political_sociology   48

Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic
How do proto-state organizations achieve an initial accumulation of power, such that they are in a position to grow (or shrink) as an organization, maintain their prestige (or lose it), and be viewed, by elite and populace, as something real and consequential that can be argued about, supported, or attacked? This article argues that state-formation has a performative dimension, in which the publicity of acts of violence, coercion, and negotiation made by agents of the proto-state, and the variable interpretation of these acts, are paramount to the state’s success (or failure) and developing character. In the model developed here, agents of a would-be state act in response to emergencies, and when public interpretations of those actions assign their character and effectiveness to “the state,” the state is performed into being. In particular, public performance solves, in part, agency problems obtaining between state rulers and their staff and elite allies. The formation of the federal government in the early American republic (1783 to 1801), whose success is insufficiently accounted for by extant theory, provides an opportunity to develop a model of the performative dimension of state-formation.

-- Could not tell from the abstract the flavor of performativity used for this analyis?
political_sociology  political_science 
10 weeks ago by rvenkat
The Space between Us by Ryan D. Enos
The Space between Us brings the connection between geography, psychology, and politics to life. By going into the neighborhoods of real cities, Enos shows how our perceptions of racial, ethnic, and religious groups are intuitively shaped by where these groups live and interact daily. Through the lens of numerous examples across the globe and drawing on a compelling combination of research techniques including field and laboratory experiments, big data analysis, and small-scale interactions, this timely book provides a new understanding of how geography shapes politics and how members of groups think about each other. Enos' analysis is punctuated with personal accounts from the field. His rigorous research unfolds in accessible writing that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike, illuminating the profound effects of social geography on how we relate to, think about, and politically interact across groups in the fabric of our daily lives.

https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/12/how-place-shapes-our-politics/548147/
book  sociology  geography  political_sociology  homophily  social_networks  networks  dmce  teaching 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Wealth, Slave Ownership, and Fighting for the Confederacy: An Empirical Study of the American Civil War
How did personal wealth affect the likelihood southerners fought for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War? We offer competing accounts for how we should expect individual wealth, in the form of land, and atrociously, in slaves, to affect white men’s decisions to join the Confederate Army. We assemble a dataset on roughly 3.9 million white citizens in Confederate states, and we show that slaveowners were more likely to fight in the Confederate Army than non-slaveowners. To see if these links are causal, we exploit a randomized land lottery in 19th-century Georgia. Households of lottery winners owned more slaves in 1850 and were more likely to have sons who fought in the Confederate Army than were households who did not win the lottery. Our results suggest that for wealthy southerners, the stakes associated with the conflict’s threat to end the institution of slavery overrode the incentives to free-ride and to avoid paying the costs of war

-- very, very counterintuitive to my worldview. Interesting if these results hold up in other conflicts. Anybody studying demographics of East India Company or the subsequent British Army?
economic_history  political_sociology  causal_inference  rational_choice  slavery  civil_war  united_states_of_america  19th_century  dmce  teaching  ?  via:nyhan 
february 2018 by rvenkat
Political Structures and Political Mores: Varieties of Politics in Comparative Perspective | Sociological Science
We offer an integrated study of political participation, bridging the gap between the literatures on civic engagement and social movements. Historically evolved institutions and culture generate different configurations of the political domain, shaping the meaning and forms of political activity in different societies. The structuration of the polity along the dimensions of “stateness” and “corporateness” accounts for cross-national differences in the way individuals make sense of and engage in the political sphere. Forms of political participation that are usually treated as istinct are actually interlinked and co-vary across national configurations. In societies where interests are represented in a formalized manner through corporatist arrangements, political participation revolves primarily around membership in pre-established groups and concerted negotiation, rather than extra-institutional types of action. By contrast, in “statist” societies the centralization and concentration of sovereignty in the state makes it the focal point of claim-making, driving social actors to engage in “public” activities and marginalizing private and, especially, market-based political forms. We test these and other hypotheses using cross-national data on political participation from the World Values Survey.
political_science  institutions  protests  revolutions  social_movements  collective_action  comparative  civic_engagement  civil_disobidience  political_sociology 
february 2018 by rvenkat
Unity in Diversity: The Nascent Political Identity of Indian-Americans | Harvard Political Review
-- if you've ever lived in India among us, the observations are no-brainers; the article hits the nail on the head. It is interesting how the Indian-American immigrants have managed to retain their socio-economic identities as they re-rooted themselves in this continent but then again, it is not surprising.
political_economy  immigration  us_politics  civic_engagement  political_sociology  india  united_states_of_america  via:noahpinion 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Acharya, A., Blackwell, M. and Sen, M.: Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
Despite dramatic social transformations in the United States during the last 150 years, the South has remained staunchly conservative. Southerners are more likely to support Republican candidates, gun rights, and the death penalty, and southern whites harbor higher levels of racial resentment than whites in other parts of the country. Why haven't these sentiments evolved or changed? Deep Roots shows that the entrenched political and racial views of contemporary white southerners are a direct consequence of the region's slaveholding history, which continues to shape economic, political, and social spheres. Today, southern whites who live in areas once reliant on slavery—compared to areas that were not—are more racially hostile and less amenable to policies that could promote black progress.

