political_science   1285

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Subjectivity and Political Science: Subjective Elements of Political Knowledge
This paper introduces a modern definition of objectivity and the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity in political science and detects the subjective elements of political knowledge. It argues that political knowledge is the combination of objective elements and subjective elements and that there have been several cognitive and methodological barriers to investigate subjective elements in political studies, although subjectivity is one of the basic traits of human enterprise, not only in domestic politics but also in international relations. Furthermore, this study conveys some methodological implications and suggests new research questions about subjectivity that is the important factor of political phenomena, especially in East Asia.
Angelo  Pol._185  Methodology  political_science  Science  Passions 
11 hours ago by Jibarosoy
After the Neutrality Ideal: Science, Politics, and "Strong Objectivity"
T,HERE ARE TWO kinds of politics with which the new social studies of science have been concerned. One is the older notion of politics as the overt actions and policies intended to advance the interests and agendas of "special interest groups." This kind of politics "intrudes" into "pure science" through consciously chosen and often clearly articulated actions and programs that shape what science gets done, how the results of research are interpreted, and, therefore, scientific and popular images of nature and social relations. This kind of politics is conceptualized as acting on the sciences from outside, as "politicizing" science. This is the kind of relationship between politics and science against which the idea of objectivity as neutrality works best.'
Angelo  Science  Methodology  political_science  Political  Passions 
11 hours ago by Jibarosoy
19 lessons for political scientists from the 2016 election.
The ground game is overrated, the parties don’t decide (and neither do sharks), and other things we’ll need to rethink going forward.
Angelo  political_science  Sanchez  Methodology  NILP_Board  policy 
9 days ago by Jibarosoy
On advocacy, activism and political science | Duck of Minerva
scholars on the positivist-end of epistemology spectrum accept that we can observe “objective” social facts, study reality in terms of stable meanings and believe that neither prevalent ideologies nor the researcher’s own judgments have a significant impact on the resulting analysis. By contrast, scholars on the post-positivist end of spectrum view social facts as “inter-subjective”; meanings are constructed by dominant actors, contested and inherently unstable. Scholars that adopt post-positivist methods, such as ethnography, participant-observation, or active research, already reject the notion that they are objective observers when conducting research. They understand that by observing and studying social phenomena they impact and influence what they are studying.
Angelo  NILP_Board  Sanchez  political_science  Science  Methodology  political_theory  data  Power_materials  Pol._185 
10 days ago by Jibarosoy
Science Has Always Been Inseparable from Politics - Scientific American Blog Network
We use the scientific method to minimize bias and maximize objectivity. That is what’s rational and unbiased. The scientific enterprise, however, is not, and it’s nothing short of clinging to a fanciful myth to suggest that it ever was.
The reality is that engaging in scientific research is a social activity and an inherently political one. Imagine for a moment that you were going to start a new country today. There are things you’d be compelled to do by default; coming up with laws, for example. Funding science is not a default position when creating a country, it’s a decision we made once as a society, and continue to revisit as we make new policies and pass budgets. Science has been linked to the politics of society since the first person thought it was a good idea to do research, and then convinced their neighbors to give them money to do it.
Angelo  NILP_Board  policy  Science  Methodology  Pol._185  political_science  politics  Passions 
10 days ago by Jibarosoy
The Increasingly United States: How and Why American Political Behavior Nationalized, Hopkins
"In a campaign for state or local office these days, you’re as likely today to hear accusations that an opponent advanced Obamacare or supported Donald Trump as you are to hear about issues affecting the state or local community. This is because American political behavior has become substantially more nationalized. American voters are far more engaged with and knowledgeable about what’s happening in Washington, DC, than in similar messages whether they are in the South, the Northeast, or the Midwest. Gone are the days when all politics was local.
"With The Increasingly United States, Daniel J. Hopkins explores this trend and its implications for the American political system. The change is significant in part because it works against a key rationale of America’s federalist system, which was built on the assumption that citizens would be more strongly attached to their states and localities. It also has profound implications for how voters are represented. If voters are well informed about state politics, for example, the governor has an incentive to deliver what voters—or at least a pivotal segment of them—want. But if voters are likely to back the same party in gubernatorial as in presidential elections irrespective of the governor’s actions in office, governors may instead come to see their ambitions as tethered more closely to their status in the national party."
to:NB  books:noted  us_politics  political_science 
17 days ago by cshalizi
Freedom rising human empowerment and quest emancipation | Comparative politics | Cambridge University Press
This book presents a comprehensive theory of why human freedom gave way to increasing oppression since the invention of states – and why this trend began to reverse itself more recently, leading to a rapid expansion of universal freedoms and democracy. Drawing on a massive body of evidence, the author tests various explanations of the rise of freedom, providing convincing support of a well-reasoned theory of emancipation. The study demonstrates multiple trends toward human empowerment, which converge to give people control over their lives. Most important among these trends is the spread of “emancipative values,” which emphasize free choice and equal opportunities. The author identifies the desire for emancipation as the origin of the human empowerment trend and shows when and why this desire grows strong; why it is the source of democracy; and how it vitalizes civil society, feeds humanitarian norms, enhances happiness, and helps redirect modern civilization toward sustainable development.
book  history  comparative  political_science  development_economics  the_civilizing_process  democracy  debates 
25 days ago by rvenkat
Internal Colonialism, Core-Periphery Contrasts and Devolution: An Integrative Comment on JSTOR
The idea of internal colonialism is presented as a framework for examining regional deprivation, especially in distinct cultural environments, and is considered in the light of the devolution debate.
economics  political_science  networks  economic_geography  economic_sociology  teaching 
5 weeks ago by rvenkat
A randomized controlled design reveals barriers to citizenship for low-income immigrants | PNAS
"Citizenship endows legal protections and is associated with economic and social gains for immigrants and their communities. In the United States, however, naturalization rates are relatively low. Yet we lack reliable knowledge as to what constrains immigrants from applying. Drawing on data from a public/private naturalization program in New York, this research provides a randomized controlled study of policy interventions that address these constraints. The study tested two programmatic interventions among low-income immigrants who are eligible for citizenship. The first randomly assigned a voucher that covers the naturalization application fee among immigrants who otherwise would have to pay the full cost of the fee. The second randomly assigned a set of behavioral nudges, similar to outreach efforts used by service providers, among immigrants whose incomes were low enough to qualify them for a federal waiver that eliminates the application fee. Offering the fee voucher increased naturalization application rates by about 41%, suggesting that application fees act as a barrier for low-income immigrants who want to become US citizens. The nudges to encourage the very poor to apply had no discernible effect, indicating the presence of nonfinancial barriers to naturalization."

