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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Robert Moser

Professor Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Department Chair, Professor
Robert Moser

Contact

Biography

Professor Moser specializes in the study of electoral systems, political parties, ethnicity and elections, women’s and minority representation, and Russian politics. He has written numerous book chapters and articles on democratization, elections, and political parties in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. His articles have appeared in World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, and Post- Soviet Affairs. His research has been funded by SSRC, IREX, and the Ford Foundation.

He was appointed the William D. Blunk Memorial Professor for 2005-06 in recognition of his undergraduate teaching and advising and was awarded the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award in 2002. More recently, Moser received the 2008 Harry Ransom Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Silver Spurs Endowed Teaching Fellowship in 2010.

He is the author of Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Representation in Russia (2001) and co-editor, with Zoltan Barany, of Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization (2001), Ethnic Politics after Communism (2005), and Is Democracy Exportable? (2009). His latest book, co-authored with Ethan Scheiner, is Electoral Systems and Political Context (2012).

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37840 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38770-38773 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm
show description

GOV 312L:  US Foreign Policy

 

Since its founding, the United States has played a central role in shaping the larger international political order.  American victories in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War coupled with its support for democracy and open global markets stand at the heart of this legacy.  At the same time, external pressures in the form of war, globalization, and the spread of transnational ideological movements have stressed American institutions and shaped an evolving American national identity.  This course explores this mutually interactive relationship by examining the making of American foreign policy over the past two centuries more broadly.  It explores such topics as American entry into World Wars I and II, the role of Congress in foreign policy making, the construction of the national security state in the twentieth century, competing partisan conceptions of America’s national interest, the Cold War, nuclear deterrence and proliferation, territorial expansion, trade liberalization, nation building, humanitarian intervention, and more recent challenges like terrorism.  As part of this broad overview, the course will also explore the moral and ethical dilemmas of many foreign policy challenges faced by the United States. Should the United States ever use torture when combatting its enemies?  Does the U.S. have an interest or even an obligation to promote democracy abroad?  When is military intervention justified?  What is our moral obligation to address global warming?

This course fulfills the second half of legislative requirement for government and may be counted toward the ethics and leadership flag requirement. May be taken for credit only once.  

Designed to accommodate 800 or more students. Course meets online during scheduled class times and includes a live-streaming video component. Students are encouraged to visit http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tower/gov312lusfp  to test their computer and network connection and learn about the course structure.

Grading Policy: TBD

Required Textbook:

  • Robert J. McMahon.  2003.  The Cold War:  A Very Short Introduction.  New York:  Oxford University Press. 

 

GOV F365N • Politics Of New Democracies

85097 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as LAS F337M, REE F335 )
show description

Prerequisites

6 hours lower-division coursework in GOV

 

Course Description

One of the most important developments in the last quarter century has been the expansion of democracy around the world. The most dramatic events of the late 20th century and the early 21st century — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and the “Arab Spring” — have all been associated with what scholars have called the “third (and now fourth) wave” of democratization, in which authoritarian regimes around the world collapsed in favor of varying degrees of democratic governance. With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the threat of international terrorism, the spread of democracy, particularly in the Middle East, has become a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy and the “war on terror.” International terrorism has presented consolidated and emergent democracies with their greatest challenge to date. Democracy is seen as a primary antidote to this threat but also its chief target.

This course will examine the process of democratization in an attempt to determine which factors make the consolidation of democracy in a formerly authoritarian system more likely. The course will be organized thematically rather than regionally, meaning that we will deal primarily with broad issues that (conceivably) can be generalized to all cases. The examples of democratization used in the course will be drawn from many geopolitical regions including Latin America, post-communist states (Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union), the Middle East, Asia and Africa. After a survey of the central concepts surrounding democratization, the class will focus on specific factors related to successful democratization including: modernization, political culture, institutional design, civil society, and globalization.   

 

Grading Policy

First Take-Home Essay                                            25%

Second Take-Home Essay                                        25%

First Multiple Choice Exam                                        20%

Second Multiple Choice Exam                                    20%

Participation (based on in-class quizzes)                    10%

 

Texts 

Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom (New York:  W.W. Norton, 2007).

