Areas of Interest.

PEOPLE: WOMEN, YOUTH & MINORITIES

Women, youth and minorities face particular challenges in transitional systems. These populations are often the subject of policy interventions aimed at improving the lives of traditionally disadvantaged groups. Yet, effective interventions require a careful analysis of assumptions underlying policymaking and the obstacles to empowerment. Examining the priorities and attitudes of disadvantaged populations and exploring the underlying social-psychological mechanisms that present obstacles to participation sheds important light on the potential impact of policy interventions.

POLITICAL PROCESSES: PARTIES & ELECTIONS

Party development and electoral processes are of vital significance in countries that have not yet established consolidated democracies. Establishing strong political party systems and robust, free and fair elections requires not only a clear vision of what these systems ideally achieve and the resource gaps they face, but also a sober understanding of how citizens and political parties view political engagement. Similarly, understanding the design and effects of electoral systems requires technical knowledge about alternative options, as well as knowledge of the broader social imperatives that drive these debates.

IDENTITIES AND IDEOLOGIES: RELIGION, ETHNICITY & TRANSITIONS

Citizenship rights, the role of religion and the state, and regional and ethnic privilege all play crucial roles in the nature of state and society in transitional systems. These critical issues are each important, and often examined independently. However, they are best understood as part of fundamental struggles over the distribution of resources across identifiable groups or over broader societal transformation. Putting these issues in the broader perspective helps elucidate the obstacles to democratization and economic development.

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