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Debates about transparency standards in social science research often lack specificity, mischaracterize the status quo, or stress the value of replication. These debates frequently talk past each other and provide limited practical guidance for qualitative and multi-methods research. Focusing on text-based sources, we provide a review of qualitative research that identifies deficiencies in transparency practices, and advances a five-point framework for improving transparency premised on better specification of sources’ location, production, selection, analysis, and access. We next draw on a multi-year deliberative forum on qualitative transparency to identify researchers’ concerns about changing the status quo. We then showcase illustrative examples of enhanced transparency and conclude with recommendations for how to improve transparency practices for text-based sources. We argue that greater research transparency yields numerous benefits, including facilitating scholarly exchange, improving graduate training, and aiding knowledge cumulation. Rather than advancing replication, which may be undesirable for various qualitative research traditions, new transparency technologies are promising because they allow authors to more easily provide additional context, present complexity, and unpack relevant contradictions about politics.
Combating climate change requires large economic adjustments with significant distributional implications. To build coalitions of support, scholars and policy makers propose compensating individuals who will bear decarbonization’s costs. What are the determinants of public opinion regarding climate compensation and investment? We theorize that climate policy vulnerability and climate change vulnerability induce support for distinct types of climate policy. Fielding original surveys in the United States and India, we show that people who reside in coal-producing regions prefer compensation for lost jobs. The general public privileges diffuse redistribution mechanisms and investments, discounting compensation to targeted groups. Those who are both physically and economically vulnerable have cross-cutting preferences. Nevertheless, there is considerable support across our samples for policies that compensate different coalitions of climate-vulnerable citizens, in line with theories of “just energy” transition and embedded liberalism. We trace the distinctive compensatory preferences of fossil fuel communities to a logic of shared community identities.
This article provides a systematic examination of the role of security considerations in shaping mass preferences over international economic exchange. The authors employ multiple survey experiments conducted in the United States and India, along with observational and case study evidence, to investigate how geopolitics affects voters’ views of international trade. Their research shows that respondents consistently—and by large margins—prefer trading with allies over adversaries. Negative prior beliefs about adversaries, amplified by concerns that trade will bolster the partner's military, account for this preference. Yet the authors also find that a significant proportion of the public believes that trade can lead to peace and that the peace-inducing aspects of trade can cause voters to overcome their aversion to trade with adversaries. This article helps explain when and why governments constrained by public opinion pursue economic cooperation in the shadow of conflict.
Migrants are politically marginalized in cities of the developing world, participating in destination-area elections less than do local-born residents. We theorize three reasons for this shortfall: migrants’ socioeconomic links to origin regions, bureaucratic obstacles to enrollment that disproportionately burden newcomers, and ostracism by antimigrant politicians. We randomized a door-to-door drive to facilitate voter registration among internal migrants to two Indian cities. Ties to origin regions do not predict willingness to become registered locally. Meanwhile, assistance in navigating the electoral bureaucracy increased migrant registration rates by 24 percentage points and substantially boosted next-election turnout. An additional treatment arm informed politicians about the drive in a subset of localities; rather than ignoring new migrant voters, elites amplified campaign efforts in response. We conclude that onerous registration requirements impede the political incorporation, and thus the well-being, of migrant communities in fast-urbanizing settings. The findings also matter for assimilating naturalized yet politically excluded cross-border immigrants.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
How do crises affect trade policy? This article reconciles starkly diverging accounts in the literature by showing that economic adversity generates endogenous incentives not only for protection, but also for liberalization. It first formally develops the mechanisms by which two features of shocks – intensity and duration – influence the resources and political strategies of distressed firms. The central insight is that policy adjustments to resuscitate afflicted industries typically generate ‘knock-on’ effects on the profitability and political maneuverings of other firms in the economy. The study incorporates these countervailing pressures in its analysis of trade policy competition. In the wake of crises, protection initially increases when affected firms lobby for assistance, but then decreases as industries run low on resources to expend on lobbying and as firms in other industries mobilize to counter-lobby. The theoretical predictions are tested using sub-national and cross-national data, and real-world illustrations are presented to highlight the mechanisms driving the results.
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