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Political parties learn from foreign incumbents, that is, parties abroad that won office. But does the scope of this cross-national policy diffusion vary with the party family that generates those incumbents? The authors argue that party family conditions transnational policy learning when it makes information on the positions of sister parties more readily available and relevant. Both conditions apply to social democratic parties. Unlike other party families, social democrats have faced major competitive challenges since the 1970s and they exhibit exceptionally strong transnational organizations—factors, the authors contend, that uniquely facilitate cross-national policy learning from successful parties within the family. The authors analyze parties’ policy positions using spatial methods and find that social democratic parties are indeed exceptional because they emulate one another across borders more than do Christian democratic and conservative parties. These findings have important implications for our understanding of political representation and of social democratic parties’ election strategies over the past forty years.
We focus on one of the most salient policy issues of our time, immigration, and evaluate whether the salience of immigration in governing parties’ manifestos translates into actual legislative activity on immigration. We contend that democratic policymakers have genuine incentives to do so. Furthermore, we argue that the country context matters for pledge fulfillment, and we find that the migration salience of governing parties’ manifestos more strongly translates into policy activity when the level of immigration restrictions is higher and when countries’ economies perform well. This research has important implications for our understanding of the relationships between economic performance, democratic representation and immigration policy making.
Migration is likely to be a key factor linking climate change and conflict. However, our understanding of the factors behind and consequences of migration is surprisingly limited. We take this shortcoming as a motivation for our research and study the relationship between environmental migration and conflict at the micro level. In particular, we focus on environmental migrants' conflict perceptions. We contend that variation in migrants' conflict perception can be explained by the type of environmental event people experienced in their former home, whether gradual, and long-term or sudden-onset, short-term environmental changes. We develop this argument before quantitatively analyzing newly collected micro-level data on intra-state migration from five developing countries. The results emphasize that migrants who experienced gradual, long-term environmental events in their former homes are more likely to perceive conflict in their new location than those having experienced sudden, short-term environmental events. These findings are in line with our theoretical argument that environmental migrants who suffer from environmentally induced grievances are ultimately more likely to perceive conflict and challenges in their new locations.
A country is on the carbon efficiency frontier if its per-capita emissions of CO2 are at least as low as any state that was at least as economically developed at a period when technology was no more advanced. Building on earlier work employing Data Envelopment Analysis to benchmark performance, we argue that a useful measure of whether a state adopts “good practice” in relation to climate change is how near it is to this frontier. We calculate efficiency scores for a sample of developed countries between 1994 and 2011, and model the impact of green taxation, next to a series of political and economic controls, on performance. We find that higher levels of environmental tax revenue are positively and significantly associated with higher carbon efficiency. The central contributions of this research are the introduction of an innovative measure for environmental quality and assessing how this is driven by green taxation.
Which factors make it more likely that states militarily intervene in ongoing intrastate wars? We develop the argument that migrants, i.e., (1) people coming from the civil-war state living in a potential intervener state (immigrants) and (2) those living in the country at war who stem from the third party (emigrants), influence the decision of external states to intervene in civil wars. Our theoretical framework is thus based on a joint focus on domestic-level determinants in a civil-war country and in foreign states. Primarily based on an accountability rationale, we also claim that the third-party’s regime type has an intervening influence. Using quantitative methods, our empirical results generally support the theory, although there is only weak evidence for the intervening influence of a third party’s level of democracy.
Do parties learn from or emulate parties in other political systems? This research develops the argument that parties are more likely to employ the heuristic of learning from and emulating foreign successful (incumbent) parties. Spatial-econometric analyses of parties’ election policies from several established democracies robustly confirm that political parties respond to left-right policy positions of foreign political parties that have recently governed. By showing that parties respond to these foreign incumbent parties, this work has significant implications for our understanding of party competition. Furthermore, we contribute to the literature on public policy diffusion, as we suggest that political parties are important vehicles through which public policies diffuse.
Previous studies identified several domestic factors that may influence a country’s level of structural coup-proofing, i.e., counterbalancing strategies that shall prevent internal groups from seizing power via a coup d’état. We suggest that a country’s level of counterbalancing is also affected by such policies in what we term countries’ “peer groups.” When deciding the appropriate level of counterbalancing, rulers may be affected by external information flows from a “peer group” with similar structural coup-risk characteristics (institutions) or a similar coup-risk experience (coup history). Using maximum likelihood spatial lag models and data in 1976–2005, we find that leaders learn from and emulate counterbalancing in other states, but rather only through an “experiential peer group.”
Conventional wisdom suggests that environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) play a major role in pushing states towards more ambitious environmental policies. However, demonstrating that this presumption is in fact true is rather difficult, because the same system structures of democracies that may create more opportunities for ENGO activities are also, on their own, conducive to better environmental policies. This leaves open the possibility that the additional (marginal) impact of ENGOs on policy making is smaller than presumed. In trying to disentangle these effects, this paper examines the influence of ENGOs contingent on key structural characteristics of democratic systems. We develop the argument that presidential systems with a plurality electoral rule per se tend to provide more environmental public goods, which induces a smaller marginal impact of ENGOs. Conversely, parliamentary systems with a proportional representation electoral rule are likely to provide fewer environmental public goods, which allows for a larger marginal impact of ENGOs. We find robust empirical support for these hypotheses in analyses that focus on the ratification behavior of 75 democracies vis-à-vis 250 international environmental agreements in 1973–2002.
This article disaggregates coalitions of third-party mediators and examines their effectiveness in interventions. First, it is argued that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the size of a mediating coalition and mediation effectiveness. Secondly, mediators sharing a history of conflict and distrust will transfer their past relationships to a mediation attempt, making it less effective. Consequently, states sharing friendly and co-operative ties with each other are more successful in managing conflicts. Finally, a coalition of mediators that is largely democratic should be more effective due to a shared culture of peaceful conflict resolution, inclusivity and increased communication flows. The empirical analysis using data from the Issues Correlates of War Project for 1965–2000 largely provides support for the theory.
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