Zoltan Barany and Robert G. Moser (eds.), Is Democracy Exportable? (New York: Cambridge UP, 2009).

 

 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38720 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm JES A121A
show description

Course Description:

This course will examine how international relations affect American politics through a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States and Russia.  During the Cold War, stability and crisis in the international order were largely determined by the relationship between the two great superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.  This superpower struggle also greatly affected the domestic politics of each country.  Now that the Cold War has ended and the Soviet Union has dissolved, the United States and the rest of the world faces new adversaries and challenges, in particular an emergent “war on terror.”  We will be comparing the current international environment with the Cold War in an attempt to make better sense of both eras.  The course will be divided into three parts:  1) a historical examination of the origins and operating assumptions of the Cold War; 2) an examination of the end of the Cold War; and 3) an examination of the opportunities and challenges inherent in the post-Cold War world. 

 

 

Grading Policy:

First mid-term exam                            20%

Second mid-term exam                        20%

Third mid-term exam                           20%

Take-home essay                                30%

Participation                                        10%

 

 

Texts:

John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (New York: Penguin Press, 2005). 

Additional readings compiled from journals and other sources.

 

GOV 336M • Govs And Politics Of Russia

38695 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as REE 335 )
show description

Course Description

Twice in the 20th century Russia experienced revolutionary political, economic, and social change. Since the communist regime collapse in 1991, Russia has attempted to simultaneously transform its political system from a communist regime to a democratic one and its state-controlled economy to one based on a free market. While engaged in this daunting task, the country has also had to deal with the precipitous decline in international power and influence that accompanied the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, loss of empire in Eastern Europe, and defeat in its superpower struggle with the United States. Begun with high hopes of a smooth transition to free market democracy, this transformation instead produced a decade-long economic collapse and very fragile democratic and capitalist institutions.  In the 2000s, President Vladimir Putin ushered in a highly centralized political system that was marked by excessive executive power, severe restrictions on civil liberties, human rights, and media freedoms, and manipulated and fraudulent elections.  Essentially, Russia has returned to authoritarian rule despite retaining some of the trappings of democratic politics.

This course will introduce students to the political development in Russia from 1917 to the present. It is vitally necessary to have some background on the Soviet system if one is to understand the contemporary situation. Thus, we will spend the first one-third of the course examining the birth, life, and death of the Soviet Union. After this, we will discuss the twin challenges of democratization and radical market reform facing the new post-Soviet Russian state. We will examine competing explanations including culture, institutions, and leadership decisions that can account for the difficulties Russia has had establishing a functional democracy and market economy.

 

Grading Policy

First Take-Home Essay                                              25%

First Midterm Exam                                                   20%

Second Take-Home Essay                                          25%

Second Midterm Exam                                               20%

Participation (based on in-class quizzes)                      10%

 

Texts

M. Steven Fish, Democracy Derailed in Russia.

Z. Barany and R. Moser (eds.), Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization.

GOV 365N • Comparative Polit Institutions

38803 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm ART 1.120
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Course Description

Political institutions are the rules that govern politics.  Constitutions, electoral systems, federalism, legislative rules, and laws governing civil-military relations are just some of the examples of political institutions that permeate political systems and thus affect our lives every day.  Not surprisingly, the “rules of the game” have important consequences on how politics work and what type of outcomes are produced.  It matters whether a political system is presidential or parliamentary, has a plurality or proportional representation (PR) electoral system, or is a unitary or federal system.  Moreover, the impact of rules is surprisingly broad.  Scholars have argued that political institutions affect everything from the number of political parties and the proportion of women or minorities in the legislature to the degree of ethnic conflict and the level of corruption.  

This course will introduce students to the role of political institutions in comparative politics. The first part of the course examines the concept of institutions – what they are (and are not), their origins, and how they change.  The rest of the course examines specific institutions, most notably presidential versus parliamentary systems, electoral systems (especially the contrast between plurality and PR systems), and federalism.  In the process, we will examine specific effects commonly attributed to political institutions, especially the type of party system, the election of women and ethnic minorities, ethnic relations and conflict, and the stability of democracy itself.

