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2019 News


Samara Klar (TGS PhD) | Turn and Face the Strange Ch-Ch-Changes: How an Evolving America Activates Identity Politics

December 6, 2020 – from Journal of Politics
“A number of important features mark the last decade of American politics: changing demographics among the American population, the growing divergence between what it means to be a Democrat and what it means to be a Republican, and, of course, the election of Donald Trump as president. Three excellent books, each with its own unique theme, argument, and evidence, all collectively help to explain no less than the state of American politics today. White Identity Politics by Ashley Jardina, White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics by Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal, and Identity Crisis by John Sides, Lynn Vavreck, and Michael Tesler are remarkably complementary in their broad themes but also in the specific evidence they reveal.”

Alex Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | Power and Politics in America’s Private Governments

December 6, 2019 – from Journal of Politics
“In 2018, nearly half a million American workers were directly affected by… work stoppages, the highest number on record since 1986.… [A]t their core all these workers were seeking the same thing: to voice disapproval over their treatment in the workplace and to demand change from their employers. This kind of collective worker mobilization had seemed unthinkable only a few years before, given… both the left and the right reached the conclusion that “unions are basically dead”... Judged by its scholarly output, political science mostly agrees…. The decline in scholarly attention to labor in political science, and especially in American politics, has come during an era of enormous change in US labor relations... [T]hese trends all implicate political decisions… making the silence of... political science research on these issues especially striking.”

Silvia Otero Bahamon (TGS PhD) | Colombia is having its largest wave of protests in recent decades. Why?

December 5, 2019 – from The Washington Post
With Sandra Botero: "Colombians have joined others in Latin America by taking to the streets to protest their government. Since Nov. 21, hundreds of thousands of people from all backgrounds have been marching in large and small cities and even in rural areas. Colombia hasn’t seen such protests in several decades. While the protests come alongside others in Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador, Colombians are mobilizing for different reasons. What’s going on?"

Isabella Alcañiz (TGS PhD), et al | A Survey Experiment on "Bad Bosses": The Effect of Social Networks on Gender Solidarity

December 1, 2019 – from Latin American Research Review
With Ernesto Calvo (TGS PhD) and Marcelo Escolar (UNSAM): “Are women and men in position of authority judged differently? If a… gap exists, is it due to… stereotypes or… solidarity? We explore gender differences in judgement through a survey experiment… The survey experiment measures the extent to which respondents punish and reward female and male managers differently, and to... our knowledge, it is the first to measure gendered penalties for improper behavior by authorities. The main finding... is that women are more likely to punish male bad bosses and men… female bad bosses, although the former are more sensitive to treatment. We explain variation in the propensity to penalize bad behavior by men and women in position of authority as a function of respondents' social and personal networks. Study findings carry significant implications for the... pay gap.”

Sally A. Nuamah | Educational Equity for All

December 1, 2019 – from Northwestern Alumni Association
“I'm really motivated and encouraged by this idea that kids don't choose to be born poor. You come out of your mother's womb, and you look to your left and your right, whether you are poor or rich, you're black or white, or male or female, you had no hand in that. But it directly impacts your life chances. And I am really interested in this idea that education is the most possible or probable mechanism for improving the life chances of people of intervening on those things that you don't have a hand in and potentially making a difference.”

Daniel Galvin | The Political Effects of Policy Drift: Policy Stalemate and American Political Development

December 1, 2019 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
With Jacob Hacker, Yale University: “…[S]cholars have made major progress in understanding… ‘policy drift’—the transformation of a policy’s outcomes due to the failure to update its rules or structures to reflect changing socioeconomic circumstances.… Yet… little attention has been paid to… the ways in which drift, like the adoption of new policies, generates… ‘policy feedback’… This article is meant to fill this gap.… [W]e lay out clear expectations concerning drift’s likely effects on… institutions and organized groups—and then assess these arguments in the context of… labor law, health care, welfare, and disability insurance.… [D]rift generates new incentives, interests, and alliances that… respond to the disruptive effects it produces and are heavily constrained by those effects.… [T]hese… are one of the principal ways in which American politics… ‘develop’ over time.”

Aditi Malik (TGS PhD) | Hindu–Muslim violence in unexpected places: theory and evidence from rural India

December 1, 2019 – from Politics, Groups, and Identities
“What factors explain the recent rise of Hindu–Muslim violence in rural India? Using the 2013 communal riots that broke out in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts as a theory-building case, this article advances two arguments to account for this important development. First… these clashes must be understood against the backdrop of the high-stakes 2014 general elections, which generated incentives for… conflict as a means to win votes. Second,… politicians chose to strategically instrumentalize violence among rural—rather than urban—communities because of the lower likelihood of backlash expected from rural voters.… Qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews, official government records, and newspaper reports from two rural (Muzaffarnagar and Shamli) and one urban district (Meerut) in Uttar Pradesh as well as New Delhi provide support for these arguments.”


Sara Salter & Mary McGrath | Candidate-Gender Bias and the Partisan Gender-Gap in Office

November 26, 2019 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
“Female elected officials are underrepresented in the Republican Party relative to the Democratic Party. What accounts for this...? ...[V]oters exhibit a partisan gap in candidate-gender bias... motivated by political inferences drawn from candidate-gender stereotypes. Both registered Democrats and registered Republicans move counter to the direction of bias when given information that reverses those stereotypes. Two important implications of the researchers’ findings are that (1) there may be a voter-driven element to the partisan gender-gap in office, but (2) Republicans voters, whom they find to be as pro-female as Democratic voters when presented with a policy-congruent female candidate, are not the cause of persistently low levels of Republican women in office.”

Anna Terwiel (TGS PhD) | What Is Carceral Feminism?

November 26, 2019 – from Political Theory
“…[C]ritiques of ‘carceral feminism’… object[…] to feminist support for punitive policies against sexual and gendered violence… While the convergence of feminist and antiprison efforts is important,… critiques of carceral feminism… present a binary choice between the criminal legal system and informal community justice practices. First, this binary allows critics to overlook rather than engage feminist disagreements about the state and sexual harm. Second, the narrow focus on alternative solutions to harm obscures the plural and contested nature of prison abolition, which may include efforts to seize the state and to problematize carceral logics. Drawing on Michel Foucault, alongside Angela Davis and other contemporary prison abolitionists, I suggest that feminist prison abolition is better served by envisioning a spectrum of decarceration.”

Mary McGrath & Sara Saltzer '19 | Opinion: Are Americans ready for a female president? Yes. In fact, they might prefer one

November 25, 2019 – from Los Angeles Times
"As political scientists, we were intrigued by the question of whether voters hold a bias against female candidates — so we conducted some experiments. Rather than simply polling voters to ask whether they would vote for a female candidate, we recruited registered partisans, both Democrats and Republicans, to participate in a simulated election in which they would “vote” for a hypothetical candidate."

Sebastian Karcher (TGS PhD), et al | Qualitative data sharing and synthesis for sustainability science

November 25, 2019 – from Nature Sustainability
With Steven M. Alexander, Kristal Jones, Nathan J. Bennett, Amber Budden, Michael Cox, Mercè Crosas, Edward T. Game, Janis Geary, R. Dean Hardy, Jay T. Johnson, Nicole Motzer, Jeremy Pittman, Heather Randell, Julie A. Silva, Patricia Pinto da Silva, Carly Strasser, Colleen Strawhacker, Andrew Stuhl, & Nic Weber: “Socio–environmental synthesis as a research approach contributes to broader sustainability policy and practice by reusing data from disparate disciplines… However, sharing qualitative data... remains uncommon…. [Q]ualitative data present untapped opportunities for sustainability science, and [we] discuss practical pathways to… realize the benefits from sharing... qualitative data. [T]hese opportunities and benefits are also hindered by practical, ethical and epistemological challenges. [W]e outline enabling conditions and suggest actions for researchers [and] institutions...”

