Rubén Ruiz-Rufino
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I am a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at King’s College London.

My research focuses on elections and political institutions in both emerging and well-established democracies.

Contact me:






  • 2015. Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions. (co-edited with Jennifer Gandhi) London: Routledge.


  • 2018. Democracy without Choice: Citizens’ perceptions of government’s autonomy during the Euro-zone crisis (with Sonia Alonso) in Democracy and Crisis: Challenges in Turbulent Times. Wolfgang Merkel and Sascha Kneip (eds.) Cham: Springer.

  • 2015. Ethnicity and Elections in Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions. Jennifer Gandhi and Rubén Ruiz-Rufino (eds.) London: Routledge.

  • 2015. Introduction in Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions. Jennifer Gandhi and Rubén Ruiz- Rufino (eds.) London: Routledge.

  • 2012. Las reglas electorales y sus efectos in Las Elecciones Europeas 2009. Joan Font and Mariano Torcal (eds.). Madrid: CIS.

  • 2003. Representación parlamentaria y conflicto étnico (with Sonia Alonso) in Minorías nacionales y conflicto étnico. Carmen González (ed): Madrid. UNED-Instituto Gutiérrez Mellado.



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  • Democracy tensioned: The effects of financial bailouts on citizens and parties during the Eurocrisis (Book project)

    This is the most ambitious project I am working on at this moment. The book project originates from a series of articles that I recently published with my co-author Sonia Alonso where we conceive the financial bailouts implemented in some countries during the Euro-crisis as a mechanism to explain the functioning of democracy in hyper-globalized contexts. The book will explore in more detail how bailouts have altered the idea citizens have about the way democracy work; the dilemmas that traditional establishment parties faced when they had to accept and implement such financial relief packages and, finally, the electoral consequences for these parties after supporting and implementing financial bailout. The book will make use of several datasets including a large dataset covering individual data form all Eurozone member states since 2001 and a second dataset with data aggregated for each election year.

  • Globalization and support for social-democracy With Lee Savage (King’s College London)

    Has social-democracy lost its capacity to govern? In this project, we analyze a possible mechanism explaining why social-democracy has shifted from being a dominant political platform in the electoral arena to a platform struggling to win elections. Our main argument lies in how social-democratic parties have faced the challenges put forward by globalization. Globalization has implied both an increase of flexibilization of labor markets but also changes in the capacity of governments to determine fiscal and monetary policies. Put together, these two consequences of globalization hit both voters and parties. On the party side, social-democratic platforms like Labour were successful to provide adequate policies to their constituents when they had sufficient control over fiscal tools like taxation and the budget. However, as countries became more interconnected, such control became less clear and social-democratic parties struggled to implement policies similar to those used in the past. This situation put social-democratic parties before the dilemma of abandoning principles of social democracy in order to keep high their electoral chances of victory but at the expense of losing much of its traditional support. On the voters’ side, globalization pushed some individuals to precarious working and living conditions. These voters no longer benefited from policies traditionally delivered by social-democratic parties and, as a consequence, they no longer supported these parties in the elections. We test these theoretical claims using a novel dataset that combines electoral and census data at the district level for all general elections in the United Kingdom since 1945.

  • Why do electoral observation missions occur? The importance of being trusted – With Nasos Roussias (University of Sheffield)

    In the last years, questions dealing with the causes and consequences of fraudulent elections have won popularity among political scientists. Scholars have been focusing on how fraudulent elections affect party systems; have explored how electoral systems account for fraudulent behavior or, under which conditions incumbents decide to commit electoral fraud. However, there has been little attention in exploring why a country would allow a third-party to monitor the elections and, likewise, why an international organization would be interested in deploying a mission to observe such election. In this project, we address this issue by arguing that electoral observation missions (EOMs) are observed when a particular set of conditions are met. EOMs occur in developing countries that need some international branding to improve their economic conditions. Using the trade flows between countries, we hypothesize that one way countries have to show their level of institutional trust is by allowing international organizations to monitor their elections. This decision comes with the cost of reducing the capacity of incumbents to rig the elections which put rulers, especially unpopular ones, in a trade-off between surviving in power and improving economic conditions.



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  • 2015 - present. Statistics for Political Science I. King’s College London

  • 2013 - 2017. Institutions, Economics and Change. King’s College London (syllabus)

  • 2014-2016. Failed Regimes, Elections and Fraud. King’s College London (syllabus)


  • 2018. Elections and Globalization.

  • 2015 - present. Quantitative Methods for Political Economy. MA Political Economy. King’s College London.