In this second-to-last issue of 2016, we are very pleased to offer as our lead article a paper that we believe illustrates a model of research transparency in qualitative comparative work. In addition to the lead article we also present articles that offer a rethinking of “warlord rights,” the real effects of civic education, and new approaches to the use of control variables in quantitative research.
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
In “Collective Threat Framing and Mobilization in Civil War,” Anastasia Shesterinina relies on extensive fieldwork and interviews with both participants and non-participants in the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992–93. She leverages the data to shed light on the reasons why individuals join the fight, flee the conflict, or try to survive as civilians during a civil war. Shesterinina argues that these decisions depend not only on framing by leaders, but also on framing by (and guidance from) communities and family members. In addition to a compelling study, Shesterinina offers a meticulous accounting of her research process and data analysis strategies in a set of online appendices. In our view, her appendices provide a useful example of transparency for qualitative research.
Within the realm of international law and international ethics, warlords are typically seen simply as bandits. Robert A. Blair and Pablo Kalmanovitz argue in “On the Rights of Warlords: Legitimate Authority and Basic Protection in War-Torn Societies” that this assessment must be rethought. Throughout history, as well as today, warlords are sometimes forces for stability and order, rather than disruption. Using the case of the Afghani warlord Ismail Khan, they argue that, under certain conditions, warlords should be granted a measure of legitimacy. In the context of a well-balanced presentation of the issues presented by warlordism, they maintain that warlords who maintain peace, respect at least basic human rights, and gain the support of the populace should be recognized as more than bandits, though perhaps as less than states. This thought-provoking article should stimulate broad discussion among scholars and diplomats alike.
In “Electoral Rules and Legislative Particularism: Evidence from U.S. State Legislatures,” Tanya Bagashka and Jennifer Hayes Clark offer a general theory of legislative elections and policy making that can be used to explain a variety of institutional settings around the world. In their words, they combine “the electoral connection/personal vote rational choice perspective of contemporary American politics with a voter-group alignment perspective” that is based in the comparative politics literature. To test their theory, they use an original data set of all bills proposed in the lower houses of 29 U.S. state legislatures during the 2003–2004 legislative session. They find that larger districts and more inclusive selection procedures are associated with more particularism in sponsored legislation, which supports the voter-group alignment model.
David D. Laitin and Rajesh Ramachandran's article, “Language Policy and Human Development,” proposes that a state's official language may impose costs on its citizens that have implications for educational, occupational, wealth, and health outcomes. This cost is higher when the official language is linguistically distant from the (indigenous) language(s) spoken in the home, as is often the case in postcolonial states that have maintained the imperial language as their official one—and as the medium of instruction in schools. Employing a variety of models, alternative specifications, and robustness checks, Laitin and Ramachandran persuasively show that language policy may hamper the ability of citizens to develop their human capital.
It is well known that Hobbes launched a fierce attack on the classical tradition, especially Aristotle. What is less appreciated, argues Devin Stauffer in “‘Of Darkness from Vain Philosophy’: Hobbes's Critique of the Classical Tradition,” is the way Hobbes's opposition to Aristotle and the classics shaped his own political philosophy. To the extent that Hobbes was an architect of modernity, this means that the character of modernity was shaped—distorted, perhaps—by Hobbes's antipathy to the classical tradition. In Stauffer's account, Hobbes's critique was twofold. First, he accused Aristotle of basing himself on common opinion, so Hobbes's political philosophy casts aside the anchor of common opinion. Second, Hobbes believed that Aristotle's metaphysics of immaterial essences opened the door for religion or superstition. But Stauffer wonders whether the purely materialist science Hobbes put in its place has saddled his heirs with new problems. This essay will stimulate those interested in Hobbes as well as those who want to understand the foundations of modernity.
When are high-stakes standardized tests most likely to have a positive outcome for students and, potentially, for democratic society in general? The answer is when civics exams are required for high school graduation, primarily because the tests are found to have a long-term effect on the political knowledge of Latino students and especially immigrant students. David E. Campbell and Richard E. Niemi provide this evidenced-based explanation in their article entitled, “Testing Civics: State-Level Civic Education Requirements and Political Knowledge.” Using data from the 12th grade 2006 and 2010 civics portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test and a large national survey of 18–24-year-olds, Campbell and Niemi show that civics tests have a modest effect on all students when passing the test is required for graduation and that the greatest effects are found among students with less exposure to American politics, that is, immigrant students, and the majority of immigrant students are Latino.