--- Or those particular nudges (and perhaps outreach efforts in general?) are just ineffective.
to:NB  experimental_sociology  us_politics  political_science  re:anti-nudge 
6 weeks ago by cshalizi
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg runs a nation-state, and he’s the king - Vox
Fully endorsed; it makes very explicit some points implicit in Tufekci's recent _Wired_ piece.
--- This is now the second piece Henry has written about online proto-polities (the first was about Silk Road [https://aeon.co/essays/why-the-hidden-internet-can-t-be-a-libertarian-paradise] ). I really hope he is not working on a trilogy.

(ObPedant: "Nation-state" is wrong; "sovereign state" would be better. I _know_ Henry knows this perfectly well, and I am sure that Prof. Levi does too; but they don't get to write their own headlines.)
facebook  political_science  political_economy  networked_life  kith_and_kin  farrell.henry  levi.margaret  have_read 
10 weeks ago by cshalizi
Professional Resource Center - International Studies Association
The International Studies Association
Representing over 100 countries, ISA has more than 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 6 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
political_science  political_economy  international  politics  Teaching  IPE 
10 weeks ago by Jibarosoy
[1706.09072] Influence Networks in International Relations
Measuring influence and determining what drives it are persistent questions in political science and in network analysis more generally. Herein we focus on the domain of international relations. Our major substantive question is: How can we determine what characteristics make an actor influential? To address the topic of influence, we build on a multilinear tensor regression framework (MLTR) that captures influence relationships using a tensor generalization of a vector autoregression model. Influence relationships in that approach are captured in a pair of n x n matrices and provide measurements of how the network actions of one actor may influence the future actions of another. A limitation of the MLTR and earlier latent space approaches is that there are no direct mechanisms through which to explain why a certain actor is more or less influential than others. Our new framework, social influence regression, provides a way to statistically model the influence of one actor on another as a function of characteristics of the actors. Thus we can move beyond just estimating that an actor influences another to understanding why. To highlight the utility of this approach, we apply it to studying monthly-level conflictual events between countries as measured through the Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS) event data project.

--Convert this to a class example or HW in a future Part II of this course?

-- Data available at Dataverse but requires some preparation. Involve others (JF,PG)?


-- for students in political science and international relations and ...
political_science  international_affairs  networks  teaching  network_data_analysis 
10 weeks ago by rvenkat
McClendon, G.: Envy in Politics (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"How envy, spite, and the pursuit of admiration influence politics
"Why do governments underspend on policies that would make their constituents better off? Why do people participate in contentious politics when they could reap benefits if they were to abstain? In Envy in Politics, Gwyneth McClendon contends that if we want to understand these and other forms of puzzling political behavior, we should pay attention to envy, spite, and the pursuit of admiration--all manifestations of our desire to maintain or enhance our status within groups. Drawing together insights from political philosophy, behavioral economics, psychology, and anthropology, McClendon explores how and under what conditions status motivations influence politics.
"Through surveys, case studies, interviews, and an experiment, McClendon argues that when concerns about in-group status are unmanaged by social conventions or are explicitly primed by elites, status motivations can become drivers of public opinion and political participation. McClendon focuses on the United States and South Africa—two countries that provide tough tests for her arguments while also demonstrating that the arguments apply in different contexts.
"From debates over redistribution to the mobilization of collective action, Envy in Politics presents the first theoretical and empirical investigation of the connection between status motivations and political behavior."