 

Grading Policy (Tentative)

Test I                          20%

Test II                         20%

Take-home Essay          25%

Take-home Essay          25%

Participation                  10%

 

Texts (Tentative)

R. Moser and E. Scheiner, Electoral Systems and Political Context: How the Effects of Rules Vary Across New and Established Democracies

A. Reynolds, Designing Democracy in a Dangerous World

GOV S365N • Politics Of New Democracies

85410 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am MEZ B0.306
(also listed as LAS S337M )
show description

Course Description

One of the most important developments in the last quarter century has been the expansion of democracy around the world. The most dramatic events of the late 20th century and the early 21st century — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and the “Arab Spring” — have all been associated with what scholars have called the “third (and now fourth) wave” of democratization, in which authoritarian regimes around the world collapsed in favor of varying degrees of democratic governance. With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the threat of international terrorism, the spread of democracy, particularly in the Middle East, has become a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy and the “war on terror.” International terrorism has presented consolidated and emergent democracies with their greatest challenge to date. Democracy is seen as a primary antidote to this threat but also its chief target.

This course will examine the process of democratization in an attempt to determine which factors make the consolidation of democracy in a formerly authoritarian system more likely. The course will be organized thematically rather than regionally, meaning that we will deal primarily with broad issues that (conceivably) can be generalized to all cases. The examples of democratization used in the course will be drawn from many geopolitical regions including Latin America, post-communist states (Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union), the Middle East, Asia and Africa. After a survey of the central concepts surrounding democratization, the class will focus on specific factors related to successful democratization including: modernization, political culture, institutional design, civil society, and globalization.   

 

Grading Policy

First Take-Home Essay                                              25%

Second Take-Home Essay                                          25%

First Multiple Choice Exam                                          20%

Second Multiple Choice Exam                                      20%

Participation (based on in-class quizzes)                      10%

 

Texts

Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom (New York:  W.W. Norton, 2007).

Zoltan Barany and Robert G. Moser (eds.), Is Democracy Exportable? (New York: Cambridge UP, 2009).

GOV 390L • Democratizatn In Compar Persp

38990 • Spring 2012
Meets M 1230pm-330pm BAT 5.102
show description

see syllabus

GOV 336M • Govs And Politics Of Russia

38700 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ B0.306
(also listed as REE 335 )
show description

Course Description

Twice in the 20th century Russia experienced revolutionary political, economic, and social change. Since the communist regime collapse in 1991, Russia has attempted to simultaneously transform its political system from a communist regime to a democratic one and its state-controlled economy to one based on a free market. While engaged in this daunting task, the country has also had to deal with the precipitous decline in international power and influence that accompanied the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, loss of empire in Eastern Europe, and defeat in its superpower struggle with the United States. Begun with high hopes of a smooth transition to free market democracy, this transformation instead produced a decade-long economic collapse and very fragile democratic and capitalist institutions.  In the 2000s, President Vladimir Putin ushered in a highly centralized political system that was marked by excessive executive power, severe restrictions on civil liberties, human rights, and media freedoms, and manipulated and fraudulent elections.  Essentially, Russia has returned to authoritarian rule despite retaining some of the trappings of democratic politics.

This course will introduce students to the political development in Russia from 1917 to the present. It is vitally necessary to have some background on the Soviet system if one is to understand the contemporary situation. Thus, we will spend the first one-third of the course examining the birth, life, and death of the Soviet Union. After this, we will discuss the twin challenges of democratization and radical market reform facing the new post-Soviet Russian state. We will examine competing explanations including culture, institutions, and leadership decisions that can account for the difficulties Russia has had establishing a functional democracy and market economy.