Mneesha Gellman (TGS PhD) | Documentary Provides Rare Look at Higher Education in Prison

November 22, 2019 – from Bard Prison Initiative
“What is prison for? Should it include a college education? Those two questions are at the heart of ‘College Behind Bars,’ a new documentary that airs Nov. 25 and 26 on PBS. The documentary – by Lynn Novick and produced by Sarah Botstein and Ken Burns – offers a rare, up-close look at how offering higher education in a correctional facility can change lives.”

Robin Bayes | A Research Agenda for Climate Change Communication and Public Opinion: The Role of Consensus Messaging and Beyond

November 19, 2019 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
With Toby Bolsen (GSU) and James Druckman (Northwestern): “Response to human-induced climate change is among the most pressing problems facing humanity. The fact that climate change has been accelerated by human activity enjoys a rare scientific consensus. This consensus, however, has not been fully endorsed by the general population, particularly in the United States. These skeptical beliefs create a major hurdle for climate mitigation and adaptation policy, particularly in societies where policy and law are created in response to public opinion. In this paper, the authors review many of the studies that have been done on the impact of communicating the scientific consensus to the general public. They discuss ongoing debates about these studies, but more importantly, they highlight complementary areas that they believe should define future research on climate change communications.”

Wesley Skogan | A New Model of Policing in Chicago

November 17, 2019 – from WBEZ 91.5
Read Kari Lydersen's new article about CPD's latest community policing initiative, using research from Northwestern Professor Emeritus Wesley Skogan's studies on the origin of Chicago's CAPS program.

Thomas Ogorzalek | White Trump voters are richer than they appear

November 12, 2019 – from Washington Post
“Three years have passed since President Trump was elected to office, but many still believe that it was the white working class that created his victory. This argument has been embraced by the media, which has put forward various explanations as to why the white working class supported Trump, including cultural anxiety, rejection of the establishment and fear of losing their status. Yet there isn’t much direct evidence that Trump voters were hurting financially, which is generally how “white working class” is interpreted. An earlier TMC post explained how this myth appeared and in what ways it is inaccurate. But why is there no consensus about this?”

Pierre Martin (TGS PhD) | C'est la guerre

November 7, 2019 – from Journal de Monetréal
Read Martin's article about the partisan war and the struggle to retain control in the upcoming American presidential election.

James Druckman | Is Politics a War of Ideas or of Us Against Them?

November 6, 2019 – from New York Times
“Is the deepening animosity between Democrats and Republicans based on genuine differences over policy and ideology or is it a form of tribal warfare rooted in an atavistic us-versus-them mentality? Is American political conflict relatively content-free — emotionally motivated electoral competition — or is it primarily a war of ideas, a matter of feuding visions both of what America is and what it should become?”

Matthew D. Nelsen | Teaching Citizenship: Race and the Behavioral Effects of American Civic Education

November 6, 2019 – from Cambridge Core
Political scientists have identified how resources, attitudes, and mobilization impact political participation across racial groups. However, the role of civic education has largely been overlooked in shaping these trends. I develop a theory that suggests exposure to civics curricula yields heterogeneous effects on the political participation of youth across racial groups. I test my hypotheses with data from the Black Youth Project's 2005 Youth Culture Survey, supplemented by two original data collections from 2017–2018.

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Podcast: Civics 101 - Electoral College

November 5, 2019 – from Civics 101
“When we vote for a president, we're not really voting for a president.” In Civics 101’s episode on the Electoral College, Northwestern Professor of political science Alvin Tillery, University of Texas Professor of political science Rebecca Deen, and former 'faithless elector' Christopher Suprun “explore the rationale of the framers in creating it, its workings, its celebrations, its critiques, and its potential future.”

Morgan Kaplan | Commentary: Five myths about the Kurds

November 4, 2019 – from The Morning Call
“The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state. They were promised autonomy by world powers after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, but the Allies rescinded and carved up their population, subjugating them as ethnic minorities across Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. In each country, Kurds have experienced varying degrees and forms of oppression but also have encountered opportunities for political expression. “The Kurds” are not a single entity with one common political aim. And President Trump’s decision last month to pull back U.S. troops from the Syrian border, exposing the Syrian Kurds to a Turkish incursion, has revived a raft of myths about them.”

Joshua Robison (TGS PhD) | What’s the Value of Partisan Loyalty?: Partisan Ambivalence, Motivated Reasoning, and Correct Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections

November 1, 2019 – from Semantic Scholar
"Partisans vary in the extent to which they rely on their partisan identities when voting. Are partisans who rely less on their partisan loyalties more likely to vote correctly than those who stick with their partisan intuitions? Research on partisan motivated reasoning suggests so, but research focused on the heuristic value of partisanship implies otherwise."

James Druckman | The Technological Development of Candidate Web Sites: How and Why Candidates Use Web Innovations

November 1, 2019 – from Lambung Mangkuray University
“The Internet has become a vital resource in American political campaigns. It provides candidates with unmediated and inexpensive access to voters while also offering new technological options for communication and information presentation. Candidates now have the opportunity to create Web sites with features such as multiple media, personalized information, and even two-way communication. While these innovations seem promising, the decision to use them is far from automatic. Candidates must carefully weigh practical and political considerations before incorporating new technologies into their Web sites, because each innovation has advantages and drawbacks.”

Samara Klar (TGS PhD) | Using Online Experiments to Study Political Decision Making

November 1, 2019 – from Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Politics
With Yotam Shmargad: “…[P]olitical science is experiencing a new proliferation of experimental work, thanks to… online experiments.… [T]he Internet allows for larger and more accessible samples, quick response times, and new methods for treating subjects and measuring outcomes.… [P]olitical scientists have already made huge gains in the sophistication of what can be done with just a simple online survey experiment, particularly in realms of inquiry… difficult to study.… [O]nline efforts… are making it increasingly easy… to study the influence of social settings… on political decision-making.… [W]e review the onset of online tools… and we turn our focus toward cost-effective and user-friendly strategies… [S]cholars with even limited resources… can… better understand how social factors change the way individuals think about… politics…”


Alvin Tillery | Amid Bitter Debate, House Committee Plots Course for Impeachment Inquiry

October 30, 2019 – from Courthouse News Service
NU Political Science Prof. Alvin Tillery is quoted in Brandi Buchman’s recent piece on the impeachment debate in Congress: “Ahead of the rules hearing, Alvin Tillery… said it’s important to remember that… the impeachment process is not a court proceeding. ’It’s a political proceeding. The Republicans have a right to grandstand and distract from this really damning case. I don’t think Americans should expect the sanctity you would see in a courtroom,’ he said. With the resolution likely to pass in the House… Tillery said Democrats needn’t worry too much about a ‘big strategy’ moving forward. ‘The facts do most of the talking,’ he said. ‘Just put these incredibly talented civil servants up and let them say what they said in [closed] deposition in public.’… ‘Republicans wanted process. Now they’ve got it. The question is, what are they going to do with it?’”

Prof. Wendy Pearlman discusses ongoing crisis in Syria

October 30, 2019 – from The Daily Northwestern
"Pearlman, author of “We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria,” spoke in Kresge Centennial Hall at an event co-hosted by Northwestern University College Democrats and the Northwestern University Political Union. In front of a crowd of 35 people, she explained the current state of the Syria conflict, the international community’s response to the United States’ recent withdrawal of troops from Northeast Syria, and how the crisis can evolve from here."

Thomas Ogorzalek | Who had the opinion edge? CTU v. CPS

October 30, 2019 – from Chicago Democracy Project
Ogorzalek examines the difference of individuals' opinions on the Chicago Public School versus Chicago Teacher Union based on age, income, political views, homeownership, and toughness of grading to determine who has the favor of the public--CTU or CPS?

Thomas Ogorzalek | Who "Likes" the Teacher Strike?

October 30, 2019 – from Chicago Democracy Project
“Chicago’s school politics have been front and center since at least wave of school closures implemented by Mayor Emanuel in 2012-13. Since then, Chicagoans (especially those most affected by the closures) have tended to express support for the Chicago Teachers Union’s (CTU) position on school board reorganization, among other things...In this post, we’ll take a quick look at the politics of the strike by examining what members of the City Council have said about it on Twitter and how Chicagoans feel about the CTU and school board.”

