June 2019 Recipients
Alma Ostrom and Leah Hopkins Awan Civic Education Fund:
Tanushree Goyal, Nuffield College, University of Oxford), “Proxy women? The consequences of gender and scheduled caste quota policy on candidate supply and electoral participation in India.”
Bernard Tamas, (Valdosta State University) “Does Voter Suppression and Malapportionment Inflate Electoral Bias? A district-level analysis of US House election.”
Edward Artinian Fund for Publishing:
Amber Knight (UNC Charlotte), “Theorizing the Politics of Disability.”
Second Century Fund:
Mara Revkin, (Yale Law School), “Can Community Policing Increase State Legitimacy After Conflict? Evidence from Iraq.”
Heath Brown, (City University of New York), “The Co-Authored Podcast: Disseminating How the Big Collaborations Happened.”
Diane Wong, (New York University) and Danielle Lemi (Michigan State University), “Junior Women of Color Pre-Conference Writing Retreat.”
Michael Aklin, (University of Pittsburgh) and Maxfield Peterson, (University of Pittsburgh), “Democratic Climate Governance: Representatives of Non-State Actors in Climate Negotiations.”
Women and Politics Fund:
Margaret Brower (The University of Chicago), “What the #MeToo Movement can tell us about the politics of intersectionality.”
June 2019 Project Summaries
Each year representatives of nations around the world gather for the Conference of the Parties (COP) summit to pursue progress towards goals established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As state leaders negotiate a consensus on targets for fighting rising global temperatures and sea levels, a parallel event of “non-state actors,” comprised of non-governmental organizations, trade associations, corporations, research institutions, and other non-state interest groups convenes to set climate policy goals for civil society. As the non-state actor convention occupies a place of increasing importance in the fight against climate change, the composition of non-state attendees has become an important focal point for those concerned with maintaining democratic norms of representation in forming global climate policy. In this work, we investigate the changing nature of non-state actor attendees through a quantitative evaluation of attendee rolls of COP conferences over the course of the last twenty years. We find that non-state actors are predominantly from wealthy, Western democracies, and that most new attendees have come from wealthy (but not necessarily) democratic countries. Additionally, while non-state actor attendance has grown for most countries, there are significant exceptions. In sub-Saharan Africa, a region for which the stakes of the fight against climate change are especially high, many countries have only minor representation in civil society forums at COP. Our research suggests that greater inclusivity is needed in order to meet normative standards of proportional representation in the global policymaking activities of civil society.
The current #MeToo movement provides a unique opportunity to study women’s organizing across varying political climates to make sense of how organizations situate themselves differently within these state conditions. Therefore, this project is designed to study how women’s organizations frame the issue of sexual violence and the tactics they use to advocate for policy change between 2005 and 2020 to capture how shifting and changing political environments create varying political opportunities for advocacy across class, racial and ethnic differences. Methodologically, this project integrates a set of experiments, ethnographic observations, and qualitative process tracing to examine the political behaviors of women organizations advocating against sexual violence. In doing so, the project addresses two related questions: (1) How does the policy framing of whom is affected by sexual violence affect organizational support? And (2) In what ways do changing political circumstances shape the tactics and strategies women’s organization deploy differently based on the subgroups of women they represent? The project’s investigation of these questions is vital to understanding contemporary organizing around women’s issues, how state capacity affects opportunities for policy change around sexual violence, and which political environments and resources are most effective for advocating for gender issues across racial, ethnic and class differences.
In VH1’s Behind the Music episode on the 80s pop-rock group, The Bangles, we learn that the trio “wanted to be the female Fab 4 or at least Simon and Garfunkel.” In another episode, we discover that Hall and Oates first met at a talent show at the Adelphi Ballroom in Philadelphia and later realized they were both undergraduates at Temple University.
The Co-Authored podcast hopes to do for political science collaborations what Behind the Music did for music. The aim of the podcast is to tell the back-stories behind the seminal collaborative research projects in recent political science scholarship. How do teams of researchers help to answer the big political questions of our time about power, inequality, and influence? For example, who coined McNollGast? What made Verba, Scholzman, and Brady tick? More recently, who decides in the Party Decides? And, what’s next for Tesler, Vavrick, and Sides?