In “Explaining Causal Findings Without Bias: Detecting and Assessing Direct Effects,” Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen examine a fundamental methodological issue in quantitative political science—the use of control variables. They suggest that this common practice to assess causality may in fact introduce serious bias in the results. In this paper the authors suggest a technique that can avoid this bias by focusing on an intuitive quantity of interest, the controlled direct effect. The controlled direct effect can better allow scholars to rule out competing explanations than what is currently practiced. The authors provide an easy-to-implement estimation strategy derived from the biostatistics literature, and then apply these techniques to the results from two landmark studies—one on the effect of ethnic fractionalization on civil war and one on the impact of historical plough use on contemporary female political participation.
Ana Bracic's “Reaching the Individual: EU Accession, NGOs, and Human Rights” presents an interesting approach to the study of human rights. Bracic investigates the attitudes of individual citizens regarding the Roma in the context of the EU accession process. She holds that human rights violations are often actions taken by individuals against other individuals. She asks whether the EU accession process, which incorporates strong incentives for improvements in human rights legislation, also affects individual behavior—and therefore better enables the Roma to secure their rights within these polities. She finds that it is not EU accession that makes a difference, but the concerted effort of NGO leadership to connect Roma and non-Roma that transforms attitudes.
How can citizens be educated so as to become the free, critical, and independent persons that liberalism requires? John Locke, a founder of liberalism, devoted a great deal of attention to this. In “‘Contesting the Empire of Habit’: Habituation and Liberty in Lockean Education,” Rita Koganzon examines Locke, especially his seminal Some Thoughts Concerning Education, to uncover his views on the matter. Recent scholarship has attacked Locke for his use of habituation in education, but Koganzon argues that—paradoxically—this habituation is carefully calibrated by Locke to produce independence. Locke's pupil is habituated primarily to control his desires, rendering him more free in the long run. This carries over to the arena of mental habits, where, in Koganzon's telling, Locke's education prepares the pupil to suspend assent, and to approach received ideas critically. This new interpretation of Locke's political education will help us understand the requirements of liberal citizenship, and how to fulfill them.
In “The Primary Effect: Preference Votes and Political Promotions,” Olle Folke, Torsten Persson, and Johanna Rickne use a Regression Discontinuity Design to test their theory that similar to primary elections, political parties use preference-vote tallies to identify popular politicians and promote them to positions of power within the party. Their data come from local party nominations and appointments in municipalities in both Sweden and Brazil. Comparing close winners and losers, the authors convincingly demonstrate that winning the most preference votes raises the probability of political career advancement. Additionally, they find that greater competition between parties, as well as within parties, seems to contribute to a closer adherence to preference votes in party promotions.
Kevin Croke, Guy Grossman, Horacio A. Larreguy, and John Marshall in “Deliberate Disengagement: How Education Can Decrease Political Participation in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes” suggest that contrary to the long-held contention that education increases political participation, in electoral authoritarian regimes, educated voters may instead deliberately disengage. Using data from Zimbabwe, they find that that education decreases political participation, substantially reducing the likelihood that better-educated citizens vote, contact politicians, or attend community meetings. The findings have important implications for the existing literature on educational effects on political engagement. Not only do the findings go against some of the long-held assertions in the political behavior literature, but they also question some of the basic premises of modernization theory that would suggest that education should pressure the development of democracy, by increasing greater demands for participation. What happens instead, in electoral authoritarian regimes, they argue, is deliberate disengagement.
In some circles, it is almost axiomatic that partisanship is a bad thing. It leads people to push for partial or sectional goods at the expense of the common good; it leads to ideologically closed minds and polarized politics. Against this backdrop, Lea Ypi argues in “Political Commitment and the Value of Partisanship” that we should cherish partisanship, despite its flaws. We should cherish it because it is perhaps the principal means of fostering political commitment, a value we all appreciate. Partisanship, Ypi maintains, is a kind of political friendship, one that sustains commitment across time and across issues (at least in the context of broad partisan organizations such as parties). Partisan friendship nurtures and supports the commitment of each member, and even fosters deliberation within the partisan group and perhaps in the public sphere at large. Ypi acknowledges the negatives of partisanship, but argues that they are a necessary price to pay for the manifold goods that partisanship brings, to citizens and to the polity.
