The 2018 Budget Proposal: Less State, More Defense

Federal outlays by agency and select program area, 1962–2015.

News outlets have been reviewing the Trump administration’s proposed budget for FY 2018. The proposal makes deep cuts to several federal agencies and spending categories, while also increasing funding to a select few agencies. The article linked above discusses the budget breakdown in greater depth, comparing different programs and agencies to see where the cuts fall. Notably, some programs and agencies associated with foreign policymaking receive deep cuts. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Post’s report concerning some of the key agencies and programs that deal with foreign affairs. The State Department, USAID, and various international programs housed within Treasury receive Continue reading The 2018 Budget Proposal: Less State, More Defense

How the US military’s overseas troop deployments affect global defense spending

This post is based on the article “Regions of Hierarchy and Security: US Troop Deployments, Spatial Relations, and Defense Burdens”, by Michael Allen (Boise State University), Michael Flynn (Kansas State University), and Julie VanDusky–Allen (Boise State University), which is forthcoming in International Interactions. Since the end of World War II, the United States has deployed tens-of-thousands of military personnel overseas. In spite of their importance to foreign policy, relatively little research has focused on understanding the effects of these deployments. However, recent years have seen an increase in research on the effects of such deployments on a wide range of Continue reading How the US military’s overseas troop deployments affect global defense spending

How Legislator Professionalization Constrains Executive Decree Issuance in Latin America

This is a guest post by Alissandra T. Stoyan (Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Kansas State University) and Sarah Shair-Rosenfield (Assistant Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University). This post is based on their article, “Constraining Executive Action: The Role of Legislator Professionalization in Latin America,” forthcoming at Governance and now available through Early View online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gove.12210/abstract Traditionally Latin American presidents have been viewed as excessively powerful, given both their constitutionally-endowed authority as well as their tendency to ignore the rule of law. Yet, across the region today, legislatures are asserting themselves and challenging executives. Brazilian Continue reading How Legislator Professionalization Constrains Executive Decree Issuance in Latin America

Terrorism vs. Terror Organizations: Violence Is Not The Only Tool

The following is a guest post by Seden Akcinaroglu and Efe Tokdemir. Seden is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University. Efe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University. This post is based on research from their recent article, “Reputation of Terror Groups Dataset: Measuring popularity of terror groups”, in the Journal of Peace Research.  The word ‘terrorism’ often includes a negative connotation, and the events in the last few years such as the multiple explosions in Paris resulting in 130 civilian killings, or children abducted and raped by Boko Haram Continue reading Terrorism vs. Terror Organizations: Violence Is Not The Only Tool

Teaching (and learning) Quantitative Analysis

I’ve spent the last few years teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate majors at Boise State. Ours is one of the few Political Science departments to require a two-course statistics sequence for our majors and we’re always seeking ways to improve the experience. As you might imagine, very few students become political science majors because they’re interested in quantitative analysis. However, we believe these research skills are essential for future political analysts to develop. A few years ago I embarked on an effort to experiment with my course delivery to help my students acquire quantitative analytic skills more easily. Here’s what Continue reading Teaching (and learning) Quantitative Analysis

The 2014 Election by the Numbers

Note: I acquired the data for this post on November 5th, 2014 at 1:00 pm. A handful of election results were still not fully updated. In this post, I briefly describe the outcome of the House of Representatives elections. I only analyze elections where there was one Democrat on the ballot and one Republican on the ballot. In total, I analyze 355 House elections. Republicans won about 53.4% of the nationwide popular vote in the 355 House elections and won 59.7% of the seats. Republicans won 210 of the House seats. If the results were proportional to the Republican vote share, they would Continue reading The 2014 Election by the Numbers

It’s not always the Prisoner’s Dilemma: Military Deployments Edition

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During the Russian invasion of Crimea, I previously mentioned that I, Julie VanDusky-Allen, and Michael Flynn, were working on a research project that examined the effect that hosting varying amounts of foreign (i.e. US) troops has on the defense spending of local and regional governments. Earlier this week, that article became available in Foreign Policy Analysis’ Early View. If you have taught game theory long enough, or if you have read enough anecdotes by people who have, one thing that you learn is that students, once they have learned and consumed the lessons from the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD), seem to see it everywhere—even when it Continue reading It’s not always the Prisoner’s Dilemma: Military Deployments Edition

Should the Decisions of Administrative Law Judges Be Subject to Public Opinion?

In the United States, if a citizen has a dispute with an executive agency, they can take the dispute in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). The judge is supposed to act as a neutral arbiter in resolving the dispute. For example, if the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies someone disabilities benefits, that person can appeal the decision, and an ALJ is supposed to either award or deny the claim based solely on the facts of the case. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has tried to ensure ALJs remain neutral agents. The OPM has established rules and procedures Continue reading Should the Decisions of Administrative Law Judges Be Subject to Public Opinion?

Calling All Martyrs: Recruitment Incentives & Terror Attack Casualties

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Graig R. Klein. Graig is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University. His research focuses on domestic conflict, protest, and terrorism. This post is based on his article entitled “Ideology Isn’t Everything: Transnational Terrorism, Recruitment Incentives & Attack Casualties,” which is forthcoming in Terrorism and Political Violence. Since the al-Qaeda attacks on September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent War on Terror, much of the media, policy makers’, and, academics’ attention has focused on the increase in religious motivated terror groups and attacks since the 1990s. Prior to 1993, there Continue reading Calling All Martyrs: Recruitment Incentives & Terror Attack Casualties

Military Deployments, Human Development, and Growth

Guatemalan families wait in line outside a Medical Readiness Training Exercise during Beyond the Horizon 2014, Zacapa, Guatemala, April 21, 2014.

The deployment of US military forces has received a bump in attention over the past year or two. Most recently, as Michael Allen has discussed, US military forces were deployed to Poland in response to the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. In 2011 President Obama sent 100 US military personnel to Uganda to help track Joseph Kony, bolstering forces that were already deployed to the region. Obama recently moved to strengthen the presence of US forces in Uganda, sending aircraft and an additional 150 Air Force personnel in mid-March. According to the Washington Post article linked above, the total number of Continue reading Military Deployments, Human Development, and Growth