As we wind down as editors of the Review (we are responsible for the remainder of this issue year, but hand off submissions to our successor in the Summer of 2016), we are very pleased to offer, in this issue, a number of articles that we believe will have an important impact on our field. In this issue of the Review, as with previous issues, we present articles that ask important questions for both scholars and practitioners, such as, How do authoritarian leaders develop strategies of repression? Why do individuals join ethnic insurgencies? What role can civic organizations play in promoting political participation? Are there more efficient and replicable ways to code “expert” data? What does “representation” really mean?
As always, we seek to publish work that speaks to a broad audience of scholars, and on topics that also may have important implications for policy makers and practitioners as well. Further, in keeping with our vision of the Review as the leading journal in our discipline, we seek (and will continue to seek) to publish the most innovative work in the field.
In This Issue
Our lead article for this issue, Kurt Weyland's “Crafting Counterrevolution: How Reactionaries Learned to Combat Change in 1848,” offers a historical case study that is highly relevant to our contemporary international environment. The author notes that in revolutionary waves, one country after another experiences a revolution, as happened during the Arab Spring. However, counterrevolutionary movements tend to follow on the heels of such revolutionary waves, but they unfold slowly and deliberately. Using historical sources, Weyland shows that after their initial panic, reactionary leaders methodically work to tighten their grip on power. The result is that the longer term gains of revolutionary waves are often limited.
In “Forbearance,” Alisha C. Holland makes the argument that states in the developing world do not always fail to enforce laws because they are unable to do so. She suggests that we need to distinguish the purposeful nonenforcement of law from that which results from the weakness of state institutions. Holland provides a typology for identifying instances of intentional and revocable nonenforcement of law, or forbearance, from other nonenforcement of law. She then applies this to street vending and squatting in urban Latin America, and shows that forbearance better explains variation in enforcement than a focus on institutional capacity or societal compliance.
Güneş Murat Tezcür in “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Risks: Participation in an Ethnic Rebellion” asks the question, Why do ordinary people take extraordinary risks and join an ethnic armed rebellion? Building on social identity economics, Tezcür argues that individuals who lack security and economic opportunities, and who develop polarized ethnic identities because of state repression and threat perceptions, are most likely to join an insurgency. The paper employs a very unique and comprehensive data set on insurgent recruitment (containing biographical information about 8,217 Kurdish militants) bolstered by extensive fieldwork involving interviews with relatives of militants. The findings provide strong support for the theoretical propositions and highlight the key role played by nonviolent ethnic mobilization in inducing individuals to fight for their ethnic group.
Amid the current revival of interest in Hannah Arendt's political philosophy, relatively little attention has been paid to the question of her methodology. A work like The Origins of Totalitarianism is thought to be methodologically loose, if not lacking in coherent methodology altogether. Arendt wrote to a friend that the book does employ a method, though one that might have been explained more clearly. Hans-Jörg Sigwart seeks, in “Political Characterology: On the Method of Theorizing in Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism,” to explain this method by extrapolating from the text itself. The method he calls “characterology.” Characterology employs characters (individual persons or types of persons) to illuminate the structure of a given historical age or historical process. Going beyond Arendt, Sigwart proposes that characterology is a method that contemporary political theorists should consider using in their own work.
Kenneth Benoit, Drew Conway, Benjamin E. Lauderdale, Michael Laver, and Slava Mikhaylov in “Crowd-sourced Text Analysis: Reproducible and Agile Production of Political Data” offer a new, innovative way to code data. Empirical social science often relies on data that are coded into quantitative variables by expert researchers who base their codes on qualitative raw sources. These authors suggest that using crowd-sourcing to distribute text coding to massive numbers of nonexperts generates results comparable to those from expert coding, but far more quickly and flexibly. The data collected are furthermore reproducible, transparent, and economically affordable. Thus this allows researchers to focus on specifying reliable and replicable methods for collecting the data, an important consideration in this era of data transparency. The authors provide examples illustrating the application of this method.
