Joshua Tucker

Joshua Tucker is a professor of Politics at New York University with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies and New York University-Abu Dhabi. His major field is comparative politics with an emphasis on mass politics, including elections and voting, the development of partisan attachment, public opinion formation, and, political protest.

Recent Articles

A Resonant Signal: The Russian Parliamentary Elections of December 2011

Our next report on the 2011 Russian parliamentary elections comes from Konstantin Sonin of the New Economic School in Moscow, Russia. These comments originally appeared at Free Policy Briefs . ******* Days before December 4, prospects of electoral democracy in Russia looked bleak. Consolidation of the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s paramount leader since 1999, adoption of non-democratic electoral laws and politically-motivated law enforcement, constant harassment of media, civil society organizations, and election observers, and outright involvement of the government in the electoral process gave little hope that elections would make the political leadership accountable. The courts and electoral officials were used to prevent most opposition leaders from registering a party or participating in elections; opposition financial supporters had been driven into exile. Parliamentary elections in December 2007 and presidential elections in March 2008 were marred by such...

The Beginning of the End of the Putin Regime as We have Known It

When I am not writing for The Monkey Cage, I have been known to spend some time studying post-communist politics . I have also written about protest following electoral fraud . Thus recent events in Russia are of great interest to me both personally and professionally. As many of you by now know, last weekend’s Russian parliamentary elections resulted in both a dismal showing for the ruling United Russia party AND major accusation of fraud , including concerns voiced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton . Protests have broken out in Russia , are scheduled throughout the country (being advertised on social media sites, e.g., here and here ) on Saturday. These developments raise some immediate challenges for our understanding of Russian politics. Is a Colored Revolution – long dreaded by the Kremlin – finally coming to Russia? Are the winds of Arab Spring blowing back to Europe? Might we finally see a true Twitter Revolution ( @stopputin ), growing out of the fact...

Keep the Facts Straight: Congressional Portfolios do *not* Outperform the Market

Insider trading in Congress is back in the news, this time because Congress is trying to set up more stringent regulations against it . The reason: Almost all of the 173 House members cosponsoring the legislation signed on following a 60 Minutes broadcast last month reporting that congressional lawmakers can enrich themselves through investments without fear of prosecution. The emphasis here, however, ought to be on the can. Because in the aggregate, US legislators do not seem to be doing a better job enriching themselves through their investment portfolios than the general public, a fact that seems to be getting lost (or not appearing at all!) in the discussion of this issue. Jens Hainmueller, a draft of whose work we previously featured on The Monkey Cage , emailed me regarding a revised version of his paper with Andy Eggers: We actually just revised this paper in order to more clearly point out the serious shortcomings of existing studies on congressional investing and also put the...

Congress in Action

For your weekend viewing pleasure, from official Monkey Cage cartoonist Ted McCagg :

More on Mandatory Voting, Which Does *Not* Necessarily Make Electorate Less Informed

In response to the lively debate between the New York Times and The Monkey Cage ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), we are pleased to welcome Victoria Shineman , a Ph.D. candidate in NYU’s Politics Department who is writing a dissertation on the effects of compulsory voting. In this guest post, she offers both a clarification of how participation requirements are implemented in modern democracies, and a discussion of how this affects political information and polarization. The positive effect of mandatory voting laws on turnout is well documented, and its success in reducing the disparities between voters and non-voters is more or less settled. Next: what is the effect of participation requirements on political information and informed voting? Brennan campaigns against increased turnout, pointing out that non-voters are less informed than voters, and arguing that increasing the number of uninformed votes worsens electoral outcomes. I disagree. Before I respond to this argument, a clarification is...