Research

Protest and Electoral Authoritarian Regimes

This research focuses on state-society relations within electoral authoritarian regimes (EARs).  Assisted by Anton Sobolev (HSE, UCLA) and Irina Soboleva  (HSE, Columbia University), Smyth directed the collection of individual level data on participants in anti-regime protests and pro-regime rallies in 2011-2012 and a survey of non-participants.  These data were supplemented with focus groups, regional event counts, and a follow-up study of campaign volunteers in the Alexei Navalny campaign.  Smyth has also written on the role of symbolic politics in Putin’s Russia and the role of social media and political leadership in protest and rally participation.  With funding from the Ostrom Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis, she has extended this framework to study Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution, Ukraine’s Euromaidan, and protests in Romania.

Studying Russia’s Authoritarian Turn: New Directions in Political Research on Russia, Russian Politics, 2016 (Special Issue Editor)

Navalny’s Gamesters: Protest, Opposition Innovation, and Authoritarian Stability in Russia (with Irina Soboleva), Russian Politics, 2016

Resolving the Authoritarian Dilemma: Policy Outcomes and Political Control in The Hong Kong Legislative Council  (with William Bianco and Kwan Nok Chan), under review

Mind the Gaps: Media Use and Mass Action in Russia (with Sarah Oates), Europe-Asia Studies, 2015

The Putin Factor:  Personalism, Protest, and Regime Stability in Russia, Politics and Policy, 2014.

Looking Beyond the Economy:  Pussy Riot and the Kremlin’s Voting Coalition (with Irina Soboleva), Post-Soviet Affairs, 2013

A Well-Organized Play: Symbolic Politics and the Effect of Pro-Putin Rallies (with Anton Sobolev and Irina Soboleva), Problems of Post-Communism, 2013​

Outreach/Popular Writing

The Potential for Discrediting Putin, Washington Post – The Monkey Cage, March 2017

Popular Engagement and Protest Potential, PONARS Memo, August 2016

Beyond United Russia: The Kremlin’s Attempts to Engineer Ruling Majorities, PONARS Memo, September 2013

Thief or Savior? Contesting Personalism in Russia’s Rallies and Protests, PONARS Memo, September 2012

The Most Recent Anti-Putin Protest_ Evidence of a Nascent Russian Civil Society? Washington Post – The Monkey Cage, February 2012

The Complexity that is Current Russian Politics, Washington Post – The Monkey Cage, December 2011

Putin in 2012, —Washington Post – The Monkey Cage, September 2011

The Art of the Possible: Institutions and Policy Outcomes

This research, with William Bianco, Christopher Kam, and Itai Sened, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), examines the influence of legislator and party preferences on political outcomes from regime transition to policy bundles.  Relying on the uncovered set (UCS), this work models the potential outcome of majority rule decision making in democracies, autocracies, and electoral authoritarian regimes from the US, to the UK, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Hong Kong.

The Uncovered Set and its Applications (with Christopher Kam, Itai Sened, and Regina Smyth), in Elgar Handbook of Social Choice and Voting.  Jac Heckelman and Nicholas Miller, eds., Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishers, 2016.

Predicting Majority Rule: Evaluating The Uncovered Set and the Strong Point (with Jacob Bower-Bir, Nicholas D’Amico, Christopher Kam, Itai Sened, and Regina Smyth), Journal of Theoretical Politics 2015

Explaining Transitional Representation:  The Rise and Fall of Women of Russia (with Christopher Kam, Itai Sened, and Regina Smyth), Journal of East European and Asian Studies 2011

Explaining Transitional Representation:  The Rise and Fall of Women of Russia (with Christopher Kam, Itai Sened, and Regina Smyth), Journal of East European and Asian Studies 2011

Parliaments, Cabinets, and Uncovered Sets (with Chris Kam, Itai Sened, and Regina Smyth), American Political Science Review, 2010

Political Parties and Regime Change

Funded by IREX, NSF, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, this work analyzes party development through the lens of relationships among voters, candidates, and party elites.  Smyth’s 2006 book, Democracy Without Foundation, explores how the lack of information and resources in the context of electoral institutions designed to preclude Communist resurgence provided disincentives for investment in party organizations.  In 2013, Smyth began a follow up study on the evolution of Russian political parties and electoral politics in collaboration with Rostislav Turovsky (HSE).  ​

Political Preferences and Party Development in Post-Communist States, Demokratizatsia, 2012

Engineering Victory: Institutional Reform, and Formal Institutions and the Formation of a Hegemonic Party Regime in the Russian Federation (with Anna Lowry and Brandon Wilkening), Post-Soviet Affairs, 2007

Strong Partisans, Weak Parties? Party Organizations and the Development of Mass Partisanship in Russia, Comparative Politics, 2006

Building State Capacity from the Inside Out: Parties of Power and the Success of the President’s Reform Agenda in Russia, Politics and Society, 2002

Programmatic Party Cohesion in Emerging Post-Communist Democracies: Russia in Comparative Context (with Herbert Kitschelt), Comparative Political Studies, 2002