Through six 30-minute podcasts divided into two seasons, political scientists and other listeners will learn how co-authorships succeed, fail, and move the discipline forward. The goal is to support a larger conversation about collaboration in the discipline, specifically and social sciences, more generally, especially about how historic barriers around race and gender, may have limited access to collaborative research projects, and new approaches to open collaboration to a wider array of scholars and students.
Generous support from the American Political Science Association will make the Co-Authored podcast possible with an anticipated launch of the first episode in 2020.
This project examines the consequences of the gender and scheduled caste quota policy in India. It seeks to answer: how do quotas affect the quality and type of political candidates that enter politics? Does variation in politician type have consequences for citizen’s electoral participation? The objective of this project is to collect original data on politician background and turnout at micro levels to bring more evidence to bear on these questions than has previously been possible. The project uses natural random experiment and quasi-experimental research design to precisely estimate the causal effect of descriptive representation on electoral participation. Inequalities in political participation are a central concern for democracies and gender, and ethnic quotas have been implemented worldwide to fix these gaps. Quota proponents see this as a positive step in fixing these issues, yet quota opponents argue that quotas bring in either proxy women, women who substitute for male relatives, or lower quality candidates into politics. The project aims to address this crucial debate. This project is part of my broader research agenda on representation where I find robust positive effects of female representation on citizens’ political and civic participation and knowledge. This project takes a step further to examines whether variation in the type of representative matters for these outcomes and broadens the scope to include caste representation too. The project is set in the substantive context of India’s capital city, Delhi. In doing so, the project also draws attention to the urban Indian setting, which reports lower citizen participation and more significant gender gaps than rural parts but remains mostly understudied in the literature on political participation.
Disability— like questions of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation— has become one of the most provocative research topics among scholars in the humanities and social sciences over the last few decades. However, political scientists have generally been slower to bring disability in as an integral category of analysis. In an effort to “mainstream” disability and demonstrate how an increased focus on disability can enrich mainstream political science research in various ways, we are conducting a research workshop, titled “Theorizing the Politics of Disability,” to be held at the headquarters for the American Political Science Association in Washington, D.C. in Fall 2019. The workshop has three core objectives. First. it aims to advance research in political theory by allowing attendees to present disability-related scholarship and receive feedback from other experts in the field. Second, it will bring together political theorists at different stages of their careers in order to facilitate networking and encourage mentoring relationships among junior and senior faculty. Finally, the workshop will offer the attendees a chance to collaborate and make key decisions regarding the structure and content of articles that will be submitted to a special “Dialogue” section on disability for Politics, Groups, and Identities. At the most general level, the research workshop will explore how a rich variety of intellectual issues are raised by considering disability as a political phenomenon.
In post-conflict and post-authoritarian societies, public distrust of state security forces is a barrier to stabilization and effective governance. Previous research suggests that community policing programs can promote trust and cooperation between state security forces and civilians, thereby increasing state legitimacy, but knowledge gaps remain. First, the trust gap between police and civilians is a two-sided problem but previous research has focused heavily on civilian attitudes due to the difficulty of surveying police. Second, there is a need for more research on causal mechanisms through which community policing may promote attitudinal and behavioral change. Third, there has been very little research on community policing in Iraq, which is a particularly hard case for security sector reform because of its history of authoritarianism and ongoing challenges with state corruption, the Islamic State’s insurgency, and other non-state actors—tribes and militias—that are more powerful than the central government in many areas of the country. This multi-method study leverages a quasi-experiment created by the expansion of a community policing program—implemented by the International Organization for Migration and Iraq’s Interior Ministry—to assess the program’s effects on public opinion toward police and other Iraqi state institutions as well as the prevalence of crime and violence by comparing three pairs of communities that were matched for geographical proximity and demographic similarity. In a larger set of 18 communities where the community policing program was introduced, I conduct a field experiment to measure the effects of monthly dialogue meetings between civilians and police officers on participant and a control-group of non-participants. The study also includes surveys of 200 Iraqi police officers and qualitative data from interviews and observations of policing activities. I triangulate between these different sources of data to explore five possible mechanisms through which community policing might increase state legitimacy: (1) inter-group contact, (2) procedural justice, (3) state capacity, (4) democratic deliberation and representation, and (5) collective efficacy.