--- While "Envy in Politics" is clearly a much better title than "Concerns about Inter-personal Status in Politics", it seems somewhat prejudicial...
to:NB  books:noted  moral_psychology  political_science 
11 weeks ago by cshalizi
A return to understanding: Making liberal education valuable again
In more practical terms let me quickly conceptualise this definition of liberal education in terms of curriculum. As discussed, in contemporary society it is understandable that a liberal arts college should offer vocational majors. However, in many liberal arts colleges, students first spend one year following a core curriculum before they decide to follow one of several vocational majors. At this point in time, this core curriculum often centres on giving all students a ‘taste’ of each of the disciplines so that they may make an informed choice. From the first day students are therefore met with an abundance of disciplines to be critically cross-analysed in order to make a decision as to which one may best suit their talents and desires. All the while, students spend little time studying their own natures and learning how to understand, two ingredients which may be helpful in making a decision as to how they may best contribute to society. According to my argument in this article, I would propose that the first year core curriculum focuses more emphatically on private contemplation. Ideally, if students were to gain an understanding of themselves and the world around them in the first year, making a decision as to which vocational major to choose should be possible without taking full courses in each possible discipline. Alternatively, given that the key values of the philosophers’paradigm, much like the orator’s learning outcomes, are not tied to any specific discipline, skills such as self-reflection, or discussing subjects for the pure purpose of understanding them essentially without criticism, could be included in every course taught at liberal arts colleges.
liberal_arts  Core  higher-education  LIU  Cline  philosophy  political_science 
11 weeks ago by Jibarosoy
Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict (Evidence from France, Britain and the US, 1948-2017)
"Abstract. Using post-electoral surveys from France, Britain and the US, this paper documents a striking long-run evolution in the structure of political cleavages. In the 1950s-1960s, the vote for left-wing (socialist-labour-democratic) parties was associated with lower education and lower income voters. It has gradually become associated with higher education voters, giving rise to a “multiple-elite” party system in the 2000s-2010s: high-education elites now vote for the “left”, while high-income/high-wealth elites still vote for the “right” (though less and less so). I argue that this can contribute to explain rising inequality and the lack of democratic response to it, as well as the rise of “populism”. I also discuss the origins of this evolution (rise of globalization/migration cleavage, and/or educational expansion per se) as well as future prospects: “multiple-elite” stabilization; complete realignment of the party system along a “globalists” (high-education, high-income) vs “nativists” (low-education, low-income) cleavage; return to class-based redistributive conflict (either from an internationalist or nativist perspective). Two main lessons emerge. First, with multi-dimensional inequality, multiple political equilibria and bifurcations can occur. Next, without a strong egalitarian-internationalist platform, it is difficult to unite low-education, low-income voters from all origins within the same party. "
inequality  political_science  political_economy  piketty.thomas  via:jbdelong  to:NB 
12 weeks ago by cshalizi
Roberts, M.E.: Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China`s Great Firewall (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"As authoritarian governments around the world develop sophisticated technologies for controlling information, many observers have predicted that these controls would be ineffective because they are easily thwarted and evaded by savvy Internet users. In Censored, Margaret Roberts demonstrates that even censorship that is easy to circumvent can still be enormously effective. Taking advantage of digital data harvested from the Chinese Internet and leaks from China's Propaganda Department, this important book sheds light on how and when censorship influences the Chinese public.
"Roberts finds that much of censorship in China works not by making information impossible to access but by requiring those seeking information to spend extra time and money for access. By inconveniencing users, censorship diverts the attention of citizens and powerfully shapes the spread of information. When Internet users notice blatant censorship, they are willing to compensate for better access. But subtler censorship, such as burying search results or introducing distracting information on the web, is more effective because users are less aware of it. Roberts challenges the conventional wisdom that online censorship is undermined when it is incomplete and shows instead how censorship's porous nature is used strategically to divide the public.
"Drawing parallels between censorship in China and the way information is manipulated in the United States and other democracies, Roberts reveals how Internet users are susceptible to control even in the most open societies. Demonstrating how censorship travels across countries and technologies, Censored gives an unprecedented view of how governments encroach on the media consumption of citizens."
in_NB  books:noted  china:prc  censorship  networked_life  internet  political_science 
12 weeks ago by cshalizi

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