Highlighting the connection between historical institutions and contemporary political attitudes, the authors explore the period following the Civil War when elite whites in former bastions of slavery had political and economic incentives to encourage the development of anti-black laws and practices. Deep Roots shows that these forces created a local political culture steeped in racial prejudice, and that these viewpoints have been passed down over generations, from parents to children and via communities, through a process called behavioral path dependence. While legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act made huge strides in increasing economic opportunity and reducing educational disparities, southern slavery has had a profound, lasting, and self-reinforcing influence on regional and national politics that can still be felt today.

A groundbreaking look at the ways institutions of the past continue to sway attitudes of the present, Deep Roots demonstrates how social beliefs persist long after the formal policies that created those beliefs have been eradicated.
book  institutions  political_science  political_sociology  slavery  black_history 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Becoming White: How Mass Warfare Turned Immigrants into Americans
How do groups on the social periphery assimilate into the social core of a nation? I develop a theory of cultural assimilation that highlights the way in which mass mobilization around warfare can reduce ethnic stratifications by incorporating low-status ethnic groups into the dominant national culture. To test the theory, I hone in on the case of World War I in the United States–a period that closely followed a massive wave of immigration into the United States. Using an instrumental variables strategy exploiting the combination of the exogenous timing of the war and features of the draft system, I show that individuals of foreign, European nativity–especially, the Italians and Eastern Europeans–were more likely to assimilate into American society. I also provide evidence of backlash against Germans despite their service for the United States in World War I. The theory and results contribute to our understanding of the ways in which states make identity and the prospects for immigrant assimilation in an age without mass warfare.

-- Ta-nehisi Coates argues that such processes somehow never really happened for Blacks in these United States. Wonder if there is similar data on that.
political_sociology  historical_sociology  immigration  united_states_of_america  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
CESifo Group Munich - Shocking Racial Attitudes: Black G.I.s in Europe
Can attitudes towards minorities, an important cultural trait, be changed? We show that the presence of African American soldiers in the UK during World War II reduced anti-minority prejudice, a result of the positive interactions which took place between soldiers and the local population. The change has been persistent: in locations in which more African American soldiers were posted there are fewer members of the UK’s leading far-right party, less implicit bias against blacks and fewer individuals professing racial prejudice, all measured around 2010. We show that persistence has been higher in rural areas and areas with less subsequent in-migration.
causal_inference  cultural_history  discrimination  extremism  geography  britain  political_sociology  public_opinion  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Immigrants Assimilate into the Political Mainstream | Cato Institute
-- somebody ought to do automated text analysis to look for systematic differences between reports produced by think tanks, newspaper reports and all their ilk and compare them with corresponding academic publications.
report  think_tank  us_politics  immigration  political_sociology  via:noahpinion 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of "Rugged Individualism" in the United States
In a classic 1893 essay, Frederick Jackson Turner argued that the American frontier promoted individualism. We revisit the Frontier Thesis and examine its relevance at the subnational level. Using Census data and GIS techniques, we track the frontier throughout the 1790-1890 period and construct a novel, county-level measure of historical frontier experience. We document skewed sex ratios and other distinctive demographics of frontier locations, as well as their greater individualism (proxied by infrequent children names). Many decades after the closing of the frontier, counties with longer historical frontier experience exhibit more prevalent individualism and opposition to redistribution and regulation. We take several steps towards a causal interpretation, including an instrumental variables approach that exploits variation in the speed of westward expansion induced by national immigration inflows. Using linked historical Census data, we identify mechanisms giving rise to a persistent frontier culture. Selective migration contributed to greater individualism, and frontier conditions may have further shaped behavior and values. We provide evidence suggesting that rugged individualism may be rooted in its adaptive advantage on the frontier and the opportunities for upward mobility through effort.
political_sociology  norms  historical_sociology  causal_inference  18th_century  19th_century  united_states_of_america  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
The Space between Us by Ryan D. Enos
The Space Between Us brings the connection between geography, psychology, and politics to life. By going into the neighborhoods of real cities, Enos shows how our perceptions of racial, ethnic, and religious groups are intuitively shaped by where these groups live and interact daily. Through the lens of numerous examples across the globe and drawing on a compelling combination of research techniques including field and laboratory experiments, big data analysis, and small-scale interactions, this timely book provides a new understanding of how geography shapes politics and how members of groups think about each other. Enos' analysis is punctuated with personal accounts from the field. His rigorous research unfolds in accessible writing that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike, illuminating the profound effects of social geography on how we relate to, think about, and politically interact across groups in the fabric of our daily lives.
book  geography  political_psychology  political_science  spatial_statistics  political_sociology  big_data  experiments  homophily  social_networks  networks  teaching  ? 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Centrism: A Moderate Manifesto - Quillette
--another attempt to define centrism via negation of extremism. Interesting, but only partially convincing.
conservatism  libertarianism  centrism  moral_economy  political_sociology  political_science  enlightenment  via:pinker 
september 2017 by rvenkat

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