Theme Panels

Review the panels selected by our Program Chairs Efrén Pérez, UCLA, and Andra Gillespie, Emory University,  due to their exploration of the 2020 conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.”  View the Special Call for Proposals>>

Full Paper Panel
Sunday, September 13, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Kimberley S. Johnson, New York University; (Discussant) Didi Kuo, Stanford University

Session Description: An anti-government ideology has dominated domestic US politics since the Reagan presidency in the 1980s. It drives deregulation, opposition to federal enforcement of civil rights, relentless tax cuts and a revived ideology of individualism. This panel explains how this forceful opposition to state activism arose from the 1980s and the threat it poses to the legitimation of government power.   Anti-statism includes reducing tax revenues, de-regulating public policy, stopping the race desegregation agenda, privatizing criminal justice, and largely eviscerating controls on how much unidentified donors can spend on election campaigns. Ideologically includes claims about the necessity for military power.  Institutionally the anti-government ideology includes arguments about the bureaucracy and deep state, and the constitutional power implied by the unitary executive. Combined anti-government ideology and practices are reconfiguring the American state in federal government and posing a host of issues about state legitimacy.  The papers on this panel address these issues in different ways.


The Wars of Legitimacy: Social Movements and the Trump Election
Leah Wright-Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School; Megan Ming Francis, University of Washington

What are the foundational moments in social and political history that provide the building blocks for the 2016 election? Our paper looks at the convergence and intersection of three radically different social movements: Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, and Black Lives Matter – in order to draw inferences about the 2016 election and the presidency of Donald Trump. Our research shows that the three movements dramatically changed the relationship between political elites and citizens, cultivating and rallying around the broad notion of the “illegitimacy of the state” – an idea that was central to the 2016 presidential election and remains critical in the present. We argue that the aggregate and abstract frustrations of Occupy, the Tea Party and BLM fit squarely within the concept of our theory of “state illegitimacy” that Donald Trump exploited during the campaign and continues to cynically exploit during his presidency: the illegitimacy of economic institutions, the illegitimacy of a black president, and the illegitimacy of elected officials and both neoliberalism and neoconservatism. Within our paper, we adopt a methodological approach rooted in a movement-centered assessment of the 2016 election and its history, wherein we identify the roots of the public desire for abstract notions of state illegitimacy and change, and the social movements that help propel these ideas into the mainstream of American presidential politics.


A Beleaguered Republic: The “Deep State” and the “Unitary Executive”
Stephen Skowronek, Yale University; John Arthur Dearborn, Yale University

Coming up with a proper characterization of the American state has never been easy. Scholars have been wrestling with the challenge for decades. Recently, however, events on the ground have stirred the pot in ways that might reconfigure the debate. The intrusion of a new term, the “Deep State,” has thrown together a number of issues previously dealt with only here and there, and in so doing, it has pushed to the fore larger, long-simmering questions about institutional design, government management, and political accountability. With talk of the Deep State roiling national politics, that old academic puzzle no longer seems so arcane.


The War on Government.
Desmond King, University of Oxford

An anti-government ideology has dominated domestic US politics since the Reagan presidency in the 1980s. It drives deregulation, opposition to federal enforcement of civil rights, relentless tax cuts and a revived ideology of individualism. This paper does two things. First, it explains how this forceful opposition to state activism gained traction in the 1980s as a reaction to the expansion of the federal government between 1940 and 1975 and the economic malaise of the 1970s. I explain how American politics was ‘nationalized’ during this earlier period, stimulating a political counter movement leading forward to and in many ways presaging the Trump populist turn.  Second, the paper explains how the political project to dismantle and weaken this strong federal government has unfolded, from the 1980s to the present, by reducing tax revenues, de-regulating public policy, stopping the race  desegregation agenda, privatizing criminal justice, and largely eviscerating controls on how much unidentified donors can spend on election campaigns.  America’s war on government pushed against a political system designed to advantage and protect racial inequality, through such institutions as the electoral college, the US Senate’s malapportionment, the constitutional strength of states’ residual powers, and judicial support for weak government.  Anti-statism has transformed American democracy. It redefines the role of government, reversing civil rights gains; and facilitates the dominance of wealth-based interests in national policy to challenge the resilience of democratization in the United States, by permitting the opulent to influence elections unhindered by campaign contributions laws and by jeopardizing the equal rule of law for all citizens. Historically the rise of anti-government ideology rests in a struggle between two competing visions of American democracy, an egalitarian vision which insists on federal activism to enforce rights versus an individualist order which demands a limited state irrespective of resulting inequalities.


The American State and the Limits of Public Policy
Jamila D. Michener, Cornell University

Both historically and contemporarily, public policies have been primary instruments through which the state has created, maintained and exacerbated racial and economic inequity. The flip side of this is that public policy has also been deployed to reverse, reduce and redress such disparities. Altogether, the trajectory of American public policy vis-à-vis racial and economic injustice has not been uniform, progressive or linear. Instead, the contours of policy have been variable over time, with even single policies at particular points having mixed racial and economic implications. Drawing on the historical and empirical record, this paper broadly charts the course of five domains of American policy (health, welfare, housing, crime, and employment). Within each of these arenas, we identify vital policy inflection points—some marked by progress towards racial and economic fairness, some characterized by damaging policies that undermined equity, others still with varied repercussions. Describing, comparing, and contrasting such patterns reveals the limits of public policy as a tool the state can wield to realize racial and economic justice. By systematically pinpointing the ways that policy has come up short, we develop crucial insights about reliance on public policy as a state channel for addressing inequality.

Author meet critics
Thursday, September 10, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Participants: (Presenter) Elizabeth R. Nugent, Princeton University; (Chair) Melani Cammett, Harvard University; (Presenter) Anna M. Grzymala-Busse, Stanford University; (Presenter) Dan Slater, University of Michigan

Session Description: How does repression affect political behavior, and through which psychological mechanisms? In After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transitions (Princeton University Press, 2020), Elizabeth R. Nugent explores how polarization among elite actors occurs under authoritarianism as well as the profound consequences of polarization for successful democratic consolidation during transitions. The book introduces an original two-stage theory. First, repression influences how opposition actors come to identify themselves politically. Second, identities jointly created through these mechanisms shape the landscape of affective bonds and articulated preferences among actors through well-established processes of preference formation. The nature of repression determines whether it has exacerbating or ameliorating effect; widespread repression creates bridging political identities and decreases polarization across the opposition, while targeted repression increases in-group identification for repressed groups and increases polarization. After Repression tests the argument through in-depth case studies of repression and polarization among the opposition in Egypt and Tunisia prior the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and how this conditioned behavior during the transitions, a brief discussion of similar dynamics in Indonesia and Algeria, and lab experimental evidence supporting the psychological mechanism through which repression shapes political identities and polarization.

The panel will begin with a 10-minutes presentation by Nugent of a paper from the next step in her research agenda on the psychology of repression and political behavior. In “A Dream Deferred: The Behavior of Political Activists after Defeated Revolution,” Nugent turns towards from the politicians charged with navigating the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings to the activists who carried out the protests. With the exception of Tunisia, the majority of Middle Eastern countries witnessing massive protests have experienced a retrenchment of authoritarianism rather than democratization. The broader project seeks to document how activists experience revolution and its aftermath, conceptualize political hope and disappointment, and explore how politically relevant emotions relate to mobilizational continuation and innovation by activists in exile. The project contributes to knowledge by exploring the dynamics of defeated revolution, a topic neglected in the study of contested politics, and humanizing the experience of political change in documenting activists’ life trajectories of activists and first-hand accounts. “A Dream Deferred” is the first paper in the larger ongoing project. First, it outlines the theory and the emotional mechanisms through which repression affects political behavior. Next, the paper presents the results of a nationally representative survey administered to 2,000 Egyptian adult citizens in December 2018. The instrument included questions about political preferences and behaviors, emotions, demographics. Embedded towards the end of the survey was an experiment priming feelings of disappointment after the 2011 revolution. The results demonstrate two interesting findings that motivate the project and justify its focus on activists as differently affected by the revolution than the regular population. First, priming disappointment led respondents to report less willingness to politically mobilize when analyzed the survey population as a whole. However, when isolating activists – in this sample, those who reported demonstrating during the 2011 and other political protests – the results demonstrate a different relationship; priming disappointment led to increased willingness to politically mobilize. While regular Egyptians were demobilized by the disappointment of the 2011 uprising, activists remain mobilized.

After the presentation, critics will discuss the broader research agenda, combining feedback on both the paper as well as After Repression. Melani Cammett, Anna Gryzmala-Busse, and Daniel Slater have graciously agreed to comment.

The work discussed on this panel speak to the “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” theme of APSA 2020 in a number of ways. The book seeks to understand how polarization undermines democracy, a topic of current relevance not only for the Middle East but also for countries around the global. The paper explores how political activists are changed but continue to be galvanized in response to democratic threats, here in the form of authoritarian retrenchment following the countless possibilities of revolution, and how regular citizens may be threatened or scared into submitting to illiberal tactics and practices.

Full Paper Panel
Wednesday, September 9, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Lee Ann Banaszak, Pennsylvania State University; (Discussant) Christopher S. Parker, University of Washington; (Discussant) Corrine M. McConnaughy, George Washington University

Session Description: This session examines the ways in which social movements have and are responding to emerging and continuing democratic deficits in the United States.  It focuses on the organizations that have emerged, the tactics they have used, and the results that they have (or have not) achieved.  The first two papers consider the Black Lives Matter movement, while the second two papers explore a wider variety of advocacy organizations.  All of the papers analyze the normative implications of their empirical findings.


The Role of Black Women Political Elites in #BlackLivesMatter
Nadia E. Brown, Purdue University

The rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the resurgence of protest politics is one of the seminal social movements of the current time. #BlackLivesMatter is a hashtag used by a network of activists, scholars, and practitioners that seek to create a world where “Blacks lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” ( While other studies have demonstrated that the news media problematically links Blackness and crime in its reports (Campbell 1995; Lawrence 2000), we seek to access the ways in which Black citizens and elected officials may shape or influence the medias’ portrayal of Black bodies left dead after police encounters. Because the killings of Black men and boys have received significantly more media attention than those of Black women and girls, we examine how the #SayHerName campaign and other activities by Black women insert a necessary but often overlooked intersectional narrative into conversations around Black Lives Matter. In doing so, Black women bring their experiences of race/gendered marginalization into their understandings of how articulate to the unique position of Black communities and why it is important to have an intersectional approach to the analysis of state-sponsored violence.  Through a qualitative and humanistic analysis of both traditional and social media, the relationship between state-sponsored violence against Black Americans, race, and grassroots activism and politics, We ask how have Black women used their raced/gendered identities to champion Black Lives Matter initiatives for marginalized communities?


For Whom Does Democracy Work? The Influence of the Black Lives Matter Movement
Fernando Arturo Tormos Aponte, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Democratic theorists have argued that civic engagement accounts for the quality of democracy (Putnam 1993). In times of growing discontent towards electoral democracy, social agency and associational life may hold the key to the revitalization of American democracy (Skocpol, Ganz, and Munson 2000). Academics, politicians, and journalists have deemed protests and protesters to be as American as apple pie (Andrews 1994). Yet, not all social groups get a piece of this pie. Minority political efforts to challenge the status quo have shown that not all social groups can bring claims to the political system with the same ease and raised questions about the legitimacy of American political institutions (Thompson and Thurston 2018). Black protests, for example, have been more likely to be repressed than white protests (Davenport, Soule, and Armstrong 2011). Black activists in the US and abroad have been subject to surveillance and police raids, branded as terrorists and criminals, and deemed to be deserving of violence (Davis 2016; Davis 2018; Khan-Cullors and bandele 2018; Taylor 2018). Despite facing barriers to political participation and being perceived as threats (Davenport, Soule, and Armstrong 2011), minority groups have persisted and continued to challenge the American political system to be more representative of their identities and responsive to their claims. One of the most prominent of these systemic challenges has been the Black Lives Matter movement. This study assesses the event to which the Black Lives Matter movement exerted political influence in the wake of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The death of unarmed African Americans at the hands of police ignited a wave of contentious political action and solidarity demonstrations across the United States and the globe. Activists and allies decried state-sponsored violence and called for comprehensive reforms to address structural racism. Despite the outpouring of solidarity and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, activists and scholars affirm that efforts to achieve policy change were blocked by conservative backlash and coordinated attempts to prevent legislation that addressed movement claims. This study draws from the author’s participant observation of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as from an expanded and updated dataset of Black Lives Matter activism, originally developed by Williamson et al (2018), to examine the extent to which the movement exerted state and local policy change. This dataset includes observations of Black Lives Matter activism between 2014-2018 in 1,358 localities in the US with a population over 30,000. This includes protests, the presence of movement organizations, among various measures of the political context in which the movement operates. The study finds that Black Lives Matter protests led to the adoption of an amalgam of policies aimed at addressing violence against Black communities. These policies included creating or reforming existing police oversight boards, legislation on body cameras, allocating resources for better data gathering on unarmed civilian deaths at the hands of police, criminal justice reforms, among other policy instruments. Cities were more likely to adopt policies when protesters persisted and demonstrated repeatedly. These finding have implications for theories of democracy, social movements and policy change and, specifically, scholarship on questions of identity in movements, movement survival, and the political consequences of social movements.


Building People, Building Power: Grassroots Collective Action in the USA
Hahrie C. Han, Johns Hopkins University

How do vehicles of collective action build and exercise political power, given the improbability of their work? The organizations, movements, networks, and associations that build and sustain collective action—which we will generally refer to as organizations, broadly defined—play a unique role in American democracy. These organizations simultaneously reach inward to develop the capacities ordinary people need to act as agents of change in society, and outward to pressure decision-makers to heed the concerns of these constituents. Whether these vehicles take the form of formal bureaucratic organizations or more dispersed movement networks, all of them operate as intermediary institutions between the mass public and governmental institutions. Yet, given the strong status quo bias in American politics, in most cases, collective action fails. Nonetheless, the centrality of these types of organizations to the democratic project calls for more research unpacking the core logic that makes it possible for them to translate the actions of their constituency into political influence. Most existing research focuses more on what vehicles of collective action need, rather than how they turn what they have into what they need. One stream of research, for instance, has focused on the free-rider problem. Olson’s framing of the collective action problem focused considerable subsequent research on the question of how organizations generate collective action at scale: how can selective incentives (benefits available to only those who help earn them), notions of civic duty, culture, relational ties, mobilizing structures, and other factors ameliorate the temptation to free ride)? A later stream of research focusing on social movements has examined the conditions and resources that vehicles of collective action need to affect change. This work has outlined a broad set of material and human resources); contextual conditions, such as state capacity, opportunity structures, inequality, or levels of cognitive liberation within a constituency; and cultural factors needed to make collective action politically influential of these factors create important constraints and opportunities, but focus more on the resources needed than the strategic choices leaders can make to turn resources into power. We use variation in subnational politics to examine six cases studies of state based collective action, and synthesize findings across these six cases. Our argument examines commonalities across these cases, working in different geographies, on different issues, with different constituencies. Our story, in the end, is one of people beholden to people—of leaders and constituents embedded in organizations—and the strategic constraints and possibilities those relationships create for exercising power in politics. As such, we deviate from trends in the study and practice of collective action in two key ways. First, we focus on strategy in dynamic political environments. Coaches, generals, and CEOs recognize the importance of strategy in sports, war, and business for navigating competitive, dynamic terrain. Politics is similarly competitive and dynamic. The study and practice of collective action, however, often underestimates the range of strategic choices leaders can make. Whether the goal is symbolic, disruptive, or to achieve other kinds of power, many models assess the effectiveness of collective action by the scale of resources amassed. In contrast, our cases showed alternative strategic logics. Second, we focus on the collective side of collective action. Copious research on and practical studies of collective action examine how to generate action at scale. But what makes collective action collective? We argue that collective action is more than the additive sum of individual actions. Instead, the leaders and organizations we studied were able to exert power in large part because they were grounded in constituencies who had committed to standing together, to becoming something new together that they could not be alone. In choosing to stand with each other, these constituencies became cognizant of not only their rights to express their interests in the political process, but also the responsibilities they needed to accept to make it possible. These constituencies were thus able to hold tensions that often seem to contradict each other—commitment and flexibility, ideology and pragmatism—making possible a different kind of politics.


American Democracy under Protest
Michael T. Heaney, University of Glasgow

This study examines the politics of protest in the United States of America during the presidency of Donald Trump.  It considers the motivations for participation in protest, the persistence of that participation (or lack thereof), and support for a range of political tactics (both peaceful and violent).  Data are drawn from over 5000 original surveys conducted at 35 left-leaning and right-leaning protests in Washington, DC in 2017 and 2018.  The preliminary analysis suggests the robustness of dissatisfaction with democracy as explanation for nonelectoral participation, persistent protest, and support for violent tactics on the political left.  However, activists on the political right are less likely to modulate their protest participation as a function of democratic dissatisfaction, instead devoting greater attention to their electoral participation (or lack thereof) as a mechanism to communicate their dissatisfaction.  The statistical models include control variables for electoral participation, party membership, sex, race, age, education, income, and emotions.  This study is relevant to contemporary debates about American politics, protest, social movements, and political participation.

Co-sponsored by Division 2: Foundations of Political Theory
Full Paper Panel
Thursday, September 10, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Discussant) Danielle Charette, University of Chicago; (Chair) Adam Lebovitz, Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Session Description: The theme of the 2020 APSA annual meeting—Difference, Democracy, and Destabilization—offers an ideal opportunity to consider new work being done around a perennial theme, namely, the relationship between free speech and democracy. A basic assumption of much political theory over the past century has been that this relationship is mutually reinforcing, and that a robust right to protest, petition, and publish is in some sense constitutive of democracy. What the papers collected for this panel suggest is that the opposite may be closer to the truth—very often it has been those who most strongly identify as “democrats” who have been most enthusiastic about various kinds of restrictions on freedom of expression. And if the relationship between freedom of speech and democracy is, in fact, far more vexed than we have understood, this opens up a new agenda for research in the history of political thought, and poses a series of urgent questions for contemporary democratic theory.