Jennifer Cyr (TGS PhD) | Is Bolivia’s democracy in danger? Here’s what’s behind the disputed presidential election

October 30, 2019 – from Washington Post
“On Oct. 20, Evo Morales ran for a fourth consecutive term as Bolivia’s president. That’s despite the fact that Bolivia’s constitution limits presidents to two terms in office — and despite the fact that he lost a 2016 referendum to alter those limits. Morales claimed that he has a human right to run for office indefinitely. And in a controversial ruling, the country’s highest court supported him.”

Marina Henke | How pivotal states use diplomatic ties to build military coalitions

October 29, 2019 – from Hertie School
German defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer recently proposed the establishment of an international safe zone in Northern Syria. In her new book, Constructing Allied Cooperation, published by Cornell University Press in October 2019, Hertie School Professor of International Relations Marina Henke shows what such a policy would entail: how a military coalition to secure the area could be built.

Mara Suttman-Lea (TGS PhD) | The History of Lynching and African American Voting Rights

October 28, 2019 – from A House Divided
“Continuing his acerbic lines of defense against the impeachment inquiry… Trump took to Twitter to liken the inquiry to a ‘lynching.’… A[n] inquiry… does not amount to a lynching. But this is not the first time a politician… has invoked the term to describe a political process they deem… unfair.… Biden, for example, also used it to describe the impeachment process during Bill Clinton’s administration as a ‘political lynching.’ Unlike constitutionally authorized impeachment proceedings, lynchings are violent and public acts of extrajudicial torture that are meant to traumatize their victims.… While lynching has been used to intimidate African Americans and prevent them from fully participating in American political and economic life on a number of dimensions, this post highlights the role that lynching played in limiting access to the heart of… American democracy: the vote.”

Congratulations to Claudia López (TGS PhD), the first woman elected major of Bogotá, Colombia!

October 27, 2019 – from Northwestern Magazine
"In the months before and after Northwestern’s Commencement, López was in the middle of campaigning for mayor of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital and largest city. The position is akin to the mayor of New York City and is seen as a steppingstone to the Colombian presidency. On Sunday, Oct. 27, she became the first woman elected mayor of Bogotá, winning 35.2% of the vote. Her four-year term begins Jan. 1."

Jordan Gans-Morse | By pressing Zelensky for political favors, Trump upended US support for 'rule of law' in Ukraine

October 26, 2019 – from CNN
"’The idea that once you're in power, legal institutions are yours to use to remain in power is very familiar to Ukrainian politics,’ said Jordan Gans-Morse, a Northwestern University professor who was recently a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine. ‘The only strange part is that the US president is playing a role that is typically played by a powerful person in Ukraine. That's the irony.’"

Rachel Moskowitz (TGS PhD) | Building Public Schools in the City: The Role of Neighborhood Context on Voter Support for School Bonds

October 25, 2019 – from SAGE Journals
"This article explores individuals’ vote choice on a public good, namely, public school bonds. I argue that during a period of significant citywide demographic change the ethnic or racial context of voters’ neighborhoods affects their perception of community and, therefore, school programs. This will then shape their inferences about who are the beneficiaries. I test both racial threat and social contact theories to understand the varying impacts of neighborhood diversity on willingness to support this public good."

Matthew Nelsen (TGS PhD) | Cultivating Youth Engagement: Race & the Behavioral Effects of Critical Pedagogy

October 25, 2019 – from Political Behavior
"Political scientists attribute gaps in participation between whites and people of color to unequal access to political resources, political efficacy, and weak affiliations to political parties. I argue that the content of civic education courses also matters. I theorize that if courses were to incorporate critical pedagogy… that young people of color would be more likely to participate in politics.… [T]his pedagogical approach bolsters the willingness of Latinx and black youth to pursue… political participation. Such an educational intervention… may provide a way to prepare an increasingly diverse generation of young people for active participation within American democracy. It also reveals how civic education in schools can play a crucial role in processes of political socialization and engagement."

Christopher Skovron, et al | Why Local Party Leaders Don't Support Nominating Centrists

October 24, 2019 – from British Journal of Political Science
With David E. Broockman, Nicholas Carnes, and Melody Crowder-Meyer: “Would giving party leaders more influence in primary elections in the United States decrease elite polarization? Some scholars have argued that political party leaders tend to support centrist candidates in the hopes of winning general elections. In contrast, the authors argue that many local party leaders… may not believe that centrists perform better in elections and therefore may not support nominating them.… In experiments, they find that local party leaders most prefer nominating candidates who are similar to typical co-partisans, not centrists. Moreover, given the choice between a more centrist and more extreme candidate, they strongly prefer extremists…”

James Druckman | The Illusion of Affective Polarization

October 23, 2019 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
"Deep levels of affective polarization—the tendency of ordinary partisans to dislike and distrust those from the other party—is a defining feature of contemporary American politics. Or is it? The researchers argue that it may in fact be more of an illusion, both in the minds of citizens and scholars. Specifically, canonical measures of affective polarization dramatically overstate its extent."

Wendy Pearlman | An Uprising in Lebanon

October 23, 2019 – from Washington Monthly
“‘The folks on the streets of Lebanon remind us that citizens have power,’ said Wendy Pearlman, a political science professor at Northwestern University. ‘When they come out in mass, they create pressure. And they force politicians to respond.’”

Michael Christopher Sardo (TGS PhD) | “Political Theory in and for the Anthropocene”

October 22, 2019 – from New Political Science
“The Anthropocene… has gained purchase beyond its stratigraphcial origins, invoked by political and social theorists in diverse and conflicting narratives, from the eco-modernist to the eco-catastrophist, and from the post-humanist to the eco-socialist.… Mann and Wainwright’s Climate Leviathan and Dryzek and Pickering’s The Politics of the Anthropocene advance the state of Anthropocene political theory, contending that its inescapable reality and political demands cannot be easily reconciled within the existing terms of political thought.… To borrow from Alexis de Tocqueville, “A new political science is needed for a world itself quite new.” The Anthropocene requires a theoretical framework that can both make sense of the trajectory of politics on a warming planet and orient their evaluation, contestation, and transformation.”

John Bullock (TGS PhD) | How Does Partisanship Shape Voters’ Perception of the Facts?

October 21, 2019 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
“Pollsters blanket the country every two years, if not more, with the mission of taking American voters’ temperature on issues from healthcare to climate change. But when voters respond to polls, how much do their responses reflect their true, factual beliefs, and not their partisan bias—and what are the implications for our democracy?”

Marina Henke | Now that Trump has abandoned the Kurds, will other countries ever trust the U.S.?

October 17, 2019 – from Washington Post
“‘They didn’t help us with Normandy,’ President Trump said during an Oct. 9 news conference defending his decision to let the Turkish army attack Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria. The president felt the United States does not owe anything to the Kurds — who fought and lost some 11,000 soldiers in the U.S.-led ground campaign against the Islamic State in Syria...The United States trained and equipped Kurdish forces for decades, and established deep political ties with the Kurdish leadership. All these investments are lost.”

Wendy Pearlman | Podcast: Assad Has Won the Syrian War. But “The Revolution is an Idea and Ideas Don’t Die.”

October 17, 2019 – from BYU Radio
Prof. Wendy Pearlman appears on Top of the Mind with Julie Rose, a BYU Radio podcast: “As US troops withdraw from Northeastern Syria this week, Turkish are attacking Kurdish forces there and hundreds of thousands of civilians are once again on the run from violence. Without US support, the Kurds have turned to Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s military for support fighting Turkey, and so, the Assad regime has scored another major victory in regaining virtually all of the territory it lost over eight years of Civil War. What now for the Syrians who protested in the streets eight years ago and took up arms to oust Bashar Al-Assad? Political scientist Wendy Pearlman has spent the last 8 years speaking with Syrians at length about their motivation for protesting, their hopes and regrets and the war drags on.”

