Human-Social Information Sciences

Political Informatics C08

  • Assoc. Prof. Kazunori Kawamura    
  • Assoc. Prof. Masaaki Higashijima      
Keywordse-democracy, election, e-voting, political trust, information policy, autocracies, political regime change

Future of Electoral Integrity

We explore how electoral integrity can be improved in both developed and developing countries. We focus especially on (1) how political actors use ICT (Information Communication Technology) in advanced information society, (2) how does the qualified voter collect political information, and (3) what determines electoral fairness in the developing world. Methodologically, we use both quantitative and qualitative methods to approach those research questions. Below are a few research topics we are currently working on:  
The Great East Japan Earthquake and Election Environment
Some of victims evacuate outside the local government, so it is not easy for them to gain political information on, for instance, candidates in their hometowns, pledges of political parties, etc. In Japan, candidates were finally allowed to conduct the online electoral campaigns after the 2013 Upper House election. This project investigates whether this reform leads to improvement of election environment in the affected area. The maintenance of vote environment is important there because the victims look to politicians for help.
Autocratic Elections and Their Consequences 
This project explores how political institutions (elections, parties, and legislatures) in non-democracies are designed and what impacts those institutions have on citizens’ perception towards political leadership as well as economic policy and political regime change. This project utilizes a variety of methods including cross-national statistical analyses, comparative case studies, and survey and field experiments in Central Asia.  
  • Electronic Election Apparatus in Korea

  • Electoral Integrity Project Workshop held in Philadelphia, the U.S. (September 2016)