A global analysis of how losing an election affects voter satisfaction with democracy

How easily do people turn against democracy? In a recent paper, we asked whether losing one election is enough to sour voters on the whole idea of democracy. We find that indeed it can be – if their democracy is relatively new. In addition to this difference between established and emerging democracies, we also find another important pattern: among the established democracies, the type of electoral system affects loser satisfaction, but in newer democracies, it matters much less. These two findings suggest that we need to considerably expand our understanding of “loser’s consent”.

How Elite Polarization has Transformed the Electorate

It is no secret that American politics have become more vitriolic. The parties in Congress have moved farther apart from each other ideologically. They have also become more unified internally. Party elites are increasingly ideologically polarized. This increase in polarization has been well documented. What is less clear is how these changes have affected average Americans? Have American voters become more divided in response to increasingly polarized elites? If so, how? Michael Flynn and I attempt to answer these questions in our paper “From on High: The Effect of Elite Polarization on Mass Attitudes and Behaviors, 1972-2012”, which was published Continue reading How Elite Polarization has Transformed the Electorate

Aid in space: Regional conflict and US aid allocation

This post is based on the article “Before the dominos fall: Regional conflict, donor interests, and US foreign aid“, forthcoming at Conflict Management and Peace Science. From the initial uprisings in 2011 through the present, the civil conflict in Syria has been one of the most complex and pressing international crises in recent memory. The United Nations estimates there are 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, with recent reports indicating that over 5 million people have fled Syria, with another 6.3 million internally displaced people. Ultimately much of the media coverage of the conflict has focused largely on 1) violence within Continue reading Aid in space: Regional conflict and US aid allocation

The Trump Administration’s Ban on Transgender Soldiers

On Wednesday, July 26, the President Trump issued the following series of tweets announcing a ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military: After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017 ….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017 ….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Continue reading The Trump Administration’s Ban on Transgender Soldiers

Ways To Make Your Voice Heard After An Election

Since the surprising results of the US presidential election, a lot of websites and blogs have asked how ordinary citizens should react. What is the best way to allocate your participation, if you want to have an actual impact? One of my favourite examples was here, but other examples were here, here, and here. So – what does political science say is the best way to get involved?

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

So You’re on the Job Market, Part III: Coping (Repost)

This is an edited version of a post that appeared previously, and is the final installment of a three-part series on the academic job market. As always, helpful comments and suggestions are welcome. In two previous posts (see here and here) I’ve discussed some issues related to being on the political science job market. In the first installment I wrote about some basic organizational steps graduate students can take to prepare for being on the market. The second installment dealt with how graduate students can attempt to evaluate their prospects for getting a job. In this entry I’ll focus more Continue reading So You’re on the Job Market, Part III: Coping (Repost)

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

Editor’s Note: This is a reposting of a post I wrote up a couple of years ago. Given that we’re at the beginning of April, it seemed like it would be useful to rebroadcast potentially useful information for folks starting to think about the market in the fall. This is the first of three posts on the job market, and I’ll post the rest in the next couple of weeks. 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 Continue reading So You’re on the Job Market, Part I: Preparation (Repost)

Is America in Decline?

There are a lot of political pundits and observers that are amazed by the success of the Trump campaign. I am not one of them. The reason why I am not surprised is the subtext that is defining the 2016 campaign. There is a very real perception that the U.S. is a county in decline. The Trump campaign has embraced this perception head on, and I argue performing well because of it. The campaign slogan “Let’s Make America Great Again” does not leave any doubt about the country’s perceived trajectory. Ben Carson, among others, has successfully channeled this narrative too, Continue reading Is America in Decline?

Looking for two-sided coattail effects: Integrated parties and multilevel elections in the U.S.

The following is a guest post by Amuitz Garmendia Madariaga & H. Ege Ozen.  Amuitz and Ege are Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University.  This post is based on an article of the same name, which is forthcoming in Electoral Studies.  Multilevel structures of government are spreading all around the world but we still know little regarding the relation between tiers of subnational, national and supranational institutions. We have recently published an article in which we delve into this matter by analyzing how and to what extent is the federal structure in the United States incorporated into individual Continue reading Looking for two-sided coattail effects: Integrated parties and multilevel elections in the U.S.