This is a new initiative that supports a pre-conference writing retreat for early-career women of color PhDs in Political Science. The first writing retreat will be held before the Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) from January 5 – January 8 in Puerto Rico and will convene junior women of color scholars from across institutions (e.g. teaching-oriented and doctorate-granting), geographies, and subfields. We have several immediate goals for the writing retreat: 1) To foster a social community among untenured women of color in political science who will support each other through their careers 2) To foster an intellectual community of untenured women of color who will provide intensive feedback to each other on writing projects that advance their careers 3) To use part of the conference week toward structured and focused writing and 4) To help junior women of color develop strategic and action plans to publish their written work.
The goal of my project is to collect historical, district-level election results to the US House of Representatives and use it to study how voter underrepresentation, including voter suppression, inflates electoral bias. Electoral bias is the degree to which the electoral system (or the overarching rules that govern elections in a country) leads to a single political party winning a disproportionately high percent of seats compared to the percent of votes it receives. While much of the research on the fairness of American elections focuses on gerrymandering, I argue that any electoral system based on single-member districts can cause severe electoral bias, even when district lines are drawn in an impartial, nonpartisan manner. My previous research has shown that electoral bias in House elections existed long before gerrymandering became a widely used strategy by state legislatures, for example, and that this bias was often far more extreme than it is today. In my current research, I am determining what factors other than gerrymandering cause spikes in electoral bias. For this project, I hypothesize that in single-member district electoral systems, any type of voter underrepresentation, whether in the form of malapportionment, voter suppression, or even simply sagging turnout, can increase disproportionality against the party that represents the underrepresented group, especially if that underrepresentation is geographically concentrated. Effectively, this implies a “double whammy” for the underrepresented group, in which their representation in elected office is decreased both because they provide fewer votes and also because this decrease in votes compounds itself through electoral bias against the parties that they support. The Ostrom Fund grant (received through APSA’s Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs) is being combined with funding received from MIT’s Election Data and Science Lab to collectively analyze district-level US House election results from 1840 to 2018.
December 2018 Project Summaries
Nationalist political movements by minority ethnic groups are on the rise globally, from Kurds to Catalans to Rohingya. These movements are bringing to the world’s attention dysfunctional cycles of government repression and contentious political mobilization that bottom-out in episodes of massive violence and displacement. This project seeks to identify whether and how different government repressions against members of an ethnic group affect large-scale political mobilization by that ethnic group at large. Its case is the experience of Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey since 1917. With this project, we will know when ethnic groups are most likely to engage in political movements around their group’s rights, autonomy, and independence—ethnonationalist movements. And we will know when a government’s repressive tactics actually incite large-scale political mobilization rather than quelling it. For scholars, this project contributes a new categorization of ethnic repressions, statistical models showing that different government repressions have different effects on Kurdish political mobilization, structured case study comparisons using government archival evidence, and an online survey experiment of Kurdish people living in the West. For the policy community, the project contributes models and methods for predicting future ethnonationalist political mobilization and an analysis of what international norms and institutions allow these dysfunctional cycles of repression and mobilization to continue indefinitely. For Kurds, this project contributes a large dataset tracking a century’s worth of government repressions against Kurds, explanations of why governments continue to repress their communities, and descriptions of Kurdish efforts to remember their Kurdish heritage in the face of many government efforts to make them forget.
The movement of people from one country to another is at a record high. In 2017, 258 million lived in a country different from the one they were born, representing worldwide 3.4% of the population. In Latin America this percentage is twice as high, hosting around 6.5 million immigrants (UN, 2017). These people tend to live in worse conditions than nationals: many work in risky jobs, have less access to healthcare, pensions, and formal education. Yet, despite the high number and increasing vulnerability of immigrants in Latin America we know relatively little about the conditions of their integration into their host societies. While studies on the United States and Europe have incorporated the important role of immigrants to the welfare state, that has not been the case for Latin America. Specifically, studies of social protection systems have not systematically addressed the ways in which these populations reach basic living standards. Social protection allows immigrants to deal with and prevent life’s social risks associated with old age, poverty, job loss, sickness, and child birth. Some receiving states provide basic access to transfers and services to immigrant populations while others are highly restrictive. Our research aims to study: How and to what extent does the state provide social rights and social services to people on the move?
