Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Snyder Observes Trends in Democracy Research

February 7, 2012

“What has the recent turn toward subnational analysis in comparative politics contributed to knowledge about democracy?” So asks Institute Professor Richard Snyder in a front-page article in the latest edition of ASPA-CD, the official newsletter of the American Political Science Association’s Comparative Democratization section. 

Snyder, director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the Watson Institute, co-authored the article, “Subnational Comparative Research on Democracy: Taking Stock and Looking Forward,” with his former student, Eduardo Moncada.

Moncada, now an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University and an assistant professor and faculty fellow at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, received his PhD in political science from Brown in 2011.

In the January 2012 edition of ASPA-CD, Snyder and Moncada’s article serves as the centerpiece of a symposium exploring the emerging literature on subnational democratization. The symposium surveys the research and its major findings, analyzes how subnational research contributes to our understanding of democratization, and assesses how subnational research differs from and complements cross-national research.

In their article, Snyder and Moncada “take stock of how the subnational comparative method has produced insights about key factors that fortify and, alternatively, challenge our knowledge of democracy,” exploring two generations of such research and identifying opportunities and difficulties associated with future research.