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Kenneth F. Greene


Kenneth F. Greene

Kenneth F. Greene
University of Texas At Austin  US

Kenneth F Greene is a political scientist, specializing in the study of authoritarian regimes and transitions to democracy as well as political parties and voting behaviour in new democracies. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and is Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. His first book, Why Dominant Parties Lose: Mexico’s Democratization in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2007) won the Best Book Award from the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association. His more recent work examines vote buying in the developing world and in pursuit of that interest he served as Principal Investigator on the Mexico 2012 Panel Study that interviewed thousands of ordinary citizens multiple times during that year’s general election campaigns. His research utilizes a combination of formal mathematical modelling, statistical analysis, and in-depth study akin to anthropological style fieldwork.



While in residence, Professor Greene’s will work on a new project on political finance and party system stability in Latin America's new democracies. The degree of stability varies tremendously across the region. For instance, in Mexico and Chile, the same political parties compete over time, whereas in Ecuador and Peru there is a constantly changing tapestry of party labels. The current literature does not have a good argument for why robust party systems take root in some countries making the transition from authoritarianism to democracy but not in others. Consolidated party systems enhance political representation and accountability, create more stable patterns of coalition-building in legislatures, and strengthen democratic institutions against anti-system actors. Where party systems are less consolidated, both democratic governance and the stability of democracy are more vulnerable. In this project, I argue that party system consolidation responds to 1) the degree of competition in prior authoritarian regimes, and 2) party finance laws and practices in new democracies that concentrate or disperse political resources. The findings from this project will have relevance not only for academics but also for policy-makers interested in democracy promotion and the reform of political finance.

Stay period: AUG 14 - JUN 15