In recent years the assumption that unrestricted freedom of expression is intrinsic to democracy has come under pressure from all sides of the political spectrum. Commenters on the right have questioned whether norms of “academic freedom,” invoked to protect the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, are being abused to shield partisan political activity in universities from democratic scrutiny. And commenters on the left have questioned whether the vaunted idea of “freedom of the press” is anything other than a charter of privileges for the oligarchs who control the means of producing and disseminating opinions. It has long been accepted that democracy may permit certain limits on freedom of expression in order to vindicate other values, such as the priority of regime survival in times of emergency (the literature on “militant democracy”), and in order to ensure the equal status of vulnerable groups (the literature on “hate speech”). But participants in public debate are increasingly edging towards a bolder position—that democracy may in fact require restrictions on freedom of speech in order for collective self-rule to function.

This new set of priorities is reflected in an emerging scholarly literature on the history of freedom of speech, encompassing Teresa Bejan’s research on toleration and civility in early modern England, Laura Weinrib’s research on the invention of the modern “civil liberties” regime in early twentieth century America, and recent work by Richard Tuck and Nadia Urbinati on the conceptual foundations of majoritarianism. But there is an enormous amount of research still to be done on the often tense relationship between democratic government and free expression.

This panel marks an effort to redress this gap by exploring the tension between democracy and free speech at several different historical junctures. Jud Campbell (Richmond School of Law) will present a paper on understandings of “free speech” and “freedom of the press” in founding-era America, building on a series of papers he has published arguing that the original understanding of these concepts was incommensurable with those of the present day, and permitted myriad forms of censorship that are today considered anathema. Adam Lebovitz (Cambridge) will investigate how the Jacobins in revolutionary France moved from a strongly libertarian position on freedom of the press to a sharply restrictive one, and the complex rationales they developed to explain why an unregulated press would necessarily breed royalism. Annelien de Djin (Utrecht) will speak on the liberal theorist L.T. Hobhouse, who developed a theory of “civil liberties” that nevertheless posited a right on the part of governments to regulate and control the press. And Anton Jäger (Cambridge) will explore the hostility of the American populist movement towards universities and norms of “academic freedom,” which later led to Populist unease about the teaching of evolution. Danielle Charette (Chicago), an expert on the republican tradition in the eighteenth century, will provide comments on all four papers.

There is every reason to believe that “Democracy Versus Free Speech” will not only shed light on several under-examined episodes in the history of political thought, but will also prompt new conversations on the ways in which collective self-rule and individual self-expression can come apart. There are reasons to expect, too, that it will generate a vigorous and passionate debate in the Q&A, and will stimulate new research by political scientists, legal scholars, and political theorists concerning what is sure to be a central problem of democratic theory in the years ahead.



Changing Conceptions of the First Amendment
Jud Campbell, University of Richmond

When American jurists interpret the First Amendment today, they draw on a host of deeply engrained assumptions about the nature of constitutional rights, including their counter-majoritarian purposes. If the Speech and Press Clauses mean anything, we now assume, they bar the government from attempting to shape public discourse by regulating the content or viewpoint of private speech. Building on my prior and ongoing scholarly projects, this historically oriented presentation will begin by summarizing how earlier understandings of expressive freedom—though certainly protective of public discourse in certain ways—did not provide the type of counter-majoritarian protections that we often now assume. In particularly, the dominant elite understandings of speech and press freedoms from the American Founding through the earlier twentieth century were situated within a way of thinking about rights that prioritized the public good over private interests and placed socially defined boundaries on public discourse. The second part of the presentation will discuss how this earlier conception of rights—and speech and press freedoms in particular—broke down in the mid-twentieth century. In its place, American jurists began to describe expressive freedom as a right against legislative restrictions of speech on the basis of content or viewpoint. Although these rights were not understood to be “absolute” in the sense that they denied all governmental power over speech, they at least were categorical in their denial of governmental authority to restrict private speech in order to shape public discourse.


Leonard Hobhouse on Free Speech and Democracy
Annelien de Dijn, University of Utrecht

Today, the British sociologist Leonard Hobhosue is best known as a defender of a new and more “social” kind of liberalism; a liberalism critical of the laissez-faire shibbelots of an earlier generation. But Hobhouse was also, as I will argue in this paper, an innovative theorist of democracy. In works such as Democracy and Reaction, Hobhouse developed a penetrating analysis of the various ways in which economic inequality  undermined fin-de-siecle British democracy. Notably, he was one of the first liberal thinkers to point out how the grip of elites on media outlets such as newspapers perverted free speech, as well as formulating various innovative solutions to this problem.


The Populist Challenge to Academic Freedom
Anton Jäger, Cambridge University

A rich literature on ‘populism’ and ‘free speech’ has flourished in the last decade. Following a now consensual vision of ‘populism’ as ‘anti-pluralism’, Nadia Urbinati, Jan-Werner Müller, and Matthias Rooduijn have homed in on the tensions between populist democracy and free speech rights. In this story, populists supposedly support restrictions on free speech due to belief in a homogeneous and indivisible people uniquely deserving of speech rights, a practice now taken up by regimes such as Modi, Orban, or Trump. This paper revisits these theses through a re-examination of the first self-declared populist movement in history, the American People’s Party of the late nineteenth century. From the 1870s to the 1900s, Populists in the People’s Party and earlier Farmers’ Alliances built a bi-racial movement which knit workers and farmers together in a broad ‘producerist’ coalition. The movement later achieved notoriety when former leaders supported the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and opposed the teaching of evolution in Tennessee public schools in the 1925 Scopes Trial. This, however, was continuous with Populist critiques of academies in the 1890s. Historians have regularly read these Populist proposals as evincing of a cultural particularism which dictated suppression of dissenters. This likens them to contemporary populists. Both in the 1890s and 1920s, however, Populists justified restrictions on academic freedom out of a majoritarian ethic rather than a mere cultural preference. They insisted on the capacity for legislatures to determine both public and private speech and exercise broad interventionist capacities over public discourse. More than a defense of particularity or anti-intellectualism, Populist criticisms of evolutionism and other academics currents thus spoke to their preference for legislatures undone of constitutional restrictions. This story presents an important counterpoint to contemporary accounts.


Jacobin theories of freedom of speech
Adam Lebovitz, Trinity Hall, Cambridge

For the 2020 APSA panel “Democracy versus Free Speech,” I plan to present a paper on Jacobin views of freedom of the press between 1789 and 1799. It is well-known, on the one hand, that Jacobin theorists favored an unlimited free press between 1788 and 1792, and gradually came to advocate severe restrictions on the freedom to write and publish as they assumed the reins of power between 1792 and 1794. Thus Jean-Paul Marat could write in 1790 that “the liberty to say anything has no enemies except those who would reserve to themselves the right to do anything.” In June 1793, under very different social and political conditions, Marat would insist that “no quarter be given to libelists-for-hire who calumny the revolution, defame established authorities…and pervert the public spirit.” The Jacobin constitution of June 1793 promised that “the right of manifesting thoughts and opinions, either by the press or by any other manner…cannot be forbidden”; it was ratified at precisely the moment that Girondin and “federalist” newspapers were being suppressed, and their authors submitted to revolutionary justice. This disjuncture is typically attributed either to the standard hypocrisy that distinguishes a party out of power from a party in power, or else to the conditions of “emergency” that prevailed during the Terror, and led to the curtailment of a full spectrum of civil liberties. These standard explanations are not incorrect, but they gloss over a series of fascinating ideological somersaults that will be at the center of my presentation. Jacobins in the crucible of the revolution found themselves buffeted by two cross-cutting imperatives—on the one hand, to repress a series of enemies they believed would endanger liberty by exploiting an unregulated press, and on the other hand, to remain loyal to their original civil libertarian commitments to free speech. These dueling pressures led them to stake out a number of creative positions, from proposing that the government not ban opposition newspapers but merely prevent them from free use of the post, to suggestions that the government subsidize “correct” and “patriotic” sources of information, to more sweeping claims that certain ideas and individuals could not be permitted to use the press if society was to remain republican and free. The contortions of Jacobins on this question during the Terror were only magnified after their fall from power. On the one hand, the Jacobins who survived Thermidor sought shelter in constitutional guarantees of free speech and free association—Gracchus Babeuf, the most radical Jacobin of this period, named his newspaper Journal de la liberté de la presse, and Jacobin leaders like Pierre Antonelle attempted to distance themselves from Robespierre by trumpeting their embrace of civil liberties. And on the other hand, when the Jacobins sketched out the republic they hoped to build, they emphasized that certain kinds of speech (in favor of revealed religion, or the legitimacy of monarchy) would be not only suppressed, but harshly punished. What I hope to show is that the unsteadiness of the Jacobins around the question of liberty of speech is not, primarily, a story about either hypocrisy, or the temporary abrogation of cherished freedoms in times of emergency. Rather, it speaks to a real tension around the right of free speech in a democratic republic—whether a regime can permit speech advocating its own destruction, whether the for-profit press can be regulated like any other kind of industry, and whether press censorship is any more coercive than other standard republican institutions (like patriotic education) meant to instill civic virtue. It is precisely because these paradoxes are still with us, that it is worth carefully reconstructing and understanding the debates of this formative period,

Thursday, September 10, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants: (Presenter) Hahrie C. Han, Johns Hopkins University; (Chair) David A. Karpf, George Washington University; (Presenter) Lisa Garcia Bedolla, University of California, Berkeley; (Presenter) Joseph Kahne, University of California, Riverside; (Presenter) Marie Griffith, Washington University in St. Louis; (Presenter) Ethan Zuckerman, Center for Civic Media, MIT

Session Description: Support for key elements of constitutional democracy appears to be diminishing, both in the U.S. and abroad, constituting a threat to democracy and the acceptance of differences. A better understanding of democratic engagement—defined as attitudes toward and participation in civic and political life—could help citizens, policymakers, and civil society respond to this threat. There is a need for a diagnostic tool to understand the ebbs and flows of democratic engagement, and the factors that contribute to, or detract from, such engagement. Such a tool would invigorate the interdisciplinary study of democratic engagement, thus informing public policy and practice to enhance the health of American democracy. Currently, the study of democratic engagement is hindered by the lack of a focused, large-scale, systematic, and longitudinal source of individual-level data. This roundtable explores what a new diagnostic tool could look like to address these limitations.

Existing, or “legacy” data sources are ill-equipped to speak to the breadth of factors that impact democratic engagement. They often include measures designed decades ago, which do not reflect the full range of Americans’ democratic engagement today, especially via digital platforms, and center on forms of engagement that are most common among privileged groups in society. Most data sources are not designed to account for the impact of state or community level contextual variables on democratic engagement, and they do not have the sample size to allow municipal level analysis. Existing large panel data sets do not generally survey individuals below the age of 18, and the few panel data sets that do focus on adolescence generally do not follow youth into adulthood, limiting assessment of experiences in school and community contexts on either current or future political engagement.  There is no study specifically designed to understand democratic engagement and the attitudes that support it both during election and non-election years over time. 

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, which will issue its final report in June 2020, will recommend a major new study of democratic engagement. The hope is that such a study would be widely used by both scholars and practitioners, opening up new understanding of how, when, and why people engage in democratic life. The Commission will suggest, by way of analogy, that the study of democratic engagement needs its version of the human genome project—a collaborative source of data designed to answer big questions.

This roundtable will bring together members of the Commission to explore what data a new study should provide and what pressing questions we could answer with that data. What characteristics should the study have with respect to the sample and set of indicators? What data is needed to better understand democratic engagement online? What civic metrics for social media could help us understand how various platforms fulfill civic purposes? How can the data from the study be made accessible to scholars and the broader public? What questions can the data help us answer about the health of American democracy?

Full Paper Panel
Friday, September 11, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants: (Chair) Margaret Weir, Brown University; (Discussant) Desmond King, University of Oxford

Session Description: This panel presents work from the Social Science Research Council’s project on “Anxieties of Democracy,” focused on difference, democracy, and redistribution in the United States.  The papers show how the stable identities and alliances of the postwar era gave way to a jumble of social cleavages and political rifts that now set the menu for politics. They reveal that the trend toward disaggregation in the late twentieth century, which historian Daniel Rogers (2011) called “the age of fracture,” has continued apace. Instead of sweeping away class divides, however, political fragmentation has, if anything, deepened inequalities and rendered them more multifaceted. Fueled by fear and energized by the appeal of narrowly-defined protections, the politics of fracture makes it difficult to address economic and social insecurity in broad and inclusive ways. Instead, a pervasive sense of insecurity has created fertile ground for populist politicians pushing politics toward ugly extremes once thought banished from public life. The paper by Alice Kessler-Harris shows how the women’s movement’s initial concern with social transformation and caring gave way to a search for liberty and equality of opportunity for individuals and groups, in the process dividing the movement along paths that echoed racial and class tensions; Kris-Stella Trump examines why increasing income inequality has not led to more demands for redistribution, assessing the public opinion literature on information about inequality and highlighting the role of deservingness and racial stereotypes in limiting demands for redistribution; Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson argue that three developments—the retrenchment of private provision, the resurgent impact of racial resentment, and the radicalization of the GOP—are essential to grasping not just how America insecurity arose but also whether it might be addressed.  Andra Gillespie examines the role of nostalgia in the 2016 election. But nostalgia, she shows, reflects a tunnel-vision of the past, incorporating only the perspective of those who feel their social dominance challenged. At the heart of that challenge lie perceived shifts in the racial hierarchy


Race, Remembrance and Precarity: Nostalgia and Vote Choice in 2016
Andra Gillespie, Emory University

This paper shows how nostalgia for a lost past drives support for Trump. Longing for a lost “golden age” has infused other historical periods when Americans confronted the anxieties associated with change and uncertainty (Cowie 2016, p.227). Gillespie demonstrates that Trump took full advantage of this powerful social and political tool in his call to “make America great again.” But nostalgia, she shows, reflects a tunnel-vision of the past, incorporating only the perspective of those who feel their social dominance challenged. At the heart of that challenge lie perceived shifts in the racial hierarchy.  Nostalgia is closely linked to racial resentment and to backlash against the election of America’s first black president.  Of course, racist appeals, coded or not, are nothing new in American politics.  The era that many remember with nostalgia featured bitter struggles over basic civil rights in the South and the openly racist candidacy of George Wallace who won votes across the country with his vow to preserve segregation “forever.”  Gillespie’s analysis shows the power of a savvy marketer to prime racist attitudes by combining open attacks on immigrants with gauzy references to a misremembered past.


Engendering Democracy in an Age of Anxiety
Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University

This paper situates the problem of gender solidarity in an analysis of the development of democracy and capitalism in the postwar America.  I show that, even though the U.S. fell far short of the solidaristic policies of postwar European social democracies, New Deal social policies expanded in the decades after World War II.  By the 1960s, federal action designed to temper capitalism and to lodge ideals of freedom within a system of social protection were gaining wide support. In this context, the emerging women’s movement embraced broadly solidaristic goals, including a universal right to child care. The paper documents the underlying tensions in the movement between those seeking freedom to function in a male-dominated society and those embracing social justice and wider social change. In the 1970s, I argue, gender solidarities evaporated in the context of newly dominant ideas about market freedom and individual responsibility. I show that racialized ideas about individual responsibility and belief in meritocracy undermined support for broad redistributive policies.  As unprecedented opportunities opened for privileged women at the top of the educational and income ladders, well-off women embraced individual rights in place of gender solidarity across economic lines. Broad class and gender alliances dissolved into fragmented identity politics and women became “just another interest group.”


Public Opinion and Reactions to Increasing Income Inequality
Kris-Stella Trump, University of Memphis

As inequality has grown in many of the liberal democracies, a wealth of new research has sought to account for its impact on attitudes about policy and politics. This paper analyzes this literature, focusing on attitudes toward rising top-level incomes. Research has shown that there is little relationship between the growth of inequality and support for redistribution: countries with more inequality do not exhibit greater support for redistribution nor does support for redistribution rise when inequality grows worse. Seeking to understand why inequality has such limited effect on support for redistribution, studies have examined whether inadequate information — people underestimate the extent of inequality — is the problem. However, as the paper shows, experimental research reveals that the impact of more accurate information is mixed and depends greatly on the type of information and the conditions under which it is given. Instead, I argue that attitudes about the deservingness of the poor are more important in shaping views about redistribution. In the United States, a large literature on the undeserving poor shows that racial stereotypes lies at the heart of harsh assessments of deservingness. Yet, the paper shows that the United States is not alone in this regard: ethnic and racial divisions lower support for redistribution in Europe as well. Even so, in the United States, longstanding racial stereotypes and strong belief in meritocracy combine in unique ways to limit support for redistribution. If growing inequality challenges racial stereotypes or undermines faith in meritocracy, American views may shift to support more redistribution.


The Peculiar Politics of American Insecurity
Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University; Paul Pierson, University of California, Berkeley

The growing insecurity of American households is often seen as an exogenous economic change beyond political control—a result of deep shifts in technology, finance, and the global economy. We argue that, as important as these exogenous changes have been, the Great Risk Shift is to a very large extent a result of endogenous political and policy developments. Moreover, we suggest that many, though certainly not all, of these developments are specific to the United States—which is why both the politics and the experience of American insecurity stand out in cross-national perspective. In particular, we focus on three fundamental developments: (1) the erosion of America’s distinctive framework of social provision, which is uniquely reliant on private risk-pooling by employers—risk-pooling that has become less and less attractive to American business in a financialized, globalized economy with weak labor power; (2) the weakness of social solidarity and resonance of racial (rather than class) appeals in our increasingly geographically, racially, and politically polarized society; and (3) the growing extremism of the Republican Party, enabled and propelled by its capacity to maintain (at least until now) an uneasy “plutocratic-populist” coalition of upscale economic conservatives and downscale social conservatives.  Understanding these three developments—the retrenchment of private provision, the resurgent impact of racial resentment, and the radicalization of the GOP—is essential to grasping not just how America insecurity arose but also whether it might yet be addressed.

