Welcome! My name is Abigail Heller and I'm a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Department at Emory University. My research is focused on comparative political institutions: electoral system change (i.e., electoral reform), electoral systems, party systems, and political parties. I study these topics across both democracies and autocracies.
My dissertation is three papers exploring understudied aspects of electoral reform: 1) the role of voters and what affects voter support for electoral reform; 2) electoral reforms other than changes to the electoral formula (or the way votes are translated to seats); and 3) the non-unitary nature of political parties and what affects support for electoral reform among individual legislators.
I have an M.A. in Political Science from Emory University. Prior to coming to Emory, I received my M.Sc. in Politics and Government in the European Union from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). My master's thesis was entitled "Nationalism versus Neoliberalism? Explaining Euroscepticism within the British Conservative Party". I received my B.A. in Government from Franklin and Marshall College (F&M). There, I received departmental honors and the Arthur King Kunkel Prize in Government for Excellence as Demonstrated by Independent Research for my thesis, "Electoral Reform in the United Kingdom: Lessons From the 2011 Alternative Vote Referendum".