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Colorful fo election vote, hand holding
About Me

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University (SUNY) and Co-Editor of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties.


I joined the political science faculty at Binghamton University (SUNY) in 2013 after previously holding positions at the University of Missouri, Leiden University (the Netherlands), and Syracuse University. My research broadly addresses issues of democratic representation, such as  the relationship between electoral rules and political party systems, voting behavior, and the representation of voter interests through political parties. Although I'm interested in the way democratic systems work around the globe, my research often focuses on Europe, the United States, and established democracies more generally. Several of my current research projects address electoral geography and representation, perceptions of party policy positions, and support for challenger parties.


You can find a copy of my cv here

 Journal Articles


Best, Robin E. 2023. "Are leftist or rightist voters better substantively represented? The effects of variance in district magnitude on party-voter ideological congruence." Electoral Studies 82.


Moral, Mert, and Robin E. Best. 2023. “On the Relationship Between Party Polarization and Citizen Polarization.” Party Politics 29(2): 203-409.

Best, Robin E., Steve B. Lem, Daniel B. Magleby, & Michael D. McDonald. 2022. “Do Redistricting Commissions Avoid Partisan Gerrymanders?” American Politics Research 50(3), 379–395.

Best, Robin E. and Didem Seyis. 2021. “How Do Voters Perceive Ideological Congruence? The Effects of Winning and Losing Under Different Electoral Rules.” Electoral Studies 69: 102201.

Best, Robin E. 2020. “Do Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties in the Legislature Affect Representation in Government? A Cross-National Analysis.” Representation 56(3): 367-386.


Best, Robin E., Daniel B. Magleby, and Michael D. McDonald. 2020. Detecting Florida’s Gerrymander: A Lesson for Law and Social Science.” Social Science Quarterly 101(1): 37-52.


Krasno, Jonathan, Daniel B. Magleby, Michael D. McDonald, Shawn Donahue, and Robin E. Best. 2019. “Can Gerrymanders Be Measured? An Examination of Wisconsin’s State Assembly.” American Politics Research 47(5): 1162-1201

Best, Robin E., Shawn J. Donahue, Jonathan Krasno, Daniel B. Magleby, and Michael D. McDonald. 2018.“Considering the Prospects for Establishing a Packing Gerrymandering Standard.” Election Law Journal 17(1): 1-20.


Best, Robin E., Shawn J. Donahue, Jonathan Krasno, Daniel B. Magleby, and Michael D. McDonald. 2018.“Authors’ Response – Values and Validations: Proper Criteria for Comparing Standards for Packing Gerrymanders.” Election Law Journal 17(1); 82-84.


Best, Robin E., Ian Budge, and Michael D. McDonald. 2017. “Jettisoning Illusions About the Mandate.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 43(1): 11-20.

McDonald, Michael D. and Robin E. Best. 2015. “Unfair Partisan Gerrymanders in Politics and Law: A Diagnostic Applied to Six Cases.”  Election Law Journal, 14(4): 312-330.


Best, Robin E. and Andrei Zhirnov. 2015. "The Perils and Pitfalls of Ignoring Disproportionality's Behavioral Components." Electoral Studies, 40: 256-267.


Best, Robin E. 2013. How Party System Fragmentation has Altered Political Opposition in Western Democracies. Government and Opposition, 48(3): 314-342.


McDonald, Michael D., Ian Budge, and Robin E. Best. 2012. “Electoral Majorities, Political Parties, and Collective Representation.” Comparative Political Studies, 45(9): 1104–1131.


Best, Robin E. 2012. “The Long and the Short of It: Electoral Laws and the Dynamics of Party System Size in Western Democracies, 1950-2005.” European Journal of Political Research, 51(2): 147-165.


Best, Robin E., Ian Budge and Michael D. McDonald. 2012. Representation as a Median Mandate versus Bilateralism: Taking a Cross-National Perspective. European Journal of Political Research, 51(1): 1-23.


Best, Robin E. 2011. “The Declining Electoral Relevance of Traditional Cleavage Groups.” European Political Science Review, 3(2): 279-300.


Best, Robin E., and Steve B. Lem. 2011. "Electoral Volatility, Competition, and Third Party Candidacies in US Gubernatorial Elections." Party Politics, 17(5): 611-628.


Best, Robin E. 2010. “Increasing Irrationality? The Equilibrium Relationship between Electoral and Legislative Party System Size, 1950–2005.” Electoral Studies, 29(1): 105-116.


McDonald, Michael D., and Robin Best. 2006. “Equilibria and Restoring Forces in Models of Vote Dynamics.” Political Analysis, 14(4): 369-392.

Book Chapters

Magleby, Daniel B., Michael D. McDonald, Jonathan Krasno, Shawn J. Donahue, and Robin E. Best. “Analyzing Gerrymandering’s Offense to Electoral Integrity.” Forthcoming in Challenges of U.S. Electoral Integrity. Eds. Pippa Norris, Sarah Cameron and Thomas Wynter. New York: Oxford University Press.


Best, Robin E. and Michael D. McDonald. 2016. “Models in Political Science: Forms and Purposes. In Hans Keman and Jaap Woldendorp (eds.) Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Best, Robin E. 2013. “Using Manifesto Left-Right Estimates to “Centre” Survey Estimates of Political Party Placements.” In Andrea Volkens, Judith Bara, Ian Budge, Michael D. McDonald, Hans-Dieter Klingemann (eds.) Mapping Policy Preferences from Texts III. New York: Oxford University Press.


Best, Robin E. and Michael D. McDonald. 2011. “The Role of Party Policy Positions in the Operation of Democracy.” In Christopher J. Anderson and Russell J. Dalton (eds.) Citizens, Context, and Choice: How Institutional Structures Shape Citizen Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.

Public Essays

Public Essays


Republicans didn’t lose big in 2020 – they held onto statehouses and the power to influence future elections.” With Steve B. Lem. The Conversation. November 24, 2020.


Votes cast in November will shape Congress through 2030.” With Steve B. Lem. The Conversation. September 25, 2020.

Wisconsin’s state legislative districts are a big Republican gerrymander.” With Jonathan Krasno,Michael D. McDonald, Daniel B. Magley, and Shawn Donahue. The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage. May 24, 2016.


PLSC 113     Introduction to Comparative Politics



PLSC 311     West European Politics

PLSC 389J    Elections Around the World

PLSC 485Q  Representation and Democracy


PLSC 485E   Elections & Geography

PLSC 500     Research Methods and Statistics I


PLSC 663V   Comparative Political Parties and Elections


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