Ambition Without Democracy: Changing Selection Rules and Candidate Risk Attitudes

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.

Guzel seminar

Comparative institutional studies have shown that the way we select public officials affects their behavior in office. Much less is known about how different selection procedures impact the types of individuals that choose to seek a political career, which would constitute one of the mechanisms connecting institutions and leader behavior.

Guzel Garifullina argues that certain properties of the selection process lead to self-selection based on risk attitudes. Using a series of laboratory experiments in Russia, she demonstrates that higher costs of candidacy and public accountability of the selected officials lead to an increased role of risk-seeking in the decision to pursue an office. These findings imply, for example, that in hybrid regimes pro-regime candidates would be more risk-averse than the opposition candidates. The study expands the scholarship on ambition and candidacy in electoral autocracies.


Guzel Garifullina
Guzel Garifullina is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on authoritarian politics, Russian local politics and governance, and bureaucratic behavior. Guzel is currently working on several projects that try to improve our understanding of the Russian state and the incentives faced by its local agents. Furthermore, she explores public participation both online and through regime-approved local initiatives to identify the potential for citizen self-organization at the local level, even as the national regime pressure on any forms of dissent has grown exponentially. Guzel's co-authored work on Russian regional elites appeared in Post-Soviet Affairs, Comparative Political Studies, Demokratizatsiya, and Europe-Asia Studies.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.