Marina Henke | Constructing Allied Cooperation

October 15, 2019 – from Cornell University Press
“How do states overcome problems of collective action in the face of human atrocities, terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction? How does international burden-sharing in this context look like [sic]: between the rich and the poor; the big and the small?... Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of 80 multilateral military coalitions, Henke demonstrates that coalitions do not emerge naturally. Rather, pivotal states deliberately build them. They develop operational plans and bargain suitable third parties into the coalition, purposefully using their bilateral and multilateral diplomatic connections—what Henke terms diplomatic embeddedness—as a resource.… [T]hese ties constitute an invaluable state capability to engage others in collective action: they are tools to construct cooperation.”

Samara Klar, Thomas Leeper, & Joshua Robison (TGS PhD) | Studying Identities with Experiments: Weighing the Risk of Posttreatment Bias Against Priming Effects

October 11, 2019 – from Cambridge University Press
“Scholars from across the social sciences argue that identities – such as race, ethnicity, and gender – are highly influential over individuals’ attitudes, actions, and evaluations. Experiments are becoming particularly integral for allowing identity scholars to explain how these social attachments shape our political behavior. In this letter, we draw attention to how identity scholars should approach the common practice of assessing moderators, measuring control variables, and detecting effect heterogeneity using covariates.”

Moses Khisa (TGS PhD) | Whose Africa is Rising?

October 10, 2019 – from Taylor and Francis Online
“This briefing revisits the ‘Africa rising’ narrative. It makes two arguments. First, the ‘Africa rising’ narrative at best sits on a shaky foundation. African economies may have registered modest growth in recent years but the growth is either superficial or not happening in the sectors that matter the most. Second, the rather rosy picture of a rising Africa masks the continent’s continued marginal position in the global capitalist structures of power, domination and exploitation.”

Mneesha Gellman (TGS PhD)| US will send migrants to El Salvador, a country that can’t protect its own people

October 10, 2019 – from The Conversation
“…On Sept. 20 the U.S. signed an agreement with El Salvador to accept asylum seekers sent out of the United States. U.S. officials have avoided specifics in discussing the deal and implied that only Salvadoran migrants would be sent to El Salvador. The actual text of the agreement, however, is vague. It leaves open the possibility that asylum seekers who never set foot in El Salvador – for example, Guatemalan migrants who reach the U.S. via Mexico – could be sent there to wait out their U.S. asylum process...El Salvador may be relatively comfortable for wealthy Salvadorans, who frequently live in secured compounds, replete with razor wire fences and armed guards. But it is a very dangerous country for refugees of violence."

Benjamin Page | Cancel Billionaires

October 8, 2019 – from The Atlantic
Writer Annie Lowry highlights Page's research on low-income households' policy preference having minimal effects on political outcomes in the United States.

Samara Klar & Thomas Leeper (TGS PhD) | Identities and Intersectionality: A Case for Purposive Sampling in Survey-Experimental Research

October 8, 2019 – from Wiley
In Experimental Methods in Survey Research: Techniques that Combine Random Sampling with Random Assignment: “…survey-experimental¬ research has just barely flirted with intersectionality for one very practical reason: individuals at the crossroads of multiple identity groups are difficult to find. As we will discuss in this chapter, traditionally heralded methods of designing survey samples make it difficult for scholars to focus on the increasingly important topic of intersectionality. As we argue in this chapter, nationally representative samples rarely include sufficient samples of subgroups… This limitation places boundaries on the types of research questions that researchers tend to pursue. [W]e argue that purposive samples can be useful for answering many research questions in the domain of intersectional identity, particularly when using experimental methods.

Wendy Pearlman | Host State Engagement, Socioeconomic Class, and Syrian Refugees in Turkey and Germany

October 4, 2019 – from Journal of Comparative Politics
“Refugees’ preflight class interacts with host state policies to shape refugees’ post-displacement class trajectories. This interaction affects whether refugees of different backgrounds experience mobility over time and… disperse over space.… [H]osts that leave refugees to self-settle accentuate stratification insofar as… poor refugees lack protection from further impoverishment… ‘Interventionist engagement’ hosts lessen the gap between rich and poor both by attracting middle-class refugees and by imposing integration programs that further compress all refugees toward the middle. Demonstrating these arguments, analysis of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Germany illustrates a diaspora’s class-remaking in ways not attributable to displacement alone.”

Campus remembers legacy of political science professor and TGS PhD Kendra Koivu

October 3, 2019 – from Daily Lobo
“Kendra Koivu, an associate professor at the University of New Mexico’s political science department, passed away on Sept. 27 after a long battle with breast cancer. ‘She will be dearly missed by her friends, colleagues and students at UNM, and she will be remembered for her striking wit, tenacity and extremely gifted academic mind.’”

Sebastian Karcher (TGS PhD) | Transparency in Practice in Qualitative Research

October 2, 2019 – from American Political Science Association
"The discipline of political science has been engaged in discussion about when, why, and how to make scholarship more transparent for at least three decades. This piece argues that qualitative researchers can achieve transparency in diverse ways, using techniques and strategies that allow them to balance and optimize among competing considerations that affect the pursuit of transparency."

Rebecca Kolins Givan (TGS PhD) | The rising power of nurses is on display in a flurry of strikes

October 2, 2019 – from LinkedIn
Northwestern TGS alumna Prof. Rebecca Givan of Rutgers University is quoted in Jaimy Lee’s latest piece on nurses’ frustrations and collective power through striking: “‘Executive pay is high, the role of private equity is growing and patient care seems to be at the bottom of the priority list,’ said Givan…’All those changes have led to massive frustration among nurses. We're also in a moment of increased strikes and increased protests across the economy.’”

Jennifer Cyr (TGS PhD) | Review of The Fates of Political Parties

October 2, 2019 – from La Vie des Idées
Read Damien Larrouqué's review of Jennifger Cy'r copmarative analysis of political parties in three Andean countries in her book "The Fates of Political Parties: Institutional Crisis, Community, and Change in Latin America."

Ana Arjona, et al | On the political and social consequences of economic inequality

October 1, 2019 – from UNU-WIDER
With Patricia Justino, Juan Camilo Cárdenas, Ana María Ibáñez, and Julian Arteaga Vallejo: “This paper investigates the impact of inequality on individual civic engagement at the community level, whether this impact persists over time, and what mechanisms may shape the relationship between inequality and civic engagement. The results show that inequality in Colombia is associated with increases in individual participation in political organizations, including increased membership, meeting attendance, and assumption of leadership roles. Mechanisms explaining this effect include elite influence, strong connectivity between community members, and high individual aspirations. The effect is strongest in the medium term and weakens over time.”


Jennifer Cyr (TGS PhD) | Focus Groups for the Social Science Researcher

September 30, 2019 – from Cambridge University Press
“What is a focus group? Why do we use them? When should we use them? When should we not? Focus Groups for the Social Science Researcher provides a step-by-step guide to undertaking focus groups, whether as a stand-alone method or alongside other qualitative or quantitative methods...This is an essential text for students and researchers looking for a concise and accessible introduction to this important approach to data collection.”

Jonathan Gans-Morse | Ukraine Has Been Waging War On Corruption. A U.S. President Encouraging A ‘Favor’ Could Undermine These Reforms.

September 30, 2019 – from Washington Post
“The allegation that Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden — Trump’s potential challenger in the 2020 presidential race — will do more than shake up U.S. politics. There are also broad international implications. Early investigations into this matter suggest Trump has used the weight of the U.S. presidency — and possibly the leverage of U.S. financial and military aid — to encourage politicization of the Ukrainian justice system.”

Sidra Hamidi (TGS PhD) | Law as discursive resource: the politics of the nuclear/non-nuclear distinction in the Non-Proliferation Treaty

September 25, 2019 – from SAGE Journals
“Realist approaches to international law conceptualize the law as epiphenomenal to state interest, whereas liberal institutionalist approaches theorize the ability of law to curb state power. Through the example of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, this article challenges these approaches by arguing that law’s power comes from its productive and constitutive effects.”