Co-sponsored by Division 23: Presidents and Executive Politics
Thursday, September 10, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) George C. Edwards, Texas A&M University; (Presenter) Karen M. Hult, Virginia Tech; (Presenter) David E. Lewis, Vanderbilt University; (Presenter) Kenneth R. Mayer, University of Wisconsin, Madison; (Presenter) Mary E. Stuckey, The Pennsylvania State University; (Presenter) George C. Edwards, Texas A&M University

Session Description: Donald Trump has been both a polarizing and a consequential president.  This panel of distinguished scholars will evaluate his presidency from the standpoint of his leadership of public opinion, Congress, and the bureaucracy, his decision making, and his rhetoric.


Co-sponsored by Division 1: Political Thought and Philosophy: Historical Approaches
Full Paper Panel
Friday, September 11, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Jill Frank, Cornell University; (Discussant) Matthew Simonton

Session Description: The third decade of the 21st century has opened amidst growing concerns with the future of democracy, including the threats associated with tensions around wealth and income inequality, increasing factionalism, and the global rise of populism. The contemporary concern with the erosion of democratic norms, institutions, and practices is often tied to a worry with the proliferation of falsehoods in politics, and a dissolution with an ideal vision of politics as a practice of knowledgeable and informed deliberation. These questions and concerns, however, are by no means new. In fact, they have overshadowed democracy since its earliest days. This panel turns to the ancient Greek world and the political thought of Plato and Aristotle in an attempt to inform our understanding of contemporary threats to democracy. It considers the ways in which these thinkers push us to think about how contemporary threats to democracy arise from (and might, therefore, need to be addressed as) deep problems that the Greeks thought were common to a range of political regimes: from democracy and oligarchy to the ideal state of the Republic.

Like us today, the ancient Greeks were deeply concern with the threats posed by political divisions and factions (stasis). Demetra Kasimis’ paper offers a novel account of stasis in Greek political thought. Reading Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics, it argues that the ancient understanding of the causes of stasis includes not only class division and inequality, but also kinship relations. Specifically, it focuses on Aristotle’s account of a disrupted marriage ceremony in Delphi to theorize the relationship between gender and familial conflicts and regime breakdown. Aristotle’s concern with political stability is further explored in Matthew Landauer’s paper. Focusing on Aristotle’s account of the ways in which oligarchies deceive and fool the people in order to benefit the wealthy and secure their rule, it argues that this concern is crucial for Aristotle’s theory of the mixed regime and for understanding the normative value he puts on political stability. While Aristotle rules out the oligarchic attempt to trade on ambiguity for deception, his normative theory of political stability leads him to seek institutional arrangements of valuable and productive state of ambiguity.

Aristotle’s concern with practices of political deception reflects the broader worry of ancient Athenian thinkers with the use and abuse of falsehoods in politics, an issue that becomes increasingly central to our political life today. Avshalom Schwartz and Ryan Balot turn to Plato’s political writing to explore his account of the role of falsehoods, lies, and deception in politics. Schwartz’s paper argues that despite Plato’s famous aspiration to absolute truth, he nonetheless recognized the necessity of falsehood in political life. It shows that Plato’s critique of democracy in the Republic is tied to his rejection of the democratic use of falsehoods and explores Plato’s alternative account of pragmatically and morally permissible falsehoods in the ideal city. Balot, on the other hand, urges us to move beyond the Republic in order to understand Plato’s account of falsehood, deception, and lies in politics. His paper offers a reinterpretation of the Laws that highlights the tragic conclusions of this dialogue’s account of political falsehoods. While the Athenian espouses an honest position on the goodness of justice, his interlocutors are driven by their corrupted tyrannical appetites, which underlines the unbridgeable gap between the philosophical ideal and its practical implementation and the tragic vision on truth and politics offered in this dialogue.


An Alternative Genealogy of Stasis
Demetra Fannie Kasimis, University of Chicago

Political theorists seeking insights into the subtle dynamics that end in political division (stasis) and eventually revolution have long understood their analyses by ancient Greek critics primarily in terms of class conflict—the standard translation of stasis as “faction” would seem to have helped harden this association. Yet Plato and Aristotle do not orient their interest in stasis exclusively around relations between rich and poor. They pay just as careful if seemingly episodic attention to other “groups,” such as men and women and, not unrelatedly, families. In this paper, I want to lay some groundwork for animating an alternative genealogy of stasis in classical Athenian thought. I suggest that, contrary to the customary view, Athenian theoretical interest in the reasons for the discord that portends regime collapse extends to the establishment and breakdown of kinship relations.  I stress that in these works, the link between regime breakdown and gender and familial conflicts is not pre-political or metaphorical. In different ways, the Republic and the Politics argue that the creation and political regulation of kinship ties—how hierarchical relations between genders are maintained—are essential to understanding how literal stasis in a polis takes hold. The issue may seem most evident in the Republic, in which the proposals for a noble lie and rigged marriage “lottery” suggest that the viability of a political order depends on (its ability to actualize) a particular vision of kinship and social reproduction. But the concern also reverberates throughout Aristotle’s Politics, particularly in Politics V, on which my paper focuses. Aristotle spends part of Pol. V exploring examples that testify to the ways that “slight” changes and “small” things can, when great interests are at stake, cause stasis in a city to foment. One difficult example draws my attention. At Pol. 1304a, Aristotle describes an interrupted marriage rite in Delphi. A bridegroom approaches his bride as if to marry her, but he leaves alone after interpreting an omen he takes to be inauspicious. The bride’s family uses stealth—one of the two causes of stasis in Aristotle’s account—to take revenge. They plant sacred treasure among his sacrificial offerings and slay him, “having pretended that he had been robbing the temple” (1304a3-4).  This story, like several others in the Politics, has long been overlooked, despite Aristotle’s explicit attempts to show the effects of seemingly trivial or small-scale conflict. I investigate the function of these examples in Aristotle’s argument. In particular, I offer an analysis of the interrupted marriage as a crisis in the gift exchange that establishes patriarchy (through the traffic in women) and the polis, which is composed of multiple oikoi linked through marriage.

Aristotle on Oligarchic Dirty Tricks and Deceptive Politics
Matthew Landauer, University of Chicago

In Politics IV.13, Aristotle identifies a number of practices oligarchic regimes make use of to “deceive the people” (1297a12). Many of these take the form of adding extra burdens on the rich that the poor do not share: for example, opening the assembly to all citizens while fining only the rich for failing to attend. Thus such institutions appear to be, if anything, a benefit to poorer citizens. But they have the effect (intended by the rich, and possibly unnoticed by the poor) of structurally biasing participation in favor of the rich, leading to their outsized influence. In this paper I argue that these passages are crucial for a proper understanding of Aristotle’s account of polity, the mixed regime, and the normative value of stability in the polis. I explicate the sense in which the institutional practices discussed in IV.13 are deceptive or intended to fool the people; the reasons why Aristotle disapproves of them; and how they differ from some superficially similar institutional arrangements that Aristotle seems to endorse (e.g., at 1318b, where he praises as best those democracies in which the poor are too busy to participate frequently in assemblies). I begin with a consideration of the language of the passage, focusing on Aristotle’s use of the verb sophizesthai (often translated in this context as “to deceive”). Drawing on Aristotle’s discussion of sophistry in other texts, I argue that Aristotle is particularly concerned with institutions and practices that seek to trade on ambiguity in order to deceive. I then clarify the distinction between such institutional arrangements and those that lead to a valuable, productive state of ambiguity, as when, in a well-mixed regime, “it is possible to speak of the same constitution both as a democracy and an oligarchy” (1294b). Ultimately, a consideration of oligarchic dirty tricks clarifies the sense in which Aristotle is a normative theorist of political stability. He is not only concerned with the value of stability as such, but also offers a normative account, which I reconstruct, of appropriate and inappropriate means to ground stability and agreement in the polis.

Falsehood and Lies in Plato’s Republic
Avshalom M Schwartz, Stanford University

In book VI of the Republic, Plato lists the various characteristics of the philosophical soul, including his familiar claims about the philosopher’s superior rational capacity, bravery, and memory. More important for him, however, are the claims that the philosopher must have “the spirit of truthfulness [and] reluctance to admit falsehood in any form” and that “the true lover of knowledge must, from childhood up, be most of all a striver after truth in every form” (R. 485c-d). At the same time, in books II and III, Plato stresses the importance of falsehood in the upbringing of the guardians and advocates for the use of “useful fictions” in their education and the life of the city. For example, he claims that mothers and nurses “mold the souls of children by these stories far rather than their bodies by their hands” (R. 378e) and that “we begin by telling children fables, and the fable is, taken as a whole, false, but there is truth in it also” (R. 376e-377c). How can we explain the apparent tension between these accounts? How can the philosopher-rulers display “the spirit of truthfulness” and admit no falsehood since childhood while at the same time being nourished by falsehood since childhood and required to maintain their loyalty to these falsehoods as adults? To understand this tension, this paper offers an account of the role of falsehood in Plato’s Republic. It argues that despite his aspiration to absolute truth, Plato recognized the necessity of falsehood in political life. It further shows that Plato’s critique of democracy is deeply tied to the types of falsehood that proliferate under this regime. While Plato rejects the democratic falsehoods, he nonetheless recognizes the necessity of some falsehood in politics. Thus, the final part of this paper discusses the nature of the good and useful falsehoods that would be admitted to Kallipolis, Plato’s justification for them, and the role they should have in the life and upbringing of the guardians and the rulers and in maintaining order and stability in the ideally just city. This analysis demonstrates the need for some measure of falsehood even in the ideal city, and thus highlights the seemingly contradictory tension between the proliferation of falsehood in Kallipolis in general and in the education and upbringing of the guardians and philosophers in particular and the strict demand that the philosophers must avoid any kind of falsehood since childhood. This paper argues that the solution to this potential contradiction is found in the famous ‘Noble Lie.’ Specifically, it argues that the first part of the Noble Lie solves this tension by naturalizing the falsehoods and fiction which the guardians received during their formative years and thereby masking their false and fictive nature. Therefore, although the guardians and philosophers have been fed with lies since childhood, they can nonetheless view themselves, and be viewed by others, as displaying “a lack of falsehood” and “reluctance to admit falsehood in any form” and as striving towards nothing but the truth since childhood (R. 485b-d). Thus, this paper contributes to the interpretation of the Noble Lie as having a regulatory and naturalizing function in society by highlighting its relation to the regulation of the production of falsehoods and lies in Kallipolis. It establishes Plato’s position on the necessity of falsehood and fiction in politics and argues that while Plato thought that some measure of falsehood is necessary in politics, he did not consider all falsehoods to be equally morally and politically permissible. It explores the regulation of the production of falsehoods and fiction in Plato’s educational program and further contextualizes the use of the Noble Lie as a solution to the problem of falsehood in the education and upbringing of the guardians and rulers.

Lies, Deception, and Falsehood: The Tragic Perspective of Plato’s Laws
Ryan Balot, University of Toronto

Since their inception, liberal democracies have always prized transparency, public honesty, and rational civic discourse. These ideals, a legacy of the Enlightenment, have created a democratic culture that abhors the dishonesty of political leaders. Nevertheless, lies, deception, and falsehood have once again become salient political themes. Their re-emergence prompts us to wonder whether “it may be in the nature of the political realm to be at war with truth in all its forms” (Arendt, “Truth and Politics,” 1967). Arendt herself approached that question by reconsidering Platonic distinctions between truth and opinion, between “factual” and rational truth, and between illusion and deception. The Platonic vocabulary is illuminating, however, not because, per Arendt, it makes sense of the vulnerability of truth when matched against popular desire or totalitarian indifference. Rather, Plato’s dialogues offer a novel, tragic perspective on truth and politics, which emerges from their reconsideration of the deepest questions of justice and human flourishing. While the “noble lie” of Plato’s Republic is frequently mentioned in this connection, it is arguable that more intriguing, and more relevant, is the role of lies, deception, and falsehood in Plato’s Laws. This paper focuses on a crucial, but misunderstood, passage in Laws, Book II (660e-663e). The protagonist, the Athenian Stranger, critically scrutinizes the life of the successful tyrant, who enjoys power and wealth won through injustice. While the Athenian himself argues for the intrinsic goodness of justice, his interlocutors (one of whom will participate in founding the hypothetical city Magnesia) are attracted to tyrannical pleasure and reject the idea that justice is advantageous to its possessor. In order to resolve the impasse, the Athenian remarks that no lie could ever be more beneficial than one that encourages citizens to behave justly, in the belief that justice is advantageous to them. On the interpretation of this comment depends our view of the Athenian’s political project altogether, the relation of the philosopher to legislators and ordinary citizens, the use of falsehoods in politics, and the status of political justice in the dialogue’s hypothetical utopia, Magnesia. Roughly speaking, interpreters fall into two categories. On the one hand, analytic philosophers (Bobonich, Sauvé Meyer, Schofield, Mouze) have downplayed the role of deception, on the grounds that the Athenian presents the goodness of justice as a true doctrine, which he means to cultivate among Magnesia’s citizens via poetry, rhetoric, religion, and musical education. On the other hand, political theorists (Strauss, Pangle, Lutz) have argued that the Athenian intends to promote a “noble falsehood” for the sake of maintaining order and respect for law in Magnesia, whatever the intrinsic goodness, or lack thereof, of justice. I propose to build on these diverse approaches in order to shed light on what the Athenian elsewhere calls the “truest tragedy” of his political project. While the Athenian genuinely believes in the goodness of justice, his interlocutors are constrained by their corruption and ignorance to regard the “justice argument” as nothing more than a socially useful fabrication. One of them, the prospective legislator Kleinias, is willing to deceive (as he thinks) his fellow citizens by institutionalizing the teaching that justice benefits the just, which (to him) implies that the just life is the most pleasurable life. This combination of the Athenian’s honesty and his interlocutors’ dishonesty is an unexplored key to the dialogue. The intertwining of honesty and dishonesty in politics leads us to grasp this dialogue’s tragic perspective on “truth and politics” as such. Specifically, the philosopher’s project of improving the citizenry, while based on his own well-founded philosophical understanding, necessarily falls short in practice, as the promotion of noble ideals is seen, ultimately, to require ubiquitous threats of punishment and a heavy reliance on religious myth. Hence, what began as a project of political enlightenment proves tragically incapable of actualization. Responsibility lies with human corruptibility – that is, the tendency of our naturally acquisitive desires to distort our grasp of the truth about justice and flourishing. This tragedy befalls both the ambitious Athenian and Magnesia’s deficient legislator and citizens, who cannot live up to the promise of any admirable political aspirations. In this way the Laws’ presentation of lies, deception, and falsehood constitutes a timely, albeit unsettling, meditation on the prospects for political life as such.

Co-sponsored by Division 16: International Political Economy
Full Paper Panel
Friday, September 11, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Layna Mosley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; (Discussant) Kenneth F. Scheve, Stanford University

Session Description: The populist turn in many countries of the industrialized world has spurred a lively debate in International Political Economy on the economic origins of the public discontent that led to growing support for populists. This panel contributes to this debate by examining a) how the economy contributes to the rise of populism and b) to what extent government policies mediate or fuel the effect of economic risk on populist votes. It identifies globalization and technological change as primary factors that spur economic insecurities. These factors, in turn, push voters towards nationalist political parties that challenge economic openness and the international liberal order more generally. The papers highlight several mechanisms through which economic globalization and trade affect the economic well-being of individuals, communities and regions, including the role of low-skilled workers, manufacturing production, routine jobs and the geographic concentration of knowledge and technological innovation. All papers also study the ability of welfare states and social policies to dampen public discontent and populist votes, and how austerity policies that cut back welfare states have the opposite effect.


Austerity, Economic Vulnerability, and Populism
Leonardo Baccini, McGill University; Thomas Sattler, University of Geneva

Globalization and automation have exposed many citizens to enhanced social risks. Our study examines the political effects that arise when governments fail to provide economically vulnerable voters with support to cope with these risks. Specifically, we examine the effect of austerity on votes in Western countries since the early 1990s using both district-level election outcomes and individual-level voting data. Our empirical strategy identifies economically vulnerable regions looking at the share of low-skilled workers, share of manufacturing production, and share of workers in routine jobs. The results from a difference-in-difference analysis show that austerity increases support for economically nationalist parties in economically vulnerable regions, but austerity has little effect on voting in economically less vulnerable regions. Moreover, we find that right populist parties tend to gain significantly more than left populist parties in economically vulnerable regions in case of austerity. Our findings indicate that fiscal cutbacks and the resulting lack of insurance against economic shocks, contribute significantly to the rise of populist parties and the backlash against globalization.

Globalization and its Political Consequences in Western Democracies
Helen V. Milner, Princeton University

This paper examines  aspects of the political consequences of economic globalization. Economic globalization, according to some economic theories, has adverse consequences for labor, especially less skilled labor, in the rich democracies. Have elites and parties responded to this by turning against globalization and economic openness?  Extending the research of Burgoon (2009), I ask whether political parties in the advanced industrial countries have adopted more anti-internationalist platforms as globalization has advanced.  Furthermore, have the structural pressures of globalization suppressed voter turnout and polarized voters ideologically? Finally, I investigate whether pressures from globalization been mitigated by social welfare policies. The evidence suggests that globalization, especially trade, is associated with a political turn to anti-internationalism and to extremist parties, all of which is not being mitigated by social compensation.

Populism in Place: The Economic Geography of the Globalization Backlash
Jeffry A. Frieden, Harvard University

A populist backlash to globalization has ushered in nationalist governments and challenged core features of the liberal international order (LIO). While startling in scope and urgency, the populist wave has been developing in declining regions of wealthy countries for some time. Trade, offshoring, and automation have steadily reduced the jobs and wages of industrial workers since at least the 1970s. The decline in manufacturing employment initiated the deterioration of social and economic conditions in affected communities, exacerbating inequalities between depressed rural areas and small cities and towns, on the one hand, and thriving cities, on the other. The global financial crisis of 2008 catalyzed these divisions as communities already in decline suffered deeper and longer economic downturns than metropolitan areas where superstar knowledge, technology, and service-oriented firms agglomerate. We document many of these trends across the US and Europe, and demonstrate that populist support is strongest in communities that experienced long-term economic and social decline. Institutional differences in labor markets and electoral rules across developed democracies may explain some of the variation in populists’ electoral success. Renewed support for LIO may require a rejuvenation of distressed communities and an abatement of the stark regional inequalities.

Globalization, Compensation, and the Rise of the Far Right
Stephanie J. Rickard, London School of Economics

International economic integration and the ensuing economic shocks increase voters’ support for far right populist parties. Can compensation stem this tide? I investigate this question using novel, geo-located data on globalization-induced job losses. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, I find that additional compensation for globalization-related job losses has no robust effect on far right parties’ vote shares

Co-sponsored by Division 48: Health Politics & Health Policy
Friday, September 11, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants: (Chair) Jonathan Cohn, HuffPost; (Presenter) Colleen M. Grogan, University of Chicago; (Presenter) James A. Morone, Brown University; (Presenter) Jonathan Oberlander, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; (Presenter) Elizabeth Rigby, George Washington University; (Presenter) Ashley Kirzinger, Kaiser Family Foundation; (Presenter Adrianna McIntyre, Harvard University; (Presenter) Erika Franklin Fowler, Wesleyan University

Session Description:  Health care policy has always been an important issue for voters in Presidential elections, but 2020 looks to be an election increasingly defined by health care policy platforms—and not just for Democratic voters. One sign of this is extensive political advertising referencing health care, and election year polling demonstrating that health care is a major issue for voters. President Trump’s February State of the Union address included 15 minutes of discussion of health care, demonstrating that he believes the Republican party can appeal to Republicans and win back the issue owned by Democrats. In the Democratic primary, the content of health policy proposals, especially candidates’ commitment to Medicare for All versus more incremental reform strategies, loom large in public assessments of different candidates. Polling continually shows that despite attention to Medicare for All on the debate stage, the dominant issue voters care about approaching the 2020 election is skyrocketing health care costs.

Political scientists will benefit from a nuanced understanding of the content of the policies proposed, the legacy of the Affordable Care Act (and earlier reform attempts) on voters’ opinions, and the impact of policy strategies for promoting health equity in an increasingly divided populace. The proposed panel will provide an overview of the policy and the politics of health care issues in 2020. It features experts presenting data from national polling organizations (Adrianna McIntyre representing Harvard/Commonwealth and Ashley Kirzinger, representing Kaiser Family Foundation), an expert on political advertising (Erika Franklin Fowler from the Wesleyan Media Project), and a set of scholars who will respond and reflect on the historical origin and evolution of reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (Colleen Grogan, Jonathan Oberlander, Jim Morone, Elizabeth Rigby).

The panel will feature brief presentations on public opinion and political advertising data, followed by reactions and responses from political scientists with historical, institutional and comparative perspectives. Nationally-recognized political journalist Jonathan Cohn (Huffington Post) will set up the panel and moderate the interactive discussion.

Co-sponsored by Division 48: Health Politics & Health Policy
Full Paper Panel
Saturday, September 12, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Herschel Nachlis, Dartmouth College; (Discussant) Jacqueline M. Chattopadhyay, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; (Discussant) Miranda Elyse Yaver, University of California at Los Angeles

Session Description: Many commentators have explained the 2016 election through the lens of disaffected voters and the mobilizing threats of diversity and status loss for whites. Another, related, explanation considers the political psychological aspects of status loss, perceptions of declining health on political accountability. The papers in this session all examine various aspects of the relationships between democratic engagement and health. Collectively, the papers explore the relationship between public health and voting in 2016, consider how political trust is an important factor in the health-democracy link, evaluate how perceptions of status loss relate to public support for policies that might ameliorate inequality, and assess how loss of health care (through Medicaid retrenchment) contributes to participatory outcomes. The papers together will advance a dialogue on how health and health inequity–including demographic change in the United States–impact democratic perceptions and behavior.


Public Health in Red Counties in the 2016 Presidential Election
Eunju Kang, SUNY Geneseo

Examining 2,832 counties across the nation, this paper explores a relationship between Trump votes and public health. A preliminary regression analysis suggests that “red” counties are likely to be correlated with poor public health. Public health and health care issues have become one of the most contentious and salient issues in presidential elections. Scholars examined presidential elections in relation to health policy issues before and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Blendon et al. 2008, 2010, 2016) and more specifically with regard to health access (Derose et al. 2009), health care reform (Konisky et al. 2012), life expectancy and voting patterns (Bor 2017), public attitudes toward health care beneficiary (Malina 2017), and health of rural voters (Monnat et al. 2017). This paper explains how electoral results, the share of Trump votes, are correlated with multiple health indicators of voters such as access to exercise opportunities, low birth weight, smoking, obesity, excessive drinking, teen birth rate, uninsured population, mental health provider, and preventable hospital rate. Controlling for education, income, unemployment, crime in the community, a preliminary regression analysis suggests that “red” counties are likely to be correlated with higher rates of teen birth rates, less access to primary care physicians, higher percentage of uninsured population and less access to regular physical activities. This paper discusses the implications of such findings in relation to health care policies and ideology. For analysis, 2017 County Health data is obtained from sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Trump appealed to the “forgotten” Americans in the 2016 Presidential Election. This paper adds public health as a new dimension  in electoral politics in assisting to identify a marginalized population among American voters in addition to socio-economic status (the variables of income, education, and unemployment), community quality (crime variable) and race.

How Healthy is Our Democracy? Public Health and Political Trust
Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, University of Essex; Dragana Vidovic, University of Essex

Though previous scholarship has investigated the impact of political structures on health, there has been a recent shift in focus to the impact of public health on politics.  Most studies find that poor health diminishes an individual’s likelihood to vote, though debates over the mechanisms underpinning that relationship are unsettled. To what extent does political trust mediate the relationship between health, voting, and other forms of political participation?   Though at first glance a negative relationship might seem intuitive (the worse you feel, the less you trust or participate), we do see individuals mobilizing, protesting, writing letters, and even voting based on health-related issues.  We propose to evaluate the relationship between health and political participation by examining the individual’s cost-benefit calculus of whether or not to participate, weighing the social/mental benefits of participation alongside physical/social costs that political participation might incur, and assessing how political trust mediates, mitigates, or fuels these relationships. We employ unique data, collected through a public health initiative designed to increase wellness and community connectedness, to measure individuals’ participation and health levels. Our paper offers a few key contributions. First, we enhance insights into the mechanisms underpinning the relationship between health and political participation, particularly isolating when and why different mechanisms come into play. Second, we operationalize social, mental, and physical health costs and benefits to the political participation calculus; these costs and benefits are often taken as either “given” or “unknowable” in many investigations into political participation. Finally, by allowing political participation to vary in physical intensity and risk, we can evaluate a nuanced picture of the health-trust-participation nexus.


The Antecedents and Consequences of Health Policy Loser Perceptions
Sarah E. Gollust, University of Minnesota; Joanne Miller, University of Delaware

Much political discourse in 2019 centers around winning and losing, and recent political psychology scholarship supports the significance of these concepts. Recent research demonstrates that perceptions that one’s group is on the “losing side” has substantial effects on political attitudes. For example, perceptions that one is on the losing side of politics are positively associated with belief in specific conspiracy theories and conspiratorial thinking more generally (Miller et al. , MPSA 2016), and whites’ perceptions that they are on the losing side of health policies specific to the opioid crisis is associated with a decrease in support for empathetic drug policies (Gollust & Miller 2019). In this paper, we expand on these previous studies and report the results of a comprehensive nationally-representative survey of 1,574 U.S. adults fielded in December of 2019 through NORC’s AmeriSpeak panel to establish the antecedents and consequences of multiple measures of loser perceptions in the domain of health policy. The study examines the correlates of belief that one is on the losing side of health policy in general and of policies aimed at making health care more affordable, as well as the associations of such beliefs with support for various health policies and with political participation. We discuss these findings in the context of research on policy feedback effects–how health and health policies contribute to shaping future political dynamics.

The Politics of Welfare Retrenchment: Evidence from Mass Medicaid Disenrollment
Vladimir Kogan, Ohio State University

In 2005, Missouri and Tennessee tightened eligibility for their public health insurance programs, resulting in widespread coverage loss. I leverage county-level variation in subsequent disenrollment in a difference-in-differences design to examine the political impact. Results show that voters in Tennessee punished the incumbent governor for the Medicaid cuts. In Missouri, by contrast, disenrollment had no impact on the subsequent gubernatorial election but did increase support for Democrats in 2006 state legislative elections, likely due to the strategic entry and exit of candidates. In both states, the loss of Medicaid coverage was associated with lower support for Democratic presidential candidates, although these declines appear part of a longer-term trend that preceded the coverage loss. The results speak to the potential political costs of welfare spending cuts and are relevant for anticipating the electoral consequences of ongoing efforts to repeal or otherwise weaken portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Full Paper Panel
Friday, September 11, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Joshua A. Tucker, New York University; (Discussant) Renee DiResta, Stanford Internet Observatory; (Discussant) Margaret E. Roberts, University of California, San Diego

Session Description: How do authoritarian regimes determine when to spread misinformation, and to whom? What role does social media play in spreading misinformation in authoritarian contexts? What determines whether citizens will believe this misinformation? Better understanding illiberal tactics such as misinformation is crucial to analyzing the recent wave of antidemocratic tendencies around the world. This panel is composed of four papers that study the phenomenon of misinformation under authoritarianism from a variety of angles and using robust empirical methods. Together, they provide a comprehensive picture of this phenomenon, with papers addressing: (1) state supply of and citizen demand for misinformation, (2) misinformation targeting both domestic and international audiences, (3) misinformation across a variety of authoritarian regimes, from China to the countries of the Middle East, and (4) misinformation across different types of social and traditional media.


The Consequences of False Government Denials in an Authoritarian Country
Chengli Wang, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics; Haifeng Huang, University of California, Merced

Governments around the world often deny inconvenient or unfavorable information, calling it fake news or false rumor, and yet what was denied often turn out to be true later. How will citizens react when the initial “fake news” is verified to be real? What are the consequences of false government denials on government credibility and citizen satisfaction? With a two-wave survey experiment in China, we find that citizens can be persuaded by the authorities’ denials and reduce belief in a piece of news that has been declared “fake.” But when the denied news turns out to be real, citizens will reduce their belief not only in the denial at hand, but also similar denials in the future, and reduce their satisfaction with the government. Thus, false government denials have both immediate and lasting effects on government credibility, and can erode citizen satisfaction with the government in an authoritarian country.

Russia’s Viral Use of RT to Shape Global Discourse on Syria
Megan MacDuffee Metzger, Stanford University; Alexandra Arons Siegel, Stanford University

Governments around the globe are increasingly using social media platforms to spread state-sponsored news abroad. One of the most notorious examples of this phenomenon is the Russian government’s use of RT (formerly Russia Today) in the online sphere. Here we evaluate when, how, and to what degree RT is shaping global political narratives. We focus on Russia’s use of RT on Twitter during the months surrounding the Russian military intervention in Syria in September 2015. Using a dataset of over 21.8 million English and 11.3 million Arabic tweets collected between August 2015 and November 2015, we find that RT was remarkably successful on Twitter. First, RT was the most shared news source about Syria, outperforming well-respected Western outlets like the New York Times and the BBC in the English language data, and strong regional players like the Saudi Al-Arabiya network and the Qatari Al-Jazeera Arabic network in the Arabic language data. In addition, RT’s content successfully advanced narratives that provided favorable coverage of the Russian intervention and undermined Western involvement in Syria. Surprisingly, we find no evidence to suggest that RT’s success was driven by bots or trolls. Instead, it appears that RT employed a more effective social media strategy than other outlets, using more salient hashtags and producing a larger volume of tweets to amplify its reach.

Explaining Strategy in Russian Online Disinformation about Syria
Renee DiResta, Stanford Internet Observatory; Shelby Grossman, Stanford University

Online state-sponsored disinformation takes varying forms. Governments create and artificially amplify Twitter hashtags to push foreign policy objectives. They hack, alter, and leak documents. They create fake online personas who share opinions about political events along with untrue information. While much political science research exists on overt state propaganda, we know little about when and why states adopt different online disinformation strategies. In this paper we first categorize these strategies, and then look at thousands of now-removed Facebook posts about Syria that Facebook has attributed to the Russian military intelligence (GRU) or the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By comparing the content and reach of these posts, we inductively generate a theory to explain why the GRU and IRA chose to use different strategies.

Beliefs in US-Related Conspiracy Theories in Ten Arab Countries
Amaney Jamal, Princeton University; David Alexander Romney, Harvard University; Dustin Halliday Tingley, Harvard University

Belief in conspiracy theories is generally attributed to individual-level factors, but some argue that contextual and institutional factors at the national level, such as authoritarianism, can be important in determining citizens’ receptiveness to misinformation. We provide new data on beliefs in US-related conspiracy theories from 10 Arab countries that allows us to better speak to national-level theories. These data include a battery of questions addressing beliefs in conspiracy theories tying the US to the rise if the Islamic State (ISIS) as well as a conjoint experiment exploring beliefs in multiple conspiracy theories while varying other factors such as medium (e.g. social or traditional media) and source (e.g. local or international). We find that, contrary to common belief, those in more authoritarian contexts are not more susceptible to belief in US-Related conspiracy theories. Rather, a national history of experience with US-related conflicts appears to be the determining factor.

Full Paper Panel
Saturday, September 12, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Margot Dazey; (Discussant) Melissa Sands, University of California, Merced

Session Description: Social scientists have documented the ease with which and ways in which individuals come to exclude others. Less is known about what works to reduce exclusion and prejudice. This panel explores interventions that increase inclusion or reduce prejudice at the individual, social, and policy levels, with implications for migrant integration, intergroup cooperation, and social stability.

Williamson, Adida, Lo, Platas and Prather offer an investigation into the role that perspective-taking plays in improving attitudes toward immigrant admission in the US. They first test the effect of priming one’s family history on attitudes toward immigration, showing remarkable consistency of results across three different studies. They also offer a test of one mechanism through which this effect could occur: emotion regulation. Theirs offers new insights into the role that inducing empathy can play at the individual level for increasing inclusion of immigrant minorities.

Flores et al. apply a perspective-taking exercise to the inclusion of trans persons, randomly varying the intensity of the perspective-taking exercise. Theirs offers a more nuanced view of the role that empathy can play in reducing prejudice, showing that in some instances, empathy can actually backfire.

Abdelgadir and Fouka examine the role that state policy and social violence play in shaping the integration experience of Muslim immigrants across Europe. Across the Netherlands, UK, Germany, and Sweden, they investigate the extent to which legislative restrictions on Muslim dress, on one hand, and hate crimes on the other, impact Muslims’ perception of discrimination.

And in a field experimental setting, Choi et al. test the extent to which norm-abidance by a vulnerable minority reduces the prejudice that majority-host members hold toward the group. Specifically, the authors find that when a Muslim female confederate expresses progressive attitudes toward women in public, female bystanders exhibit lower levels of discrimination toward Muslims.

This session brings together evidence from a number of countries (the US, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden), relying on a diversity of empirical and methodological approaches ranging from survey experiments to field experiments to observational data. It also comprises a diversity of authors, from Ph.D. candidate to senior professor, male and female, and including a number of scholars of color.


Priming family history to increase support for immigration
Scott Williamson, Stanford; Claire Leslie Adida, UCSD; Adeline Lo, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Melina Raquel Platas Izama, NYU Abu Dhabi; Lauren Prather, University of California, San Diego

As anti-immigrant political parties have gained strength in recent years, scholars have increasingly sought to understand processes by which individuals may develop more inclusive attitudes toward migrants. Building on a nascent literature that leverages emotion to shift such attitudes, this study utilizes online experiments to test whether priming family history can increase support for immigration in the United States by generating greater empathy for immigrants. Almost all American citizens are descended from elsewhere, and these stories are often passed down to the present. By reminding Americans of the struggles and hopes experienced by their families as they came to the United States, can attitudes toward immigrants and immigration be made more favorable? The experiment randomizes, in three different studies, whether respondents are asked about their family’s immigration history prior to asking about their attitudes toward immigration. The last experiment also directly tests whether the effect occurs via empathy. The findings have implications for better understanding interventions that increase inclusion and reduce prejudice.

A Day in the Life: Perspective Taking and Empathy for Transgender Rights
Andrew R. Flores, American University; Daniel C. Lewis, Siena College; Donald P. Haider-Markel, University of Kansas; Patrick R. Miller, University of Kansas; Jami K. Taylor, University of Toledo

Prior work suggests that putting oneself in the shoes of members of stigmatized groups can reduce out-group prejudices. Perspective-taking builds empathy for stigmatized groups and encourages people to consider the daily hardships the stigmatized must encounter. However, empathy is a highly regulated emotion, making it more difficult to use in a large-scale way. Not everyone in the population, for example, complies and adopts out-group perspectives, and others may actually further stigmatize out-group members; among those who do perspective-take, they may vary in the degree to which they do. We report results from a 2019 national online survey experiment encouraging people to imagine a day in their life if they were transgender. We randomize the degree of effort people need to perform in the perspective-taking exercise. We additionally randomize whether people view 30-second ads supportive of or opposed to transgender rights. While some engaged in perspective-taking, others refused and others expressed ideas that further stigmatized transgender people. Our results continue to suggest that there are emotional limits to empathy, so care must be taken to consider those limits when attempting to reduce out-group prejudices.

Perceived Discrimination and Adolescent Muslim Integration
Aala Abdelgadir, Stanford University; Vasiliki Fouka, Stanford University

With decades of sustained Muslim migration and recent flows of Muslim refugees, European countries face increasing pressure to integrate their Muslim populations. Studies present an encouraging picture of greater integration for second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants. Scholars, however, have identified anti-Muslim discrimination as a significant impediment to social and economic integration. Our understanding of the effects of discrimination remain limited to resume and lab-in-the-field experiments.  In this paper, we evaluate the integration effects of real-world policies and events that target Muslims. We differentiate between two types of incidents that amplify Muslims’ difference vis a vis their environment and increase perceived discrimination: institutional policies (e.g. restrictions on Islamic dress) and societal stigmatization (e.g. hate crimes or public hostility). Using data from a longitudinal survey of children of immigrants (CILS4EU), we evaluate the effects of political and social incidents targeting Muslims on adolescents’ integration prospects in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden.

