To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Understanding the factors that lead Americans to racialize putatively race-neutral policies is increasingly important in a diversifying society. This paper focuses on the case of disaster relief for Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. I draw on a framework of racial and ethnic subordination with two dimensions: inferiority–superiority, operationalized by skin color, and foreignness–Americanness, operationalized by language. I conduct a nationally representative survey experiment that varies the skin tone (light or dark) and language (English or Spanish) of otherwise similar actors who portray hurricane victims. The results suggest that two stigmatized attributes, dark skin and foreign language, do not always render an individual “doubly stigmatized.” Instead, for an already racialized group like Puerto Ricans, perceived foreignness may offset Americans’ stereotypes about the cultural pathologies of a racial underclass. Therefore, this paper underscores the importance of a multidimensional and intersectional approach to the study of racial and ethnic politics.
The literature on welfare chauvinism suggests that dominant majorities are less likely to support redistribution across identity lines. To encourage support, scholarship recommends designing policies universally and signaling beneficiary deservingness. However, policies that support disadvantaged groups cannot always be designed universally. Moreover, dominant groups often hold minoritized groups to a deservingness double standard. Thus, we ask, what are effective ways to increase support for out-group redistribution? We argue that distributive justice principles—justifications for who should get what and why—can bolster support for out-group redistributive policies. We test this argument through three experiments in Slovakia, with the Roma as the out-group. Majority Slovaks support policies predicated on the principle of reciprocity—with benefits conditional on contribution. Unconditional policies and policies that are motivated by the need principle garner minority Roma support. Given salient anti-Roma prejudice, we consider our findings a floor. For less stigmatized out-groups, reciprocity-based policies may further bolster support.
The American criminal legal system is an important site of political socialization: scholars have shown that criminal legal contact reduces turnout and that criminalization pushes people away from public institutions more broadly. Despite this burgeoning literature, few analyses directly investigate the causal effect of lower-level police contact on voter turnout. To do so, we leverage individual-level administrative ticketing data from Hillsborough County, Florida. We show that traffic stops materially decrease participation for Black and non-Black residents alike, and we also find temporal variation in the effect for Black voters. Although stops reduce turnout more for Black voters in the short term, they are less demobilizing over a longer time horizon. Although even low-level contacts with the police can reduce political participation across the board, our results point to a unique process of political socialization vis-à-vis the carceral state for Black Americans.
The solution to weak bureaucratic capacity in developing countries is often presumed to be more accountability. This paper shows how accountability initiatives, intended to reduce corruption, can actually hinder the development of capable government agencies by making it harder for directors to recruit experts and spend their budgets. It further highlights a common way public servants escape the accountability rules that limit their effectiveness: outsourcing bureaucracies to nonstate organizations. This practice of outsourcing bureaucracy to avoid accountability rules creates what I call “shadow” state capacity and, paradoxically, it may help explain “pockets of effectiveness” among government social programs in developing countries. Drawing on in-depth interviews and descriptive statistics, I show how outsourcing was a critical factor in producing two of Brazil’s most vaunted social sector programs. However, I also suggest that outsourcing bureaucracy may ultimately limit state capacity, even if it helps to build capable programs in the short run.
When does collective memory influence behavior? We highlight two conditions under which the memory of past events comes to matter for the present: the associative nature of memory and institutionalized acts of commemoration by the state. During World War II, German troops occupying Greece perpetrated numerous massacres. Memories of those events resurfaced during the 2009 Greek debt crisis, leading to a drop in German car sales in Greece, especially in areas affected by German reprisals. Differential economic performance did not drive this divergence. Multiple pieces of evidence suggest that current events reactivated past memories, creating a backlash against Germany. This backlash also manifested in political behavior, with vote shares of anti-German parties increasing in reprisal areas after the start of the debt crisis. Using quasi-random variation in public recognition of victim status, we show that institutionalized collective memory amplifies the effects of political conflict on economic and political behavior.
How does the central state affect public goods provision by local actors? I study the effect of state capacity on local governance in sub-Saharan Africa, which I argue depends on whether traditional authorities are integrated in the country’s constitution. I use distance to administrative headquarters as a measure of state capacity and estimate a regression discontinuity design around administrative boundaries. If traditional authorities are not integrated, then the state and traditional authorities compete with each other, working as substitutes. That is, a stronger state undermines the power of traditional authorities. If traditional authorities are integrated, then the two work as complements. A stronger state then increases the power of traditional authorities. I show that these relationships are crucial to understanding the influence of state capacity on local economic development.
