rvenkat + political_science   145

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 
27 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
[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
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.


-- book based on a set of papers co-authored with Gary King, extensively discussed in Tufekci's book. Her current projects include work with Grimmer on causal inference of political attitudes from text-mined data.
book  surveillance  authoritarianism  censorship  civil_rights  platform_studies  china  governance  social_media  political_science 
12 weeks ago by rvenkat
Election polling errors across time and space | Nature Human Behaviour
Are election polling misses becoming more prevalent? Are they more likely in some contexts than others? Here we undertake an over-time and cross-national assessment of prediction errors in pre-election polls. Our analysis draws on more than 30,000 national polls from 351 general elections in 45 countries between 1942 and 2017. We proceed in the following way. First, building on previous studies, we show how errors in national polls evolve in a structured way over the election timeline. Second, we examine errors in polls in the final week of the election campaign to assess performance across election years. Third, we undertake a pooled analysis of polling errors—controlling for a number of institutional and party features—that enables us to test whether poll errors have increased or decreased over time. We find that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the recent performance of polls has not been outside the ordinary. However, the performance of polls does vary across political contexts and in understandable ways.
political_science  prediction  expert_judgment 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Game Changers: Detecting Shifts in Overdispersed Count Data | Political Analysis | Cambridge Core
In this paper, I introduce a Bayesian model for detecting changepoints in a time series of overdispersed counts, such as contributions to candidates over the course of a campaign or counts of terrorist violence. To avoid having to specify the number of changepoint ex ante, this model incorporates a hierarchical Dirichlet process prior to estimate the number of changepoints as well as their location. This allows researchers to discover salient structural breaks and perform inference on the number of such breaks in a given time series. I demonstrate the usefulness of the model with applications to campaign contributions in the 2012 U.S. Republican presidential primary and incidences of global terrorism from 1970 to 2015.
bayesian  statistics  change_detection  time_series  political_science  via:nyhan 
march 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
Do Political Protests Matter? Evidence from the Tea Party Movement* | The Quarterly Journal of Economics | Oxford Academic
Can protests cause political change, or are they merely symptoms of underlying shifts in policy preferences? We address this question by studying the Tea Party movement in the United States, which rose to prominence through coordinated rallies across the country on Tax Day, April 15, 2009. We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance. We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policy making was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above 1. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences
protests  collective_action  political_science  social_movements  us_politics 
january 2018 by rvenkat
How Newspapers Reveal Political Power* | Political Science Research and Methods | Cambridge Core
Political science is in large part the study of power, but power itself is difficult to measure. We argue that we can use newspaper coverage—in particular, the relative amount of space devoted to particular subjects in newspapers—to measure the relative power of an important set of political actors and offices. We use a new dataset containing nearly 50 million historical newspaper pages from 2,700 local US newspapers over the years 1877–1977. We define and discuss a measure of power we develop based on observed word frequencies, and we validate it through a series of analyses. Overall, we find that the relative coverage of political actors and of political offices is a strong indicator of political power for the cases we study. To illustrate its usefulness, we then apply the measure to understand when (and where) state party committees lost their power. Taken together, the paper sheds light on the nature of political news coverage and offers both a new dataset and a new measure for studying political power in a wide set of contexts.
news_media  political_science  natural_language_processing  text_mining  journalism  via:nyhan 
january 2018 by rvenkat
Benhabib, S.: Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political (Paperback) | Princeton University Press
The global trend toward democratization of the last two decades has been accompanied by the resurgence of various politics of "identity/difference." From nationalist and ethnic revivals in the countries of east and central Europe to the former Soviet Union, to the politics of cultural separatism in Canada, and to social movement politics in liberal western-democracies, the negotiation of identity/difference has become a challenge to democracies everywhere. This volume brings together a group of distinguished thinkers who rearticulate and reconsider the foundations of democratic theory and practice in the light of the politics of identity/difference.

