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Higashijima, Masaaki

Associate Professor of Political Science

Tohoku University, Graduate School of Information Sciences, Japan



Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2015/2016

Ph.D. Institution

Michigan State University, United States


I obtained my PhD from Michigan State University (MSU) in February 2015. My primary interests lie in comparative political economy and authoritarian politics.
In my book project, which is based on my dissertation, I analyze authoritarian elections by combining cross-national statistical analyses with case studies of Central Asian countries.  Specifically, I shed light on a dilemma that dictators face at the ballot box: manipulated elections do not provide useful information feedback to dictators, yet excessive electoral reforms make it difficult for dictators to score overwhelming victories. Centring on this electoral dilemma, my theory and empirical analysis illuminate the logic of election fraud, electoral system choice, political business cycles, and post-electoral conflicts in dictatorships.
My research has been funded by numerous research grants including the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant and Fulbright Scholarship. The core chapter in my dissertation was awarded the 2014 International IDEA/EIP Award and was nominated for the 2013 Westview Press Award at Midwest Political Science Association. Another chapter is forthcoming in Contentious Elections: From Ballots to Barricades edited by Pippa Norris and her colleagues. Other collaborative work is forthcoming in such journals as the British Journal of Political Science and Studies in Comparative International Development. I was working as a research consultant at the World Bank in 2012-2013.
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