INSTRUCTIONS TO CONTRIBUTORS
The American Political Science Review (APSR) publishes scholarly research of exceptional merit, focusing on important issues and demonstrating the highest standards of excellence in conceptualization, exposition, methodology, and craftsmanship. A significant advance in understanding of politics—whether empirical, interpretive, or theoretical—is the criterion for publication in the Review. Because the APSR reaches a diverse audience, authors must demonstrate how their analysis illuminates or answers an important research question of general interest in political science. For the same reason, authors must make their work understandable to as many scholars as possible, consistent with the nature of their material.
While committed to publishing research that is useful and accessible to the whole discipline, the APSR makes every effort to ensure that each submission is reviewed by scholars who are familiar with its substance and methodology. Editorial decisions grounded on those assessments are unlikely to be based on just one empirical benchmark. For example, the strength of quantitative empirical findings cannot be captured by any single criterion, such as the conventional .05 level of statistical significance. Similarly, the validity of an argument advanced in a process tracing case study is unlikely to be judged solely on the grounds that it passed a “smoking gun test.” The journal's editors will evaluate manuscripts on a range of criteria, including substantive significance, theoretical aptness, the importance of the problem under study, methodological rigor, and the feasibility of obtaining additional evidence.
Articles should be self-contained. Authors should not simply refer readers to other publications for descriptions of their basic research procedures (of course, reference to widely used databases, such as the American National Election Study or Polity IV or others, is acceptable and does not require exhaustive description).
The APSR fully expects authors to conform to generally accepted norms concerning the protection of human subjects, and the editors may require certification of appropriate institutional review.
The APSR publishes original work. Submissions should not include tables, figures, or substantial amounts of text that already have been published or are forthcoming in other places. In many cases, republication of such material would violate the copyright of the other publisher. Neither does the APSR consider submissions that are currently under review at other journals or that duplicate or overlap with parts of larger manuscripts submitted to other publishers (whether of books, printed periodicals, or online journals). If scholars have any questions about whether these policies apply to their submission, they should address the issues in a cover letter to the editors or as part of the author comments section during online submission. Authors should also notify the editors of any related submissions to other publishers, whether for book or periodical publication, during the pendency of the submission's review at the APSR—regardless of whether they have yet been accepted. The editors may request copies of related publications.
The APSR uses a double-blind review process. Authors should follow the guidelines for preparing an anonymous submission in the “Specific Procedures” section that follows.
Manuscripts that, in the judgment of the co-editors, are largely or entirely critiques of, or commentaries on, articles previously published in the Review may be reviewed for possible inclusion in a forum section (subject to the discretion of the editors), using the same general procedures as for other manuscripts. Well before any publication, however, the Review’s editors will send such manuscripts to the scholar(s) whose work is being addressed, inviting them to comment to the editors and to submit a rejoinder, which also will be peer-reviewed. We do not publish rejoinders to rejoinders.
The APSR accepts only electronic submissions (at www.editorialmanager.com/apsr). The web site provides detailed information about how to submit, what formatting is required, and what type of digital files may be uploaded. Please direct any questions to the journal's editorial offices at email@example.com
Data Access, Production Transparency, and Analytic Transparency
The APSR expects authors to comply with the access and transparency obligations described on pp. 8–10 of APSA's A Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science (2012). Researchers have an ethical responsibility to facilitate the evaluation of their evidence-based knowledge claims so that their work can be fully evaluated, including through replication when appropriate, or by providing sufficient evidence to permit others to develop their own interpretation from the materials. This involves providing access to the data or evidence underlying their analysis, and achieving production and analytic transparency. All relevant materials should be made available in a trusted digital repository (such as a partner in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS)) or through the APSR’s online appendices (housed with Cambridge University Press).
Data access: Authors making evidence-based knowledge claims should provide clear and complete citations to the evidence that support those claims in the reference section of the article; citations should include a “persistent identifier” (e.g., a “digital object identifier” or DOI). Authors should also provide comprehensive documentation that describes the data or evidence in full (see below for more specific guidance on references). Authors are expected to make these data available if they themselves generated or collected them. However, if the protection of human subjects requires nondisclosure, if confidentiality agreements prohibit disclosure, if data are under legal constraint (i.e., they are classified, proprietary, or copyrighted), and/or if the logistical burden of sharing relevant data would be particularly high, the author will inform the editor at the time of submission. The editors can grant an exception with or without conditions, and may require an explanation of the restriction(s) prior to publication of the piece.
Production transparency: Researchers providing access to evidence they themselves collected and/or generated are expected to offer a full account of the context in which the data were collected and/or generated and the procedures used to collect and/or generate them. They should also make available any research instruments they used (e.g., interview protocols, coding protocols, procedures for identifying appropriate informants). Researchers whose claims are based on analysis of a dataset they created themselves should clearly describe how they assembled the dataset.
