I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Center for Ibero-American Studies at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague, Czechia. I graduated from Miami University (M.A., 2006) and Palacký University in Olomouc (Ph.D., 2011).
My research focuses on comparative politics in Latin America and Central Europe. I study the origins and effects of political institutions, particularly electoral rules. Discovering forgotten constitutional episodes, such as the 1907 adoption of compulsory voting in parts of Austria-Hungary, brings me Indiana Jones-like moments of joy. The rediscovery of the first Central European proposal to adopt a proportional electoral system (by Karel Sladkovský in 1875) on the dusty shelves of a university library has inspired me to consider the pros and cons of proportional versus majoritarian elections more systematically. But I have worked on other electoral rules as well, especially gauging the origins and effects of presidential term limits in Latin America.
Another strand of my research deals with voting behavior - especially of the not-so-ordinary variety - like boycotting elections by voters or turning out but not really voting. I co-authored the first review article on invalid voting research - an immensely diverse and intriguing category of ballots. In general, I am puzzled by how institutions shape and mold (and sometimes fail in that) the decision of voters and their very participation in elections.
My overarching concern is the state of democracy. I have followed the dramatic collapse of democracy in Nicaragua, tried to understand how electoral competition affects democratic stability in Latin America, and studied the tradeoffs involved in pursuing a healthy local democracy.
My research has been published by general interest political science journals (such as Government and Opposition, European Political Science Review, Democratization, Contemporary Politics, Public Choice and Electoral Studies) as well as specialized area studies journals focused on Latin America (Latin American Politics and Society, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Revista de Ciencia Política, América Latina Hoy) and post-communist Europe (East European Politics and Societies, Czech Sociological Review).