March 20, 2019, 6:22 p.m.

A word to the Reader

Edotorial column

Dear colleagues and friends,
We start to release a new academic journal “Electoral Politics”.
The question is - for what goal?
From our point of view, elections are object combining many different sciences – the law, political science, sociology, social psychology, political geography, statistics, etc. We would desire that problems of elections were studied in a complex and representatives of different sciences could find a common language. For this purpose, firstly, this narrow-focused and cross-disciplinary journal is created.
We have one more important goal. Initiators of journal's creation are the Russian researchers. Russia is the country where democratic transformations were suspended, and political processes have multidirectional dynamics. Elections in Russia strongly differ from elections in the countries with long democratic traditions, but have many common features with elections in other postcommunist countries and with the countries undergoing democratic transit. However, journals about elections published in other countries pay to these specific features insufficient attention.
Therefore, we would like to pay the main attention to a research of elections in the countries of new democracy, including Russia and other postcommunist countries, and to comparative researches. Besides elections, related topics such as referendum, party construction, problems of development and the status of political parties also have to be in the field of our attention.
The journal is going to be scientific. Accordingly, to all articles we demand standard for the scientific journals' requirements: a novelty, scientific level of problems' study, existence of the scientific bibliography. Along with research articles, we plan to release discussion papers, reviews, materials of conferences and round tables, etc. All articles will undergo scientific reviewing.
The journal is going to be electronic. In our opinion, the efficiency of the print edition of the journal and its transfer to readers is low in the conditions of broad development of the Internet. At the same time, we will try to use opportunities of the electronic version to make the journal more convenient for readers.
The journal is going to be international. Because of specifics of the Russian audience, which as we hope, will take the important place in the general audience of the journal, we do the journal bilingual. Articles and other materials are welcomed in both English and Russian. The first issue of the journal includes all materials in both languages. We hope that we will have enough resources further to continue to release the journal in parallel in two languages.
The first issue of the journal predominantly consists of articles connected with application of mathematical methods in electoral researches. There is the reason. We hope to focus on this direction further.
The first article of the first issue is dedicated to development of toolkit of electoral cleavages researches is written by Yurii Korgunyuk. The author suggests a number of the new indexes intended for a research of cleavages at the microlevel, which the author considers as the level of separate elections.
Andrei Buzin in the article suggests modification of a Sobyanin-Sukhovolsky method known since the beginning of the 1990th. The method was designed to reveal falsifications of type of a ballot-stuffing, but the new modification allows to expand its application and can give more information about behavior of different groups of electorate.
Arkady Lyubarev analyzes intraregional distinctions of a wide range of electoral indicators and their dynamics on Russian elections (federal and regional) over the period of more than twenty years.
In Sergei Shpagin's article an attempt of the analysis of the party systems's electoral instability based on the Russian regional elections is made. The author suggests modifying the traditional assessment of volatility taking into account structural changes in a party system.
Alexey Petrov in detail describes presidential elections in Mongolia in 2017 where the second round was held for the first time in the history of the country and which were interesting in many respects.
Kirill Kalinin's article and the discussion begun around it should be especially noted. Recently Walter Mebane and Kirill Kalinin suggested the method of assessment of falsifications level on elections. Using the method, in article offered for the present issue of the journal Kirill Kalinin assessed falsifications level on the Russian federal elections of 2011-2012 and compared the results to the data obtained by other methods. At the same time in the media appeared estimates concerning the last federal Russian elections of 2016 and 2018 by Kirill Kalinin, which caused a hot discussion in the Internet, where received results and method were highly criticized. In this regard, we gave an opportunity to one of critics of this method Alexander Shen to state the remarks. W. Mebane gave the answer on these remarks. We do not exclude the discussion will be continued in the following issues of the journal.
Vladimir Gelman writes the last but not the least article of the issue of journal. This is a book review The Routledge Handbook of Elections, Voting Behavior, and Public Opinion.
I hope, our new journal will find the reader, and the circle of authors will extend.
Arkadii Lyubarev