Didi Kuo

Didi Kuo

Associate Director for Research, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN
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About Didi

Kuo is a scholar of comparative and American politics. Her research focuses on democratization, political parties, and the relationship of democracy and capitalism. Kuo engages with civic groups and policymakers interested in political reform.

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

"The Paradox of Party Polarization," Didi Kuo, The American Interest, March 27, 2018.


"Electoral System Reform in the United States," Stanford Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, March 14, 2014.

Explains the drawbacks of single-member district, first-past-the-post elections. Advocates for preferential voting and proportional representation, drawing on the experiences of New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, and other countries that have reformed their electoral systems.

"Clientelism, Capitalism, and Democracy: The Rise of Programmatic Politics in the United States and Britain" (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Explains how parties transition from clientelism towards programmatic politics. Uses the historical cases of the United States and Britain to advance a theory of capitalist interests against clientelism. Shows how new economic actors pushed for programmatic reforms.

"The Contradictions of Democratic Innovation in the United States" in The Governance Report 2017, edited by Helmut Anheier (Oxford University Press, 2017), 43-56.

Describes why there are two trajectories of reform at the state level: one that tries to open the franchise and lower the cost of voting, and another that creates barriers to voting. Explains the history of voting rights in America and argues that access to the ballot remains contested.