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Striving better to uncover causal effects, political science is amid a revolution in micro-empirical research designs and experimental methods. This methodological development—although quite promising in delivering new findings and discovering the mechanisms that underlie previously known associations—raises new and unnerving ethical issues that have yet to be confronted by our profession. We believe that addressing these issues proactively by generating strong, internal norms of disciplinary regulation is preferable to reactive measures, which often come in the wake of public exposés and can lead to externally imposed regulations or centrally imposed internal policing.
This article explores how language policy affects the socioeconomic development of nation states through two channels: the individual’s exposure to and (in reference to an individual’s mother tongue) linguistic distance from the official language. In a cross-country framework the article first establishes a robust and sizeable negative relationship between an official language that is distant from the local indigenous languages and proxies for human capital and health. To establish this relationship as causal, we instrument language choice with a measure of geographic distance from the origins of writing. Next, using individual level data from India and a set of 11 African countries, we provide microempirical support on the two channels—distance from and exposure to the official language—and their implications for educational, health, occupational and wealth outcomes. Finally, we suggest policy implications based on our findings.
Both papers in this volume on which I was asked to comment (James E. Monogan III, “A Case for Registering Studies of Political Outcomes: An Application in the 2010 House Elections” and Macartan Humphreys, Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, and Peter van der Windt, “Fishing, Commitment, and Communication: A Proposal for Comprehensive Nonbinding Research Registration”) advocate registration regimes for our discipline. The recommendations in both are incremental [promoting, as Lindblom (1965) might have said it, the “intelligence of research” and cognizant of the costs in scientific learning from such a regime if rigidly enforced. Moreover, both papers cite studies by Gerber and various co-authors (e.g., Gerber, Green, and Nickerson 2001) demonstrating publication bias in political science, incentivizing researchers to manipulate their regression models until they can show a z-statistic ≥ 1.96, and thereby reaching standard levels of significance. I fully accept that Gerber et al.'s papers have detected a serious flaw in our scientific practices; there is a problem to be solved. The Monogan and Humphreys et al. proposals are therefore worthy of consideration.
Peter Katzenstein is a prodigiously productive scholar. As a comparativist, a student of international relations, an historian, and one who has successfully bridged the qualitative and quantitative divide in our discipline, he has made signal contributions to general international relations, political economy, security studies, European and German studies, Asian and Japanese studies, and political science in general. In this brief résumé, seven of his friends and collaborators highlight his major contributions.
Popular wisdom in the burgeoning literature on terrorism focuses on the economic motivations of terrorists. “We fight against poverty,” President George W. Bush explained in Monterrey, Mexico, on March 23, 2002, “because hope is an answer to terror.” Stern (2003) also draws a direct connection between poverty and terrorism. Though poverty is an attractive answer to the question of “why terrorism?”, the data do not lend much support for it. Macroeconomic shifts generally fail to map on to changes in terrorist activity. For example, in the late 1990s and 2000, when terrorism reached new heights against Israeli citizens, the typical Palestinian was reporting a rosier economic forecast and unemployment was declining. Using a longer time series, Berrebi (2003) finds little correlation between economic conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the number of terrorist incidents against Israel. An even more perplexing problem for the poverty thesis arises on the microlevel. Several studies at the individual level of analysis have failed to find any direct connection between education, poverty, and the propensity to participate in terrorism (Russell and Miller 1983; Taylor 1988; Hudson 1999; Krueger and Maleckova 2003; Berrebi 2003; Atran 2003). If anything, those who participate in terrorism tend to come from the ranks of the better off in society.
Those who claim a connection between poverty and terrorism could respond that at least on the microlevel, well-to-do citizens become terrorists out of public spiritedness for their impoverished fellow citizens, and organizations choose them to perform these tasks because of their reliability and skill.
This chapter organizes the conjectures from a rationalist literature on terrorist organizations, analyzing the strategic issues that they face and the consequences of their actions. From this perspective, terrorism is seen as one of a set of rebel tactics that is chosen in response to changes in five factors: funding, popular support, competition against other rebel groups, the type of regime against which they are fighting, and counterinsurgency tactics. However, once groups adopt terrorist tactics over other, more traditional, tactics of insurgency, terrorism becomes self-perpetuating. This is especially true when the use of terrorist tactics coincides with a shift into underground modes of organization.
