Portrait of Dr Edward Morgan-Jones

Dr Edward Morgan-Jones

Reader in Comparative Politics

About

Edward Morgan-Jones joined the School of Politics and International Relations at Kent as Lecturer in Comparative Politics in 2009 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2014 and Reader in 2019. Since 2020 he serves as Divisional Director of Graduate Studies in the Division of Human and Social Sciences. Dr Morgan-Jones received his DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford in 2004 and before joining the School was Research Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Keble College, University of Oxford.

His research investigates the origins, effects and legitimacy of political institutions in developed and developing democracies. Projects have addressed constitutional choice, the impact of semi-presidential and parliamentary government on democratic accountability and representation, the impact of constitutional rules on cabinet composition and termination and the influence of prime ministers and directly and indirectly elected presidents on early election calling.

In a recent project funded by the United States Institute for Peace, with Neo Loizides, Feargal Cochrane and Laura Sudulich, he investigates citizen preferences in the design of effective peace processes. Using conjoint survey experiments in Northern Ireland and Cyprus this project probes how the design of peace settlement and border arrangements shape citizen attitudes towards these institutions in post-conflict societies. In an additional line of work he is investigating citizen support for climate change polices also using survey experimental methods with Frank Grundig.   

His research has been published in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, European Journal of Political Research and Post-Soviet Affairs among other outlets. He has also published a book entitled ‘Constitutional Bargaining in Russia 1990-1993: Institutions and Uncertainty’. Dr Morgan-Jones regularly presents his work to the policy community including the UN, World Bank and IMF as well as commenting in the international media on the policy implications of his research. 

Research interests

  • Constitutional choice and its consequences
  • Parliamentary and semi-presidential regimes
  • Cabinet composition, termination and early elections
  • Democratic accountability, representation and policy making
  • Citizens' attitudes toward peace settlements and border arrangement

Teaching

Undergraduate

Supervision

Edward has a successful record of research supervision and was awarded the University of Kent's Graduate School's prize for Research Supervision in 2019. He has supervised six PhD research students through to completion. His aim in supervision is to enable students to develop research projects that make clear theoretical contributions, tested in an empirically rigorous manner, often with the collection of original data and written up with an eye to a wider disciplinary audience and broader policy debates. His research students have published their dissertation work in internationally recognised scholarly journals such as Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics and the Journal of Peace Research and gone on to careers in academia and public service. 

He welcomes research students interested in questions related to the choice, operation and effects of political institutions including constitutions, political parties, electioral systems, executives and legislatures either comparatively or in particular countries.

Edward is also interested in supervising projects that address questions related to border institutions and peace settlement institutional design in post-conflict countries or divided societies, as well as citizen attitudes towards these insitutions and the peace settlement solutions they offer. 

Current research students


Morvan Lallouet
Explaining Russian Liberalism Successes and Failures: The Case of Alexei Navalny


Past research students


Ian Rowe (2015)
Participation and Deliberation in Network Publics: The Case of Social Media Sites

James Downes (2017)
Explaining Centre Right Party Success in an era of Populism

Dee Goddard (2019)
The Appointment of Women to Ministerial Positions Across Europe: Presence, Portfolios and Policy

Emir Kulov (2019)
Party Institutionalization in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan: Between Political Uncertainty and the Logic of Electoral Mobilization

Robert Nagel (2019)
Gendered Influences on Conflict Resolution in Intrastate Conflicts

Daniel Belling (2020)
The Politics of Fiscal Monitoring

Professional

Member of the American Political Science Association and the European Political Science Association.