In Part One Jürgen Habermas, Sheldon S. Wolin, Jane Mansbridge, Seyla Benhabib, Joshua Cohen, and Iris Marion Young write on democratic theory. Part Two--on equality, difference, and public representation--contains essays by Anne Phillips, Will Kymlicka, Carol C. Gould, Jean L. Cohen, and Nancy Fraser; and Part Three--on culture, identity, and democracy--by Chantal Mouffe, Bonnie Honig, Fred Dallmayr, Joan B. Landes, and Carlos A. Forment. In the last section Richard Rorty, Robert A. Dahl, Amy Gutmann, and Benjamin R. Barber write on whether democracy needs philosophical foundations.
democracy  comparative  political_science  world_trends  caste_system  book 
december 2017 by rvenkat
On the Dynamics of Ideological Identification: The Puzzle of Liberal Identification Decline* | Political Science Research and Methods | Cambridge Core
Our focus is a puzzle: that ideological identification as “liberal” is in serious decline in the United States, but at the same time support for liberal policies and for the political party of liberalism is not. We aim to understand this divorce in “liberal” in name and “liberal” in policy by investigating how particular symbols rise and fall as associations with the ideological labels “liberal” and “conservative.” We produce three kinds of evidence to shed light on this macro-level puzzle. First, we explore the words associated with “liberal” and “conservative” over time. Then we take up a group conception by examining the changing correlations between affect toward “liberals” and affect toward other groups. Finally, we consider the changing policy correlates of identification.


I am curious about the evolution of *neoliberal* as an expletive.
norms  dynamics  political_science  ideology  conservatism  liberalism  public_opinion  us_politics  via:nyhan  linguistics  evolution  cultural_cognition 
december 2017 by rvenkat
The Polarizing Effects of Online Partisan Criticism: Evidence from Two ExperimentsThe International Journal of Press/Politics - Elizabeth Suhay, Emily Bello-Pardo, Brianna Maurer, 2018
Affective and social political polarization—a dislike of political opponents and a desire to avoid their company—are increasingly salient and pervasive features of politics in many Western democracies, particularly the United States. One contributor to these related phenomena may be increasing exposure to online political disagreements in which ordinary citizens criticize, and sometimes explicitly demean, opponents. This article presents two experimental studies that assessed whether U.S. partisans’ attitudes became more prejudiced in favor of the in-party after exposure to online partisan criticism. In the first study, we draw on an online convenience sample to establish that partisan criticism that derogates political opponents increases affective polarization. In the second, we replicate these findings with a quasi-representative sample and extend the pattern of findings to social polarization. We conclude that online partisan criticism likely has contributed to rising affective and social polarization in recent years between Democrats and Republicans in the United States, and perhaps between partisan and ideological group members in other developed democracies as well. We close by discussing the troubling implications of these findings in light of continuing attempts by autocratic regimes and other actors to influence democratic elections via false identities on social media.
political_science  online_experiments  polarization  democracy  partyism  us_politics  via:nyhan  dmce  teaching 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Viktor Orban’s oligarchs: a new elite emerges in Hungary
--remarkable similarities to the co-evolution of oligarchy autocracy and right-wing populism world over. It is almost as if we are watching the emergence of potential mechanisms through which liberal democracies devolve and regress into something else. Newer the democracy, easier it seems to be to get these going.
comparative  political_science  european_politics  world_trends  autocracy  right-wing_populism  conservatism  norms  institutions  via:nyhan 
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
Policy Preferences and Policy Change: Dynamic Responsiveness in the American States, 1936–2014 | American Political Science Review | Cambridge Core
Using eight decades of data, we examine the magnitude, mechanisms, and moderators of dynamic responsiveness in the American states. We show that on both economic and (especially) social issues, the liberalism of state publics predicts future change in state policy liberalism. Dynamic responsiveness is gradual, however; large policy shifts are the result of the cumulation of incremental responsiveness over many years. Partisan control of government appears to mediate only a fraction of responsiveness, suggesting that, contrary to conventional wisdom, responsiveness occurs in large part through the adaptation of incumbent officials. Dynamic responsiveness has increased over time but does not seem to be influenced by institutions such as direct democracy or campaign finance regulations. We conclude that our findings, though in some respects normatively ambiguous, on the whole paint a reassuring portrait of statehouse democracy.
democracy  public_opinion  public_policy  political_science  causal_inference  ?  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Secular Party Rule and Religious Violence in Pakistan | American Political Science Review | Cambridge Core
Does secular party incumbency affect religious violence? Existing theory is ambiguous. On the one hand, religiously motivated militants might target areas that vote secularists into office. On the other hand, secular party politicians, reliant on the support of violence-hit communities, may face powerful electoral incentives to quell attacks. Candidates bent on preventing bloodshed might also sort into such parties. To adjudicate these claims, we combine constituency-level election returns with event data on Islamist and sectarian violence in Pakistan (1988–2011). For identification, we compare districts where secular parties narrowly won or lost elections. We find that secularist rule causes a sizable reduction in local religious conflict. Additional analyses suggest that the result stems from electoral pressures to cater to core party supporters and not from politician selection. The effect is concentrated in regions with denser police presence, highlighting the importance of state capacity for suppressing religious disorder.