The value added by this literature, in conjunction with some standard econometric analyses, is that it helps to identify the relevant actors, to reckon their utilities and payoffs, and to highlight different factors that affect when/where/and against whom terrorists strike. However, because the studies under review are not, by and large, written as part of a coherent, self-aware literature, a summary of the conjectures offered in the literature will not lead to an internally consistent body of testable hypotheses. Instead, we use the literature as a jumping off point to suggest a series of broad hypotheses that should serve as a foundation for future theoretical analysis and statistical testing. The emphasis here will be on developing hypotheses to understand why, where, and when civilians are likely to become victims in rebellions.
Partly hidden beneath the complexities of N* and an attack on the supposedly individualist presumptions of ethnic fractionalization measures, a simple and valuable question lies implicit in Cederman and Girardin's (2007) article (henceforth, CG). Are countries at greater risk of civil war when the state is controlled by an ethnic minority?
THIS REMARKABLE COLLECTION of (mostly reprinted) essays is first and foremost a defense of the statistically-based research program that has motivated Professor Goldthorpe's work through a distinguished career. In defending the statistical methodology that has become a standard in his corner of sociology, he also sets sharp limits to what can be contributed through qualitative methods. He then offers a challenge for future statistical analysts to address more directly that program's theoretical foundations. The dozen essays range widely in questions of methods and substance — in this review I provide no general summary but rather highlight a dual plea he makes to his profession: to marry macro statistical work to micro theory; and to press colleagues who engage in case study, historical, and ethnographic work to think more rigorously about what inferences can be correctly drawn from their low-n studies.
This paper asks (a) why and how institutions change, (b) how an institution persists in a changing environment, and (c) how processes that it unleashes lead to its own demise. The paper shows that the game-theoretic notion of self-enforcing equilibrium and the historical institutionalist focus on process are both inadequate to answer these questions. Building on a game-theoretic foundation, but responding to the critique of it by historical institutionalists, the paper introduces the concepts of quasi-parameters and self reinforcement. With these concepts, and building on repeated game theory, a dynamic approach to institutions is offered, one that can account for endogenous change (and stability) of institutions. Contextual accounts of formal governing institutions in early modern Europe and the informal institution of cleavage structure in the contemporary world provide illustrations of the approach.
Political science remains an emergent discipline; but research within it has congealed around a set of well-defined programs that has engaged an international community of scholars. Here I will identify three of these programs in order to show the continued intellectual vibrancy of the discipline. First, in normative theory, political scientists are working out the implications of John Rawls' A Theory of Justice in a program that has reinvigorated liberalism to make it speak to core political issues of our time. Second, in a program once embedded bureaucratically in “American Politics,” political scientists are working out the implications of Duncan Black's median voter theorem in an expanded set of democratic countries with different institutional details to address the core political issues of representation and accountability. Third, relying on extensive cross-sectional time-series data previously unavailable, on computer programs not imaginable a generation ago, and on theoretical developments in econometrics, political scientists are fulfilling a dream of the founders of the behavioral revolution (Stein Rokkan, S. M. Lipset, and Karl Deutsch) by addressing systematically the sources of democracy and political order. To be sure, there are other political science research programs, for example, in international relations, in comparative political economy, and in political psychology, that could well have been elucidated in this essay. My goal here, in addressing Professor Sartori's jeremiad, is not to show the scope of the field, but rather its quality, its internationalism, and its real-world relevance. This is best done with a few select examples.
An influential conventional wisdom holds that civil wars proliferated rapidly with the end of the Cold War and that the root cause of many or most of these has been ethnic and religious antagonisms. We show that the current prevalence of internal war is mainly the result of a steady accumulation of protracted conflicts since the 1950s and 1960s rather than a sudden change associated with a new, post-Cold War international system. We also find that after controlling for per capita income, more ethnically or religiously diverse countries have been no more likely to experience significant civil violence in this period. We argue for understanding civil war in this period in terms of insurgency or rural guerrilla warfare, a particular form of military practice that can be harnessed to diverse political agendas. The factors that explain which countries have been at risk for civil war are not their ethnic or religious characteristics but rather the conditions that favor insurgency. These include poverty—which marks financially and bureaucratically weak states and also favors rebel recruitment—political instability, rough terrain, and large populations.We wish to thank the many people who provided comments on earlier versions of this paper in a series of seminar presentations. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (Grants SES-9876477 and SES-9876530); support from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences with funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; valuable research assistance from Ebru Erdem, Nikolay Marinov, Quinn Mecham, David Patel, and TQ Shang; sharing of data by Paul Collier.