Publications

Article

  • Morgan-Jones, E. and Schleiter, P. (2018). Presidential Influence on Parliamentary Election Timing and the Electoral Fate of Prime Ministers. Journal of Legislative Studies [Online] 24:211-226. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13572334.2018.1477273.
    Most presidential heads of state in parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies have constitutional powers to influence early election calling. They can therefore affect under which conditions prime ministers are held accountable by the electorate. Do these presidents use their powers to shape the timing of early elections for partisan advantage and to influence the electoral performance of incumbent prime ministers? We examine this question using data from 193 elections in eighteen European democracies (1945-2013). Our results indicate that presidents use their dissolution powers to shape the frequency of early elections and to influence under which conditions elections occur, affecting the electoral success of prime ministers. Presidents with significant influence on the dissolution of parliament enable prime ministers of governments that include the president's party to realize a significant electoral bonus compared to governments that exclude the party of the president.
  • Schleiter, P. and Morgan-Jones, E. (2018). Presidents, Assembly Dissolution and the Electoral Performance of Prime Ministers. Comparative Political Studies [Online] 51:730-758. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010414017710267.
    Many European presidents have extensive constitutional powers to affect the timing of early parliamentary elections, which enables them to influence when incumbent governments must face the electorate. This paper examines whether presidents use their assembly dissolution powers for partisan benefit. To date, presidential activism in the electoral arena of parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies remains poorly understood. We hypothesize that presidents use their powers to influence election calling for the advantage of their political allies in government. To test this argument, we use data on 190 elections in eighteen European democracies. Our results suggest that presidents with significant dissolution powers are able to shape the electoral success of incumbents. Prime ministers whose governments are allied to such presidents realize a vote and seat share bonus of around five per cent. These findings have implications for our understanding of presidential activism, strategic parliamentary dissolution and electoral accountability.
  • Schleiter, P. and Morgan-Jones, E. (2010). Who’s in Charge? Presidents, Assemblies, and the Political Control of Semipresidential Cabinets. Comparative Political Studies [Online] 43:1415-1441. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010414010371904.
    This article develops an account of who controls Europe’s semi-presidential cabinets politically. The authors ask which actors negotiate cabinet composition and what shapes who is in charge of the cabinet—questions that have been the focus of key debates about the political consequences of this regime type since Duverger. This article proposes and tests a principal—agent account of semi-presidential governments as controlled by the president and assembly parties whose constitutional and electoral authority and ability to act on behalf of the voters critically shapes their influence on the government. The authors test their argument using data on 218 cabinets in 13 Eastern and Western European semi-presidential regimes (1945—2005).
  • Schleiter, P. and Morgan-Jones, E. (2009). Constitutional Power and Competing Risks: Monarchs, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and the Termination of East and West European Cabinets. American Political Science Review [Online] 103:496-512. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003055409990062.
    Some European constitutions give cabinets great discretion to manage their own demise, whereas others limit their choices and insert the head of state into decisions about government termination. In this article, we map the tremendous variation in the constitutional rules that govern cabinet termination and test existing expectations about its effects on a government's survival and mode of termination. In doing so, we use the most extensive government survival data set available to date, the first to include East and West European governments. Our results demonstrate that constitutional constraints on governments and presidential influence on cabinet termination are much more common than has previously been understood and have powerful effects on the hazard profiles of governments. These results alter and improve the discipline's understanding of government termination and durability, and have implications for comparative work in a range of areas, including the survival and performance of democracies, electoral accountability, opportunistic election calling, and political business cycles.
  • Schleiter, P. and Morgan-Jones, E. (2009). Party government in Europe? Parliamentary and semi?presidential democracies compared. European Journal of Political Research [Online] 48:665-693. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6765.2009.00847.x.
    Control over government portfolios is the key to power over policy and patronage, and it is commonly understood to lie with parties in European democracies. However, since the democratic transitions of the 1990s, Europe has had nearly equal numbers of parliamentary and semi-presidential regimes, and there is evidence that the ability of parties to control government posts in these two regime types differs. As yet, political scientists have a limited understanding of the scale and causes of these differences. In this article a principal-agent theoretical explanation is proposed. Data are examined on 28 parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies in Europe that shows that differences in party control over government portfolios cannot be understood without reference to the underlying principal-agent relationships between voters, elected politicians and governments that characterise Europe's semi-presidential and parliamentary regimes.
  • Schleiter, P. and Morgan-Jones, E. (2009). Review Article: Citizens, Presidents and Assemblies: The Study of Semi-Presidentialism beyond Duverger and Linz. British Journal of Political Science [Online] 4:871-892. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007123409990159.
    Semi-presidential regimes have attracted increasing attention from scholars and constitutional reformers over the last quarter century. Yet, despite this popularity, there is no consensus on how to understand this constitutional format. Since Duverger defined semi-presidentialism as a ‘new political system model’, and Linz argued that the constitutional format shares many of the ‘perils of presidentialism’, subsequent research has questioned the conceptual status of semi-presidentialism as a distinct regime type, and whether it has any distinct effects on politics. In this article we review the progress of recent work on semi-presidentialism and suggest that the conceptual tools to clarify some of the major debates in the field are now available in the form of principal–agent theoretical work on democratic constitutions.
  • Schleiter, P. and Morgan-Jones, E. (2007). Semipresidencialismo: decisions constitucionales y consecuencias politicas. Politica y Gobierno 14:514-524.
  • Morgan-Jones, E. and Schleiter, P. (2005). Power to the Presidents: Democracy and Constitutional Innovation. World Today 61:5-6.
    As the election campaign gets under way, the signs are that all is not well with British democracy. Turnout in the election expected in May is likely to drop even below the dismal 59 percent of the last national poll in 2001, itself the lowest response since 1945. Opinion polls put this down to electoral dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Tony Blair's leadership and the alternatives on offer. Analysts and pollsters chart a picture of a disenchanted electorate that feels increasingly unable to hold its leaders accountable at election time. But there are alternatives and the semi-presidential systems of eastern Europe are showing the way.
  • Morgan-Jones, E. and Schleiter, P. (2004). Governmental Change in a President-Parliamentary Regime: The Case of Russia 1994-2003. Post-Soviet Affairs [Online] 20:123-163. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2747/1060-586X.20.2.123.
    Two specialists on Russian politics examine governmental stability and change in Russia from 1994 to 2003, using opinion poll results, economic and election data, Duma stenograms, memoir and biographical literature, press reports, and current-events almanacs. Rival explanations are assessed for variations in governmental stability over time and compromise over governmental composition. Bargaining, constitutional, and political-contextual explanations are examined.
  • Morgan-Jones, E. and Schleiter, P. (2004). The Eastern Enlargement of the EU and the Semi-Presidential Revolution. Journal of European Affairs 3:10-12.

Book section

  • Morgan-Jones, E. and Schleiter, P. (2017). Presidentes, calendario e demospenho elecitoral does primeiros-ministros. In: Costa Pinto, A. and Canelas Rapaz, P. J. eds. Presidentes E (Semi)Presidentcialismo Nas Democracias Contemporaneas. Lisbon, Portugal: Imprensa de Ciencias Sociais, pp. 61-77.
  • Morgan-Jones, E. and Schleiter, P. (2008). Russia: the benefits and perils of presidential leadership. In: Semi-Presidentialialism in Central and Eastern Europe. Manchester University Press, pp. 159-179.

Book

  • Morgan-Jones, E. (2010). Constitutional Bargaining in Russia 1990-1993: Institutions and Uncertainty. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge.
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