Representation of women in the field of legislative studies is remarkably small: the proportion of women in the Legislative Studies Section (LSS) is only 22%, third from the bottom in a recent ranking of APSA sections. We have formed a team of legislative scholars to work toward increasing the number of women in the LSS, increasing the number of women that identify as studying legislatures, providing support to female legislative scholars, and facilitating networking with other women (and men) in the section. We have developed a set of implementation strategies to achieve these goals, one of which is a 2019 Hackathon and Collaboration Workshop. The workshop aims to bring together 20-25 scholars from a diversity of ranks, areas of legislative studies (congress, subnational, comparative), and institutions, with goals to 1) brainstorm mechanisms for increasing women’s representation in the field of legislative studies and to develop small working groups to implement these mechanisms, 2) demonstrate the types of research that female scholars studying legislatures are doing, and 3) encourage networking and strengthening of relationships among female scholars with a common focus on legislative politics. One day of the workshop will be paper presentations by some of the scholars present, and another will consist of a hackathon devoted to proposing and organizing solutions to the problem of women’s underrepresentation in legislative studies.
Why is it that in some African countries jihadi Salafism has become a major security threat while in other African countries Salafism has remained peaceful? Drawing on key concepts of historical institutionalist research, my book project examines the long-term evolution of the relationship between the state and the Islamic sphere in eight West and East African countries since independence from European rule. It distinguishes between different state strategies via-a-vis the Islamic sphere. It finds that states, which by the mid-1970s had established institutional steering capacity in the Islamic sphere, today are better capable of containing and undermining jihadi Salafism.
This project addresses issues surrounding identification documents and policies in the United States. My research examines national ID cards, Social Security numbers, passports, and drivers’ licenses to understand the nature of democracy, citizenship, and national security. The Centennial Center grant will allow me to build on the research I conducted for my first book to examine additional topics related to identification documents, identification policies, immigration, and homeland security. Now is a crucial time to do so. We are currently in the midst of voter ID controversies, Supreme Court issuing decisions on identification documents, homeland security officials issuing new guidelines on identification policies, and policymakers revising immigration laws, not to mention corporations introducing new biometric technologies and signing multimillion-dollar government contracts. I am the first scholar to tie those developments together from a political science perspective. This research is particularly timely since it deals with very current developments in the field of identification documents, voter ID laws, the harmonization of state drivers’ licenses (the REAL ID law), and the issuance of drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.
At a time when immigration politics and Latinos as a group are at the forefront of national politics, this project investigates how anti-Latino prejudice drives political attitudes. We develop a new theory of resentment towards Latinos, where we identify a belief system about the status and place of Latinos in U.S. society. We rely on the key themes of this belief system to construct a unique measure of ethno-racial resentment that is made up of seven dimensions that holistically tap into anti-Latino prejudice. Our measure builds on existing knowledge about prejudice and stereotypes as well as the traditional racial resentment scale, and it makes a unique contribution by furthering our understanding of racial attitudes in politics beyond a white and black binary.
Today’s citizens of the former German Democratic Republic display systematically higher levels of political extremism than those residing in the rest of Germany. The present dissertation hypothesizes that post-reunification socialization and selective memory culture have contributed to the emergence of historical, financial and political resentment towards Western Germany within Eastern German states over the past decades. This, in turn, is argued to have increased electoral support for extreme right-wing and left-wing parties across Eastern Germany in recent years. The present dissertation contributes to research on extreme political attitudes by demonstrating that support for extreme parties, regardless of left-right positioning, is endogenous to political regimes and their legacy. Furthermore, this dissertation aims to contribute to real-life policy-making in Germany by identifying the sources of political dissatisfaction in the country’s former socialist states.
