Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Human Rights in Presidential Democracies: Does a Runoff Rule Reduce Repression?
by Holzer, Joshua, Ph.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2019, 111; 13897792
Abstract (Summary)

I argue that within a democratic context the presence of a presidential runoff rule leads to the following outcomes: a reduced distance between the ideological position of the president and the median voter, a reduced percent of the cabinet in the same party as the president, and a reduced likelihood that the president is elected without a majority. Additionally, I argue that a large distance between the ideological position of the president and the median voter, cabinets comprised of a high percent of members in the same party as the president, and presidents elected without a majority are all negatively associated with high government respect for human rights. Since the presence of a runoff rule reduces determinants that are in turn negatively associated with high government respect for human rights, the presence of a runoff rule is likely positively associated with high government respect for human rights. Ultimately, I find that democratic presidential elections held using a runoff rule produce presidents that are less likely to be associated with lower government respect for human rights, and more likely to be associated with greater government respect for human rights. In order to promote government respect for human rights, I suggest that constitutional designers embrace the idea of instituting a presidential runoff rule. Simply put: a relatively easy way to reduce repression is to add the possibility of a runoff round to all democratic presidential elections.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Krieckhaus, Jonathan
Commitee: Arce, Moisés, Dow, Jay, Meyers, William H.
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Political science, Public policy, Public administration
Keywords: Human rights, Democracy, Presidential runoff elections
Publication Number: 13897792
ISBN: 9798664787221
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