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Assistant Professor of Political Science
Office Location(s): 7725 Haven Hall734.615.5685
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Professor McElwain studies the comparative politics of institutional design, particularly in Japan and other advanced industrialized democracies. His current book manuscript examines how partisan incentives influence the initial selection and subsequent manipulation of electoral systems, and how these choices can help unpopular governments to stay in power. Other research topics include the organizational principles of political parties and the procedural complexity of constitutional amendments. His work is motivated by a general interest in asymmetrical party systems: legislatures where one large party coexists with multiple small parties. These cases represent idiosyncrasies in “normal” forms of party competition and have distinctive patterns of government composition, policy, and longevity.
Professor McElwain joined the political science faculty at Michigan in Fall 2008, following post-doctoral appointments at Stanford and Harvard. He was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan.
Center for Japanese Studies
School of Social Work Building1080 South University Ave.Suite 4640
Ann Arbor, MI