Problems with public services, like water, electricity, trash pickup, school quality, and many others are common in developing countries such as India. These problems can include cancelled, late, absent, or poor quality service. In democracies, politicians should have an incentive to improve these services for citizens that organize to make complaints. But when will citizens actually expend the time and energy to organize and make complaints? In my project, I argue that receiving government benefits increases the likelihood that citizens will do so because 1) receiving benefits gives people more resources to spend on organization and 2) the quality of public services can affect how much government benefits are worth, meaning that those who receive benefits have a greater incentive to improve the services. For example, the value of school vouchers is higher when the quality of the public schools in question is higher. Also, the value of public housing is higher when the services delivered to the apartment building in question are better. I support my argument with a study of an affordable housing program, a large scale dataset on responses to complaints about public services, and interviews with citizens in Mumbai.
For elected officials to be responsive to voters, they have to rely on their own beliefs about public will. However, previous work has shown that often politicians has distorted images of the electorate. This project tries to explain why politicians misperceive voter preferences, and how these constraints can be overcome. I argue that misperceptions result from a combination of differential exposure to different segments of the electorate and overlooked personal biases. These arguments are tested in an original survey with local elected officials in Switzerland. Respondents are asked to predict the outcome of a series of upcoming federal referendums in their own municipality, after being assigned to receive different informational nudges. These interventions were designed to help officials develop more accurate depictions of public preferences in their constituency. The key goals of this project are twofold: to advance our knowledge on the constraints officials face to “act on behalf” of those who elect them, and to uncover ways to bolster the links between the electorate and policymakers.
Gathering high-quality data in the context and aftermath of pervasive human rights violations is indispensable for the documentation and prosecution of atrocities. However, it is also practically, methodologically, and ethically challenging. This project aims to develop tools for rigorous and responsible data collection in contexts of mass violence.
Humanitarian agencies and policy practitioners require detailed, systematic data on mass violence in order to support recovery and prevention. Humanitarian practitioners, specifically, often look to academics to support rigorous and reliable on-the-ground research. Yet, there exists little in terms of best practices at the holistic level or across the academic-practitioner divide for conducting research in settings of ongoing or proximate violence. This project thus embarks on research and consultation with emergency response personnel, trauma psychologists, and psycho-social support experts who have expertise in humanitarian emergencies with the goal of developing toolkits and training materials for political scientists embarking on work in violence-affected research sites. By engaging with practitioners in this realm, we hope to gauge the extent, scale, and risks of researcher-produced harms; to collaboratively develop research approaches, training manuals, and ethical best-practices; and to create a cross-field network to foster greater exchange between social science scholars and mental health practitioners.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, it was the largest producer of oil in the world, but within a decade, Russia’s oil industry had fallen apart and was only beginning to rebuild itself. Not only did the collapse of the oil industry have profound effects on the country as a whole, but it also deeply impacted the oil workers and communities that supported the oil industry. How did local residents react to the crash? How did they protest their dramatic changes in fortune? What strategies did elites employ to maintain social order? Did social actions and elite strategies shift as the oil industry rebuilt itself? To answer these questions, this paper focuses on the so-called “oil capital” of Russia, Surgut, in Western Siberia. Surgut presents an interesting case because resource extraction is a particularly fraught sector due to the highly volatile nature of the global commodity market into which Russia’s oil industry was thrust. Nevertheless, the reorganization of the oil industry in the early-1990s allowed Surgutneftegaz, the local oil company, to consolidate a vertically-integrated company under the leadership of Vladimir Bogdanov (Surgutneftegaz’s oil tycoon). Although production crashed dramatically in the early-1990s, Surgutneftegaz stabilized in the mid-1990s, and consolidated and rebounded in the late-1990s. These changes in Surgut’s economic prospects allows for the comparison of protest patterns within a company town in shifting economic circumstances to attempt to understand the causes of the protest patterns observed. The research will use interviews with local scholars, journalists, and politicians, as well as an analysis of local newspapers and documents found in archives. The goal of this research project is to clarify the effects of the transition to a capitalist economy and semi-authoritarian political regime on protest and civil society in one of Russia’s most strategically important cities.
