Happy Medium, Happy Citizens: Presidential Power & Democratic Regime Support

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Shane P. Singh, Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the University of Georgia, and Ryan E. Carlin, Associate Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University.  Their article, “Happy Medium, Happy Citizens: Presidential Power and Democratic Regime Support,” is forthcoming at Political Research Quarterly. The presidential model of democracy is famously associated with democratic instability, as presidents are prone to usurping power beyond their mandates and clashing with the legislature, which is elected separately and can also claim to speak for the people. Nevertheless, newly (re-)emerged democracies in Latin America have chosen to Continue reading Happy Medium, Happy Citizens: Presidential Power & Democratic Regime Support

Explaining A Party System by Looking at the Alternatives to Parties

The most recent issue of Party Politics (July 2014) includes my article on why political activists choose to form different types of political organizations (you can find the version of record and abstract here). This work was a core part of my dissertation, and so I’d like to take this opportunity to give an informal overview of it, and particularly some of the more general implications. I think this work is most relevant to people interested in party system size, emerging issues such as environmentalism, and activist behaviour. The basic idea is about how different political organizations can substitute for each Continue reading Explaining A Party System by Looking at the Alternatives to Parties

Relative Asymmetry

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null0  Power is often the go-to solution for many puzzles in international relations, but it also presents as many questions as it seems to answer, if not more.  One of the enduring puzzles in international relations deals with the relationship between powerful actors in the international system and weak actors; for many of our theories, this power asymmetry drives the stock of international behavior. Scholars and instructors alike often trace back the pivotal lesson of power asymmetry to Thucydides with the idea that the powerful do what they want and the weak suffer what they must.  This is the realist lesson Continue reading Relative Asymmetry

Could another government shutdown be a factor in Cantor’s defeat?

Gage Skidmore via Compfight Eric Cantor’s primary loss yesterday to unknown candidate, David Brat, was quite the spectacle. A House majority leader has never lost a primary battle. Almost immediately after his loss, media outlets began reporting that Cantor lost because he had taken a pro-immigration stance on immigration reform (or failed to take a strong position on the issue either way). Given what we know about which factors influence election outcomes in the United States, I find it very hard to believe that Eric Cantor so handily lost a primary battle (56% to 44%) just because of his position Continue reading Could another government shutdown be a factor in Cantor’s defeat?

Competitive Equilibrium in American Presidential Politics

In the wake of the 2012 victory by Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, many within the Republican Party were deeply troubled by the election returns. Republican challenger Mitt Romney faired poorly among ethnic and racial minorities, to the point where Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus equated the party’s performance among Latinos (Romney won just 27 percent of the Latino vote) to “a clear two-by-four to the head in the 2012 election.” While this level of support among ethnic minorities has been relatively typical for previous Republican presidential candidates (including winning candidates), the fact that has Republican elites worried is that whites—the Continue reading Competitive Equilibrium in American Presidential Politics

So You’re on the Job Market, Part I: Preparation

This year marked my third year on the political science/academic job market. In May of 2013 I was offered a post-doc at the University of Alabama, and this year I was fortunate enough to land a tenure track job at Kansas State University, where I’ll be starting in the fall of 2014. Needless to say, I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity, and I’m thrilled to finally be off the market. It goes without saying, but it’s rough out there for newly minted PhDs and advanced graduate students. Given my somewhat lengthy time on the market, I’ve had a lot of Continue reading So You’re on the Job Market, Part I: Preparation