Feminist Opposition to Political Islam: Evidence from Social Encounters
Danny Choi, University of Pittsburgh; Mathias Poertner, Texas A&M University; Nicholas Sambanis, University of Pennsylvania

We probe the extent which discrimination against Muslim immigrants in democratic societies is driven by perceptions of cultural threat posed by political Islam. We hypothesize that host population stereotypes regarding conservative attitudes held by Muslims towards women and their role in society is a key mechanism underpinning anti-immigrant discrimination. We test this “feminist opposition” hypothesis using a large-scale field intervention in 23 cities across three German states, during which 3,800 unknowing bystanders were exposed to a brief social encounter with a confederate. We vary the religion/religiosity of the confederate, her ethnic identity, and the nature of beliefs she espouses regarding the role of women in the household. Our analysis shows a significant reduction in the level of discrimination towards Muslim confederates when bystanders are exposed to information revealing that the confederate holds progressive attitudes towards women. This effect is primarily driven by female bystanders, who no longer seem to discriminate against Muslim confederates vis-à-vis native confederates when they receive this information. We do not observe similar reduction in discrimination among male bystanders. Our results highlight the centrality of ideational stereotypes in structuring opposition against immigration.

Co-sponsored by Division 32: Race, Ethnicity, and Politics and the Indigenous Studies Network Related Group 
Saturday, September 12

Participants:  (Mini-Conference Organizer) Christopher Lee Carter, UC-Berkeley

Session Description: Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas suffer persistent and enduring barriers to achieving political representation and civic protections. The historical and contemporary importance of indigenous politics thus presents a moment for political scientists to reconsider the role of indigenous studies in the field. We propose a mini-conference, titled “Indigenous Studies and Political Science: Nation, Representation, and Citizenship,” which is comprised of three panels and two Roundtable discussions investigating problems related to political marginalization, indigenous movements, and challenges in the study of indigenous peoples. The purpose of this mini-conference is to create a space for a focused, interdisciplinary conversation on indigenous studies. It seeks to converge methods, questions, and scholars from all subfields and put them in conversation with practitioners working in indigenous advocacy. The panels and discussions are designed to provide an overview of current research on indigenous politics and spark a conversation on the priorities and the future of indigenous studies within Political Science.

The first panel analyzes the emergence, development, and problems surrounding indigenous movements advocating for popular sovereignty and civic inclusion. This panel will present research studying indigenous collectivity across historical, temporal, and political contexts. The goal of this panel is to illustrate the diversity of ways in which indigenous actors have collectivized against institutional exclusions. The panel will also illustrate examples of the political interests, problems, and conditions that have led to cross-ethnic coalitions between indigenous groups and other marginalized peoples. The papers will cover cases from Hawai’i, Colombia, Southeast Asia, and Canada.

The second panel examines variation in the degree of indigenous groups’ political underrepresentation and exclusion. Panelists will explore several institutional factors–past and present–that explain this variation, like autonomy statutes, prior consultation, and recognition of traditional forms of governance. Papers will employ evidence from the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

The third panel investigates the long-term effects of marginalization in an American political system defined by colonial ideals and influenced by outward local racism, that allows for neither full political sovereignty for tribes nor full political access. Protections for voting access that have become standard in other parts of the country continue to be frustrated by complicated and expensive barriers and a hostile environment in Indian Country. Years of failed promises to tribes by state and federal governments have bred mistrust. Voting reforms designed to increase access and representation for others often fail to produce the same results on reservations yet are still pressed. The effects of centuries of forced political marginalization of Native Americans continue to reverberate within the contemporary American political system. The papers presented as part of this panel address these conditions and collectively seek to find a path forward where the influences of the past cease to impact the future.

In addition to the three panels, the mini-conference will include two roundtable discussions. The first, which focuses on the United States, is designed to unite eminent legal practitioners, academics, and other Native American advocates who are engaged in advancing the cause of social justice in Indian Country. Participants will engage in a moderated discussion focused on the role tribes play in contemporary American politics, the state of voting rights in Indian Country, future fights for recognition and political identity, and what role tribes will play in the upcoming 2020 election. This roundtable seeks to define new agendas for research by fostering research collaborations among participants and attendees.

The second roundtable will focus on approaches to conducting research on indigenous representation in American politics, comparative politics, and political theory. The discussion will address a number of issues relating to engaging native communities, such as best practices for conducting research in indigenous communities, publicizing findings to indigenous groups, and engaging indigenous scholars and activists in research. The discussion will also consider how theories of indigenous representation are similar to and distinct from existing theories within the literature on ethnic politics. Finally, the roundtable will discuss the appropriate unit of analysis in the study of indigenous representation: what are the challenges and opportunities to scaling up to the level of “indigenous” as opposed to scaling down to the level of linguistic or tribal group?

Organizers: Christopher Carter, Arturo Chang, Joseph Dietrich

Session I: Indigenous Mobilization: Contentions of Representation, Sovereignty, and Citizenship Across Contexts
Full Paper Panel

Participants: (Chair) Glen Sean Coulthard, The University of British Columbia; (Discussant) David Temin, University of Michigan; (Discussant) Andrew Szarejko, Georgetown University


Towards an International Politics of Representation: Indigenous Peoples’ Pursuits of Justice in Global Environment Governance
Kimberly Marion, Northwestern University

He Makana Ea: Maunakea and the Gifts of Sovereignty in Hawai’i
Uahikea Maile, University of Toronto

Subverting Nature: Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Responses to Elite Republicanism in New Granada
Arturo Chang, Northwestern University

Ando-bawachigeyan: Indigeneity and Indigenous Resurgence
Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, University of Victoria


Session II: The Institutional Determinants of Indigenous Political Representation in the Americas 
Full Paper Panel

Participants: (Chair) Todd Eisenstadt, American University; (Discussant) Allyson Benton, CIDE


Taking the Lead: Native Nations’ Climate Change Mitigation Policies
Laura Evans, University of Washington

Prior Consultation in Chile: Consultitis or Meaningful Instrument of Change?
Tulia Falleti, University of Pennsylvania

Indigenous Governance Innovation in Canada and Latin America:Key Practices and Challenges
Roberta Rice, University of Calgary

Voting against Autonomy: Indigenous Self-Governance in Latin America
Christopher Carter, UC Berkeley

Session III: The Struggle for Political Representation: Dialogue between Practitioners and Academics

Participants: (Chair) Jean Reith Schroedel, Claremont Graduate University; (Presenter) OJ Semans, Four Directions (Rosebud Sioux); (Presenter) Bret Healy, River Bluffs Strategy; (Presenter) James T. Tucker, Native American Rights Fund & Native American Voting Rights Coalition; (Presenter) Raymond Foxworth, Four Directions Development Institute (Navajo); (Presenter) Steven C. Boos, Maynes Bradford, Shipps and Sheftel, LLP and Former Chief Legislative Council for Navajo Nation; (Presenter) Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Arizona State University Indian Legal Program (Pointe-au-Chien); (Presenter) David Wilkins, University of Richmond (Lumbee)


Session IV: The Lingering Political Effect of Marginalization on Native American Communities
Full Paper Panel

Participants:  (Chair) Richard Witmer, Creighton University; (Discussant) Laura Evans, University of Washington; (Discussant) David Wilkins, University of Richmond (Lumbee)


Political Trust and Native American Electoral Participation: An Analysis of Survey Data from Nevada and South Dakota
Aaron Berg, Claremont Graduate University

Continuing Political Marginalization and Social Harms Affecting Indigenous Peoples in the United States
Karen Jarrett Snider and Marianne Nielsen, Northern Arizona University (Choctaw)

Litigation Abuses, Municipal Insurance Pools, and Disenfranchisement in Indian Country: A Case Analysis
Joseph Dietrich and Kara Mazareas, Claremont Graduate University

The Cost of Early Voting: Native American Voters and Convenience Voting Systems
Jason Chavez, Virginia Technological University (Tohono O’odham)


Session V: Approaches to the Study of Indigenous Politics: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

Participants: (Presenter) Nina McMurry, MIT; (Presenter) Edgar Franco Vivanco, Stanford University; (Presenter) Owen Rhys Brown, Northwestern University; (Presenter) Jean Reith Schroedel, Claremont Graduate University; (Presenter) Arturo Chang, Northwestern University

Co-sponsored by Division 10: Political Science Education
Full Paper Panel
Friday, September 11, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants: (Discussant) Michelle D. Deardorff, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; (Chair) Daniel Fuerstman, State College of Florida

Session Description: This panel brings together a unique selection of papers focused on innovative pedagogical strategies for addressing race, ethnic, gender, and ideological bias in the classroom, and beyond.  Using novel experimental designs, these studies assess the impact of pedagogical interventions such as simulations, readings on gender and representation, and intersectional civic engagement strategies on implicit bias and normative change in the classroom. This research is motivated not only by the goal of creating more inclusive classrooms, but also by addressing implicit biases that impact perceptions of and participation in politics beyond the classroom.


Civic Education and the Acquisition of Asian American Partisanship
Benjamin James Hoyt, UC Irvine; Nathan Kar Ming Chan, University of California, Irvine

The development of partisanship is often viewed as a key indicator of political integration. Recent scholarship notes that Asian Americans are “late to the party” because they lack parental partisan socialization (Carlos 2018). In turn, a growing body of research has begun to investigate how they develop partisanship outside of the home. We contribute to this literature by theorizing about the ways in which collegiate civic education can assist Asian Americans in acquiring partisan leanings. Civic education provides an opportunity for Asian Americans to learn about politics and socialize with their peers in an educational setting with an explicitly political bent, which may culminate in a greater affiliation towards a major political party. Absent parental transmission of partisan cues, such minorities may also have more room to be influenced by their political science instructors and professors who stand in as “opinion leaders (Zaller 1992).” In order to examine the relationship between civic education and the formation of a partisan identity, we present results from an original pre-course and post-course panel study (n=1,226). In this cross-racial study, we find that Asian Americans demonstrate the strongest levels of growth in terms of reaching partisan maturity after completing an introductory political science class, compared to Whites, Latinxs, and African Americans. The results underscore the importance of an under examined factor, civic education, in welcoming Asian Americans to a political party.

Is Gender Balance Necessary to Learn about Gender in Politics?
Zoe Nemerever, University of California San Diego; Kelly Senters; Seth J. Hill, University of California, San Diego

It is well documented that women are underrepresented in politics. Gender bias within the discipline of political science is less documented, but is both normatively troubling and a potentially contributing factor to women being less likely to enter politics. Political science undergraduate, graduate, and faculty populations have historically been heavily skewed male. Failure to mainstream gender studies into political science curriculum makes it unsurprising that women are underrepresented among political science majors nationwide. Might gender-specific learning activities help ameliorate gender bias and imbalance in political science classrooms? We explore potential benefits of introducing gender-specific learning activities at two universities, one gender-balanced and the other predominately male. The disparate gender composition of these settings provides a unique opportunity to learn about the conditions under which classroom discussion and activities pertaining to gender politics can shape students’ beliefs about gender and politics. In the experiment, we randomly assigned Introduction to American Politics discussion sections to complete a reading, written reflection, and group activity on either gender representation in the Congress or general representation by the Congress. Students who read the treatment article about gender representation were both more likely to believe that the gender identities of elected officials affect policy outcomes and to bring up issues of gender representation during the group activity than students who read the control article about general political representation. However, the beneficial treatment effects were attenuated for students at the predominately male university. This merits additional research on best practices for teaching about the political representation of marginalized populations to non-marginalized student populations. More optimistically, students at both universities who read the article about gender representation were more likely to believe that research on gender and politics is essential to understanding American politics, suggesting that early exposure to gender and politics can bolster the status of gender studies among political scientists and, perhaps, candidates for office.

Serving Diverse Students: Teaching Alternative Pathways to Political Leadership
J. Cherie Strachan, Central Michigan University; Monica C. Schneider, Miami University; Elizabeth A. Bennion, Indiana University South Bend; Angela L. Bos, College of Wooster

This paper, based on an online experimental design administered to students enrolled in political science classes on 18 campuses, indicates Hispanic and African American women have a distinct reaction to exposure to rude politics. Unlike most students, exposure to politicians engaged in rude interactions heightens their political ambition, making them more interested in running for office, than when exposed to civil politicians. This reaction likely results from their demographic groups’ deep (albeit unique) histories each grounded in hardship, self-reliance, and social justice activism.  Given limited attention to race, ethnic, and sex-based inequality or to tactics of disruptive politics in the undergraduate curriculum, teacher-scholars in political science are often ill-prepared to respond to our students’ heightened levels of political ambition in an era of rude politics. Hence this paper describes several teaching and learning strategies, grounded in intersectional civic engagement pedagogy, to address this concern.

Simulating the Other Side: Political Simulations and Ideological Positions
Nicholas J. Clark, Susquehanna University; John A. Scherpereel, James Madison University

Political simulations and other active learning techniques promote the retention of course material (Smith and Boyer 1996) and stimulate interest in subject matter (Clark et al. 2016). Might simulations have additional educational and personal effects? This paper examines the ways that participating in simulations might affect participants’ political ideology. Many simulations require students to take on the role of a real-world leader. Students often come into a simulation with different ideological outlooks than the leaders they are asked to play. In the course of the simulation, students must consider and actively advocate for the values their alter egos hold. Such an experience has the potential to influence the ideological convictions of students, as they learn about and possibly develop some empathy for disparate ideological positions. To investigate this possibility, we analyze pre- and post-surveys of student participants in the Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation, paying particular attention to the self-reported ideological distance between participants and their assigned alter egos. Our findings suggest that simulation participation has a slight influence on students’ left/right ideological positions and a more substantial influence on students’ stances toward the European Union (e.g., students’ levels of europhilism/euroskepticism).

Co-sponsored by Division 11: Comparative Politics and  the French Politics Group
Full Paper Panel
Thursday, September 10, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Emmanuelle Reungoat, Université de Montpellier-CEPEL; (Discussant) François Buton, National center for scientific research (CNRS France)

Session Description: Arab Springs, the Movement of the squares, Occupy Wall Street, the Yellow Vests movement, the Umbrella Revolution… In the 2010s, ordinary citizens have irrupted in the public sphere and affected significantly the expression of contentious politics. Through their rejection of traditional leadership and mobilizing structures, they are challenging some well-established aspects of social movements literature and call for new perspectives, which this panel offers by putting recent mass protests under comparative scrutiny.

Even though these movements differ due to their national contexts, they share at least three characteristics: a request for horizontality in opposition to the verticality of representative government; a call for elite’s and elected representatives’ accountability; and a claim for social and tax justice. In many ways, these protests significantly renew the social movements repertoire: by using digital media, by occupying the urban space (such as squares and roundabouts), and by sometimes resorting to violence while also deploying novel forms of civility. Most importantly, they gather unprecedented numbers of ordinary citizens with neither previous political commitment nor important cultural capital. First-time protestors’ mobilization appears all the more destabilizing to political leaders (be they democratically elected or not) as it refutes notions of people’s apathy and resignation, if not fear, that allow them to get and hold on to power, and underpin their legitimacy. Ordinary citizens’ engagement also raises a conundrum for scholars of social movements and political participation, insofar as it contradicts widespread assumptions on the depoliticization of masses and the importance of ingrained dispositions to activism.

Taking cues from historian Haim Burstin, participants in this panel focus on “protagonists”, i.e. ordinary citizens engaged in political crises and revolutions whose commitment makes these events extraordinary. Confronting four cases – Yellow Vests in France, the 2019-20 movement in Chile, the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests and social movements in post-2011 Algeria – they question how first-time protesters’ encounter with concrete forms of equality, fraternity and, sometimes, liberty in the social movement, profoundly reshapes their perception of the political order, their understanding of citizenship, and their will to consider citizens and rulers as equal. Thereby the papers shed light on the logics of ordinary citizens’ unprecedented mobilization and on what they reveal about underlying social conflicts and changes. Moreover, they showcase how these “protagonists” who feel that they are making history are actually giving their specific, innovative shape to the movements under study.

To do so, the four papers move beyond the classic divide between established democracies and developing countries. Jouhanneau, Reungoat and Buton shed light on French Yellow Vests’ first-time protestors and delineate their two-pronged politicization process. Based on an original focus group method, Angelcos, Espinoza, Aguilera and Gutierrez analyze the multiple meanings that first-time Chilean protestors ascribe to their mobilization. Serrano’s analysis of Hong Kong protestors’ trajectories and discourses shows that a new generation of participants has renewed the collective action repertoire. In contrast, Derradji’s long-term fieldwork exposes the power struggles between ordinary citizens and experienced activists in Algeria’s post-2011 protests. As well as fresh data on recent, compelling mass protests, the authors bring together a variety of qualitative approaches and sources – biographical interviews; ethnographic observation; questionnaires; written, audio and video archive – and discuss their respective value.


Becoming Yellow Vests: The Politicization of Ordinary Citizens (France 2018-20)
Cecile Jouhanneau, University Paul Valery Montpellier; Emmanuelle Reungoat, Université de Montpellier-CEPEL; François Buton, National center for scientific research (CNRS France)

Social movements literature has repeatedly stressed the importance of ingrained dispositions to activism. As for scholarship on political participation, it has pinpointed how inequalities in cultural and political capital largely determine the propensity for an individual to express an interest in politics, to turn out to vote and/or to join a political party or a mobilization. Therefore certain social groups – with little cultural and political capital, and no background in activism – are generally expected to remain outside of political life. Yet recent social movements like the Yellow Vests in 2018-2019 France have thrust “ordinary citizens” into the limelight. Indeed, one of the peculiarities of this movement is that it has emerged and developed mostly outside of political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations, both nationally and locally. For this reason, it has attracted numerous members of working and middle classes who had previously remained distant from politics, expressed no political commitment and abstained from voting. How did “ordinary citizens” engage and remain in the Yellow Vest movement born in November 2018, and how did such unprecedented commitment affect their biographical trajectories? Based on long-term fieldwork, in-depth interviews and life histories with first-time protestors, this communication puts forth two main results. The duration of the movement (over a year), the originality of its repertoire and the intensity of certain commitments (regular occupation of roundabouts, participation in heavily repressed demonstrations, relentless animation of social media) have provoked major biographical disruptions among participants, particularly in terms of their relationship to politics. We argue that becoming Yellow Vests has fostered a two-pronged politicization process among ordinary citizens: first, through the contestation of the very logics of representative democracy and of the autonomy of the political field; second, through the criticism of the social order, which brings the social question back in after years of interpreting conflict in “cultural” terms.