Texts:

M. Steven Fish, Democracy Derailed in Russia.

Z. Barany and R. Moser (eds.), Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization.

Grading:

Test I                           30%

Test II                          30%

Take-home Essay            30%

Participation                   10%

GOV 365N • Politics Of New Democracies

38818 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as LAS 337M, REE 335 )
show description

see syllabus

GOV S365N • Politics Of New Democracies

85370 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm PAR 301
(also listed as REE S335 )
show description

One of the most important developments in the last quarter century has been the expansion of democracy around the world.  The most dramatic events of the late 20th century — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War — have all been associated with what scholars have called the “third wave” of democratization, in which authoritarian regimes around the world collapsed in favor of varying degrees of democratic governance. With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the threat of international terrorism, the spread of democracy, particularly in the Middle East, has become a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy and the “war on terror.”  International terrorism has presented consolidated and emergent democracies with their greatest challenge to date.  Democracy is seen as a primary antidote to this threat as well as its chief target.

 

This course will examine the process of democratization in an attempt to determine which factors make the consolidation of democracy in a formerly authoritarian system more likely.  The course will be organized thematically rather than regionally, meaning that we will deal primarily with broad issues that (conceivably) can be generalized to all cases.  The examples of democratization used in the course will be drawn from many geopolitical regions including Latin America, post-communist states (Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union), the Middle East, Asia and Africa.  After a survey of the central concepts surrounding democratization, the class will focus on specific factors related to successful democratization including: modernization, political culture, institutional design, civil society, and globalization.    

GOV 390L • Democratizatn In Compar Persp

39221 • Spring 2011
Meets M 1230pm-330pm BAT 5.102
show description

See syllabus

GOV 336M • Govs And Politics Of Russia

38535 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 1.306
(also listed as REE 335 )
show description

Course Description

Twice in the 20th century Russia experienced revolutionary political, economic, and social change. Since the communist regime collapse in 1991, Russia has attempted to simultaneously transform its political system from a communist regime to a democratic one and its state-controlled economy to one based on a free market. While engaged in this daunting task, the country has also had to deal with the precipitous decline in international power and influence that accompanied the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, loss of empire in Eastern Europe, and defeat in its superpower struggle with the United States. Begun with high hopes of a smooth transition to free market democracy, this transformation instead produced a decade-long economic collapse and very fragile democratic and capitalist institutions.  In the 2000s, President Vladimir Putin ushered in a highly centralized political system that was marked by excessive executive power, severe restrictions on civil liberties, human rights, and media freedoms, and manipulated and fraudulent elections.  Essentially, Russia has returned to authoritarian rule despite retaining some of the trappings of democratic politics.

 

This course will introduce students to the political development in Russia from 1917 to the present. It is vitally necessary to have some background on the Soviet system if one is to understand the contemporary situation. Thus, we will spend the first one-third of the course examining the birth, life, and death of the Soviet Union. After this, we will discuss the twin challenges of democratization and radical market reform facing the new post-Soviet Russian state. We will examine competing explanations including culture, institutions, and leadership decisions that can account for the difficulties Russia has had establishing a functional democracy and market economy.

 

Texts:

 

M. Steven Fish, Democracy Derailed in Russia.

Z. Barany and R. Moser (eds.), Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization.

 

Grading:

 

Test I                                    30%

Test II                                    30%

Take-home Essay            30%

Participation                        10%

 

 

GOV 365N • Comparative Polit Institutions

38643 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Description:

Political institutions are the rules that govern politics.  Constitutions, electoral systems, federalism, legislative rules, and laws governing civil-military relations are just some of the examples of political institutions that permeate political systems and thus affect our lives every day.  Not surprisingly, the “rules of the game” have important consequences on how politics work and what type of outcomes are produced.  It matters whether a political system is presidential or parliamentary, has a plurality or proportional representation (PR) electoral system, or is a unitary or federal system.  Moreover, the impact of rules is surprisingly broad.  Scholars have argued that political institutions affect everything from the number of political parties and the proportion of women or minorities in the legislature to the degree of ethnic conflict and the level of corruption.   