I surveyed the universe of recent applicants to the Indonesian civil service to study the effects of high-stakes examinations on political attitudes. Leveraging applicants’ scores on the civil service examination, I employ a regression discontinuity design to compare the attitudes of applicants who narrowly failed with those who narrowly passed. I show that the simple fact of failure on the civil service examination decreased applicants’ belief in the legitimacy of the process and levels of national identification while increasing support for in-group preferentialism. Next, I find that applicants who were offered—and accepted—employment in the civil service reported higher satisfaction with the process, greater amity toward out-groups, and higher national identification. Because more applicants fail than pass, these results suggest that civil service examination outcomes may have unintended consequences for social cohesion—particularly in contexts where successful applicants disproportionately hail from specific ethnic, racial, or religious groups.
How do international sports events shape repression in authoritarian host countries? International tournaments promise unique gains in political prestige through global media attention. However, autocrats must fear that foreign journalists will unmask their wrongdoings. We argue that autocracies solve this dilemma by strategically adjusting repression according to the spatial-temporal presence of international media. Using original, highly disaggregated data on the 1978 World Cup, we demonstrate that the Argentine host government largely refrained from repression during the tournament but preemptively cleared the streets beforehand. These adjustments specifically occurred around hotels reserved for foreign journalists. Additional tests demonstrate that (1) before the tournament, repression turned increasingly covert, (2) during the tournament, targeting patterns mirrored the working shifts of foreign journalists, (3) after the tournament, regime violence again spiked in locations where international media had been present. Together, the article highlights the human costs of megaevents, contradicting the common whitewashing rhetoric of functionaries.
The European renewable energy transition is a leading model for responding to the urgent threat of climate change, which it does by empowering citizens. Drawing on Foucault’s analysis of German neoliberalism, this article argues that despite some measure of empowerment, the economic constraints structuring the transition ultimately disempower citizens, undermining the attainment of environmental goals. Specifically, the transition gives citizens control of their energy while burdening them with entrepreneurial tasks to do so, substitutes economic activity for political citizenship, and shifts the epistemological terrain they take for granted when determining what environmental crises society faces and how best to respond. Understanding the transition as composed of theories for sustainability governance, policies, and practices of implementation, this article analyzes the “energetic society” governance theory, the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package, and the renewable energy organization REScoop.eu.
Discussing An Outline of a Theory of Civilization by the Japanese thinker Fukuzawa Yukichi, this essay shows how theorists of liberal nationalism might draw on “non-Western” theoretical resources to enrich their normative ideas and better appreciate their own tradition. I argue that Fukuzawa’s work represents an alternative strand of liberal nationalism that complements its mainstream counterpart pioneered by David Miller, Yael Tamir, and others. More specifically, I argue that Fukuzawa’s contributions help us reconsider three central claims made by his more mainstream peers: (1) cosmopolitanism poses the most important threat to liberal nationalism, (2) the strength of liberal nationalism lies in its perceptiveness about ordinary people’s sense of national belonging, and (3) liberal nationalism emerged in mid-nineteenth-century Europe and spread elsewhere in the age of decolonization. In so doing, I show how the current “comparative turn” in political theory can benefit a specific debate—on liberal nationalism—within the discipline.
Realism can mean many things in political theory. This article focuses on “common-sense realism,” an approach to decision making under uncertainty characterized by its posture toward risk. Common-sense realist arguments have become popular in recent democratic theory. One prominent example is found in debates over the responsible party institutional model (RPIM). RPIM’s main features are two-party competition for full control of government and party organizations that empower officeholders, not activists. Proponents of RPIM defend it in realist terms. They claim that efforts to pursue more ambitious democratic ideals jeopardize goods that RPIM can readily secure. In this article I articulate a realist approach to institutional evaluation that assesses proposals on three dimensions: robustness, feasibility, and stability. Using this approach, I demonstrate that the realist argument for RPIM is weaker than it initially appears. The debate over RPIM is not a debate between realism and idealism but between competing democratic ideals.
The Trump presidency generated concern about democratic backsliding and renewed interest in measuring the national democratic performance of the United States. However, the US has a decentralized form of federalism that administers democratic institutions at the state level. Using 51 indicators of electoral democracy from 2000 to 2018, I develop a measure of subnational democratic performance, the State Democracy Index. I then test theories of democratic expansion and backsliding based in party competition, polarization, demographic change, and the group interests of national party coalitions. Difference-in-differences results suggest a minimal role for all factors except Republican control of state government, which dramatically reduces states’ democratic performance during this period. This result calls into question theories focused on changes within states. The racial, geographic, and economic incentives of groups in national party coalitions may instead determine the health of democracy in the states.