secularism  the_civilizing_process  political_science  extremism  causal_inference  asia  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Red fighting blue how geography and electoral rules polarize american politics | American government, politics and policy | Cambridge University Press
The national electoral map has split into warring regional bastions of Republican red and Democratic blue, producing a deep and enduring partisan divide in American politics. In Red Fighting Blue, David A. Hopkins places the current partisan and electoral era in historical context, explains how the increased salience of social issues since the 1980s has redefined the parties' geographic bases of support, and reveals the critical role that American political institutions play in intermediating between the behavior of citizens and the outcome of public policy-making. The widening geographic gap in voters' partisan preferences, as magnified further by winner-take-all electoral rules, has rendered most of the nation safe territory for either Democratic or Republican candidates in both presidential and congressional elections - with significant consequences for party competition, candidate strategy, and the operation of government.
book  us_politics  geography  polarization  history  political_science  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Political Power, Public Employment, & Private Wage Convergence: The Labor Market Effects of the Voting Rights Act
A central concern for racial and ethnic minorities living in democratic societies is having access to opportunities for economic advancement equal to their majority counterparts. In this paper, we test whether minority political empowerment is linked to individual economic gains in the form of labor market progress. We use the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to examine whether the re-enfranchisement of black Americans in the American South contributed to their improved economic status over the second half of the twentieth century. Using a border discontinuity design, we find that counties where political rights were protected by the federal government experienced larger reductions in the black-white wage gap between 1950 and 1990. In addition to showing that the VRA improved blacks Americans’ wages, we also provide evidence of a mechanism that has been less-often discussed in research examining racial disparities in the labor market: public sector employment. Finally, we also show that the wage gains of black Americans occur almost immediately after passage of the VRA. As such, our results suggest that wage gains are likely not caused (at least exclusively) by differential changes in human capital accumulation as schools attended by black children improved.

-- I am sure there are systematic critical reviews of causal inference in political science.
political_economy  economic_sociology  labor  discrimination  natural_experiment  causal_inference  via:nyhan  political_science 
november 2017 by rvenkat
An expressive voting model of anger, hatred, harm and shame | SpringerLink
To consider some political implications of angry voters, we alter the standard expressive model in a fundamental way. One result is that an angry voter with a strong sense of shame at the thought of voting to harm others, may still do so, even when the harm is brutal. Indeed, his willingness to vote for harming others may increase if the proposed harm becomes more severe, even though the angry voter is more “decent” (less willing to harm others) than most of us sometimes are. Several examples are given that are consistent with the most troubling implications of the model. An empirical appendix follows the concluding section which tests the implications of the model indirectly.

--classic rational voter :), class discussion, hw,...?
rational_choice  behavioral_economics  voting  political_science  dmce  teaching  via:noahpinion 
november 2017 by rvenkat
How Responsive are Political Elites? A Meta-Analysis of Experiments on Public Officials* | Journal of Experimental Political Science | Cambridge Core
In the past decade, the body of research using experimental approaches to investigate the responsiveness of elected officials has grown exponentially. Given this explosion of work, a systematic assessment of these studies is needed not only to take stock of what we have learned so far about democratic responsiveness, but also to inform the design of future studies. In this article, I conduct the first meta-analysis of all experiments that examine elite responsiveness to constituent communication. I find that racial/ethnic minorities and messages sent to elected officials (as opposed to non-elected) are significantly less likely to receive a response. A qualitative review of the literature further suggests that some of these inequalities in responsiveness are driven by personal biases of public officials, rather than strategic, electoral considerations. The findings of this study provide important qualifications and context to prominent individual studies in the field.