What role can civic organizations play in promoting political participation? In “The Organizational Roots of Political Activism: Field Experiments on Creating a Relational Context,” Hahrie Han seeks to answer this question. In doing so, he develops an organizationally based rational model of political activism. Utilizing data from three field experiments, he demonstrates that organizations can have a powerful impact on increasing participation, beyond voting, through the dynamic social relationship between the person representing the organization and the person targeted to participate. His findings challenge popular theories of political participation that focus on more static individual characteristics or contextual factors.
In “Systemic Representation: Democracy, Deliberation, and Nonelectoral Representatives,” Jonathan W. Kuyper argues that representation may best be understood if we combine two recent advances in political theory. The first is from the theory of representation, the second from deliberative theory. From representative theory, Kuyper takes the notion of self-appointed representatives, who gain their position not by formal appointment/election, but by claiming to speak for a given constituency (and having that claim validated in some way). From deliberative theory, he takes the notion of a “system” of deliberation, a complex of institutions and relationships whose deliberative capacity is to be determined holistically. Combining these two, Kuyper argues, allows us to make normative judgments on various representative claims. Claimants to representation, he concludes, are to be evaluated in part according to what type of representative “space” they occupy (“public” space vs. more informal roles). Occupants of public space are to be judged more stringently. The theory is illustrated with a transnational case study that nicely highlights the nuances of the theory. Kuyper's argument will be of great interest to theorists of representation, and of democracy more widely.
Scholars have long held that prior to the emergence of the modern U.S. presidency in the twentieth century, presidential power was greatly limited due to congressional dominance. Presidents serving before the modern era are characterized as working for rather than with the Congress. In “Presidential Influence in an Era of Congressional Dominance,” Jon C. Rogowski challenges this thinking and argues that, as the head of the Executive branch, pre–twentieth century presidents were able to wield more policy influence over Congress than previously thought. To test this argument he uses an original data set to quantitatively assess the relative influence of presidents and congressional majority parties in the expansion of the national post office system in the late nineteenth century. He finds strong evidence of presidential power over congressional power, and his results are robust across a wide range of model specifications.
Inequality is a perennial issue in contemporary democracies. Adam Smith, the apostle of the free market, is stereotypically seen as a defender of inequality. Building on recent scholarship that sees Smith as more attuned to the negative effects of inequality, Dennis C. Rasmussen seeks in “Adam Smith on What Is Wrong with Economic Inequality” to bring together the diverse strands of Smith's thought to produce an account of just what is wrong with inequality. While a degree of inequality is healthy, extremes of inequality are not. The reason, according to Rasmussen, is not simply that it creates poverty. It is rather that inordinate inequality has a distorting effect on the moral landscape of a society. Making use of Smith's theory of moral sentiments, Rasmussen argues that extreme inequality leads people to identify and sympathize more with the rich. The moral sentiments are in effect siphoned off in the direction of the superrich, rather than being spread across society. Rasmussen's work will be of interest to any who are concerned about the problem of great inequality in society today.
In “Left Behind? Citizen Responsiveness to Government Performance Information,” John Holbein empirically tests the widely held belief that informed citizens are more likely to hold government officials accountable. To do this he utilizes three “big data” sources to explore citizens’ reactions to school performance information provided as part of the accountability system established under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. He finds that when school failure occurs and the citizens are made aware of this failure they typically express their displeasure by turning out at higher rates in school board elections. The competiveness of the elections also increases. However, those who are more sophisticated, more informed, and more politically active (high propensity/status) are significantly more likely than others less sophisticated, less informed, and less active (low propensity/status) to react by removing their children from the public schools. Thus the provision of performance information may have some of the desired positive effect but it also has the unintended negative effect of promoting existing inequalities between high-status and low-status populations. Policy makers could greatly benefit from having this information.