Analytic transparency: Researchers making evidence-based knowledge claims should clearly map the path from the evidence to the claims. In addition to information provided in the article's main text and footnotes, this path should be mapped in ways that correspond with the methodology employed. For example, researchers may wish to provide software code and associated supplemental material or a methodological appendix; or they can attach a transparency appendix (TRAX, see note  below). Generally, it is expected that researchers should make available materials sufficient to allow others to fully understand and, where relevant and applicable, reproduce their results.
These guidelines apply to all research in political science that combines evidence and analysis to reach conclusions. The APSR recognizes, however, that the general principles will be put into practice differently in different research traditions: different types of materials and information can be provided in different ways.
• For example, for survey research, along with providing the parts of the dataset that they analyzed, authors might provide sampling procedures, response rates, and question wordings; and a calculation of response rates according to one of the standard formulas given by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Standard: Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys (Lenexa, KS: AAPOR, 2006).
For observational data, authors should list the dataset in the reference section of their article, and provide the parts of the dataset that they analyzed.
• For example, for articles that analyze a qualitative dataset in aggregate (e.g., if using QCA/fs), authors should list the dataset in the reference section of their article, and provide the parts of the dataset that they analyzed. Where authors draw on individual data sources (e.g., books, interviews, newspaper articles, videos) as distinct inputs to the analysis, each source must be cited, and then listed in the reference section of their article. Whenever possible (within the confines of human subject protections and other exceptions mentioned in the section Data Access), authors should share the relevant fragment of sources that support contested or central empirical claims and make the original sources available to other researchers. If the evidence used to create the dataset or the individual sources were collected and/or generated by the author, she should provide a methodological appendix or section in the paper (that explains how the evidence was collected and/or generated and selected for citation), and all relevant evidence-collection instruments. These and analytical transparency requirements can be satisfied for qualitative research using individual sources by preparing a transparency appendix (TRAX) if the author chooses to do so.
• For example, to achieve transparency in experimental research, authors can provide full descriptions of experimental protocols, methods of subject recruitment and selection, payments to subjects, debriefing procedures, and so on.
Similarly, analytical transparency should be provided in ways that are relevant for the type of research that was undertaken, and the inferential and interpretive steps the author took to reach a conclusion.
At the time a manuscript is submitted to the APSR for review, authors must provide the main text, notes, bibliographic references, and any tables and diagrams. If they so choose (but this is not required), authors may also provide the underlying evidence, and information needed to achieve production and analytic transparency, as supplemental materials. These supplemental materials may be submitted as a file accompanying the manuscript submission or authors may provide a hyperlink to a trustworthy digital repository where the materials reside. Although not a requirement for submission, data access and production and analytical transparency materials may make the manuscript more understandable and more compelling for reviewers.
By the time the manuscript is published in the journal, the underlying data and materials necessary to meet APSA's data access, production transparency, and analytic transparency standards must be available in a trusted digital repository (such as a partner in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS)) or through the APSR’s online appendices (housed with Cambridge University Press), which are made accessible when the article is published.
For articles that include candidate gene or candidate gene-by-environment studies, the APSR uses the same policy as the journal Behavior Genetics
. In relevant part, that policy states that an article will normally be considered for publication only if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
• It was an exploratory study or test of a novel hypothesis, but with an adequately powered, direct replication study reported in the same paper.
• It was an exploratory analysis or test of a novel hypothesis in the context of an adequately powered study, and the finding meets the statistical criteria for genome-wide significance—taking into account all sources of multiple testing (e.g., phenotypes, genotypes, environments, covariates, subgroups).
• It is a rigorously conducted, adequately powered, direct replication study of a previously reported result.
Manuscripts should be no longer than 12,000 words, including text, all tables and figures, notes, references, and appendices intended for publication. Font size must be 12 point for all parts of the submission, including notes and references, and all body text (including references) should be double-spaced. Include an abstract of no more than 150 words. Explanatory footnotes may be included but should not be used for simple citations; but do not use endnotes. Observe all of the further formatting instructions given on our web site. Doing so lightens the burden on reviewers, copyeditors, and compositors. Submissions that violate our guidelines on formatting or length will be rejected without review.
Please indicate variables included in statistical analyses by italicizing the entire name of the variable—the first time it is mentioned in the text—and by capitalizing its first letter in all uses. You should also use the same names for variables in text, tables, and figures. Do not use acronyms or computational abbreviations when discussing variables in the text. All variables that appear in tables or figures should have been mentioned in the text, standard summary statistics (n, mean, median, standard deviation, range, etc.) provided, and the reason for their inclusion discussed.
