CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 17, 2000
UI hosts conference on Russian election outcomes
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In December 1999, Russia held elections for its parliament.
Just three months later, in March 2000, presidential elections were held.
Together these two elections are bringing about a fundamental shift in leadership
in the Russian Federation.
The University of Iowa department of political science will host a conference
April 24-25 at the Iowa Memorial Union examining these elections. William
Reisinger, professor of political science and Vicki Hesli, associate professor
of political science, are the primary organizers for the conference, "Russia's
Parliamentary and Presidential Elections: An In-depth Assessment of Outcomes
Included in the conference will be a free, public forum "Roundtable
on the Elections and Their Significance," Monday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m.
in the IMU Illinois Room.
Each conference participant will be assessing a particular aspect of the
presidential and parliamentary elections. Topics include: the impact of the
elections on political party development, the foreign policy implications
of the elections, and the effect of the elections on the process of national
integration and democratic development in Russia.
The list of guests includes several of the top scholars writing in English
on Russian politics today: Sarah Oates (University of Glasgow), Olga Shvetsova
(Washington University, St. Louis), Stephen White (University of Glasgow),
Timothy Colton (Harvard University), M. Steven Fish (University of California
at Berkeley), Thomas Remington (Emory University), Richard Sakwa (University
of Kent), and Stephen Hanson (University of Washington).
Several of the conference participants will be presenting new public opinion
and electoral data that will receive their first public appearance at this
Conference presentations will shed light on the continuing obstacles and
also the prospects associated with building democratic institutions in Russian
society today. Visiting scholars will discuss ways in which these elections
represent "successful" transitions to democracy or democratic consolidation.
In addition, participants will examine what the elections say about voting
behavior in Russia -- in particular, the relevance to post-Communist systems
of vote choice models developed in the West.
Over the summer the papers from this international group of authors will
be edited and ultimately published in a book with the same title as the conference.
Funding is provided by the Benjamin F. Shambaugh Fund of the UI department
of political science and the UI Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian