World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Taagepera, Rein

Article Id: WHEBN0011848283
Reproduction Date:

Title: Taagepera, Rein  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Forest Brothers, Paul Ariste, Latvian national partisans
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Taagepera, Rein

Rein Taagepera (born 28 February 1933) is an Estonian political scientist and politician.

Education

Born in Tartu, Estonia, Taagepera fled from occupied Estonia in 1944. Taagepera graduated from high school in Marrakech, Morocco and then studied physics in Canada and the United States. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1965. Working in industry until 1970, he received another M.A. in international relations in 1969 and switched to academe as a political scientist at the University of California, Irvine, where he stayed for his entire American career.

Career

Taagepera served as President of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies from 1986 until 1988. In 1991, he returned to Estonia as the founding dean of a new School of Social Sciences at the University of Tartu, which merged into a full-fledged faculty in 1994, and where he also became Professor of Political Science (1994–1998).

In 1991, he was a member of the Estonian Constitutional Assembly, and in 1992, he ran as a presidential candidate against Arnold Rüütel (3rd President of the Republic of Estonia, 2001–2006), and Lennart Meri (2nd President of the Republic of Estonia, 1992–2001), who won the election. Taagepera came in third with 23% of the popular vote. Later Taagepera admitted that one of the reasons why he ran, despite having little chance to win, was to take away votes from Rüütel and thus help Meri rise to the presidency.

In 2003, Taagepera agreed to serve for half a year as the founding chairman of a new political party, Res Publica, which won the general elections that year and lead the governing coalition under Prime Minister Juhan Parts until April 2005. Taagepera tried to hold the party more or less in the middle of the spectrum (Taagepera even suggested he was centre-left politician). In 2005, Taagepera resigned his Res Publica membership, frustrated with the party's leadership style and move to the right (refer to his essay, Meteoric trajectory). In April 2006, Res Publica decided to merge with the national-conservative Pro Patria Union party.

Taagepera's theoretical scholarly work, which mainly deals with electoral systems, is heavily quantitative and modelling in character and strongly informed by the epistemology of his previous field, physics. The quantitative approach is also his general attitude towards political science as a scholarly discipline. He recently systhematized numerous contributions in electoral systems theory into a general, quantitative theoretical framework, exposed in the volume Predicting Party Sizes: The Logic of Simple Electoral Systems (2007).

Taagepera's original epistemological and methodological approach, defined as logical quantitative modeling, is systematically presented in the recent volume Making Social Sciences More Scientific. The Need for Predictive Models (2008). Of special interest is his research in the World System hyperbolic growth.[1]

Apart from the quantitative study of electoral and party systems, Taagepera has also published several studies of Estonian and Baltic history, politics, and culture. These latter, on the other hand, are more personal and take strong normative positions. Taagepera has also written award-winning pieces of prose (most notably Livland-Leaveland in 1990. It was awarded the Tuglas Prize in the same year).

Key Publications

  • Seats and Votes: The Effects and Determinants of Electoral Systems, 1989, co-author
  • Estonia: Return to independence, 1993
  • The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 1940-1990, 2nd edn. 1993, co-author ISBN 0-520-08228-1
  • The Finno-Ugric republics and the Russian state, 1999
  • "Meteoric trajectory: The Res Publica Party in Estonia" (2006), Democratization 13(1): 78-94. the original conference paper as pdf file This essay gives a moderately candid account of Taagepera's Res Publica chairmanship and his evaluation of the party and its rise and fall.
  • Predicting Party Sizes: The Logic of Simple Electoral Systems, 2007 ISBN 0-19-928774-0
  • Making Social Sciences More Scientific. The Need for Predictive Models, 2008 ISBN 0-19-953466-7

Recognition

Taagepera received the American Political Science Association's Hallett (1999) and Longley (2003) Awards as well as the Estonian National Science Prize, Social Science Category (1999) and the 2008 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science.

Notes

External links

  • Rein Taagepera's profile in the University of California - Irvine website
  • Rein Taagepera's profile in the University of Tartu website

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.