US-ROK Burden Sharing: You Want Us to Pay What Now?

Since the beginning of the Trump Administration US allies have been walking something of a tightrope. Given the President’s Trumps strange relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea in particular has been in an especially strange place over the past three years. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump threatened to pull US forces out of South Korea if that country did not increase its funding for the US presence. More recently, the Trump Administration announced the cancellation of a series of large-scale military exercises with South Korea. The most recent dust-up involves demands by president Trump that Continue reading US-ROK Burden Sharing: You Want Us to Pay What Now?

Graduate student, nominate thyself

This is a quick post that was inspired by some thinking I was doing yesterday while finishing up a project and a resulting tweet that seemed to garner a bit of attention (relative standards here, people). You can find it below. The punch line is this: You should probably nominate your own work for awards, whether they be papers, conference presentations, or (eventually) book awards. Even as a graduate student. This is something I really only realized you could do a couple of years ago. I came into graduate school knowing next to nothing about how the academic profession actually Continue reading Graduate student, nominate thyself

The whistleblower story is going to get a lot worse

A copy of the whistleblower’s report to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community was released this morning. I don’t have a lot to add beyond the analyses that are circulating around various media outlets, but there is one point that I think is worth highlighting that maybe isn’t yet getting the attention it deserves. The bulk of the story focuses on President Trump’s apparent efforts to leverage access and US military aid to get Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The report itself is impressive insofar as it details a more protracted, and broader, effort Continue reading The whistleblower story is going to get a lot worse

Development-Oriented Deployments in Latin America: Soft Power or Politicized Instrument?

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Carla Martinez Machain, Michael E. Flynn, and Alissandra Stoyan . They are all faculty in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. Can the U.S. military be an effective soft power instrument? Unlike the more traditional instruments of hard power (military force, sanctions, etc), soft power involves using persuasion to shape the preferences of other actors so that they will do what you want them to out of their own will. Soft power tools are usually thought of as emphasizing diplomacy, culture, and education. This matters because while coercing or Continue reading Development-Oriented Deployments in Latin America: Soft Power or Politicized Instrument?

Politics and Peer Review in AMLO’s Mexico

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Alissandra Stoyan and Carla Martinez Machain. They are, respectively, an assistant and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. On February 21st, Mexico’s Fondo de Cultura Económica (a not-for-profit publisher partially funded by the Mexican Government that is often referred to as “El Fondo”) disbanded the editorial team of the Economics peer-reviewed journal El Trimestre Económico.  The journal’s editorial team had been composed of researchers representing Mexico’s top research universities, including CIDE, ITAM, UNAM, and the Universidad Iberoamericana. As of writing, the journal’s editorial team page on Continue reading Politics and Peer Review in AMLO’s Mexico

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?