To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
What effects do contentious elections have on partisan appraisals of democracy? We consider the case of the November 2020 US election, a highly polarized partisan contest but also an objectively free and fair election by credible accounting. We conducted a panel study embedded within two nationally representative surveys before and after the election. Results indicate a familiar but underexamined partisan gap, in which satisfaction with democracy decreases among Republicans and increases among Democrats relative to nonpartisans. We find that the gap is fully mediated by partisan shifts in satisfaction with elections and the news media that cover them. Our results underscore how eroding institutional confidence can undermine democratic legitimacy in hitherto consolidated democracies. To overcome partisan divisions following contentious elections, we highlight the need to bolster confidence in democratic institutions to reduce partisan fears and uncertainties—both rational and irrational—that electoral losses may trigger.
The lynching literature often considers how the Populist Party affected lynching, yet the Southern Farmers’ Alliance—a short-lived but influential voluntary association that mobilized large numbers of white farmers—is overlooked. We argue that this is a critical oversight, as the Alliance was the origin of populism in the South. Specifically, we hypothesize that where the Alliance had more local organizations, the greater the likelihood of lynching from 1888 to 1895, the peak period of populism. To test this, we focus on two states with different experiences with the Alliance: North Carolina, in which the state’s Alliance was a strong supporter of the Populist Party, and South Carolina, where the Democrats sought to court Alliancemen and deter the creation of, and voting for, the Populist Party. Our empirical findings reveal that lynchings were more common in counties where the Farmers’ Alliance had more organizations in South Carolina, but no similar connection exists in North Carolina. These findings suggest that the Southern Farmers’ Alliance is, at times, pivotal to understanding populism’s connection to lynching in the late-nineteenth century American South.
Scholars and journalists connect pandemics to a rise in support for radical political movements. In this study, we draw on this insight to investigate the relationship between the 1918–1919 Spanish influenza pandemic and political extremism—here, the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan—in the United States. Specifically, we ask whether U.S. states and cities with higher death rates from the Spanish flu also had stronger Ku Klux Klan organizations in the early 1920s. Our results do not provide evidence of such a connection; in fact, the data suggest greater Klan membership where the pandemic was less severe. This provides initial evidence that pandemic severity, as measured by mortality, is not necessarily a cause of extremism in the United States; power devaluation as a result of social and cultural change, however, does appear to spur such mobilization.
Relatively little is known about how late nineteenth-century associations worked to get their policy goals adopted by state governments. We study this question here, considering the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and three policies it supported: scientific temperance instruction, increasing the age of consent, and prohibiting tobacco sales to minors. Overall, WCTU-supported legislation was more likely to succeed in states with unified Republican state legislatures, aided by neighboring state adoptions (scientific temperance) and greater WCTU membership (increasing age of consent and prohibiting tobacco sales to minors). These findings are supported by historical evidence, which reveals how WCTU leadership targeted particular states when lobbying for scientific temperance instruction laws and utilized its broad membership base to pressure state legislatures on the other two issues. In total, these results show how one late nineteenth-century membership group was able to facilitate the successful spread of its policies throughout the nation.
Several recent analyses have examined the effects of religious beliefs, belonging, and behaviors on the representation of women in American politics. Taken collectively, these studies present an interesting puzzle. Specifically, they demonstrate that religious adherents express attitudes that are less supportive of women in positions of political leadership and that at every stage of the process, from primary candidacy to general-election victory, women are less likely to run and win in districts with greater numbers of religious adherents. However, this does not appear to be the result of even the most devout voters’ unwillingness to support women candidates in general elections. This body of work, therefore, suggests that the effect of religion on the representation of women manifests at earlier stages of the process, including individual vote choice in primary elections, party and elite recruitment, and potential candidates’ strategic entry decisions.
