Professor Sarah Shair-Rosenfield “Overcoming Uncertainty in New Democracies”

Professor Sarah Shair-Rosenfield is an A.T. Steele awardee for her work “Overcoming Uncertainty in New Democracies.” This book length manuscripts seeks to answer questions such as why are new democracies so much more likely to drastically and/or repeatedly reform their systems of elections when compared to older, more established democracies? This manuscript establishes a comparative framework that focuses on the role of uncertainty as it affects the process of electoral reform, and explains the recent rise in iterated reforms as a result of this uncertainty. Using the Indonesian case, in which three consecutive periods of electoral reform occurred between 1999 and 2014, Professor Shair-Rosenfield demonstrate how uncertainty affected the decision-making process in the earliest post-transition periods and subsequently constrained the choices elites faced in later reform adoptions.