This course will introduce students to the role of political institutions in comparative politics. The first part of the course examines the concept of institutions – what they are (and are not), their origins, and how they change.  The rest of the course examines specific institutions, most notably presidential versus parliamentary systems, electoral systems (especially the contrast between plurality and PR systems), federalism, and the court system.  In the process, we will examine specific effects commonly attributed to political institutions, especially the type of party system, the election of women and ethnic minorities, ethnic relations and conflict, and the stability of democracy itself.

Proposed Assignments and Grading:

Test I            20%
Test II            20%
Take-home Essay    25%
Take-home Essay    25%
Participation        10%

 

Proposed Texts:

A. Lijphart, 2008. Thinking About Democracy: Power Sharing and Majority Rule in Theory and Practice.
R. Moser, 2001. Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Representation in Russia.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

39110 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm ART 1.102
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

Books Published

Electoral Systems and Political Context: How the Effects of Rules Vary Across New and Established Democracies (with E. Scheiner) (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Moser and Scheiner Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Is Democracy Exportable? (coedited with Z. Barany) (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Is Democracy Exportable Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ethnic Politics After Communism (coedited with Z. Barany) (Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005) 

Ethnic Politics After Communism Cover

 

 

 

 

 


Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Representation in Russia (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001)

unexpected outcomes cover

 

 

 

 

 

 


Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization (coedited with Z. Barany) (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

Challenges of Democratization Cover

Journal Articles

“Ethnicity and Electoral Manipulation in Russia,” (with Regina Goodnow and Tony Smith), Electoral Studies, forthcoming.

"Between Science and Engineering: Reflections on the APSA Presidential Task Force on Political Science, Electoral Rules, and Democratic Governance," (Htun et al) Perspectives on Politics, Sept. 2013

“Electoral Rules and Political Inclusion,” (with Mona Lena Krook) in Political Science, Electoral Rules, and Democratic Governance. Report of the Task Force on Electoral Rules and Democratic Governance, Edited by Mala Htun and G. Bingham Powell, Jr. (2013)

“Layers of Ethnicity: The Effects of Ethnic Federalism, Majority-Minority Districts, and Minority Concentration on the Electoral Success of Ethnic Minorities in Russia,” (with Regina Goodnow) Comparative Political Studies Vol. 45, No. 2 (2012), pp. 238-264.

“Do Ethnic Parties Exclude Women?” (with Stephanie Holmsten and Mary Slosar) Comparative Political Studies Vol. 43, No. 10 (2010), pp. 1179–1201.

“The Impact of Minority-Majority Districts: Evidence from Ukraine,” (with Julie George and Marko Papic) Post-Soviet Affairs Vol. 26, No. 1 (2010), pp. 58-76.

“Strategic Voting in Mixed-Member Systems: An Analysis of Split-Ticket Voting,” (with Ethan Scheiner) Electoral Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1 (2009), pp. 51-61.

“Electoral Systems and the Representation of Ethnic Minorities: Evidence from Russia,”
Comparative Politics, Vol. 40, No. 3 (2008), pp. 273-292.

“Strategic Ticket Splitting and the Personal Vote in Mixed Systems: A Reconceptualization with Data from Five Countries,” (with Ethan Scheiner) Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. XXX (2005), pp. 259-276.

“Mixed Electoral Systems and Electoral System Effects: Controlled Comparison and Cross- National Analysis,” (with Ethan Scheiner) Electoral Studies, Vol. 23, No. 4 (2004), pp. 575-599.

"The Effects of Electoral Systems on Women's Representation in Post-Communist States," Electoral Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 353-369.

"Electoral Systems and the Number of Parties in Post-Communist States," World Politics, Vol. 51, No. 3 (1999), pp. 359-384.

"Independents and Party Formation: Elite Partisanship as an Intervening Variable in Russian Politics," Comparative Politics, Vol. 31, No. 2 (1999), pp. 147-165.

"The Impact of Parliamentary Electoral Systems in Russia," Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1997), pp. 284-302.

"The Impact of the Electoral System on Post-Communist Party Development: The Case of the 1993 Russian Parliamentary Elections," Electoral Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4 (1995), pp. 377-398.

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