J.S. Maloy

Professor and Kaliste Saloom Endowed Chair in Political Science , University of Louisiana Lafayette
Chapter Member: Oklahoma SSN

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About J.S.

Maloy’s teaching and research activities address overlooked but critical features of democratic regimes around the world, especially those involving the fit (or lack thereof) between ideologies and institutions. Using historical and theoretical perspectives, informed and supplemented by studies of how democratic politics actually operates, he finds that the empirical realities of inequality and oligarchy which other scholars have documented across the globe are often the product of deliberate institutional design. The appropriate meaning of the phrase “democratic reform” in our times must therefore be less about correcting abuses or turning over personnel than about re-evaluating purposes and redesigning institutions. Maloy’s previous research has emphasized in particular the oligarchic effects of periodic elections, which have displaced older, non-electoral forms of democratic accountability involving juries, audits, and impeachments. Despite bearing no grudge against the number two in general, he often finds himself, as an American citizen, directing his critical energies against two-house legislatures and two-party systems. (When public policy isn’t at stake, however, he very much enjoys watching two sports teams clash on the field of battle.)

In the News

Guest to discuss U.S. foreign policy under President-Elect Donald Trump on KRVS's Bayou to Beltway, J.S. Maloy (with Chad Parker and Rich Frankel), December 14, 2016.
Guest to discuss the strategies, the issues, and the outcomes of the 2016 Election on KRVS's Bayou to Beltway, J.S. Maloy (with Mike Stagg and Carol Ross), November 9, 2016.
Guest to discuss election-night programing on KLFY-News, J.S. Maloy, November 8, 2016.
Guest to discuss the Republican Convention on KRVS's Bayou to Beltway, J.S. Maloy (with Dr. Christie Maloyed), July 27, 2016.
Guest to discuss American presidential primaries and the general election on KOKI-TV’s Daybreak, J.S. Maloy, 2008.


"Intermediate Conditions of Democratic Accountability: A Response to Electoral Skepticism" Politics & Governance 3, no. 2 (2015): 76-89.
Builds on scholarly research that questions the ability of elections to make politicians accountable to voters in order to develop a "top ten" list of institutions where reform proposals could modify electoral processes to increase democratic accountability.
"Linkages of Electoral Accountability: Empirical Results and Methodological Lessons" Politics & Governance 2, no. 2 (2014): 13-27.
Reviews scholarly literature on both sides of the debate about whether periodic competitive elections can and do place effective sanctions in voters' hands to hold governments accountable, concluding that the growing trend of electoral skepticism has the better evidence and argument behind it.
Democratic Statecraft: Political Realism and Popular Power (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Explains how realistic theories of political power have been used to support democratic regimes, rather than oligarchic or autocratic systems, in five key episodes in the history of ideas, including the Populist movement in the United States in the 1880’s and 90’s.
"Real Utopias in a Gilded Age: The Case of American Populism" New Political Science 34 (2012): 372-379.
Describes the Populists’ proposals for reforming American political and economic institutions in the 1880’s and 90’s, and compares them to proposals for “emancipatory” and “participatory” democracy around the world today.
"The First Machiavellian Moment in America" American Journal of Political Science 55 (2011): 450-462.
Analyzes debates over unicameralism and impeachment in the early Massachusetts colony (from 1630 to 1650) between pro- and anti-democratic factions of puritans, with the pro-democratic side borrowing ideas about popular accountability from the works of Niccolo Machiavelli.