Anders Woller Nielsen defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science

Anders Woller NielsenCandidate

Anders Woller Nielsen


"The Political Machine and Electoral Institutions. Targeting Voters, Brokers and the State".
The thesis is available as an e-book via Academic books.

Time and venue

Monday 4 May 2020 at 15:30.
Link to attend the PhD defence:

Please note, the defence will be held in Zoom and will be recorded.
The recording will be publicly available through our website.

Assessment committee

  • Professor Anne Rasmussen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (chair)
  • Assistant Professor Jessica Gottlieb, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University
  • Professor Thad Dunning, Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley


How do fraudulent incumbents control political elections? Whereas the presence of clientelism is well-documented, the interaction between such vote buying practices and another strategy, institutional design, remains an open question. This dissertation studies that very interaction and suggests that incumbent parties, under certain conditions, can mix vote buying with deliberate electoral institutional design to increase its chances of winning elections. The dissertation draws on original data from three different contexts, and the findings have important implications for widely used democratic initiatives.