Listening to First-Time Protesters. The Multiple Meanings of the Chilean Revolt
Nicolás Angelcos; Vicente Espinoza, universidad de Santiago; Carolina Aguilera, Universidad Católica; Francisca Gutiérrez, Universidad Alberto Hurtado

The Chilean revolt that began in October 2019 shares many traits with other expressions of contentious politics around the world the very same year. In spìte of its unheard massiveness and scope, a myriad social conflicts notably since 2011, displayed new repertoires of protest involving an increasing number of people so far alienated from political activity. In the last decade, the consensus about the model of development which seemed deeply rooted in Chilean society for the last two decades was suddenly altered by multi-stranded conflicts, covering different territories and showing new repertoires of collective action. As long as institutions could not process these demands, the breakdown of social and political consensus led to an irritated political climate, making street demonstrations the main channel to express discrepancy. By the end of 2019, the conflict acquired a dynamics that is still deepening the breakdown of the institutional system. Many aspects of this contention process as well as their combination challenge the conventional wisdom about how protests come about to occur. First, the massive involvement of people in a context of a dramatic decrease in voting turnout indicates that for many people these riots inaugurate their political engagement. Next, there is no signal of centrality: there is no hierarchy or articulation among innumerable social demands, neither an accepted leadership or spokesperson. By contrast with traditional rallies people do not gather to hear discourses nor they belong to political or interest associations. So meetings occur with the conspicuous absence of political groups, with participants carrying their own hand-made signs containing specific demands, native peoples’ flags, artistic performances –remarkably LasTesis’ A Rapist in your Path–, clashes with the police and also a “let’s party!” ambiance. We shall present results of an original study of first-time participants in protests. We intend to establish the meaning of the protest for people with scant previous political involvement and representing social, demographic and economic diversity. Protesters were invited to a discussion group about the protests where they exposed their experience, had a dialogue with policy-makers and political leaders. Researchers registered and analyzed the discussion to establish an interpretation which was then validated by the same group. Our research group has been wondering whether this somehow individual and experiential involvement in political contention has evolved into a common story about their experience within a system of multiple inequalities. To a large extent this process also challenges the scope of political participation. What is the outcome of the interplay between manifestations, deliberation and social media networks?


Learning to Fight in Hong Kong: The Radicalization of the 2019 Protests
Juan Enrique Serrano Moreno, University La Frontera

In June 2019, the extradition bill proposed by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative region provoked an unprecedented political crisis since the handover of the ex-colony in 1997. Peaceful demonstrations and violent actions carry on for more than six months in a context of increasing polarization between the “yellow” (pro-democracy) and “blue” camps (pro-establishment or central Government). Later, the initial anti-extradition movement evolved into a opposition to the People Republic of China (PRC) in the name of the rule of law and democracy. This mobilization engaged a new generation of activists, mainly high-school and university students, who adopted a new repertoire of contention different from the peaceful and media-oriented strategies adopted by the Umbrella movement of 2014. These activists remained mostly anonymous to avoid the repression suffered by the leaders of the 2014 protests wearing masks in the demonstrations and using alternative social media to organize themselves. Also, they advocate for violent action against goods and symbols of the PRC and companies which support the Government. In this context, this presentation analyses the discourses and trajectories of ordinary citizens engaged in the “revolution of our times”, which is one of the most used slogans, using ethnographic observation and semi-structured interviews. Interviews with young activists show how they are experiencing an intense political socialization based on experiences, such as street demonstrations, clashes with the police and the use of social media to organize sporadic actions and to decide actions, slogans, symbols and even the un-official Hong Kong national anthem. The family socialization also needs to be explored as the vast majority of Hongkongers are descendants of mainlanders with ambivalent attitudes towards the People Republic of China. Besides, the study presents the results of the observation of the “Lennon walls”, temporary public urban spaces across the region where ordinary citizens and activists express themselves by posting graphic and written messages. The combination of spontaneous messages of support and elaborated visual and artistic posters shows how the citizens appropriate the protest symbolically. They also use the walls to communicate, posting practical instructions related to police arrests or health care. We also find lists of yellow and blue businesses and shops in the area around the wall in order to promote conscious consumption. The Lennon walls are also a symbolic battleground as the opponents to the protests frequently tear down the messages which are rapidly replaced by the activists, sometimes with violent confrontations between the two camps. These experiences contribute, on the one hand, to the radicalization of the anti-China sentiments and, on the other hand, the valorisation of western democratic values. This process conducts to the contestation of the political hegemony of the “one country two systems” doctrine of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which paradoxically claim to protect the rule of law and democracy.

Ordinary Citizens vs. Experienced Activists in Algeria’s Post-2011 Protests
Islam Amine Derradji, Université de Montréal

Immediately following the inception of the Arab uprisings of 2011, Algerians discovered the “National Coordination for Change and Democracy”, a broad and heterogenous coalition of local political parties, autonomous unions, and human rights’ organizations. Early on, the first leaders of the CNCD took the decision to open the coalition to a broad membership with the hope to build new solidarities, pool the resources of the different organizations and shift the balance of power to their advantage. However, the CNCD’s calls for regime change did not seem to generate popular support and the protests organized by the coalition remained limited in size and scope. Whereas hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the streets in Cairo and Tunis, only a few hundred demonstrated in Algiers and Oran. Why is that the case? The literature on social movements in the MENA region attempted to answer this puzzle by focusing on psychological explanations centering around the unwillingness of the population to engage in acts of political contention that could lead to another traumatizing civil conflict similar to the one that the country experienced in the 1990s. Given the rentier nature of the Algerian State, the literature also stressed the ability of the regime to pacify opposition groups and deter challengers by providing access to rent distribution channels in exchange for loyalty.  These explanations often portrayed ordinary Algerians as being either apathetic or alienated by a hegemonic political system. In contrast with these psychological or economic explanations, the present essay will focus of the political dimension of the CNCD’s failure to mobilize ordinary citizens. Building on fieldwork conducted between 2011 and 2016, including 42 interviews with members of the CNCD, content analysis of online forum discussion and deliberative assemblies, this essay argues that the CNCD rapidly became a club of high-profile figures, restricted to established political personalities and experienced activists. Despite the calls of the coalition to open its membership to a broader audience, informal barriers by local “Gate-keepers” prevented the recruitment of ordinary citizens and nourished the suspicion of the public towards the seemingly “professionalized” CNCD. Moreover, the presentation will show that ordinary citizens who joined the CNCD were quickly marginalized and prevented from taking initiatives. New members also doubted the motivations of the old-guard and suspected that their efforts may be diverted to generate political capital for established political parties and unions rather than create a free space for political deliberation and the imagination of a new democratic and inclusive political project. At the empirical level, this essay will make a valuable contribution to the literature on social movements by shedding some light on the competition and power struggle between ordinary and experienced activists as well as the bureaucratic tensions within anti-regime organizations in Algeria. At the theoretical level, this contribution will also help shed some light on the complex relationship between ordinary citizens and their formal political representatives and will help clarify the specific mechanisms of legitimacy production during episodes of heightened political tension.

Full Paper Panel
Sunday, September 13, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Discussant) Ashley E. Jardina, Duke University; (Chair) Chryl Laird, Bowdoin College; (Discussant) Chryl Laird, Bowdoin College

Session Description: Recent scholarship in political science has focused on the growing importance of identity for American politics, ranging from white racial identity to place-based identity and the recognition of multiple, overlapping identities. In keeping with the theme of the conference, this panel addresses how political identities, and in particular racial differences, affect democratic politics in the United States. Spry tackles the difficult problem of measuring multiple identities and their impact on attitudes about immigration and welfare. Similarly,  Williams’ contribution examines the effects of geographic cultural identity in the American South on political behavior. Cole makes a conceptual contribution about the nature and consequences of national and ethnic identities for American whites. Finally, Clemons and Wamble evaluate how group identities shape evaluations of candidates who share that same group membership. Taken together, these papers offer new perspectives on the conceptualization, measurement, and implications of varying identities that are consequential for American politics.


Measuring Identity: Social Groups, Political Attitudes, and Design Strategy
Amber D Spry, Brandeis University

Amid growing diversity in the United States and awareness of intersectional identities, assessing the political preferences of groups has become an increasingly complex task. This paper offers an alternative to conventional survey measurement tools and provides a large-scale analysis to show that political attitudes respond to self-categorization. While past research has relied on “checked boxes” and comparisons across social categories such as race, class, and gender to demonstrate what groups want from government, this paper uses data from the 2015 Identity Measurement Study (N=3,010) to highlight the role that subjective identity plays in influencing political preferences, with particular attention paid to views on immigration and welfare. Results reveal that outcomes related to policy attitudes vary between subsets of respondents. Specifically, those who strongly identify as Protestant, male, or as a white person are most likely to have colder feelings toward immigrants and more conservative views on welfare than people who more strongly associate with other groups. These attitudinal differences are most pronounced when we assess policy views according to the primary identity offered by respondents rather than by ascriptive categorization alone. Taken together, the findings indicate that alternative measurement strategies may reveal additional information about the links between identity and policy views by allowing individuals to tell us which identities matter most to them.

The Politics of Place: How Southern Identity Shapes Americans’ Racial Views
Princess Hope Williams, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

In this project, I create a new multidimensional measurement of Southern identity that is designed to capture how much Americans adhere to sub-national cultural norms. My primary argument is that Southern identity is a placed-based cultural identity that is composed of two dimensions: high levels of place-based positive affect and psychological attachment. I suspect that Southern-identifiers across race will be more likely to adopt more individualistic racial attitudes as a result of adherence to Southern cultural values. Results from three original survey datasets suggest that Southern identity for both Blacks and Whites is associated with higher levels of individualism and black nationalism. On the other hand, I find no relationship between Southern identity and support for reparations or affirmative action. This work speaks to the need for more nuanced approaches to studying race and exploring how differences in geographic cultural context fosters sub-national identities — and how these identities may influence American political behavior.

Red, White, and Anti-Black: Nationalism and White Ethnicity in U.S. Politics
Geneva Cole, University of Chicago

This paper, the theory-building chapter of my dissertation, asks the question: how are nationalism and racial identity in the United States linked for whites, and what are the implications of this linkage? I argue that for many whites in the United States, white identity and American identity are essentially the same, and constitute a specifically American white ethnicity. This ethnicity is historically constituted through laws, institutions, and race relations in the United States and maintained through the performance of Americanness and whiteness together. I also question the implications of this phenomenon: first asking what this means for membership and belonging in the American polity; second, asking how this shapes the expression of racial animus; and third, placing American white ethnicity in the context of contemporary politics and asking how certain political events can intensify the salience of this political identity and increase group solidarity for American ethnic whites.

“You Should Know Better”- The Consequences of Descriptive Representation
Julian Wamble, Stony Brook University; Jared Clemons, Duke University

Existing research on descriptive representation maintains that political candidates often receive more political support from in-group voters than their out-group competitors. Scholars claim this is due in large part to the assumption that descriptive candidates have a greater inclination to act in ways that benefit their shared identity group. This paper explores the other side of these heightened expectations and asks- How do voters evaluate a descriptive representative whose actions are perceived as being at odds with group expectations? Moreover, how do those evaluations compare to out-group candidates who behave in similar ways? Though out-group candidates may not receive the political benefits that in-group candidates receive, we contend that the upside for these candidates is that they are largely able to evade political consequences because voters hold them to different standards. Using an experimental design with Black and White subjects, we examine the costs leveled against political candidates who meet voters’ expectations and those who do not, and seeing whether the shared identity conditions voters’ evaluations. In doing so, we provide a more holistic view of the ways in which descriptive representation matters to voters.

Friday, September 11, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants: (Presenter) Ricardo Ramirez, University of Notre Dame; (Chair) Gary M. Segura, University of California, Los Angeles; (Presenter) Matt A. Barreto, University of California, Los Angeles; (Presenter) Lisa May Sanchez, University of Arizona; (Presenter) Chris Zepeda-Millan, UCLA; (Presenter) Angela Gutierrez, UCLA; (Presenter) Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected Officials

Session Description: Earthquakes and Aftershocks: Politics of Threat, the Legacy of Prop. 187, and the Evolution of Latino Politics since 1990

Prior to 1994, the conventional wisdom indicated that immigrants were less prone to participate politically and were less likely to mobilize in response to political threat. Since Proposition 187 was passed by the majority of the state’s voters, there was a dramatic change in the composition and behavior of Latino voters in California. The new conventional wisdom is that, once registered to vote, Latino immigrants participate at greater rates than their native-born counterparts. Much of this is due to increased rates of naturalizations and voter registration as a result of a politically threating environment. While evidence from California seems to confirm the hypothesis that group threat mobilizes Latinos, there is emerging evidence that this phenomenon has taken place nationally. Pantoja, Ramirez, and Segura’s (2001) article, “Citizens by Choice, Voters by Necessity” points to mobilization effects in California as a response to state-level political threat. Other works have documented the anti-immigrant climate in California and suggested political mobilizing effects. However, nearly every study on group threat and mobilization since Pantoja et al. (2001) has focused on California (e.g., Bowler, Nicholson, and Segura 2006), or has only found strong effects in California (Ramirez 2013). In this panel, we will focus on the legacy of Proposition 187 and the effects of politically threatening environments. In particular panelists will explore whether anti-immigrant threat is felt at a national level by Latinos of different origins, and generations, and how threat mobilizes beyond the specific context of California.

The panel will consist of a mix of established and younger scholars of Latino politics who study the causes and consequences of political threat. It also will include practitioners who witnessed the evolution of the Latino electorate since 1990 and can speak to the continuing relevance of this phenomenon as witnessed in electoral politics and civic engagement efforts.

Co-sponsored by Division 52: Migration & Citizenship
Author meet critics
Sunday, September 13, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Elizabeth F. Cohen, Syracuse University; (Presenter) Ming Hsu Chen, University of Colorado, Boulder; (Presenter) Rebecca Hamlin, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; (Presenter) Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania; (Presenter) Monica W Varsanyi, CUNY Graduate Center

Session Description: The law says that everyone who is not a citizen is an alien. But the social reality is more complicated. Ming Hsu Chen argues that the citizen/alien binary should instead be reframed as a spectrum of citizenship, a concept that emphasizes continuities between the otherwise distinct experiences of membership and belonging for immigrants seeking to become citizens. To understand citizenship from the perspective of noncitizens, this book utilizes interviews with more than one-hundred immigrants of varying legal statuses about their attempts to integrate economically, socially, politically, and legally during a modern era of intense immigration enforcement. Studying the experiences of green card holders, refugees, military service members, temporary workers, international students, and undocumented immigrants uncovers the common plight that underlies their distinctions: limited legal status breeds a sense of  citizenship insecurity for all immigrants that inhibits their full integration into society. Bringing together theories of citizenship with empirical data on integration and analysis of contemporary policy, Chen builds a case that formal citizenship status matters more than ever during times of enforcement. She refocuses the immigration debate around constructing pathways to citizenship.

This author-meets-critic panel brings together experts in immigration and citizenship from a variety of different methodological and theoretical perspectives to reflect on the arguments of the book and have a panel based discussion of what it means to pursue citizenship in the current enforcement era.

Co-sponsored by Division 47: Sexuality & Politics
Full Paper Panel
Sunday, September 13, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Cyril Ghosh, Wagner College; (Discussant) Helma G. E. de Vries-Jordan, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford

Session Description: This panel showcases a set of analyses regarding democratic institutions’ (in)ability to provide greater inclusion of sexual minorities in the wider polity. The studies are drawn from “democracies” as diverse as the United Kingdom, Russia, Indonesia, and the United States.

Haley V. Norris explores the politics surrounding the UK’s adoption of two watershed statutes: the 2004 Civil Partnership Act and the 2004 Gender Recognition Act and points out how the Labour government’s success at incorporating sexuality-related claims as well as gender-related claims led to both destabilizing as well as homogenizing effects for Britain’s sexual minorities.

Julia Bleckner examines the recent surge of state-sponsored homophobia in Indonesia, accompanied by a highly institutionalized form of targeting of LGBT+ populations, with some political elites even going to the extent of characterizing sexual minorities as “enemies of the state.”

Andrew Thomas Proctor studies the highly uncertain path to the consolidation of LGBT+ persons as a key demographic of the Democratic Party’s base in the United States. While sexual minorities are currently firmly ensconced within the Democratic Party, the process of incorporation was fraught with tensions and there was limited support from entrenched and key stakeholders within the party.

Finally, Emil Edenborg analyzes the Russian state’s recent strategy of defending a heteropatriarchal order as a counterhegemonic resistance to liberal values being imposed by the “West.” In these efforts, the Russian state’s framing strategy involved the claim that such an order would more successfully accommodate allegedly homophobic Muslim citizens of the Russian Federation (most prominently, Chechens).

Taken together, these four papers offer four different glimpses into a number of different facets surrounding LGBT+ inclusion in democratic polities, including the use of illiberal strategies and tactics, the resilience of democratic institutions, as well as the power of heterogenous publics to mobilize for their rights.


(De)Stabilizing Difference: LGBTQ Policies in UK Parliament
Haley V Norris, Rutgers University

My paper looks at the ways that democratic institutions incorporate ‘difference’ in the form of LGBTQ politics through the actions of elected representatives. To accomplish this task, I focus on two watershed moments of LGBTQ policies in the UK parliament: the 2004 Civil Partnership Act as well as the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Unlike purely sociological and/or historical accounts of these policies, I offer an in-depth analysis of the rhetorical frameworks used by proponents of LGBTQ rights and connect them directly to theories of political representation (Mansbridge 1999; 2003; Saward 2010; Childs and Krook 2009; Celis and Mügge 2018). I emphasize the productive work of the elected representative in naming and defining groups based on the policy proposals. I use discourse analysis combined with the “claims-making framework” (Saward 2010) to organize the debates, committee reports, and public statements for these two bills. Both policies were passed by the Labour government with approximately twenty “out” MPs serving at the time. These policies represent a moment when LGBTQ difference was argued to be included and prioritized by the political system. I am focused on the final effect that the representative process has on marginalized categories of difference in formal politics. Rather than conclude that these policies were unquestionable successes I explore the destabilizing impact that difference-inclusion has on democratic institutions and the effect of group homogenization (or assimilation) that results from this type of inclusion. I connect this destabilization to other norms of difference related to gender, race, and class. It is important to study these two policies in tandem because they are intended to benefit different members of the LGBTQ community. Gender recognition is explicitly a transgender policy while civil partnership is directed towards lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. However, as the participants in the debate soon realized, discussions of gender, sex, and sexual orientation are more fluid and cannot be neatly divided from one another. Concerns about same-sex marriage are raised during discussions of the GRA and the provisions of the GRA are referenced during the civil-partnership debates. How do these two processes relate to and inform one another? What is the ultimate result for how UK politicians understand and pursue LGBTQ interests? These are questions that my paper aims to resolve.