Wendy Pearlman | Civil Action in the Syrian Conflict

September 15, 2019 – from Oxford Scholarship Online
"The Syrian conflict stands as the most brutally violent conflict of the twenty-first century. Yet it also witnessed an unprecedented blossoming of nonviolent civil action. During the early months of the unarmed uprising that began in March 2011, a network of local grass-roots committees formed to coordinate and sustain nonviolent street demonstrations; citizen journalists documented events; and communities mobilized to provide medical relief. As the Assad regime responded to dissent with repression and the opposition took up arms, a multidimensional war and humanitarian catastrophe propelled new forms of civil action, including rescue services and the building of institutions of self-governance and service provision in rebel-controlled areas. Syrian civil action groups were not more successful than the international community in bringing an end to the war."

Karen J. Alter | Time for a World Trade Organization 2.0

September 15, 2019 – from Wall Street Journal
“No one seems to care if the World Trade Organization—the world’s only global trade regime—withers…Reforming the multilateral trade system is the best way to address America’s trade woes—better than trade wars, better than sector-by-sector, country-by-country trade deals, and better than a series of multicountry preferential trade agreements.”

William Reno, et al | The Great Saudi-Iranian Proxy Game

September 5, 2019 – from Middle East Quarterly
With Buddhika Jayamaha and Jahara Matisek, et al: "Iran and Saudi Arabia have their fingerprints on every battleground in the Middle East. Both countries support proxy militias that align with their own politics, and both interfere in their neighbors' affairs to advance their own interests. These external interventions bolster foreign clients who, in turn, support the patron regime back home, further legitimizing Tehran and Riyadh's roles as regional hegemons.… The future of U.S strength in the Middle East rests squarely on how well political leaders thread the needle between Tehran and Riyadh while ensuring the security and stability of their regional allies."

Brian F. Harrison (TGS PhD) | Why is National Service on the Presidential Campaign Stump?

September 3, 2019 – from Serve Minnesota
NU Political Science alumnus Dr. Brian Harrison (UMN) is quoted in Shayla Thiel Stern’s recent article on the salience of national service to this year’s presidential race: “…Harrison… said his research convinces him that… the renewed focus on national service is a strategic way for candidates to differentiate themselves in a crowded field and entice would-be voters to organize around a relatively safe topic.… ‘National service is one of those things that hits the sweet spot of getting people strategically working to organize and move the conversation away from institutions that people inherently distrust.’… ‘A lot of people don’t like politics… but they still have a devotion to their country.…,’ Harrison said in a recent interview… ‘National service taps into people’s desire to do something.’”


Marco Bocchese (TGS PhD)| After Ratification: Predicting State Compliance with ICC Treaty Obligations

August 31, 2019 – from International Criminal Law Review
"Twenty-one years after the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted, state noncompliance with politically-costly legal obligations remains the main barrier to international justice. This article explores two sequential questions: First, why do states ratify the Rome Statute? And second, how likely are their governments to genuinely comply with its provisions?"

Isabella Alcañiz (TGS PhD), et al | Mavericks versus Party Insiders: A Survey Experiment on Candidate- and Partycentric Attitudes of Voters

August 28, 2019 – from Latin American Politics and Society
With Ernesto Calvo and Marcelo Escobar: “This study examines the extent to which priming voters on the trustworthiness of candidates or that of their parties elicits candidatecentric or partycentric attitudes. The analysis provides evidence of the trade-off for voters between mavericks and party insiders in presidential elections. It shows that voters are sensitized to the risks of electing a candidate with no party support, but in the particular case of Argentina, they still consider the candidates’ qualities to be more important than those of their parties. The results show that priming on the trustworthiness of candidates elicits stronger responses from low-income voters, who already have prior candidatecentric inclinations. The findings also reveal statistical differences in vote choice when respondents are primed with party- or candidatecentric frames.”

Aditi Malik (TGS PhD) | Why Kashmir may see increased violence after the revocation of Article 370

August 14, 2019 – from Washington Post
“…[Prime Minister Narendra] Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had announced the abrogation of Article 370, which had accorded the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) special status — including a separate constitution, a state flag and control over internal administrative matters. India also abolished Article 35A, part of Article 370, which stipulated that only permanent residents of J&K could own property in the region. What could scrapping Article 370 mean for the future of insurgent violence in Kashmir?”

Lida Maxwell (TGS PhD) | Poetry Against ICE

August 8, 2019 – from Los Angeles Review of Books
"Jose Bello — a student and immigrant activist in Bakersfield, CA — was arrested by ICE in mid-May, two days after he read his poem, ‘Dear America,’ in front of the Kern County Board of Supervisors.… Bidart’s Bakersfield is a place of entrenched racial hatred and exclusion — and so too, he is saying, is America.… Bidart’s poem mourns the loss of the idea of America. Yet the poem intimates that this mourning opens onto a new beginning."

Patrick Johnston (TGS PhD) | Return and Expand? The Finances and Prospects of the Islamic State After the Caliphate

August 8, 2019 – from RAND Corporation
"With the end of its territorial caliphate, the Islamic State will almost certainly attempt a comeback. Such efforts will require money. The authors examine the group's history as an insurgency and a self-styled caliphate, drawing from the literature, the group's documents, and interviews with individuals who lived under the caliphate, with a focus on how the group has financed itself.… As an insurgency, rather than a territorial government, its expenses are far lower than they were at the peak of its power. Accordingly, the United States will need to stay involved with counter–Islamic State activities across several lines of effort, including counterfinance and potentially including military action."

Thomas Leeper (TGS PhD)| Measuring Subgroup Preferences in Conjoint Experiments

August 7, 2019 – from Society for Political Methodology
"Conjoint analysis is a common tool for studying political preferences. The method disentangles patterns in respondents’ favorability toward complex, multidimensional objects, such as candidates or policies..… [M]ost published conjoint analyses also use [average marginal component effects] to describe levels of favorability. This often means comparing AMCEs among respondent subgroups. We show that using conditional AMCEs to describe the degree of subgroup agreement can be misleading as regression interactions are sensitive to the reference category used in the analysis. This leads to inferences about subgroup differences in preferences that have arbitrary sign, size, and significance."

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | The Religion Trap

August 7, 2019 – from The Immanent Frame
"There is a trap in the study of religion and politics. All traditions are equally susceptible to it, but as Tamir Moustafa suggests in his new book, Constituting Religion, the temptation may be especially strong when it comes to contemporary state politics surrounding Islam and Islamic law. The trap is to conflate Islam as a fluid and diverse set of traditions with specific forms of state Islam and projects of Islamization."

Matthew Lacombe (TGS PhD) | What gun control activists can learn from the NRA

August 7, 2019 – from LA Times
"Whether meaningful change will happen in the coming years may depend on whether gun control activists can take a page from the NRA playbook. That means figuring out how to sustain momentum by cultivating a deep sense of shared identity among the millions of Americans who are tired of widespread gun violence."

Jonathan Schulman (TGS PhD) | Review of Cult of the Irrelevant: The Waning Influence of Social Science on National Security

August 1, 2019 – from Humanities and Social Sciences Online
“Cult of the Irrelevant sends a clear message to social scientists at various levels… that it is the onus of academics in each of these positions to produce and incentivize applied policy-relevant research that is driven by problems that policymakers themselves face, rather than by a desire to employ highly technical ‘scientific’ methods. The book falls within the larger discipline-wide effort of international relations to ‘bridge the gap’ between the academy and policy…”


Toby Bolsen (TGS PhD) | Motivated Reasoning and Political Decision Making

July 31, 2019 – from Oxford Research Encyclopedia
"Motivated reasoning is a pervasive force in politics. The concept of motivated reasoning was developed and elaborated in both psychology and economics as a way of understanding the way in which people learn and respond to information… Scholars developed a better understanding of how motivations rooted in partisan identity affect information interpretation, evaluation, and decision-making, as well [as] how different information environments can shift the motivations that citizens pursue… The pursuit of an accuracy motivation in political reasoning is now considered a realistic and attainable standard for evaluating citizen competence in democratic societies that avoids many of the pitfalls of past attempts to define the quality of citizens’ reasoning capacities."