Consumer credit is a crucial source of financial support for most Americans—part of what scholars dub the “credit-welfare state.” Yet, borrowers have been reluctant to take political action to demand better consumer financial protection, even as subprime lending proliferates. This paper articulates a broad theory of regulatory feedback effects, proposing specific mechanisms through which regulatory policy making shapes consumers’ politics. Drawing on the case of consumer financial protection, I argue that consumer credit regulations produce feedback effects that diminish political engagement by encouraging borrowers to blame and subsequently target market actors—including financial institutions and consumers themselves—for both systemic and individual problems with predatory lending. I analyze an original policy dataset, original survey of 1,500 borrowers, and two survey experiments to test this hypothesis. I find that borrowers’ experiences with credit regulation diminish their political engagement, even for reforms they support, limiting the prospects for safeguarding Americans’ financial security.
It is a well-established fact, from decades of research on political socialization, that the children of politically active parents are more likely to become politically active themselves. This poses a challenge for democracy, as it means that inequalities in political influence are reproduced across generations. The present study argues that this problem may be more severe than has hitherto been acknowledged. The reason for this is that previous research on the topic has focused almost exclusively on political transmission between parents and their children, whereas the role played by more distant forebears, such as grandparents, has been largely neglected. In this study, we use Swedish register data to analyze multigenerational associations in electoral participation. The empirical results clearly indicate that the traditional two-generation approach to the study of political transmission tends to underestimate intergenerational persistence in voting behavior and that this excess persistence has both genetic and social roots.
Though presidents often criticize organized interests, presidents also expend considerable effort engaging them. Using original elite interviews, a survey of lobbyists, and administrative data, I consider how this engagement manifests, why presidents engage interests, and with which interests presidents engage. Unlike in other institutions, presidents exercise substantial control over engagement with interests, and they engage to mobilize interests’ institutional resources in service of their goals. To optimize mobilization, presidents focus engagement on well-resourced interests and interests who share presidents’ preferences. Pairing over seven million White House visitor log entries from two administrations with lobbying and campaign finance records, I demonstrate that presidential engagement is informed by interests’ electoral and policy resources and partisan alignment, though these characteristics’ substantive effects are modest. My findings highlight coalition building with interests as an underappreciated source of presidential power and elucidate the degree to which presidents amplify the political voice of well-resourced and copartisan interests.
How do traumatic experiences shape individuals’ political behavior? Political scientists have investigated the behavioral changes caused by natural disasters and terrorist attacks, but no work to date has investigated the political consequences of such events using the framework of psychological trauma. In this study, I develop a theory of posttraumatic political response that explains how traumatic events influence voter turnout. To test this theory, I identify the effects of three different types of traumatic events: Black church arson attacks, mass shootings, and natural disasters. I find that a traumatic event decreases turnout in the next presidential election by 0.5–3.7 percentage points, but Black social identity conditions this effect—church arsons and Hurricane Katrina mobilize Black voters. Finally, I find that closer temporal proximity to an election increases the likelihood of a mobilizing effect.
Valid inference in an observational study requires a correct control specification, but a correct specification is never known. I introduce a method that constructs a control vector from the observed data that, when included in a linear regression, adjusts for several forms of bias. These include nonlinearities and interactions in the background covariates, biases induced by heterogeneous treatment effects, and specific forms of interference. The first is new to political science; the latter two are original contributions. I incorporate random effects, a set of diagnostics, and robust standard errors. With additional assumptions, the estimates allow for causal inference on both binary and continuous treatment variables. In total, the model provides a flexible means to adjust for biases commonly encountered in our data, makes minimal assumptions, returns efficient estimates, and can be implemented through publicly available software.
The external validity of causal findings is a focus of long-standing debates in the social sciences. Although the issue has been extensively studied at the conceptual level, in practice few empirical studies include an explicit analysis that is directed toward externally valid inferences. In this article, we make three contributions to improve empirical approaches for external validity. First, we propose a formal framework that encompasses four dimensions of external validity: $ X $-, $ T $-, $ Y $-, and C-validity (populations, treatments, outcomes, and contexts). The proposed framework synthesizes diverse external validity concerns. We then distinguish two goals of generalization. To conduct effect-generalization—generalizing the magnitude of causal effects—we introduce three estimators of the target population causal effects. For sign-generalization—generalizing the direction of causal effects—we propose a novel multiple-testing procedure under weaker assumptions. We illustrate our methods through field, survey, and lab experiments as well as observational studies.
Political parties sometimes adopt unpopular positions that condemn them to electoral defeat. This phenomenon is usually ascribed to expressive motives—namely, parties’ desire to maintain their ideological purity. Could ideological parties instead have strategic incentives to lose? To answer this question, I present a model of repeated spatial elections in which voters face uncertainty about their preferred policy and learn via experience. The amount of voter learning, I show, depends on the location of the implemented policy: a more radical policy generates more information. For a party whose ideological stance is unpopular with the electorate, this creates a trade-off between winning the upcoming election so as to secure policy influence and changing voters’ preferences so as to win with a better platform in the future. Under some conditions the party gambles on the future. It chooses to lose today to possibly change voters’ views and win big tomorrow.