Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LECTURE- Tajikistan: Election Reform, Political Parties and the State, OSCE Office, Dushanbe, Aug. 21

Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies

LECTURE- Tajikistan: Election Reform, Political Parties and State, OSCE, Aug 21

Posted by: Payam Foroughi <>

As part of its Open Lecture Series, the OSCE Office in Tajikistan presents:

"Tajikistan: Election Reform, the Public, Political Parties, and the
State-An Empirical Approach"
By Mr. Navruz Nekbakhtshoev, Department of Political Science, Indiana
University, USA.

Thursday, 21 August, 4:15 PM
OSCE Office in Tajikistan
12 Zikrullo Khojaev St.
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Abstract: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, electoral reform has
been on the agenda of many post-Soviet or newly independent states. In
Tajikistan, too, election laws have been rewritten several times. This
study attempts to trace electoral system change in Tajikistan since
1990. It also seeks to determine the thoughts, intentions, and driving
forces behind the State, political parties, and the public in relation
to the issue of elections and electoral reform. The study highlights
major reform proposals agreed upon by the majority of parties and the
Central Election Committee at a summer 2008 International Foundation
for Electoral Systems (IFES)-sponsored roundtable and addresses the
parties' motives behind their proposals. To identify the factors
driving the choice of electoral system in Tajikistan, the study draws
on interviews with the deputies and chairmen of eight recognized
political parties and a set of focus groups with voting age citizens.
The evidence drawn from the interviews favors an interest-based
explanation as the basis for electoral rule change, rather than
normative commitments to pluralist politics. In particular, main
political parties in Tajikistan choose institutional designs to
maximize self interest and protect their position vs. other opposition
parties. The study concludes, among other things, that reform of the
election law in Tajikistan is solely driven by the dominant party's
evaluation of electoral performance and as such it is less of a
co-operative endeavor concerned with free and fare elections.

Bio: Navruz Nekbakhtshoev is a PhD student in Political Science at
Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. His concentration is
comparative politics with an emphasis on democratization in the
post-Soviet space. He is particularly interested in researching
electoral and party systems, contentious politics, and regime change.
Nekbakhtshoev obtained his MA in Social and Public Policy from
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, USA, while having been a recipient
of the Edmund Muskie Graduate Fellowship (2005-06). Later, and while
commencing his PhD studies at Indiana University, he became an Aga
Khan Foundation International Scholar (2006-08 academic years). He has
also worked for the US-based Social Science Research Council.
Nekbakhtshoev is currently completing a short-term research assignment
on Election Reform with the OSCE Office in Tajikistan.

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