Toby Bolsen (TGS PhD) | The Impact of Message Source on the Effectiveness of Communications About Climate Change

July 31, 2019 – from Science Communication
"We conducted a survey experiment in which we presented… respondents with one of two versions of an appeal emphasizing… the threats… of climate change. The messages were attributed to one of four sources: Republican Party leaders, Democratic Party leaders, military officials, or climate scientists. The results reveal that messages attributed to military leaders, or to Republican Party leaders, can enhance the impact of the appeal. This finding underscores the importance that the source of any communication can have on its overall effectiveness."

Alex Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | Right-Wing Troika

July 30, 2019 – from The Nation
Read Bryce Covert's analysis of the Republican Party's 50-state strategy based on Alexander Hertel-Fernandez's book "State Capture: How Conservative Activists, Big Businesses, and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States--and the Nation."

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | What Kind of Movement is Black Lives Matter? The View from Twitter

July 30, 2019 – from American Political Science Association
"This paper examines the ways that social movement organizations affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement use Twitter through three content analysis studies.… These findings suggest that the BLM movement is intelligible through both the resource mobilization and new social movement paradigms within social movement studies."

Daniel Galvin | Let’s not conflate APD with political history, and other reflections on “Causal Inference and American Political Development”

July 26, 2019 – from Public Choice
"American political development… is a problem-driven inquiry into the dynamics of American politics, a substantive and theoretical exploration of how American politics has changed over time.… [I]ts orientation toward causality, causes, and theory tends to differ from much of the work in the causal inference tradition.… [E]xperimental research and APD research might be brought into more fruitful intellectual exchange."

D.J. Flynn (TGS PhD), et al | More Accurate Yet More Polarized? Comparing the Factual Beliefs of Government Officials and the Public

July 23, 2019 – from Dartmouth University
"Political elites in the United States have become increasingly polarized on matters of opinion, but are they similarly polarized on matters of fact? To date, scholars have not systematically examined factual beliefs among political elites, whom we expect to be even more polarized by party than the public despite their greater expertise. Employing a paired-survey approach, we conduct the first systematic comparison of politicized factual beliefs between the public and a national sample of government officials."

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | The Effects of Blaming Others for Legislative Inaction on Individual and Collective Evaluations

July 19, 2019 – from Legislative Studies Quarterly
"Legislators commonly blame others for gridlock. We posit that legislators may engage in this type of rhetoric to minimize the individual reputational risks associated with legislative inaction or to boost the relative standing of their party. In a series of six survey experiments, we find that blaming others for inaction undermines voters’ evaluations of individual legislators who engage in this rhetorical strategy.… However, blaming rhetoric can also enhance the standing of the blamer’s party relative to the opposing party across all groups (including out-partisans), in large part by undermining the reputations of these other actors."

Richard Shafranek (TGS PhD) | Trump supporters need not apply

July 18, 2019 – from The Economist
“In an illustration of a phenomenon political scientists call ‘negative partisanship’—the tendency for voters to be defined more by their hatred of the other side than love for their own—the desire not to live with someone who votes for the other party is much greater than the desire to live with a fellow Democrat or Republican.”

Marco Bocchese (TGS PhD) | Flirting with fire: African leaders and international law

July 16, 2019 – from The Conversation
“...Research into the ICC’s involvement in Côte d’Ivoire led me to formulate a few conclusions. The first is that a likely explanation for former President Gbagbo’s invitation of ICC scrutiny was that he hoped it would stigmatise his enemies as war criminals. The second is that the threat of ICC indictment quite possibly strengthened Gbagbo’s resolution to hold on to power despite his defeat in the 2010 presidential elections. Finally, since Gbagbo’s transfer to the ICC detention centre in November 2011, the Ouattara Administration has undertaken to strengthen judicial capacity, thus preventing key figures of the current government from following Gbagbo’s fate.”

Jacqueline Stevens | My Very Unhappy Birthday

July 12, 2019 – from This American Life
Immigration agents have continued to use dental x-rays to determine the age of migrants, even though the lack of accuracy makes some of the tests illegal.

Rachel Beatty Riedl | Aspirations and Realities in Africa: Senegal's Vigorous but Constrained Election

July 10, 2019 – from Johns Hopkins University Press
“Senegal's status as a leading democracy on the African continent is a contested one, challenged in new ways in each election and yet maintained over time through high levels of citizen participation and vigorous competition. The February 2019 presidential elections was no exception. With the benefit of incumbency advantages, Macky Sall won in the first round against a narrowed set of competitors. His victory reflects three major trends in sub-Saharan Africa today: the politicization and delegitimation of institutions of electoral administration, the rising popularity of "youth" candidates, and the drive toward postelection executive centralization."

Matthew Lacombe (TGS PhD) | The Political Weaponization of Gun Owners: The National Rifle Association’s Cultivation, Dissemination, and Use of a Group Social Identity

July 9, 2019 – from University of Chicago Press
There is substantial evidence indicating that the NRA’s (National Rifle Association) political influence is closely tied to the deep political engagement of the minority of Americans who oppose strict gun control laws. This explanation of the NRA’s influence, however, raises its own questions; namely, why are gun owners so devoted to their cause, and why is the NRA so effective at mobilizing them?

Shmuel Nili | The People's Duty

July 1, 2019 – from Cambridge University Press
"Can we talk about 'the people' as an agent with its own morally important integrity? How should we understand ownership of public property by 'the people'? Nili develops philosophical answers to both of these questions, arguing that we should see the core project of a liberal legal system - realizing equal rights - as an identity-grounding project of the sovereign people, and thus as essential to the people's integrity. He also suggests that there are proprietary claims that are intertwined in the sovereign people's moral power to create property rights through the legal system. The practical value of these ideas is illustrated through a variety of real-world policy problems, ranging from the domestic and international dimensions of corruption and abuse of power, through transitional justice issues, to the ethnic and religious divides that threaten liberal democracy."


Kevin J. Mullinix (TGS PhD) | Pulled-Over Rates, Causal Attributions, and Trust in Police

June 30, 2019 – from SAGE Journals
A growing literature documents racial disparities throughout the American criminal justice system. Yet, even as this evidence accumulates and garners increasing media attention, we know relatively little about the consequences of this type of information for public opinion. We incorporate insights from attribution theory to suggest that people differ in the cause they attribute to racial disparities in the justice system, and these different causal attributions profoundly affect attitudes and responses to information.

Samara Klar (TGS PhD) | How Partisan Online Environments Shape Communication with Political Outgroups

June 30, 2019 – from International Journal of Communication
"Social media provide opportunities to consume and share political news in echo chambers, but also to communicate with members of political outgroups. Exposure to political outgroups is often portrayed as the normatively desirable option, although empirically it has mixed effects. With an experimental study, we find that participants who regularly interact with political outgroups on social media share more politically moderate news articles when we assign them to an audience of mostly outgroup versus ingroup members. On the other hand, those who are accustomed to an online echo chamber subsequently polarize when faced with an outgroup audience."

Anthony Chen | Can America Govern Itself?

June 30, 2019 – from Cambridge University Press
Can America Govern Itself? brings together a diverse group of distinguished scholars--including Anthony Chen--to analyze how rising party polarization and economic inequality have affected the performance of American governing institutions. It is organized around two themes: the changing nature of representation in the United States; and how changes in the political environment have affected the internal processes of institutions, overall government performance, and policy outcomes.

Tucker Johnson (WCAS '19) | Propaganda is Changing the Face of Modern Warfare: Here’s What We Can Do About It

June 26, 2019 – from Political Violence at a Glance
"Militaries have long recognized the importance of winning “hearts and minds,” but they have also often taken a blinkered approach in their efforts to do so. In Iraq, as in past counterinsurgency campaigns, the United States sought primarily to provide security and foster economic development, ignoring civilians’ emotional and political perceptions of the conflict. Propaganda and public relations campaigns, long a central part of military strategies, can change these perceptions, and are increasingly relevant in today’s digitally-connected world."

