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 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

Mapping subnational administrative areas

Between teaching classes and a couple of projects that I’ve been working on lately, I’ve been finding Stata’s spmap command to be a really useful tool for generating maps to display data. One project in particular has involved the collection of some new data for examining various developmental outcomes at the subnational level. To some extent this is new territory for me, but the idea of being able to display the geographic distribution of some of the key variables that we’re interested in was really attractive. I’ve found shapefiles for generating global maps, as well as maps of the US, but Continue reading Mapping subnational administrative areas

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

Historical Cartography

Uri Friedman at the Atlantic has a nice piece entitled "12 Maps that Changed the World." It's based on a book by Jerry Brotton, professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University. It's worth checking out if you haven't seen it already. This article is interesting for a few reasons. First, it gives you some sense as to how views of the earth have changed over time. Second, Friedman's snippets for each map help to show how politics, culture, and religion all influenced the evolution of these views. And related to that previous idea, it points to that ever-present issue Continue reading Historical Cartography

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. 

History vs. Political Science? Temporally Constrained Studies and Generalizability.

So this is my first post back from a prolonged break. As I mentioned in a previous—albeit brief—entry, I’ve had a busy but enjoyable summer. I got married, defended my dissertation at the beginning of July, and my wife and I have since relocated to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I’ve accepted a position as a post-doc. We’re both pretty excited about the move and we’re really enjoying ourselves. Having grown up in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, summers that extend beyond a two month window have a certain appeal. And now that we’re getting settled in down here, I’m slowly Continue reading History vs. Political Science? Temporally Constrained Studies and Generalizability.