In the Niger Delta region, over five decades of intensive oil operations have resulted in widespread harm to the environment, and sources of livelihoods of the habitant of the region. After decades of frustration, the initially nonviolent campaign for environmental justice by the local people gave way to violent protest and militancy. Various actors are engaged in the struggles for access to oil benefit in the local communities, including local women. However, women’s engagement in the struggles has often been ignored. This study unpacks women’s changing roles as active actors in the oil conflict and considers how they contribute to the violence and offer options on how to constructively resolve the conflict. This work will contribute to the analysis of women’s roles in the struggles, which, until recently, has been skewed in favor of male-centric aspects of the struggles for environmental justice in the Niger Delta.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has long stressed the importance of bringing informal workers into the formal economy as a means of providing workers with increased social protections and labor rights. But the processes by which governments attempt to formalize work is varied and has diverse implications. My dissertation examines cases of the legalization of sex work as a means of formalizing sex work and is guided by a central research question: what are the impacts of the formalization of sex work on sex workers’ rights? Does legalizing and regulating previously informal work effectively expand labor rights, social benefits and protections? And if so, are increased access to labor rights and protections comparable to those of workers in sectors that have long been part of the formal economy? I explore these questions through a comparative case study of the legal regimes governing sex work in the states of Nevada, U.S., and New South Wales, Australia.Traditionally, scholarship has approached sex work from within an anti-trafficking frame, where consensual transactional sex is problematically conflated with sex trafficking. Moving beyond the anti-trafficking frame, the project understands sex work as a legitimate form of labor, recognizing sex workers as legitimate actors with agency. This permits a deeper analysis of the complex labor conditions sex workers face and allows for a cross-sectoral analysis of vulnerable and precarious work that includes sex work.
Why do Black Americans oppose U.S. wars more than White Americans? This question has largely been ignored by scholars, despite Black Americans having disapproved of U.S. wars at much higher rates than their White counterparts throughout the post-WWII era. I investigate whether the “race gap” in support for the use of force is due to Black Americans having greater moral concern for the foreign civilian victims of U.S. wars or having greater skepticism about the effectiveness of military force. I test these hypotheses using an original survey experiment that investigates Black and White Americans’ attitudes towards U.S. counter-terrorism airstrikes that result in civilian deaths. The survey experiment will determine the impact of airstrikes that effectively degrade terrorism on public concern for the norm of noncombatant immunity—a principle of international humanitarian law that seeks to prevent harm to civilians during war. The project will offer original insights into the relationship between Black American attitudes and dominant ideologies. In particular, the findings will indicate whether Black Americans embrace a core tenet of the U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine which many political and military elites hold—that the U.S. military should avoid wartime civilian harm because it undermines U.S. strategic objectives—or whether Black Americans embrace moral values that elites generally do not apply beyond “the water’s edge.”
The “Strengthening the Pathway for Graduate Studies in Political Science” project will fund a program that will help Puerto Rican undergraduate political science students gain admission and funding for their graduate studies in US graduate political science programs. The program will provide participants with support for campus visits to graduate political science departments in the US, research with faculty mentors, and the preparation of graduate school application materials.
Shifting demographics in the American electorate have given way to new, surge voters who are well-positioned to develop closer ties to the democratic process, by not only participating as voters, but also running for office. We also know that reliable voters do not become candidates for elected office without considerable engagement to connect to them closer to the democratic process. Women of color groups, networks, and organizations are investing in sustaining and deepening citizens’ attachment to democracy. In this project, we document the shadow labor women of color are doing to extend who constitutes, “we the people.” In particular, we ask what is necessary to move more women of color from reliable voters to candidates for elected office, and we locate our answer with women of color organizing, often in lieu of support from political parties. Focused on activities within communities of color, these groups are mobilizing voters, identifying potential candidates, and training prospective candidates for office. In turn, these groups are redefining democratic inclusion, reshaping the electorate, and they stand to change the long term demographics of both the electorate and officeholders alike. With the APSA Centennial Fund support, we will better establish and understand the roles they are playing in making formal politics more accessible and desirable for communities of color, and in particular for women of color.