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | What Could Reparations for Black Americans Look Like?

June 25, 2019 – from WTTW
"Not only are Democratic presidential candidates calling for reparations. There’s a growing amount of scholarship around the subject that’s leading to new historical discoveries about slavery and its impact on modern-day society...We are uncovering more and more and the evidence is so overwhelming, I think it’s just hard to dismiss it, said Tillery, who also serves as director of Northwestern’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy."

Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | Special section: Methodological innovation in the study of global environmental agreement making

June 24, 2019 – from Online Research at Cardiff University
"The development of this methods project, and the articles in the special section, started from a simple shared observation: the concepts for studying global environmental agreement-making did not fit with what we—researchers in this area of study—have observed in practice. This observation raised two critical questions: first, what constitutes a site of global environmental agreement making, and second, which actors and forms of power shape the negotiation dynamics and final agreed text?"

Thomas Leeper (TGS PhD)| Where Have the Respondents Gone? Perhaps We Ate Them All

June 19, 2019 – from Oxford Academic
"Rising rates of nonresponse are one of the most-debated issues in contemporary survey research. While early survey research regularly achieved response rates close to 100 percent, contemporary telephone interviewing methods in the United States regularly obtain response rates below 10 percent, due to a mix of noncontact and refusals. I diagnose the problem of nonresponse not only as an individual-level, survey-specific phenomenon, but as something larger and more collective: namely, as a common pool resource (CPR) problem."

Brian F. Harrison (TGS PhD) | The Politics of Pride Month

June 17, 2019 – from Oxford Academic
"In this excerpt from “Marriage Equality and Other LGBT Issues in the United States” Brian F. Harrison and Melissa R. Michelson introduce the progression of gay rights since the Stonewall Riots in 1969."

Moses Khisa (TGS PhD) | The Coming Crisis in Uganda

June 14, 2019 – from Democracy in Africa
“...Uganda – a previously highly regarded reformist African state – is facing a deep crisis in its politics. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni has dug in. He wants to rule for life. To stroll on and stay put in state house, Museveni has had to run roughshod of important constitutional and institutional safe guards, checks and balances that were enshrined in what was a relatively progressive and liberal national constitution.”

Sally Afia Nuamah (TGS PhD) | Who Governs? How Shifts in Political Power Shape Perceptions of Local Government Services

June 14, 2019 – from SAGE Journals
"Although studies show that test scores have improved since the mass adoption of charters post-Katrina, surveys show that most Black citizens in New Orleans do not perceive that the New Orleans schools have improved post-Katrina. A majority of White residents, however, perceive that the schools are better post-Katrina. Relying on a survey of New Orleans residents, we argue that local shifts in political power by race help explain the racial differences in perceptions of the public schools. The study’s findings suggest that perceptions of the quality of public goods are shaped by perceptions of “who governs?”"

Karen J. Alter | Redundancy, Regime Complexity and Universality in International Law

June 12, 2019 – from Amsterdam Center for International Law
Following Professor Alter's guest lecture on 'The Future of International Law in an Age of Nationalist Populism,' Karen J. Alter speaks to us about redundancy, regime complexity and universality in international law. She also explains how she uses heuristics and shares with us analytical tricks that help her to develop her thinking.

Christopher Skeaff (TGS PhD) | Becoming Political: Spinoza's Vital Republicanism and the Democratic Power of Judgment

June 8, 2019 – from Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Christopher Skeaff's ambitious and creative book aligns Spinoza's thought with today's radical democrats and civic republicans, who emphasize collective participation, deliberation, and judgment. With the resources of Spinoza interpreted in (sometimes conflictual) dialogue with radical French and Italian thought, Skeaff re-describes those phenomena in terms of the "vital normativity" (borrowed from Georges Canguilhem) arising from the activities of living beings."

Christopher Skeaff (TGS PhD) | Becoming Political: Spinoza's Vital Republicanism and the Democratic Power of Judgment

June 8, 2019 – from Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Christopher Skeaff's ambitious and creative book aligns Spinoza's thought with today's radical democrats and civic republicans, who emphasize collective participation, deliberation, and judgment. With the resources of Spinoza interpreted in (sometimes conflictual) dialogue with radical French and Italian thought, Skeaff re-describes those phenomena in terms of the "vital normativity" (borrowed from Georges Canguilhem) arising from the activities of living beings."

Marco Bocchese (TGS PhD)| Gbago's Lost Bet: When Inviting External Judicial Scrutiny Backfires

June 4, 2019 – from Taylor and Francis Online
"After spending seven years in pre-trial detention and still unable to return home pending the appeal of his acquittal, former Ivorian President and strongman Laurent Gbagbo has certainly come to regret accepting the International Criminal Court (ICC)'s jurisdiction back in April 2003. Drawing on in-person interviews carried out during a research trip to Abidjan, this paper conducts a thorough analysis of the situation in Côte d'Ivoire over sixteen years (2003–2019), exploring the motives of Gbagbo's decision and tracing the evolution of ICC-state relations."


Jordan Gans-Morse | Self-Selection into Corrupt Judiciaries

May 30, 2019 – from Northwestern: Institute for Policy Research
Drawing on experimental games and a survey conducted with university students at an elite legal academy in Ukraine, this study compares the attitudinal, behavioral, and demographic traits of students aspiring to public sector legal careers as judges, prosecutors, and investigators with their counterparts aiming to pursue private sector legal careers as defense attorneys and commercial lawyers.

Thomas Leeper (TGS PhD)| The Search for Real-World Media Effects on Political Decision Making

May 30, 2019 – from Oxford Research Encyclopedia
“Empirical media effects research involves associating two things: measures of media content or experience and measures of audience outcomes. Any quantitative evidence of correlation between media supply and audience response—combined with assumptions about temporal ordering and an absence of spuriousness—is taken as evidence of media effects. This seemingly straightforward exercise is burdened by three challenges: the measurement of the outcomes, the measurement of the media and individuals’ exposure to it, and the tools and techniques for associating the two.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul Visits Northwestern

May 21, 2019 – from Northwestern Business Review
Last Thursday, the Northwestern Political Science department welcomed former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as the annual speaker of the 2018–19 Weber Lecture. McFaul gave a detailed account of his five years in the Obama administration and his views on U.S.- Russia relations before taking questions from the audience.

Sebastian Karcher (TGS PhD) | An epic journey in sharing: The story of a young researcher's journey to share her data and the information professionals who tried to help

May 9, 2019 – from IASSIST Quarterly
"In this paper, we tell a particularly dramatic data-sharing story, in effect a case study, in the form of a Greek Drama. It is the quest of – a young idealistic researcher collecting fascinating sensitive data and seeking to share it, encountering an institution doing its due diligence, helpful library folks, and an expert repository."


Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | The Dialectic of Secularism and Religionism

April 24, 2019 – from Tehran Times
Read the interview with Asre-Andisheh Magazine. Hurd is the author of The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (2008) and Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion (2015), both published by Princeton, and co-editor of Politics of Religious Freedom and Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age. She is co-PI, with Winnifred Sullivan, on a Luce-supported collaborative research project “Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad” (2016-2019) and co-organized the “Politics of Religious Freedom” project (2011-2014).

Chloe Thurston | Credit, Discrimination, & the American State w/ Chloe Thurston - MR Live - 4/24/19

April 24, 2019 – from The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder
Sam is joined by author Chloe Thurston to discuss her new book, 'At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination, & the American State.' While often touted as a sign of individualistic bootstrapping, middle class home ownership in the US is the result of a targeted set of government interventions going back to the 1930s. In this book, Thurston traces the history of government policy around home ownership, with special attention to who was excluded from accessing these kinds of resources (namely: women and African-Americans) and how these groups fought back against discrimination.

Tom Ogorzalek | Yes, Lori Lightfoot’s election as Chicago mayor was historic. But how will she govern?