us_politics  political_science  bias  discrimination  meta-analysis  democracy  via:nyhan  dmce  teaching 
october 2017 by rvenkat
The Politics of Selecting the Bench from the Bar: The Legal Profession and Partisan Incentives to Introduce Ideology Into Judicial Selection
Using a new dataset that captures the ideological positioning of nearly half a million U.S. judges and lawyers who have made campaign contributions, we present evidence showing how ideology affects the selection of U.S. judges across the state and federal judicial hierarchies. We document that the higher the court, the more it deviates ideologically from the overall population of attorneys, suggesting an even stronger role of ideology in judicial selection. We show similarly stronger findings in jurisdictions where judges are selected via political appointments or through partisan elections. Our findings therefore suggest that ideology is an important component of judicial selection primarily when (1) doing so leads to expected benefits to political parties, (2) when the jurisdiction’s selection process affords them the opportunity to do so, and (3) when it concerns the most important courts. The study is the first to provide a direct ideological comparison across tiers of the judiciary and between judges and lawyers and to document how—and why— American courts are politicized.
law  legal_system  united_states_of_america  polarization  data  political_science  via:nyhan  dmce  teaching 
october 2017 by rvenkat
The Morality of Administrative Law by Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN
As it has been developed over a period of many decades, administrative law has acquired its own morality, closely related to what Lon Fuller described as the internal morality of law. Reflected in a wide array of seemingly disparate doctrines, but not yet recognized as such, the morality of administrative law includes a set of identifiable principles, often said to reflect the central ingredients of the rule of law. An understanding of the morality of administrative law puts contemporary criticisms of the administrative state in their most plausible light. At the same time, the resulting doctrines do not deserve an unambiguous celebration, because many of them have an ambiguous legal source; because from the welfarist point of view, it is not clear if they are always good ideas; and because it is not clear that judges should enforce them
democracy  moral_philosophy  governance  regulation  administrative_state  law  political_science  cass.sunstein 
october 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
Intolerance and Political Repression in the United States: A Half Century after McCarthyism - Gibson - 2008 - American Journal of Political Science - Wiley Online Library
What consequences for political freedom arise from high levels of political intolerance among the American public? Comparing surveys from 1954 to 2005, I document the level of perceived freedom today and consider how it has changed since the McCarthy era. Levels of intolerance today and in 1954 are also compared. Next assessed is whether restrictions on freedom are uniformly perceived or whether some subsections of the population are more likely to feel repressed than others. I find that while intolerance may have declined somewhat since 1954, perceived constraints on individual freedom have actually increased. These findings produce telling consequences for the subtheory of pluralistic intolerance. During McCarthyism, intolerance focused on the Left; today, many groups are not tolerated, so the loss of freedom is more widespread. Heretofore, many thought that pluralistic intolerance tended to be benign. At least in the case of the contemporary United States, it seems not to be.
united_states_of_america  democracy  freedom_of_expression  freedom_of_speech  public_opinion  political_science 
september 2017 by rvenkat
How Political Science Gets Politics Wrong. By: MOUNK, YASCHA, Chronicle of Higher Education
IN THE WAKE of the Great Recession, economists faced tough questions: How could they have missed the imminent collapse of the world economy? Of what use were all their intricate models if they couldn...
democracy  autocracy  norms  institutions  political_science  methods  critique  interview  from notes
september 2017 by rvenkat
Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public, Kinder, Kalmoe
Congress is crippled by ideological conflict. The political parties are more polarized today than at any time since the Civil War. Americans disagree, fiercely, about just about everything, from terrorism and national security, to taxes and government spending, to immigration and gay marriage.
Well, American elites disagree fiercely. But average Americans do not. This, at least, was the position staked out by Philip Converse in his famous essay on belief systems, which drew on surveys carried out during the Eisenhower Era to conclude that most Americans were innocent of ideology. In Neither Liberal nor Conservative, Donald Kinder and

Nathan Kalmoe argue that ideological innocence applies nearly as well to the current state of American public opinion. Real liberals and real conservatives are found in impressive numbers only among those who are deeply engaged in political life. The ideological battles between American political elites show up as scattered skirmishes in the general public, if they show up at all.