For submission and review purposes, you may locate tables and figures (on separate pages and only one to a page) approximately where they fall in the text, but with an in-text locator for each, in any case, e.g., [Table 3 about here].
If your submission is accepted for publication, you may also be asked to submit high-resolution digital source files of graphs, charts, or other types of figures. Following acceptance, all elements within any tables submitted (text, numerals, symbols, etc.) should be accessible for editing and reformatting to meet the journal's print specifications, e.g., they should not be included as single images not subject to reformatting.
Please follow these specific procedures for submission:
1. Before submitting any manuscript to the APSR, download a PDF of the Transfer of Copyright Agreement from the Editorial Manager login page at http://www.editorialmanager.com/apsr and be sure its terms and requirements, as well as the permissions granted to authors under its provisions, are acceptable to you. A signed agreement will be required for all work published in this journal.
2. When you submit (at www.editorialmanager.com/apsr), you will be invited to provide a short list of appropriate reviewers of your manuscript. Do not include on this list anyone who has already commented on the research included in your submission. Likewise, exclude any of your current or recent collaborators, institutional colleagues, mentors, students, or close friends. You may also “oppose” potential reviewers by name, as potentially biased or otherwise inappropriate, but you will be expected to provide specific reasons. The editors will refer to these lists in selecting reviewers, though there can be no guarantee that this will influence final reviewer selections.
3. You will also be required to upload a minimum of two separate files:
a) An “anonymous” digital file of your submission, which should not include any information that identifies the authors. Also excluded should be the names of any other collaborators in the work (including research assistants or creators of tables or figures). Likewise do not provide in-text links to any online databases used that are stored on any personal web sites or at institutions with which any of the co-authors are affiliated. Do not otherwise thank colleagues or include institution names, web addresses, or other potentially identifying information.
b) A separate title page should include the full manuscript title, plus names and contact information (mailing address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address) for all credited authors, in the order their names should appear, as well as each author's academic rank and institutional affiliation. You may also include any acknowledgments or other author notes about the development of the research (e.g., previous presentations of it) as part of this separate title page. In the case of multiple authors, indicate which should receive all correspondence from the APSR. You may also choose to include a cover letter.
4. If your previous publications are cited, please do so in a way that does not make the authorship of the work being submitted to the APSR obvious. This is usually best accomplished by referring to yourself and any co-authors in the third person and including normal references to the work cited within the list of references. Your prior publications should be included in the reference section in their normal alphabetical location. Assuming that in-text references to your previous work are in the third person, you should not redact self-citations and references (possible exceptions being any work that is “forthcoming” in publication, and that may not be generally accessible to others). Manuscripts with potentially compromised anonymity may be returned, potentially delaying the review processes.
5. Please make sure the file contains all tables, figures, appendices, and references cited in the manuscript.
Tables and Figures
Tables and figures should be comprehensible without reference to the text, e.g., in any figures, axes should be clearly labeled. Please bear in mind also that neither the published or online versions of the Review normally can provide figures in color; be sure that a grayscale version will be comprehensible to referees and readers.
Appendices should be lettered to distinguish them from numbered tables and figures. Include a descriptive title for each appendix (e.g., “Appendix A: Data Transformation and Estimation”).
References should be listed in a separate section headed “REFERENCES.” All listed references must be cited in the text, and vice versa. Publication information for each reference must be complete and correct.
References should be listed in alphabetical order by authors’ last names; include first names and middle initials for all authors when available. For works with more than one author, only the name of the first author is inverted (e.g., “King, Gary, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba”). List all authors; using “et al.” in the reference list is not acceptable.
When the cited material is not yet published but has been accepted for publication, use “Forthcoming” in place of the date and give the journal name or publishing house.
List two or more entries by the same author(s) in the order of the year of publication, and substitute three m-dashes for the author's last name in the second and subsequent entries. If two or more cited works are by the same author(s) within the same year, list them in alphabetical order by title and distinguish them by adding the letters a, b, c, etc., to the year (or to “Forthcoming”).
For dissertations and unpublished papers, cite the date and place the paper was presented and/or where it is available. If no date is available, use “n.d.” in place of the date.
References for datasets should include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Persistent identifiers ensure future access to unique published digital objects, such as a text or dataset. Persistent identifiers are assigned to datasets by digital archives, such as institutional repositories and partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS).
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.