Alexander Baturo is an Associate Professor of Government, Dublin City University, Ireland. He works in comparative democratization, political leadership, and post-Soviet politics. His research focuses on presidentialism and personalism across the world, institutions in non-democracies, regime deinstitutionalisation, the effects of political leaders' background and traits on political and economic outcomes, the influence of institutions and the economy on leaders' behaviour and careers, computerised analyses of political rhetoric and the text-as-data methods. His work appeared in the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly and Public Choice. His book, Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits, was published by the Michigan University Press in 2014 and he is a co-editor of the Politics of Presidential Term Limits, 2019, Oxford UP. His work has been cited, inter alia, in the Washington Post and Tages Anzeiger. In the past, Alexander held visiting fellowships at the University of Leiden, the Essex University and the Perry World House of the University of Pennsylvania.
During Alexander’s time at ANU, he intends to work on a new project to improve measuring and understanding of policy change and continuity in non-democracies using text-as-data. The project will extend his previous research on political rhetoric and policy signaling to all post-Soviet countries, and will develop new arguments and theories about rhetoric presidency in non-democracies. It will also develop new tools to study policy positions of political leaders to improve our understanding of coalition bargaining and executive-legislative relations. The project will rely on the annual state-of-the-union addresses, speeches at the UN, as well as other important policy texts (e.g., annual investment forums) of all post-Soviet presidents and leaders of unrecognized states from 1991-2018. The project has an interdisciplinary appeal and will be of interest not only to political scientists but also to scholars of media and communications, as well as foreign policy practioners.
Dr Svitlana Chernykh whose school is hosting Alexander Baturo is collaborating with him on the project. Dr Chernykh, a world-class comparativist and an expert in post-Soviet and Ukrainian politics, will contribute her knowledge of executive politics and executive-legislative relations to the study of political positions and the rhetorical presidency. Also, the ability to discuss research with other empirical political scientists working in political methodology and comparative politics at the school, as well as with scholars affiliated with the College of Asia and the Pacific, will not only improve the current project but will also lead to further collaborations in other research areas.
Baturo’s presentation for the SPIR seminar series will be on “What UN Diplomatic Statements Reveal about the US-Russia Rivalry.” The paper is a part of a larger research project that is centred on the United Nations diplomatic speeches and what they reveal about foreign policy and international relations. Based on UN voting behavior, the US-Russia rivalry is effectively over in late 1980s. In contrast, based on positions revealed from texts, the divergence between the two countries is wider these days than it was during the Cold war. Alex will talk on why diplomatic rhetoric should be recognised as a distinct practice of inter-state rivalry, and discuss possible implications for foreign policy forecasting.
28 March 2019: Dr Baturo will be delivering a talk "Is it Really as Bad as the Cold War? What UN Diplomatic Statements Reveal about the US-Russia Rivalry” as part of the SPIR Seminar Series.