If ideology is out of reach for all but a few who are deeply and seriously engaged in political life, how do Americans decide whom to elect president; whether affirmative action is good or bad? Kinder and Kalmoe offer a persuasive group-centered answer. Political preferences arise less from ideological differences than from the attachments and antagonisms of group life.
political_science  ideology  polarization  political_psychology  public_opinion  elite_opinion  partyism  book  united_states_of_america 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Social influence and political mobilization: Further evidence from a randomized experiment in the 2012 U.S. presidential election
A large-scale experiment during the 2010 U.S. Congressional Election demonstrated a positive effect of an online get-out-the-vote message on real world voting behavior. Here, we report results from a replication of the experiment conducted during the U.S. Presidential Election in 2012. In spite of the fact that get-out-the-vote messages typically yield smaller effects during high-stakes elections due to saturation of mobilization efforts from many sources, a significant increase in voting was again observed. Voting also increased significantly among the close friends of those who received the message to go to the polls, and the total effect on the friends was likely larger than the direct effect, suggesting that understanding social influence effects is potentially even more important than understanding the direct effects of messaging. These results replicate earlier work and they add to growing evidence that online social networks can be instrumental for spreading offline behaviors.
networked_life  network_data_analysis  online_experiments  intervention  political_science  social_networks  networks  teaching 
september 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
Trumpism and American Democracy: History, Comparison, and the Predicament of Liberal Democracy in the United States by Robert C. Lieberman, Suzanne Mettler, Thomas B. Pepinsky, Kenneth M. Roberts, Richard Valelly :: SSRN
In the eyes of many citizens, activists, pundits, and scholars, American democracy appears under threat. Concern about President Trump and the future of American politics may be found among both conservatives and progressives; among voters, activists, and elites; and among many scholars and analysts of American and comparative politics. What is the nature of the Trumpism as a political phenomenon? And how much confidence should we have at present in the capacity of American institutions to withstand this threat?

In this essay, we argue that answering these questions and understanding what is uniquely threatening to democracy at the present moment requires looking beyond the contemporary particulars of Donald Trump and his presidency. Instead, it demands a historical and comparative perspective on American politics. Drawing on a range of insights from the fields of comparative politics and American political development, we argue that President Trump’s election in 2016 represents the intersection of three streams in American politics: polarized two-party presidentialism; a polity fundamentally divided over membership and status in the political community, in ways structured by race and economic inequality; and the erosion of democratic norms at the elite and mass levels. The current political circumstance is an existential threat to American democratic order because of the interactive effects of institutions, identity, and norm-breaking in American politics.
us_politics  political_science  institutions  democracy  autocracy  norms  trumpism  via:nyhan 
august 2017 by rvenkat
Pointing at the Wrong Villain: Cass Sunstein and Echo Chambers - Los Angeles Review of Books
--interesting and meaty critique but some of his arguments about limitations __enlightenment ideals_ need more careful reading....
book_review  democracy  collective_cognition  media_studies  internet_culture  political_science  public_opinion  21st_century 
august 2017 by rvenkat
he Politics of Policy: The Initial Mass Political E ects of Medicaid Expansion in the States
Whether public policy a ects electoral politics is an enduring question with an elusive answer. We identify the impact of the highly contested Patient Protection and A ordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 by exploiting cross-state variation created by the 2012 Supreme Court decision in National Federation of Independent
Business v. Sebelius. We compare changes in registration and turnout following the expansion of Medicaid in January of 2014 to show that counties in expansion states experience higher political participation compared to similar counties in non-expansion states. Importantly, the increases we identify are concentrated in counties with the largest percentage of eligible bene ciaries. The e ect on voter registration persists through the 2016 election, but an impact on voter turnout is only evident in 2014. Despite the partisan politics surrounding the ACA { a political environment that di ers markedly from social programs producing policy feedbacks in the past { our evidence is broadly consistent with claims that social policy programs can produce some political impacts, at least in the short-term.
us_politics  health  ACA  voting  political_science  causal_inference  ?  united_states_of_america  via:nyhan 
july 2017 by rvenkat
Jewish Persecutions and Weather Shocks: 1100–1800 - Anderson - 2016 - The Economic Journal - Wiley Online Library
What factors caused the persecution of minorities in pre-modern Europe? Using panel data consisting of 1,366 persecutions of Jews from 936 European cities between 1100 and 1800, we test whether persecutions were more likely following colder growing seasons. A one standard deviation decrease in growing season temperature in the previous five-year period increased the probability of a persecution by between 1 and 1.5 percentage points (relative to a baseline of 2%). This effect was strongest in weak states and with poor quality soil. The long-run decline in persecutions was partly attributable to greater market integration and state capacity.
