Human Rights, Foreign Direct Investment, & INGOs

Over at IPE@UNC, Lindsay Tello discusses the article on foreign direct investment and human rights shaming that Colin Barry, Michael Flynn, and I have in this month’s International Studies Quarterly.  Here’s the abstract: Non-state actors, such as international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and multi- national corporations (MNCs), have attained an increasingly prominent role in modern world affairs. While previous research has focused on these actors’ respectiveinteractions with states, little attention has been paid to their interactions with each other. In this paper, we examine the extent to which the decisions of private actors seeking to invest abroad are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in countries Continue reading Human Rights, Foreign Direct Investment, & INGOs

Identifying Cities with the Safest Drivers

In May 2013 Allstate released its “America’s Best Drivers Report“, which identifies cities with residents who have the longest years between accidents. Boise is #2 on the list, so it caught my attention. The data are based on Allstate insurance claims from January 2010 to December 2011. Although the report is interesting, I think the name of the report is misleading (which is clear when you read how Allstate discusses the report). The report may not necessarily identify where the safest drivers are. Instead it may identify cities where environmental conditions make it safer to drive. If that is the Continue reading Identifying Cities with the Safest Drivers

Peer Performance in the Review Process: Reviewer Elo

The peer review process is an imperfect construction that helps lend credibility to the publication of research. It is not the final arbiter of who is right, as cumulative research should encourage further discussion, but it is an important barrier that offers a check on research and also provides feedback as authors work to make their findings available to the scientific community and the public in general. Non-academic peer review exists in a variety of venues beyond just scientific research.  One such arena, online video games, may offer an insight of how to encourage active and meaningful participation in the Continue reading Peer Performance in the Review Process: Reviewer Elo

Political Science and Scientists in the News

Just a quick link to this Atlantic article. It features several works by political scientists on why and when the public is likely to support military action. Complete with graphs and everything.    *Picture taken from the aforementioned and linked Atlantic article. 

Taking Surveys Seriously? (II)

            In the previous post, I looked at whether it’s possible to code the answers to open-ended survey questions in such a way as to flag respondents who perhaps weren’t taking the survey seriously. My primary concerns were whether these outbursts of respondent hostility can affect our inferences, but also whether we can use characteristics of respondents or of particular questions to predict when these outbursts will occur. I think looking at these hostile responses is an important reminder of just how many different stories there are within a single survey. If social scientists want to generalise about these stories, then Continue reading Taking Surveys Seriously? (II)

Taking Surveys Seriously? (I)

Time Magazine: “Do you care about what you sing?” Bob Dylan: “How can I answer that question if you’ve got the nerve to ask me?” In this post I discuss whether we should exclude a respondent from survey analysis if their answers show that they’ve lost patience with the process. This stems from my discovery that the Americanpublic can get pretty sassy when they’re taking political science surveys. If you ask enough questions that people don’t appreciate, they’ll get sick of giving reasonable answers.