Enemies of the State:” State Power and the Political Targeting of LGBT People
Julia Bleckner, Yale University

On February 23, 2016, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu proclaimed that the LGBT community was more dangerous to Indonesia than nuclear war. Until this point, the LGBT community in Indonesia had been widely tolerated, if not celebrated. In fact, the LGBT movement in Indonesia has been described as the oldest and largest in Southeast Asia (Laurent 2001). A decade prior, Indonesia had hosted the 2006 summit on LGBT rights, producing the first ever international human rights principles regarding sexual orientation and gender identity: the Yogyakarta Principles. Then, according to one activist, “in less than 18 months being gay in Indonesia [went] from widely tolerated to just plain dangerous” (Westcott 2017). This leap presents a puzzle: What explains the shift from tolerance to targeting LGBT people as “enemies of the state”? When state leaders declare an individual or group to be an enemy of the state it is often in response to an allegation of actions directly threatening state security—conspiring with a hostile foreign entity, treason, terrorism. But groups that do not pose any direct security threat are also at times deemed enemies of the state and subject to state-sanctioned persecution as such. That some “enemies of the state” in fact present no direct material threat to state security indicates that their “threat” is symbolic, and by extension so is who targets them and how. I argue that who is deemed to be an enemy of the state, how they are targeted, and by whom carries symbolic importance and is actually central to regime rule. As Wedeen (1999) argues, the predominant analytical approach to political violence in which it is viewed through a lens of material interest, “regarding symbolic displays of power and rhetorical practices as epiphenomenal,” fails to “analyze the state’s attempts to control the symbolic world” (Wedeen 1999, 5). To understand political power, it is necessary to account for the ways in which “official rhetoric and images operate as forms of power in their own right, helping to enforce obedience and sustain the conditions under which regimes rule” (Wedeen 1999, 7). As part of a larger project interrogating the symbolic role of political violence against “enemies of the state” in regime consolidation of power, this paper interrogates the conditions under which governments target LGBT people as “enemies of the state.” I examine who is constructed and targeted as an “enemy of the state,” by whom, and how, and ask how the symbolic nature of these variables help to “enforce obedience and sustain the conditions under which regimes rule.” There is a well-established literature on gender and the state which in particular demonstrates how the state’s security apparatuses become imbued with messages of heternormativity. But this literature does not sufficiently explain variation over time in the targeting of LGBT as threats to state security as in the case of Indonesia. At times, targeting is frequent and highly institutionalized and at other times sexual minorities appear to be able to exist in relative, if tenuous, peace. There are three generally-accepted explanations for why the state would target sexual minorities. There is the well-established argument that LGBT identity is considered and/or framed as a western concept (Massad 2002), and that states defining themselves in opposition to the west will target LGBT movements as a proxy. Second, targeting of sexual minorities with violence may be a demonstration of appealing to an audience with preferences for conservative religious values (Doebler 2015; Hayes and Nagle 2016). Finally, targeting may be indicative of a backlash effect. That is, increased access to rights may lead to increased visibility, which may lead to increased targeting and violence in the short-term. But state persecution of sexual minorities across contexts with wide variation in the above hypotheses indicates that additional or alternative explanations are needed. Moreover, even when indicators are present for all of the above hypotheses, political violence targeting the LGBT community varies. This paper presents original heuristic mixed-method research from Indonesia and historical analysis from the Cold War United States in order to begin filling these gaps in the literature. Through a historical analysis of the Cold War lavender scare, I draw on archival material from Cold War era men’s magazines to build on the Copenhagen School’s securitization theory, interrogating the process by which state actors transform LGBT people into existential security threats. Through this theoretical framework I investigate the question of temporal change in Indonesia using an original dataset of political rhetoric over the past five years in Indonesia with regards to the LGBT community. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of this dataset is supplemented by elite-level interviews with members of civil society, activists, members of the LGBT community, and local political leaders.

LGBT Incorporation: Party Delegates and the Politics of Sexuality, 1980-2012
Andrew Thomas Proctor, Princeton University

This paper examines attitudes about the politics of sexuality in the party system form 1980 to 2012 among delegates to national party conventions. Using survey data, I examine how gay men and lesbians gained support for their inclusion in the party system over time. In particular, I turn attention to who within party system had favorable attitudes towards this mobilized constituency and how membership in advocacy organizations and attitudes about disadvantaged groups shaped receptivity to lesbian and gay incorporation. While the conventional wisdom suggests that the Democratic Party was a natural home for gay men and lesbians, I find that Democratic delegates routinely give lower ratings to gay men and lesbians than to other constituency groups that comprise the Democratic Party coalition. Furthermore, among Democratic delegates, negative ratings of gay men and lesbians are also associated with increased support for “downplaying certain issues to win elections” and “minimizing disagreements in the party.” There is no similar relationship between ratings of other constituency groups and these dependent variables. I also find that the members of women’s organizations and racial justice organizations had more favorable attitudes about gay men and lesbians, suggesting that their support in the party came from groups who also faced barriers to inclusion. These findings complicate accounts of constituency incorporation, because gay men and lesbians mobilized into the Democratic Party without strong support from labor. The fact that they did not have a strong alliance with labor reveals that their path to incorporation was different from the path taken by African Americans, who aligned with labor over the course of the 20th century to reshape the American party system. These results also provide evidence about the ways in which representational dynamics constitute group mobilization. While gay men and lesbians were mobilizing for inclusion, they found limited support from more entrenched actors, and those who did support them were often from less powerful groups. As a result, I show how institutional barriers and systemic inequalities complicate the process of representation and inclusion in the party system for the members of disadvantaged political constituencies.

Russia’s Heteronationalism: “Traditional Values” as Counterhegemonic Politics
Emil Edenborg, Södertörn University

In an international context where it has become mandatory for states to take positions on LGBTQ rights, and where those stances function as measures of their global standing (Rao 2018), it is not surprising that queer visibility has become not only a tool of empire, but also of counterhegemonic and even competing imperial claims. Since 2013, the Russian state, supported by the Orthodox Church and organizations such as the World Congress of Families, has explicitly positioned Russia as an international protector of “traditional values”, opposing LGBTQ inclusion domestically and abroad. The Kremlin has made visible an alternative model to the liberal homonormative, where it is not a state’s “gay-friendliness” but rather heteronormalization that determines status. The project has international resonance especially in the post-Soviet region where LGBTQ politics have become a geopolitical marker, but also among some right-wing groups in Europe and North America. Drawing on postcolonial queer perspectives, and seeking to go beyond binary “polarization” frames of “, this paper examines how the ”traditional values” project articulates its defense of a heteropatriarchal order as counterhegemonic, directed against what is perceived as “imposition” of liberal values from the West. At the same time Russian elites motivate anti-LGBTQ legislation with reference to the need to accommodate allegedly homophobic Muslim citizens of the Russian Federation (most prominently in Chechnya).  I show that Russia’s conservative mission does not represent a departure or destabilization of the liberal discourse of sexual modernization, but remains trapped therein, merely reacting to and inverting the homonormative model.

Co-sponsored by Division 31: Women and Politics Research
Thursday, September 10, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Kelly Dittmar, Rutgers University-Camden; (Presenter) Niambi M. Carter, Howard University; (Presenter) Kathleen Dolan, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; (Presenter) Melanye Tarea Price, Prairie View A&M University; (Presenter) Anna Sampaio, Santa Clara University; (Presenter) Kira Sanbonmatsu, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Session Description: The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University has been the primary source for data and analysis on gender and elections for nearly 50 years. In the past two cycles specifically, CAWP has managed Presidential Gender Watch 2016 and Gender Watch 2018 to track, analyze, and illuminate gender and intersectional dynamics in these historic elections. Both projects offered real-time analyses from scholar and practitioner perspectives. CAWP will offer similar analyses in election 2020 through our Election Watch and Presidential Watch projects, again tapping expert contributors to inform public dialogue of gender and race in this year’s multi-level elections.

In addition to providing the most up-to-date CAWP data on gender, race, and candidates in election 2020, this roundtable will bring together CAWP scholars and Gender Watch contributors to reflect on the gender, race, and intersectional dynamics at play in election 2020, offering key perspectives and insights into the role of gender and race in: campaign strategy, public opinion, voter evaluation and behavior, money in politics, media coverage, and political participation and engagement. Our discussion will also address the importance of applying scholarly research to real-time political events and suggest tactics by which scholars can best translate their expertise for public audiences. Finally, this roundtable will give scholars an opportunity to discuss and/or suggest new research projects or areas that have or might emerge from the 2020 election cycle.

Thursday, September 10, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Presenter) Allan Colbern, Arizona State University; (Chair) Karthick Ramakrishnan, University of California Riverside; (Presenter) Daniel Tichenor, University of Oregon; (Presenter) Sidney M. Milkis, University of Virginia; (Presenter) Cybelle Fox, University of California, Berkeley

Session Description: What makes American politics today similar or different from prior periods of progressive change, most notably after the Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era, and during the mid-century period after The New Deal?  What role have institutions and actors (such as parties, courts, and social movements) played in promoting or preventing progressive movements from succeeding, and has federalism structured the development of progressive policies? This roundtable brings scholars working on historical and contemporary cases to share insights about how progressive movements in the United States can gain momentum and produce significant reforms, the stability of that progress, as well as major limits and barriers to change.

The Progressive Era was a dramatic revitalization of American democracy in the early 20th Century, with varying consequences for race, gender and class. Massive reform movements germinated and spread across the country, animated by various issues including growing urbanization, political corruption, concentrated wealth and corporate power, greater labor unrest, a growing population of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, and the onset of World War I.

America’s first progressive movement (1890-1920) scored many national reforms that often originated and gained momentum at the state and local levels. For example, the expansion of women’s suffrage was a state-led affair, starting in the Mountain West during the late 1800s and expanding rapidly across other western states from 1910 to 1917 before snowballing into a federal constitutional amendment by the end of the decade. Similarly, labor laws such as the minimum wage and restrictions on child labor made significant headway in many states and went through a tortuous path through the 1920s before finally getting ratified at the federal level during the New Deal Era. Thus, states during the Progressive Era were not only “laboratories of democracy” that allowed for smaller-scale experimentations in economic regulation and rights extension, they also helped build momentum for federal-level reforms.

At the same time, the Progressive Era also had several dark sides. Many reform efforts, including anti-corruption and temperance movements were motivated and animated by nativism and anti-Catholicism. Federalist accommodations during this period also strengthened racial conservatives and white supremacists in state and local governments to pursue exclusionary, and these racist policies soon influenced national policy. Progressive labor unions were even among the strongest supporters of immigration restriction, and many progressive reformers drew on scientific views of government regulation and racial science to advance the cause of eugenics, which led to passing the first national compulsory sterilization law in 1907. At the height of the Progressive Era, Jim Crow racist policies began to have national influence, with President Woodrow Wilson segregating the federal bureaucracy. Indeed, growing national civil rights movement through the post-New Deal era had limited access to formal political institutions, preventing progressive politics from occurring in large scale until the 1960s civil rights revolution.

By many accounts, we are living in the midst of a new Gilded Era, where income inequality and social mobility are worsening and wealth is increasingly concentrated among a miniscule proportion of the overall population. We are also seeing stirrings of populism and progressivism of various stripes, with nativist and white supremacist movements competing alongside power-building movements among immigrants and communities of color.

While there are several similarities between progressive and populist stirrings today when compared to more than a century ago, there are also critical differences ranging from the state of federalism post-Civil Rights, the relative strength of political parties at the national level, the presence of a large federal bureaucracy, and fiscal, social, and monetary policies that still curb some of the strongest excesses of modern capitalism.

As some put it, history does not repeat itself but it sometimes rhymes. This roundtable will explore the extent to which essential aspects of the Gilded Era, populism, and progressivism are still relevant to understanding political dynamics today, and what we can expect to be different moving forward.

Co-sponsored by Division 10: Political Science Education
Friday, September 11, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants: (Chair) Elizabeth C. Matto, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; (Presenter) Alison Rios Millett McCartney, Towson University; (Presenter) Elizabeth A. Bennion, Indiana University South Bend; (Presenter) Dick Simpson, University of Illinois, Chicago

Session Description: A thriving and peaceful democracy requires an informed and engaged citizenry, and such citizenship must be learned.  The current political climate has accelerated attention to teaching civic engagement, and the 2020 election and its aftermath will only heighten the importance of fostering democratic citizenship in the classroom and campus-wide. Informed by the scholarship and best practices contained in the APSA publications Teaching Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen and Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines, roundtable participants will share evidence-based methods by which political scientists can play an active and leading role on their campuses in engaging students in the 2020 election and its aftermath. Specifically, roundtable participants will offer insights on engaging students in the final weeks of the campaign (in such ways as hosting debate watches or preparing voter guides), effective approaches for mobilizing students on Election Day, moderating discussions about the election in classrooms of all disciplines, and holding reflections on the election returns and their ramifications. Recommendations offered will be rooted in research and attentive to the meaningful inclusion of the diversity of student bodies (diversity in orientation, ethnicity, ideology, etc.). Educators across the country, even around the globe, are faced with teaching politics in an era in which populist values are on the rise and core democratic tenets are being questioned and undermined. As campuses prepare for the 2020 election and beyond, it’s more important than ever that the discipline fulfill its mission to prepare our students to be informed and engaged democratic citizens. This roundtable discussion will play a valuable role in preparing teacher-scholars to do just that.

Co-sponsored by Division 26: Law and Courts
Thursday, September 10, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants: (Chair) Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania; (Presenter) Corrine M. McConnaughy, George Washington University; (Presenter) Gretchen Ritter, Cornell University; (Presenter) Nadia E. Brown, Purdue University; (Presenter) Daniel P. Carpenter, Harvard University; (Presenter) Virginia Sapiro, Boston University; (Presenter) Lynda G. Dodd, Princeton University; (Presenter) Lee Ann Banaszak, Pennsylvania State University

Session Description: 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which barred states from using sex as a qualification for voting rights. And yet, the amendment did not “guarantee” voting rights to women and left many women to battle on for democratic inclusion. Panelists will discuss the lessons for democracy from the movement for woman suffrage, including the constitutional and political understandings of claims to citizenship, rights, and national belonging that the movement and the amendment engendered.

Co-sponsored by Division 31: Woman And Politics Research and Pi Sigma Alpha
Friday, September 11, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants: (Chair) Zoe M. Oxley, Union College; (Presenter) S. Laurel Weldon, Simon Fraser University; (Presenter) Christina Wolbrecht, University of Notre Dame; (Presenter) Celeste M. Montoya, University of Colorado, Boulder; (Presenter) Kelly Dittmar, Rutgers University-Camden; (Presenter) Niambi M. Carter, Howard University; (Presenter) Dawn L. Teele, University of Pennsylvania

Session Description: This roundtable brings together leading scholars to take stock of women’s political involvement as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.  Drawing on their extensive knowledge of women and politics, panelists will provide a historical orientation to women’s political activity as well as offer projections for the future.  This roundtable includes experts on social movements, turnout, office holding and representation, candidates and campaigns, intersectionality, voting rights, sexual violence, and public policy.  In addition, several panelists bring deep expertise of U.S. politics and comparative politics, which will bring cross-national insights into the discussion of the American experience.  In sum, this roundtable leverages the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to explore both how far women’s political participation has come and how many opportunities and obstacles remain, especially for women of color. 

Co-sponsored by Political Forecasting Group
Full Paper Panel
Saturday, September 12, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Participants: (Chair) Mary Stegmaier, University of Missouri; (Discussant) William G. Mayer, Northeastern University

Session Description: Forecasting U.S. presidential elections has a long history. This session will feature three classic models for forecasting the presidential popular vote, all of which have been around at least since the 1992 election, or longer. In addition, session chair and discussant Bill Mayer will provide a review of the historical performance of these and other traditional models.

Forecasting the 2020 Presidential Election with the Time for Change Model
Alan I. Abramowitz, Emory University

  The “time for change” forecasting model has been used to accurately predict the outcomes of U.S. presidential elections since 1992. However, the rise of partisan polarization and the extraordinarily divisive presidency of Donald Trump present potential challenges to this and other forecasting models. In this paper, I will discuss the time for change forecast of the 2020 presidential election in light of these challenges.

Forecasting the Presidential Vote with Leading Economic Indicators and Polls
Robert S. Erikson, Columbia University; Christopher Wlezien, University of Texas at Austin

On election eve the presidential vote can be seen fairly clearly from trial-heat polls. Earlier in the election year, the polls offer much less information about what will happen on Election Day. They capture preferences to the moment and do not anticipate how preferences will evolve in the future. The standing of the sitting president is important and the economy too, but both can change as the election cycle unfolds. Our solution to the problem of early forecasting has been to turn to The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators (LEI). The growth in these indicators through the spring of the election year—quarter 13 of the election cycle—is a strong predictor of the vote. This is for two reasons: (1) it provides a summary of the state of the economy leading up to the election year; and (2) it gives advance indication of changes in the economy (and presidential approval) during the election year. We use the quarter 13 measure of cumulated LEI growth in conjunction with current trial-heat polls to predict the vote during the election year. The model has worked well in previous elections and in the proposed paper we intend to update the equation including the 2016 election and apply it to the 2020 election. In the course of the analysis, we will consider the association between LEI readings and presidential polls (and approval) across election years to illuminate the degree to which non-economic factors have mattered in the past and the degree to which the 2020 election is exceptional.