history  economic_history  economic_sociology  materialism  economics  war  jewish_diaspora  political_science  via:nyhan 
june 2017 by rvenkat
Did Shy Trump Supporters Bias the 2016 Polls? Evidence from a Nationally-representative List Experiment : Statistics, Politics and Policy
Explanations for the failure to predict Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 Presidential election sometimes include the “Shy Trump Supporter” hypothesis, according to which some Trump supporters succumb to social desirability bias and hide their vote preference from pollsters. I evaluate this hypothesis by comparing direct question and list experimental estimates of Trump support in a nationally representative survey of 5290 American adults fielded from September 2 to September 13, 2016. Of these, 32.5% report supporting Trump’s candidacy. A list experiment conducted on the same respondents yields an estimate 29.6%, suggesting that Trump’s poll numbers were not artificially deflated by social desirability bias as the list experiment estimate is actually lower than direct question estimate. I further investigate differences across measurement modes for relevant demographic and political subgroups and find no evidence in support of the “Shy Trump Supporter” hypothesis.
us_elections  us_politics  2016  trumpism  political_science  data  hypothesis_testing  via:nyhan 
june 2017 by rvenkat
A Bottom-Up Theory of Public Opinion about Foreign Policy - Kertzer - 2017 - American Journal of Political Science - Wiley Online Library
f public opinion about foreign policy is such an elite-driven process, why does the public often disagree with what elites have to say? We argue here that elite cue-taking models in International Relations are both overly pessimistic and unnecessarily restrictive. Members of the public may lack information about the world around them, but they do not lack principles, and information need not only cascade from the top down. We present the results from five survey experiments where we show that cues from social peers are at least as strong as those from political elites. Our theory and results build on a growing number of findings that individuals are embedded in a social context that combines with their general orientations toward foreign policy in shaping responses toward the world around them. Thus, we suggest the public is perhaps better equipped for espousing judgments in foreign affairs than many of our top-down models claim.
opinion_formation  public_opinion  judgment_decision-making  political_psychology  political_science  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
june 2017 by rvenkat
Assessing the Breadth of Framing Effects
Issue frames are a central concept in studying public opinion, and are thought to operate by foregrounding related considerations in citizens' minds. But scholarship has yet to consider the breadth of framing effects by testing whether frames influence attitudes beyond the specific issue they highlight. For example, does a discussion of terrorism affect opinions on proximate issues like crime or even more remote issues like poverty? By measuring the breadth of framing effects, we can assess the extent to which citizens' political considerations are cognitively organized by issues. We undertake a population-based survey experiment with roughly 3,300 respondents which includes frames related to terrorism, crime, health care, and government spending. The results demonstrate that framing effects are narrow, with limited but discernible spillover on proximate, structurally similar issues. Discrete issues not only organize elite politics but also exist in voters' minds, a finding with implications for studying ideology as well as framing.
political_science  public_opinion  ideology  heuristics  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
may 2017 by rvenkat
Who Defects? Unpacking a Defection Cascade from Russia's Dominant Party 2008–12 | American Political Science Review | Cambridge Core
Under what conditions do individuals withdraw support from dominant parties in nondemocratic regimes? Employing an original panel survey, we measure the same individuals’ support for Russia's dominant party first at the peak of its dominance in 2008 and again shortly after it suffered a cascading defection of regime supporters in 2011–12. This allows us uniquely to explore the microfoundations of theories of regime defection cascades, generally supporting the argument that they involve complex “informational” as well as “reputational” processes. Accordingly, we find that early and eager movers in such a cascade tend to come from less socially vulnerable segments of the population, to have greater need to rely on other people for interpreting events, to believe the regime has lower levels of popular support, and to come from more heterogeneous communities. We find little role for mass media (including social media) or democratizing zeal in driving Russia's regime defection cascade.
political_science  political_economy  collective_action  democracy  autocracy  common_knowledge  social_networks  ?  russia  via:sunstein 
may 2017 by rvenkat
The 2016 U.S. Election: Can Democracy Survive the Internet? | Journal of Democracy
The 2016 presidential election represents the latest chapter in the disintegration of the legacy institutions that had set bounds for U.S. politics in the postwar era. It is tempting (and in many ways correct) to view the Donald Trump campaign as unprecedented in its breaking of established norms of politics. Yet this type of campaign could only be successful because established institutions—especially the mainstream media and political-party organizations—had already lost most of their power, both in the United States and around the world. The void that these eroding institutions left was filled by an unmediated populist nationalism tailor-made for the Internet age.

democracy  media_studies  internet  political_science  us_elections  us_politics  2016 
april 2017 by rvenkat
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