April 17, 2019 – from Washington Post, MonkeyCage blog
Lightfoot, much like Harold Washington, campaigned as a political outsider and reformer. She promised to take on the persistent corruption in Chicago and Illinois politics, and these positions became particularly persuasive after corruption scandals that ripped through the city’s machine organization late last year. Last week’s election was an historic first — but it was also a historic margin of victory, big enough to impress any ward boss. And Lightfoot won in every part of an often-divided city.

Wendy Pearlman | A Literary Guide to the Oscars

April 11, 2019 – from New York Times
“Wendy Pearlman’s “WE CROSSED A BRIDGE AND IT TREMBLED: Voices From Syria” brings together accounts from refugees scattered across the Middle East and Europe, showing the extraordinary heroism of ordinary people”--a topic that heavily relates to Nadine Labaki’s latest Lebanese film, Capernaum, about a young refugee.

Wendy Pearlman | Video: Young Progressives Are Increasingly Critical of Israel. Here's Why

April 11, 2019 – from Newsy
"We should have an honest conversation about the U.S. role in enabling Israeli policies such as the settlement expansion, such as denial of Palestinian rights. It's not impossible to have an open conversation that is sensitive, but sensitive not only to the sensitivities of American Jews, but to American Muslims, to American Arabs, to people of all different faiths and backgrounds."

Samara Klar (TGS PhD) | The New Science of How to Argue—Constructively

April 7, 2019 – from The Atlantic
“...for all the talk of online hostility, in the real world, there’s a lot less evidence that people with political disagreements are at one another’s throats as frequently as a blood-splattered Twitter feed might indicate. If anything, there’s some evidence of the opposite—a growing number of Americans are sick of politically overheated disagreement and are retreating from it.”

Rebecca Kolins Givan (TGS PhD) | Your Boss's Big Little Secret

April 4, 2017 – from Jacobin
“Asking about pay is a delicate subject. We have a strong norm against discussing pay, maintaining the pretense that the motivation to work comes from somewhere other than the need for a paycheck, such as dedication to the enterprise. Pay secrecy is just one tool employers use to keep employees from talking openly about their experiences at work, and acting collectively to improve their situation."


Moses Khisa (TGS PhD) | Sole Candidacy is a Travesty of Democracy

March 23, 2019 – from Daily Monitor
"Democracy rests on the critical pillar of competition. Without open competition, you cannot have democracy. Democracy is the struggle for the people’s vote. Therefore, the idea that an incumbent ruler can be declared the ‘sole candidate’ for his party is fundamentally undemocratic."

Wendy Pearlman | 5 ways the Syrian revolution continues

March 18, 2019 – from The Conversation
"Past and continuing atrocities in Syria will haunt history for generations to come. That Syrians retain any hope in a better future is not only a testament to their sheer will. It is also a sign, I believe, that the revolution they began eight years ago continues today."

Congratulations to Jason Seawright on winning the 2019 Ver Steeg Faculty Award

March 8, 2019 – from The Graduate School
"Professor Seawright is a dedicated teacher, curriculum reformer, and caring mentor. He attends to the big-picture and the detailed aspects of everything he works on. Dr. Seawright cares about students’ well-being and future, dedicating his time to improve their chances of success post-graduation."

Karen J. Alter | The Future of International Law in an Age of Nationalist Populism

March 7, 2019 – from Social Science Research Network
This essay addresses three related questions about international law’s future: Will the world continue to seek multilateral solutions and promote global integration? What is the future of highly contested areas of international law, such as the promotion of human rights and the accountability of states and individuals for atrocities? And will issues that are as yet unregulated or poorly guided by international law – cyber-security, the use of drones, and global climate change – present new frontiers for international law?

Sidra Hamidi (TGS PhD) | Don’t Overlook the Root Cause of the Latest India-Pakistan Flare-up

March 5, 2019 – from The Diplomat
“...It is easy to take the rivalry between India and Pakistan for granted and even to see it as a natural part of either regional power politics or the enmity between Hindus and Muslims. But the rivalry endures because of specific policies and practices that continue to link domestic governance with the threat of the other. And right now, these nationalist policies are being bolstered through the crisis. Rather than falling into the trap of only contemplating the strategic dimensions of the crisis, consider what it means for South Asian society as a whole — not for a separate Pakistan and a separate India.”


Galya Ben-Arieh | Saharan Crossing: Galya Ben-Arieh on The Realities of Migration Today

February 20, 2019 – from Northwestern Block Museum
"The exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa at the Block Museum of Art shows the global impact of Saharan trade...Migrants journeying from Africa to Europe today travel along the same routes and stop in the same transit cities as the medieval caravans, but their journeys point to a disjuncture between modern Saharan migration systems and the logics of historical mobility and systems of exchange."

Kendra Koivu (TGS PhD) | Set-Analytic Approaches, Especially Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

February 15, 2019 – from Social Science Research Network
"This report focuses on set-analytic approaches that use algorithms and computer software for parts of their analysis, particularly Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). We concentrate on transparency concerning the "analytic moment" that stretches from assigning membership scores of cases in the condition and outcome sets to the presentation and interpretation of the results obtained via the truth table's logical minimization."

Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli (TGS PhD) | Why China Has Not Caught Up Yet: Military-Technological Superiority and the Limits of Imitation, Reverse Engineering, and Cyber Espionage

February 15, 2019 – from MIT Press Journals
An “increase in [the] complexity [of military technology] has promoted a change in the system of production that has made the imitation and replication of the performance of state-of-the-art weapon systems harder—so much so as to offset the diffusing effects of globalization and advances in communications.”

Moses Khisa (TGS PhD) | Politics of Exclusion and Institutional Transformation in Ethiopia

February 8, 2019 – from Taylor and Francis Online
"This article argues that Ethiopia’s institutional trajectory can be explained by the nature of coalition politics in the formative years of transition, specifically the extent to which credible challengers were excluded from transitional processes. The strategy of excluding Pan-Ethiopian parties and sideling the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) set the country on the path of establishing a hegemonic rule by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Sustaining hegemonic rule entailed fending off threats from excluded groups in the 1990s but which coalesced into a strong electoral performance in the 2005 elections in whose aftermath the ruling party embarked on aggressive pursuit of state-directed development for political legitimation."

Sally Afia Nuamah (TGS PhD) becomes a 2019 Chron15 Pioneer

February 5, 2019 – from Duke Chronicle
"She’s committed to taking her scholarship beyond seminar rooms and sharing it with the world. She is not only a public policy professor: she is also a documentary filmmaker, a writer and an outspoken advocate for girls’ education."


Swati Srivastava (TGS PhD) | Varieties of Social Construction

January 30, 2019 – from Oxford Academic
"Varieties of constructivism thus far conceived in international relations prefer cleavages where scholars are regarded as thin/thick, conventional/critical, or mainstream/radical. In contrast, I introduce a new landscape of social construction to show unique mechanisms for socially constructing international politics."

William Reno and Jahara Matisek (TGS PhD) | Getting American Security Force Assistance Right: Political Context Matters

January 23, 2019 – from National Defense University Press
“...In interviews with officials that oversee (and conduct) security force assistance (SFA), there is a massive disconnect between what is believed possible and what can actually be accomplished given the political context within each country. This highlights a substantial problem with Western SFA: it is too focused on building an army in the absence of a viable state that has the institutional capacity and political willpower to sustain that army.”

Mneesha Gellman (TGS PhD) | Fighting invisibility: indigenous citizens and history education in El Salvador and Guatemala

January 14, 2019 – from Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
“El Salvador and Guatemala underwent civil wars that severely impacted both countries’ most marginalized citizens, including indigenous peoples. Today, teaching and learning the violent past remain challenged in each country, with implications for indigenous and non-indigenous citizens alike. This article examines the impact of democratization in El Salvador and Guatemala in the educational sphere, documenting narrative trends on the topic of the civil wars and indigeneity in formal and informal education settings.… distinct democratization and transitional justice processes have created opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning about indigenous peoples’ roles and experiences in the civil wars in each country.… We… document how teaching and learning the violent past is a highly politicized act with long-term implications for democratic quality in each country.”