The Keys to the White House: Forecast for 2020
Allan J. Lichtman, American University

The Keys to the White House are an index-based prediction system that give specificity to the theory that presidential election results turn primarily on the performance of the party controlling the White House. The Keys thus far show a 2020 election too close to call, but the system also specifies what would have to develop over the next several months to change that verdict. The Keys include no polling data and consider a much wider range of performance indicators than economic concerns. The Keys also suggest that candidates need not follow the empty scripted campaigns of the recent past but should instead be liberated to offer forthright discussions of the issues and ideas that will shape America’s future. The Keys have become part of the national and international dialogue on American presidential elections.


Co-sponsored by Division 39: Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics
Sunday, September 13, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Aseem Prakash, University of Washington; (Presenter) Veronica Herrera, University of California, Los Angeles; (Presenter) Matto Mildenberger, University of California Santa Barbara; (Presenter) Kathryn Hochstetler, LSE; (Presenter) Jeannie Sowers, University of New Hampshire; (Presenter) Laura A. Henry, Bowdoin College; (Presenter) Graeme Robertson; (Presenter) Debra Javeline, University of Notre Dame

Session Description: Democratic institutions have always struggled to provide environmental public goods – but recent threats to liberalism have compounded these difficulties. This roundtable brings together experts on countries that have recently experienced democratic erosion (e.g. the U.S., Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Egypt and Brazil), and discusses subsequent impacts on environmental issues, institutions, and actors. We consider how environmental goods have been impacted by, for example, the erosion of technocratic expertise and scientific guidance, free press restrictions, NGO and protester crackdowns, and populism and its autocratic tendencies. If democratic institutions matter for environmental governance, under what conditions do they matter, and for what types of environmental problems is democratic erosion a particular threat? We examine the relationship between democracy and environment in light of recent events and mark out areas of concern for the role of civil society participation and liberal institutions in environmental governance.

Co-sponsored by Division 39: Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics
Sunday, September 13, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Aseem Prakash, University of Washington; (Presenter) Veronica Herrera, University of California, Los Angeles; (Presenter) Matto Mildenberger, University of California Santa Barbara; (Presenter) Kathryn Hochstetler, LSE; (Presenter) Jeannie Sowers, University of New Hampshire; (Presenter) Laura A. Henry, Bowdoin College; (Presenter) Graeme Robertson; (Presenter) Debra Javeline, University of Notre Dame

Session Description: Democratic institutions have always struggled to provide environmental public goods – but recent threats to liberalism have compounded these difficulties. This roundtable brings together experts on countries that have recently experienced democratic erosion (e.g. the U.S., Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Egypt and Brazil), and discusses subsequent impacts on environmental issues, institutions, and actors. We consider how environmental goods have been impacted by, for example, the erosion of technocratic expertise and scientific guidance, free press restrictions, NGO and protester crackdowns, and populism and its autocratic tendencies. If democratic institutions matter for environmental governance, under what conditions do they matter, and for what types of environmental problems is democratic erosion a particular threat? We examine the relationship between democracy and environment in light of recent events and mark out areas of concern for the role of civil society participation and liberal institutions in environmental governance.

Co-sponsored by Division 43: International History and Politics
Full Paper Panel
Thursday, September 10, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Robert C. Smith, San Francisco State University; (Discussant) Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania

Session Description: The panel revisits the work of African American scholars based at Howard University during the  interwar and post-World Wars era when totalitarianism, fascism, and racism threatened  democratic principles and institutions worldwide.  As wartime conditions intensified the minority situation of blacks, Jews, and colonial groups, the Howard scholars, who include Alain Locke, Ralph Bunche, Merze Tate, Rayford Logan, E. Franklin Frazier and others, were unique among their contemporaries in specifically tying the dangers to democracy to the practices and aspirations of empire.  Furthermore, their theses on interracial (and indeed international) relations, and for what must be done to safeguard democracy, advocated for policies of co-existence against dominant policies and practices of cultural containment.  Through the efforts of these scholars, Howard University served as an intellectual hub for the investigation of the interdependence of imperialism and racism, and its impact on democratic institutions domestically and internationally.  Forerunner to contemporary Postcolonial International Relations theorists that today increasingly emphasize the prevalence of racialized bases of power in the international system, the Howard scholars contributions to IR have largely been erased and forgotten from political science canon.

Themes that animate from their work include an analysis and redefinition of democracy that distinguishes between and emphasizes social, economic and cultural democracy; the importance of civic education and the education of social citizens with ‘world-mindedness’ to the strength of democratic institutions; misgivings of states’ ability to guarantee the rights of marginalized groups, and instead the promotion of non-state actors and a vibrant civil society.

Deep analysis of the work of the Howard School reveals enduring patterns of polarization and fault lines in Western democracies, and their underlying economic, social and cultural drivers.   The papers on this panel not only offer a close reading of these scholars works, but also reveal their continuing relevance to understanding present fissures in Western democracies and the interdependence between domestic and international drivers.


Alain Locke: Imperialism, Race and the International Order
Owen Rhys Brown, Northwestern University

In 1915 Alain Locke gave a series of lectures titled “Race Contacts and Interracial Relations” in which he presented a novel conceptualisation of imperialism as “race practice,” thereby pointing towards the intimate connection between race and imperial order.  Although Locke’s understanding of race was ground-breaking for showing what is constructed as race and for its emphasis on practice, and even though he provided original insights into how race operates and to what effect, they remained unpublished for almost 80 years and it is only recently that they have been recovered and started to receive some attention by scholars of international relations and political science.  Locke’s recovery and reintegration into the body of thinkers of international politics offers not only the possibility of demonstrating the ways in which race practice constitutes and shapes international order, but also, and more broadly, illustrates the importance of a re-examination of some of the earlier theorists of international relations, particularly those whose work has been excluded from the canon or whose perspectives have been marginalised.  As such, this paper presents a recovery and re-examination of Locke’s conception of imperialism as race practice, and highlights its continuing relevance by connecting it to practice theory and to a conceptualisation of international order as an ongoing project in order to argue that the continuing deployment of shifting race practices helps constitute and reproduce a hierarchical international order that bears the marks of the colonial and of racialisation in the absence of formal empire.

The Howard School of African Diaspora Studies
Errol A. Henderson, Pennsylvania State University

This essay builds on recent studies of racism in the foundational scholarship in IR and its implications for empirical theory and extends it to the subfield of Diaspora Studies. Taking as its point of departure, Vitalis’ (2015) thesis on the Howard School of IR, it briefly reviews a strain of empirical theory of Howard School scholars, Du Bois’ and Locke, which focused on major racial diasporas during the first half of the twentieth century, and scholars associated with the Howard School of African Diaspora Studies during the second half, which has been marginalized in mainstream Diaspora Studies and develop their argument on the impact of major racial diasporas in world politics and discuss their implications for IR theory. Their pan-Africanist diasporist IR theory, inter alia, reinforces the salience of racial reparations as a major unresolved issue of social justice but its usefulness for empirical IR theory may be undermined by the emergent properties of diasporas as an empirical phenomenon and the unsuitability of constructs such as race for cross- national and cross-temporal analysis, which are hallmarks of IR. Ironically, the Howard School’s promulgation of empirical theory aimed at addressing the concrete depredations of the white supremacist global system and the provision of reparations for those subjected to it ultimately demonstrates the limits of systematic analyses of empirical IR theory.

Ralph Bunche, UN Trusteeship, and the 1947 HU Conference on Trusteeship
Pearl T. Robinson, Tufts University

In April 1947, Howard University’s Division of Social Sciences convened its 10th Annual Conference. The topic was “Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories.” Participants included Eleanor Roosevelt; Howard Professors E. Franklin Frazier, Rayford Logan and Merze Tate; Max Yergan of the Council on African Affairs; George Middleton, Esq. from the South African embassy; and W.E.B. DuBois. Approximately 2,100 people attended. Ralph Bunche, who was preparing for the UN Trusteeship Council’s first Visiting Mission to Africa, came to campus the following month to deliver a Howard Forum Lecture on “The United Nations and the Colonial Problem.” This cauldron of Black internationalism epitomizes the unique blend of scholarship and civic engagement practiced at the intersection of race and international affairs at Howard University at that time. An analysis of the Conference Proceedings sheds light on the institutional infrastructure that enabled the epistemic community referred to as The Howard School of International Affairs to reach beyond its elite academic audiences and also connect with the adult education constituencies serviced by Alain Locke’s Bronze Booklet Series.

Merze Tate: Imperialism and the White Man’s Blunders
Krista Johnson, Howard University

Merze Tate, diplomatic historian and professor in the Department of History at Howard University from 1942-1977, was the only female in the original cohort of the Howard School, and probably the least known of the Howard scholars.  This was despite the fact that she produced five books and numerous articles on subjects ranging from nuclear disarmament, to African railways, to Hawaiian annexation and the monarchy.    In addition, the papers she bequeathed to Howard University hold no less than another four nearly complete, unpublished book length manuscripts on Imperialism, Colonial Railways and Empire in Africa, and extensions of her work on the Pacific region, including expansionist efforts by Australia and New Zealand.  This paper will focus on Tate’s writings on Imperialism, and most interestingly her analysis of the consequences of imperialism on white civilization and democratic institutions and norms.  Of particular interest is her unpublished manuscript which she tentatively titled “The White Man’s Blunders: The Twentieth Century Sequel to the White Man’s Burden”.  She explained, “this is a critique of ‘the White Man’s Burden’ and an analytical treatment of the consequences of assuming that burden, written not from the point of view of an African or an Asiatic but from that of an American student of international relations examining the white man’s civilization.”   Although this manuscript never came to print, she spent her career at Howard lecturing and teaching a number of courses that would allow her to explore the themes of nationalism, imperialism, Europe since 1870, and the partition and exploitation of Africa.   In unpacking the political motivations of imperialism, Tate makes clear that race was central to the identity of Western political elites, and inextricably linked to the Western notion of civilization.  Interestingly, a notable angle of her analysis is the role of a racist, irresponsible, “Jingo” press in aiding and abetting imperialist ambitions. In this regard Tate’s work provides a deep historical analysis of the interdependence between imperialism and racism, and the fault lines they expose in democratic institutions.

Co-sponsored by Division 11: Comparative Politics 
Thursday, September 10, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Sara Wallace Goodman, University of California, Irvine; (Presenter) Amel F. Ahmed, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; (Presenter) Julia Rezazadeh Azari, Marquette University; (Presenter) Didi Kuo, Stanford University; (Presenter) T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley; (Presenter) Thomas Pepinsky, Cornell University; (Presenter) David J. Samuels, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Session Description: The United States is witnessing a resurgence of regime contention in politics, and indeed a hardening of a regime cleavage that has divided politicians and the electorate not just according to policy and identity but also on the very question of democratic legitimacy. Questions about the legitimacy of established democratic practices and institutions are entering the political discourse like they have been at no point in recent history. However, we have very few tools to understand what this might mean for the future of democratic politics in the United States. This roundtable brings together a range of comparative perspectives on the impact of regime contestation in democratic settings. Drawing on research from the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, presenters will explore the impact of regime contestation in legislative politics, inter-branch relations, and party development. We seek to contribute to our understanding of this year’s theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” through exploration of one of the greatest challenges facing democracy in the United States and elsewhere, the return of a regime dimension that threatens to radically restructure the political landscape.

Our roundtable participants are widely-recognized experts in comparative and American politics whose published and forthcoming work touches on fundamental questions on regime stability. Our participants also reflect the diversity of APSA’s membership, and usefully cross traditional subfield and area boundaries.

Amel Ahmed (U-Mass Amherst) is an expert in comparative and historical approaches to regime change. She specializes in democratization in Europe, and has worked extensively on the origins of electoral institutions and their effects on political competition over the past two centuries.

Julia Azari (Marquette) works on party development and policy history in the United States, and has published widely on the Trump presidency and its historical and institutional antecedents both in academic and popular venues.

Sara Wallace Goodman (UC Irvine) is a leading scholar of citizenship and migration policy whose work outlines the policy implications and political consequences of migration and naturalization. Her current research examines the politics of citizenship in times of democratic crisis in the United States and Europe.

Didi Kuo (Stanford) studies the role of clientelism in democratic consolidation, straddling the subfields of American and comparative politics and adopting a historical and developmental approach to political change in the United States and the United Kingdom.

T.J. Pempel’s (UC Berkeley) research on Japanese and East Asian politics has addressed the very concept of “regime change” and “regime shift” within consolidated democracies, and he is one of the world’s foremost experts in the changing political and economic regimes of Japan, and U.S.-East Asian relations in the post-9/11 era.

Thomas Pepinsky (Cornell) works primarily on Southeast Asian politics, and has written for both academic and popular audiences about Trump presidency and democratic stability in comparative and historical perspective.

David Samuels (Minnesota) works on institutions and the political economy of democratization, with a focus on new and consolidating democracies and an area specialization in Brazil and Latin America.

Each of our participants will draw on their existing research (and, where necessary, their work in progress) to address the core questions of regime competition in the contemporary United States. In outlining parallels with the comparative experiences of countries as diverse as Brazil, Germany, and Japan, and drawing on American political history to place current events in their appropriate context, our roundtable will outline the problem of regime competition in American politics and outline an emerging research agenda on the politics of regime change in the United States.

Co-sponsored by Division 23: Presidents and Executive Politics
Full Paper Panel
Saturday, September 12, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Participants:  (Chair) Jeffrey Crouch, American University; (Discussant) Chris Edelson, American University; (Discussant) Mark E. Rush, Washington and Lee

Session Description: The first three years of the Donald J. Trump presidency have unquestionably challenged the Constitution, democratic institutions, and established notions of the rule of law. Among the many questions raised by the Trump administration are:  How has Trump used the policy tools of the administrative presidency to pursue his policy goals? How does the “unitary executive” theory still undergird Trump administration decision making? What unique challenges are confronted by a White House Counsel advising a president who generally rejects limits on his ability to maneuver? And how will the president’s disdain for certain norms impact the leadership approach of his successors?

In this panel, contributors will place these questions into their proper context by identifying how (or whether) any of these events are unique to the Trump administration, and what the likely long-term consequences might be for the president and his successors.


Presidential Power and Trump’s Administrative Presidency
Rachel Augustine Potter, University of Virginia; Andrew C. Rudalevige, Bowdoin College; Sharece Thrower, Vanderbilt University; Adam L. Warber, Clemson University

In this study, we analyze President Trump’s use of the administrative presidency to influence and shape public policy during his first term in office.  Specifically, we address the following question:  how much does Trump’s administrative presidency stack up with recent administrations dating back to Ronald Reagan?  As such, we explore a variety of policy tools and strategic tactics, such as executive orders, proclamations, and signing statements, that the Trump White House has utilized to make its mark on the policy process.  Furthermore, we assess the federal rulemaking process that has occurred in the Trump era.  Overall, we seek to shed light on whether Trump’s administrative presidency represents continuity or a departure from recent presidents, in terms of the types of policy tools used and the tactics employed to pursue policy, along with the implications of these actions on the Constitution and presidential power.

The Trump Administration and the Unitary Executive Theory
Jeffrey Crouch, American University; Mark J. Rozell, George Mason University; Mitchel A. Sollenberger, University of Michigan, Dearborn

The “unitary executive” theory surfaced during the George W. Bush administration as the president’s justification for exercising broad executive powers and then lingered behind the scenes, to some extent, under Barack Obama. President Donald J. Trump has continued to push for expansions of executive power through a vision of the presidency that sees itself as virtually without limits – indeed, he recently said that the Constitution gives him the unfettered power to do as he pleases. Here, we define the “unitary executive” theory as understood by its advocates and then offer a critique. Finally, we highlight the theory’s impact on the evolution of presidential powers over the past 20 years and track recent developments (for example, Attorney General William P. Barr’s defense of the theory in a November 15, 2019 speech).


President Trump and the Norms of the Presidency
James P. Pfiffner, George Mason University

The presidency of Donald Trump has illustrated how much the behavior of presidents has been based on widely accepted norms rather than legal constraints. This paper will examine some of the more important ways that Trump’s behavior differs from that of most previous presidents. Indeed, Trump’s behavior has been unusual from the start. In his campaign for the presidency, Trump attacked his opponents in unusually personal and ad hominem terms, calling them names and denigrating their character. While in office, Trump has attacked the very legitimacy of the other branches of the federal government. He criticized individual judges for their ethnic heritage or decisions adverse to his preferences, and he attacked members of Congress with whom he disagreed by saying that they should go back where they came from. He even publicly attacked his first attorney general and encouraged the Department of Justice to undertake specific investigations of his political adversaries. Trump recently went so far as to declare: “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” To cite just one example of how Trump has abused his constitutional prerogatives, he has made several audacious claims about the pardon power and even used clemency to undermine the UCMJ by excusing individuals accused or convicted of war crimes. The conclusion of the paper will speculate about whether President Trump’s actions will lead to a broader breakdown of presidential norms or whether future presidents will return to the unwritten rules to which previous presidents have generally adhered.

Serving as White House Counsel to President Trump: Challenges and Choices
Nancy Kassop, SUNY New Paltz

Presidents since FDR have relied on a White House Counsel to provide a mix of legal and political advice in navigating the responsibilities of the office of the presidency. The people who have served as Counsel to Donald Trump have faced distinctive challenges and choices when providing legal guidance in such an unusual White House environment and to a mercurial president who has had his own long and tangled personal history of experiences with lawyers. Both Donald McGahn and Pat Cipollone have faced unusual pressures, such as maintaining the dividing line between advising the president on institutional prerogatives vs. his personal legal matters; managing ethics conflicts for family members serving on the White House staff and for executive branch nominees from the private sector; confronting presidential demands to perform illegal actions – and providing evidence, under oath, about those demands to a special counsel; determining a White House response to congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony in contentious investigations that, ultimately, spilled into impeachment; and educating an uninformed president on the limits of his constitutional powers. Given the exceptional characteristics of the Trump presidency, it is useful to track the ways that the Counsel’s office has been stretched beyond its usual shape during this presidency, and how (or whether) it might bounce back.