Government & Politics Research Works

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    The population ecology of interest groups and counter-mobilization: reproductive rights organizations in the United States, 1920–1985
    (Cambridge University Press, 2024-01) Hightower, Tristan M.
    This research note builds upon a number of important articles published in a variety of outlets concerning the population ecology of interest groups. Importantly, Lowery and Gray (1995), Nownes (2004), and Nownes and Lipinski (2005) empirically demonstrated the dependence on the density of pre-existing, similar groups when predicting new group formations. In this letter, I add to this research by modeling the density of ideologically divergent reproductive rights groups as well as offer supporting evidence for the popular Energy-Stability-Area model. The former is a novel consideration in the field of population ecology which primarily examines ideologically similar groups. I show that density dependence is at play among these polarized groups. I also provide insight into counter-mobilization movements of group formation by empirically demonstrating which groups are initial movers versus reactionary formers. In doing so, I raise important questions for researchers concerned with the emergence, longevity, and impact of interest groups over long periods of time. Finally, this research provides some insight into the expectations of group formation behavior in light of the landmark Dobbs decision.
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    An Experimental Analysis of Asymmetric Power in Conflict Bargaining
    (MDPI, 2013-08-02) Sieberg, Katri; Clark, David; Holt, Charles A.; Nordstrom, Timothy; Reed, William
    Demands and concessions in a multi-stage bargaining process are shaped by the probabilities that each side will prevail in an impasse. Standard game-theoretic predictions are quite sharp: demands are pushed to the precipice with nothing left on the table, but there is no conflict regardless of the degree of power asymmetry. Indeed, there is no delay in reaching an agreement that incorporates the (unrealized) costs of delay and conflict. A laboratory experiment has been used to investigate the effects of power asymmetries on conflict rates in a two-stage bargaining game that is (if necessary) followed by conflict with a random outcome. Observed demands at each stage are significantly correlated with power, as measured by the probability of winning in the event of disagreement. Demand patterns, however, are flatter than theoretical predictions, and conflict occurs in a significant proportion of the interactions, regardless of the degree of the power asymmetry. To address these deviations from the standard game-theoretic predictions, we also estimated a logit quantal response model, which generated the qualitative patterns that are observed in the data. This one-parameter generalization of the Nash equilibrium permits a deconstruction of the strategic incentives that cause demands to be less responsive to power asymmetries than Nash predictions.
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    Using Risk to Assess the Legal Violence of Mandatory Detention
    (MDPI, 2016-07-05) Koulish, Robert
    Immigration mandatory detention is a particularly harsh example of the structural violence embedded in immigration enforcement. It deprives liberty without bond for immigrants with prior crimes, and assigns many individuals to the harsh conditions associated with unnecessary and even wrongful detention. Mandatory detention has been justified on the grounds that mandatory detainees are a danger to public safety. This article puts to the test this presumption of dangerousness among mandatory detainees, and finds, to the contrary, that immigrants with prior charges or convictions are no more dangerous than any other category of individuals in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Using the risk classification assessment (RCA) tool, which the author is the first to obtain through the Freedom of Information Act, the article contributes to the growing criticism of mandatory detention, providing evidence that many of those in mandatory detention should probably have never been detained.
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    COVID-19 and the Creeping Necropolitics of Crimmigration Control
    (MDPI, 2021-12-06) Koulish, Robert
    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on migration and migrants and immigration policies worldwide. Considering that over 250 million people have contracted the disease globally, includingin that figure 5.1 million deaths, there is hardly any part of the globe which has escaped government attempts to control migration in order to stop the spread of disease. Migrants, particularly those in detention, have been the most susceptible to COVID-19, and the most vulnerable to punitive COVID-19 politics, as the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on institutionalized populations (Turcotte 2021).
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    Strategic fiscal spending: Evidence from China
    (Wiley, 2022-04-05) Lee, Youngjoon
    What are the effects of citizen grievances on autocrats' fiscal spending? I argue that autocrats will increase fiscal spending only when grievances may jeopardize stability. I hypothesize that when Internet penetration is high, a marginal increase in labor strikes and administrative lawsuits leads to increased spending on social welfare, health, education, and housing support. Evidence from China's 31 provinces (2006–2019) supports this hypothesis. The results are robust to instrumental variable strategies. The results may run against the expectations of the “selectorate theory” which posits that autocrats are generally disinclined to increase spending for citizens. My theory and evidence suggest that grievances will be perceived differently by autocrats according to different levels of connectivity, leading to different levels of spending.
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    Does Interacting with Women Encourage Civic and Prosocial Attitudes? Evidence from Simulated Contact Experiments in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023-06-22) Jones, Clavert W.
    Research suggests that interacting with women may encourage civic and prosocial attitudes, yet findings to date have been limited to democracies notable for their egalitarian norms. Using simulated contact experiments under controlled conditions, this article tests hypotheses for the first time in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, arguably “hard cases” given persistent norms of patriarchy and gender segregation. Yet, despite stronger contexts for male dominance, results suggest that interacting with women may indeed steer Saudi and Kuwaiti men toward more civic and other-regarding orientations, including aspects of tolerance, egalitarianism, openness, and community rule-following. These findings add much-needed comparative perspective to experimental research on mixed-gender dynamics and align with broader work highlighting the benefits of diverse interactions for groups and nations.
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    Taiwan and the “One-China Principle” in the Age of COVID-19: Assessing the Determinants and Limits of Chinese Influence
    (Cambridge University Press, 2022-09-26) Kastner, Scott L.; Wang, Guan; Pearson, Margaret M.; Phillips-Alvarez, Laura; Yinusa, Joseph
    During the current global COVID-19 crisis Taiwan has portrayed itself as both an example for other countries to follow and as a country willing to assist others in their own efforts with the virus. Taiwan has also renewed efforts to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO), an organisation from which it is currently excluded. Although some countries have supported Taiwan’s efforts to participate in the WHO or have praised its COVID-19 response, others have been silent or even critical, sometimes citing commitments to a “one China policy.” In this paper, we use newly collected data to explore cross-national variation in support for Taiwan during the current pandemic. We find that a country’s level of economic development and security ties with the US are strongly correlated with support for Taiwan while a country’s economic ties to China is a less consistent predictor.
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    Where in the world is my tweet: Detecting irregular removal patterns on Twitter
    (PLoS, 2018-09-20) Timoneda, Joan C.
    Twitter data are becoming an important part of modern political science research, but key aspects of the inner workings of Twitter streams as well as self-censorship on the platform require further research. A particularly important research agenda is to understand removal rates of politically charged tweets. In this article, I provide a strategy to understand removal rates on Twitter, particularly on politically charged topics. First, the technical properties of Twitter's API that may distort the analyses of removal rates are tested. Results show that the forward stream does not capture every possible tweet -between 2 and 5 percent of tweets are lost on average, even when the volume of tweets is low and the firehose not needed. Second, data from Twitter's streams are collected on contentious topics such as terrorism or political leaders and non-contentious topics such as types of food. The statistical technique used to detect uncommon removal rate patterns is multilevel analysis. Results show significant differences in the removal of tweets between different topic groups. This article provides the first systematic comparison of information loss and removal on Twitter as well as a strategy to collect valid removal samples of tweets.