon
is especially acute in some new democracies; however, little attention has been devoted to the effects of the
legacies of past authoritarian ideologies. We argue that the ideology of the past regime affects far-right support
because voters that were politically socialized under authoritarianism will be biased against its ideological brand.
To test this argument, we conduct an individual-level analysis across 20 countries between 1996 and 2018 using
a difference-in-difference estimation and a country-level analysis using data from 39 democracies between 1980
and 2018. We demonstrate that voters socialized under right-wing dictatorships are less likely to support farright
parties compared to citizens that were socialized under different circumstances. Moreover, support for
far-right parties is significantly lower in countries that transitioned from right-wing autocracies. Findings are
discussed in light of the contribution to the far-right movement literature.
Brandon Beomseob Park, Nikolaos Frantzeskakis, and Jungsub Shin. 2019.
"Who is responsible? The effect of clarity of responsibility on voter turnout," West European Politics 42.3: 464-494.
Does voters’ ability to discern who is responsible for policy outcomes affect
voter turnout? Although particular institutional arrangements which influence
this ability – known as clarity of responsibility – appear to affect how voters
form retrospective judgements, existing literature is less informed about its
role on voter turnout. This article argues that voters tend to turn out less if
they cannot discern who is responsible for policy outcomes. This lack of clarity
hinders the process of retrospective evaluations, makes the electoral stakes
less profound, and dampens the voters’ political efficacy. Using 396 elections
in 34 established democracies between 1960 and 2015, it is found that lower
clarity of responsibility is associated with lower voter turnout. This study highlights
the importance of clarity of responsibility, as it enhances democratic
accountability, not only by encouraging retrospective voting, but also by
increasing political participation.
Nikolaos Frantzeskakis, Michael Wahman, and Tevfik Murat Yildirim. 2021.
"Malawi: Parliamentary Debate under Executive Dominance"
in Bäck Hanna, Marc Debus, and Jorge M. Fernandes (Ed.). The Politics of Legislative Debate. Oxford University Press.
This chapter represents one of the very first quantitative analyses of parliamentary speechmaking in an African democracy.
Looking at Malawi in the parliamentary term 2009–2014, we find that MPs in ministerial positions and party leadership
speak significantly more than other MPs. We also find that those representing the major opposition party speak significantly
more than other MPs. Given the candidate-centric nature of Malawian parliamentary politics and high levels of formal
parliamentary openness, these findings run counter to the theory presented in this volume. We suggest that in order to
understand speechmaking in the Malawi parliament, one has to take into account both the generally weak position of the
legislature vis-à-vis the executive and the role-orientation of Malawian MPs. In a system with high MP turnover rates and
ignificant local developmental needs, MPs tend to prioritize constituency development over contributions to the national
legislative agenda. With resources highly centered on the executive, backbench MPs are unlikely to see significant benefits in
pursuing an active legislative agenda. Consequently, MPs representing the government or those higher in opposition party
hierarchies can dominate parliamentary speechmaking.