We examine the theoretical implications of the observation that ethnic identities are socially constructed for explaining ethnic violence, distinguishing between two classes of mechanisms. If individuals are viewed as the agents who construct identities, then constructivist explanations for ethnic violence tend to merge with analyses that stress strategic action by both elites and mass publics. In contrast, if discursive formations are the agents that construct ethnic identities, then constructivist explanations tend to merge with accounts that stress internal logics of specific cultures. Using the books under review as a “sample,” we find considerable evidence linking strategic aspects of ethnic identity construction to violence and more limited evidence implicating discursive systems. The most common narrative in these texts has largescale ethnic violence provoked by elites, often motivated by intra-ethnic conflicts. Followers follow, despite the costs, out of increased fear of thugs and armies “let go” by elites (both the other side's and their “own”) and often in pursuit of local grievances that may have little ethnic component. Several other mechanisms are also discussed, including the role of discursive systems in conditioning publics for violence and the role of violent efforts to enforce “everyday primordialism” by policing supposedly primordial ethnic boundaries.
Based on the ‘Minorities at risk’ data set, which codes the status and conflicts of 268 politically active groups in 148 different countries, this paper finds: 1) the greater the language difference between the language of the minority and that of the dominant group, the lower the probability of minority rebellion against the state; 2) language grievances held by the minority are weakly but negatively related to rebellion; 3) language grievances are strongly associated with increased levels of political protest, suggesting that the remedy for these grievances is more likely to be sought in the political realm rather than in guerrilla action; 4) language grievances when compounded by religious grievances (which are a reasonable predictor of rebellion) strongly and significantly reduce the magnitude of rebellion. The mechanisms supporting these results are elucidated in a formalized official language game. The equilibrium path of this game is illustrated in case studies of India and Sri Lanka.
Nationalist movements seeking to make commensurate the boundaries of state and nation have in many cases employed or induced violence. Algeria, Basque Country (in Spain), Nazi Germany, Northern Ireland, Serbia, Somalia and Vietnam are gruesome examples. Yet the aims of comparable movements, similar in goals and apparently similar in context, have been resolved by relatively peaceful means. Quebec, Andhra Pradesh, Flanders, Italy and Catalonia are shining exemplars. This paper will employ the tools of game theory and the comparative method in political science (Lijphart 1971; Skocpol and Somers 1980; Collier 1991) to address the question: why are some nationalist movements peaceful in strategy and outcome while others create carnage? The answer is not to be found in the great forces of history, having to do with capitalism, state formation and inequality. Rather, the conditions that lead to violence require a microfoundation based upon social organization in rural and small-town life, tipping phenomena in political recruitment, and spiraling effects of fortuitous events.
Predominant approaches to the study of nationalism and violence have relied upon the identification of broad social processes that help to place nationalism in deep historical context (Kohn 1944). These approaches have pointed to the fact that nationalism is a modern social formation that emerged in the wake of industrial capitalism and concomitant modernization (Gellner 1983; Hobsbawm 1990). Capitalism in seventeenth-century Europe unleashed productive energies in a number of core zones, and these zones drew migrants from relatively depressed localities. This process, called “social mobilization” (Deutsch 1954), unhooked people from loyalties to tribe, village, and region.
Though both journalists and the academic literature on ethnic conflict give the opposite impression, peaceful and even cooperative relations between ethnic groups are far more common than is large-scale violence. We seek to explain this norm of interethnic peace and how it occasionally breaks down, arguing that formal and informal institutions usually work to contain or “cauterize” disputes between individual members of different groups. Using a social matching game model, we show that local-level interethnic cooperation can be supported in essentially two ways. In spiral equilibria, disputes between individuals are correctly expected to spiral rapidly beyond the two parties, and fear of this induces cooperation “on the equilibrium path.” In in-group policing equilibria, individuals ignore transgressions by members of the other group, correctly expecting that the culprits will be identified and sanctioned by their own ethnic brethren. A range of examples suggests that both equilibria occur empirically and have properties expected from the theoretical analysis.