The scope of religious free exercise, and particularly whether free exercise claims under the U.S. Constitution can justify exemptions from applicable laws, is a perennial theme in modern American politics and jurisprudence. Vincent Phillip Muñoz, in “Two Concepts of Religious Liberty: The Natural Rights and Moral Autonomy Approaches to the Free Exercise of Religion,” returns to the thought of the Framers to begin sorting out this issue. He finds that their understanding, contrary to some modern interpretations, did not countenance “exemptionism,” the idea that religious belief had a right to be exempted from laws. Relying partly on a reconstruction of the philosophical reasoning that would have led the Framers to their view of free exercise, Muñoz finds that government could not in their view interfere with religious freedom, but exemptions from standing law were not to be allowed as of right. Exemptionism, he argues, is a much more expansive doctrine whose roots are in mid–twentieth century jurisprudence, rooted in turn in notions of autonomy foreign to the Founders. Muñoz's article will not only inform our understanding of the American Founding, but help us think through the problem of religious liberty today.
Recent theories of representation have steadily expanded the scope of what we regard as “representation,” in the broadly political sense. Howard Schweber wonders whether this expansion has reached its natural limit, or perhaps gone beyond it. In “The Limits of Political Representation,” he undertakes to gauge the limits of what we can properly call political representation. These limits include the restriction of what can reasonably be called a political constituency, and the recognition that not all stakeholders or shareholders can or should be represented. Representation, Schweber argues, always “represents” some traits in the represented and not others: no one is fully represented in all aspects of his or her persona. Exactly what should be represented, and what counts as a representative, is variable across political systems. It is subject to continual renegotiation. Once a society has produced a cognitive “map” outlining these things, Schweber maintains, it is normative for that society. All maps, moreover, must embody certain limits to representation. This paper should kindle a robust debate among theorists of representation.
Tobias Böhmelt, Lawrence Ezrow, Roni Lehrer, and Hugh Ward in “Party Policy Diffusion” ask whether parties seek to emulate successful parties in other political systems. They find, using spatial-econometric analyses of parties’ election platforms from several established democracies, that political parties respond to left-right policy positions of foreign political parties that have recently governed. This paper contributes greatly to the diffusion literature by showing that parties respond to these foreign incumbent parties, and not just parties in their own political system. Further, the authors demonstrate that parties play a major role in policy emulation that crosses borders.
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The following list is intended to be illustrative of more common reference types, not exhaustive. For additional reference guidance please see The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.
Ahlquist, John S., and Levi, Margaret. 2013. In the Interest of Others: Leaders, Governance, and Political Activism in Membership Organizations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Mansbridge, Jane J.
1986. Why We Lost the ERA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
U.S. Department of State, 1979. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951. Vol. II: United Nations; Western Hemisphere. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Gerring, John. 2005a. “Causation: A Unified Framework for the Social Sciences.” Journal of Theoretical Politics
Gerring, John. 2005b. “Minor Parties in Plurality Electoral Systems.” Party Politics
11:1 (January): 79–107.
Wedeen, Lisa. 2002. “Conceptualizing Culture: Possibilities for Political Science.” American Political Science Review
96:4 (December): 713–28.
Chapter in Edited Collection
Brady, Henry E., and Kaplan, Cynthia S.. 2011. “Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnic Identity.” In Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Scientists, eds. Abdelal, Rawi, Herrera, Yoshiko M., Johnston, Alastair Iain, and McDermott, Rose. New York: Cambridge University Press, 33–71.
Boix, Carles, and Stokes, Susan C., eds. 2007. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Boas, Taylor. 2009. “Varieties of Electioneering: Presidential Campaigns in Latin America.” PhD dissertation, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
Levy, Jack S., and Clifton Morgan, T.. Great Power Wars, 1495–1815. [Computer file]. ICPSR09955.v1. 1989. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994. doi: 10.3886/ICPSR09955.v1
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