Our research speaks to the ongoing debate over the extent and severity of partisan political divisions in American society. We employ behavioral experiments to probe for affective polarization using dictator, trust, and public goods games with party identification treatments. We find that subjects who identify politically with the Democratic or Republican Party and ideologically as liberals and conservatives display stronger affective biases than politically unaffiliated and ideological moderates. Partisan subjects are less altruistic, less trusting, and less likely to contribute to a mutually beneficial public good when paired with members of the opposing party. Compared to other behavioral studies, our research suggests increasing levels of affective polarization in the way Americans relate to one another politically, bordering on the entrenched divisions one commonly sees in conflict or post-conflict societies. To overcome affective polarization, our research points to inter-group contact as a mechanism for increasing trust and bridging political divides.
National and cross-national studies demonstrate that the probability of women candidates' emergence and success is lower in more religious areas. One recent study of the U.S. House of Representatives even suggests that the effect of religiosity may be so powerful as to render insignificant other contextual factors, including a district's baseline women-friendliness. We argue that this finding is an institutional artifact; in less competitive contests with more internally similar constituencies, both religion and other contextual factors should affect women candidates' emergence and victory. We test this proposition using state legislative data and find that while women are less likely to run and win in more religious areas, district women-friendliness has an independent, positive effect on women's candidacies. These effects are particularly noteworthy in districts with large evangelical Protestant populations and affect Republican and Democratic women similarly.
Much has been written about efforts to expand women’s social, cultural, and political representation, roles, and opportunities. However, as political scientists, we have done little to document the early history of incorporating women into the discipline. This article illustrates how the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) established the study of politics as an acceptable course of baccalaureate study for women: first, by crafting a model curriculum; second, by advocating for the creation of endowed chairs in political science at women’s colleges; and, third, by publishing in scholarly outlets. The GFWC’s efforts can be viewed as the first steps to the incorporation of women into the discipline—a question that continues to be the subject of much analysis and consternation by professional associations and the academic community.
Popular accounts of the 2016 presidential election attribute Donald Trump’s victory to the mobilization of angry white men seeking to restore traditional values and social roles. Whereas a majority of Trump voters were male, more than 40% of women who went to the polls on Election Day also supported him. This analysis explores the motivations of these women, asking how partisanship, demographics, and beliefs motivated their vote choice. We found that, although party affiliation was an important predictor of both women’s and men’s vote choice, sexism and racial resentment had a greater influence on voters of both genders. Moreover, the influence of these biases was similar for women and men.
The rise of voluntary associations in the late nineteenth century has received significant scholarly attention over the last few decades. Some studies argue that modernization facilitates group formation, but other analyses (e.g., Crowley and Skocpol 2001; Gamm and Putnam 1999) find little support for the argument that modernization caused group formation. Here, we extend this debate to the study of the strength of state-level, voluntary associations with clear political objectives. Using state-level dues paid to national organizations as a measure of group strength, we find evidence that more modernized states typically had the strongest state-level organizations in the 1880s and 1890s. These empirical findings lend support to the modernization thesis but also suggest that group formation and strength may be explained by different processes.
Research shows that areas with high levels of aggregate religiosity are less likely to elect female candidates to national, state, and local offices. These studies, however, do not determine the causal mechanisms underlying this relationship. In the present analysis, we seek to examine what role, if any, religious exposure and tradition play in determining individuals’ general election vote choices in mixed-gender contests. To explore this relationship, we use data from the 2010 and 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies. We find some evidence of a relationship between religious beliefs and voting for female congressional candidates; when compared to secular voters, evangelical Protestants and Catholics are more likely to vote for Republican women and less likely to support Democratic women. Our results, however, also underscore partisan identities’ central role in shaping individual vote choice, regardless of a candidate's gender.
“The word I would use to describe my position on the bench is lonely.” So said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2007, when asked to comment on her position on the U.S. Supreme Court after the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. After a year as the Court's only woman, Ginsburg had begun to feel the solitude that comes from judging alone, being the Court's only descriptive and often symbolic representative of women's interests. Ginsburg's position was not, sadly, as rare as we might hope in industrialized democracies. Although some countries, such as Canada, have had near majorities of women on their respective high courts, other countries, such as the United Kingdom, continue to have only one woman on their national tribunals.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.