This article explores the theoretical and empirical linkages between migration and the global allocation of foreign development assistance. We argue that the size of the immigrant population from a recipient country residing in a donor country is an important determinant of dyadic aid commitments and we present two complementary hypotheses probing this relationship. First, we argue that donors use foreign aid to achieve their broader immigration goals, targeting migrant sending areas to increase development and decrease the demand for entry into the donor. Second, we hypothesize that migrants already residing in the donor mobilize to lobby for additional aid for their homeland. Empirical tests on a large sample of country pairs comprised of twenty-two donors and more than 150 recipients over the period 1993-2008 show robust support for these hypotheses.
Recent articles conclude that foreign aid, like other non-tax resources, inhibits political change in authoritarian regimes. This paper challenges both the negative political effects of aid and the similarity of aid to other resources. It develops a model incorporating changing donor preferences and the heterogeneity of foreign aid. Consistent with the model’s predictions, an empirical test for the period 1973-2010 shows that, on average, the negative relationship between aid and the likelihood of democratic change is confined to the cold war period. However, in the post-cold war non-democratic recipients of particular strategic importance can still use aid to thwart change. The relationship between oil revenue and democratic change does not follow the same pattern over time or across recipients. This supports the conclusion that aid has different properties than other, fungible, resources.
This paper uses data from the AidData project to analyze the association between foreign aid and the likelihood of democratization in aid recipients. Previous studies have argued that aid can entrench dictatorships, making a transition less likely. I find evidence that the relationship between aid and democratization depends on characteristics of the aid donor. During the period from 1992 to 2007, aid from democratic donors is often found to be associated with an increase in the likelihood of a democratic transition. This is consistent with a scenario in which aid promotes democratization and/or a situation in which democratic donors reward countries that take steps in a democratic direction. In either case, it suggests that democratic donors use scarce aid resources to encourage democracy. During the same period, aid from authoritarian donors exhibits a negative relationship with democratization. This suggests that the source of funding matters, with donor preferences regarding democracy helping to determine the link between aid and democratization.
The potential for international law to reduce power asymmetries depends on weaker countries learning to navigate the legal system. This paper examines the use of courts by developing countries to defend their trade interests. Power relations and low capacity may prevent these countries from fully participating in the international trade system. Yet some developing countries have been among the most active participants in GATT/WTO adjudication. We argue that high startup costs for using trade litigation are a barrier to developing country use of the dispute settlement process. Analysis of dispute initiation from 1975 to 2003 shows that past experience in trade adjudication, as either a complainant or a defendant, increases the likelihood that a developing country will initiate disputes. As weaker countries overcome these initial capacity constraints they will increasingly benefit from the international legal structures they have joined.
Recent research emphasizes the role of domestic politics in donor countries in determining foreign aid policy. However, such studies have neglected diff erences between powerful donors that pursue strategic priorities with aid - often generating positive externalities - and smaller donors that free-ride on the public goods created by major power aid. This paper argues that the variation in donor power is particularly important for evaluating the impact of ideology on aid flows. We find that in major powers, where strategic goals are disproportionately important in aid policy, right and left governments give similar amounts of total aid. In other donors, where aid represents more of a welfare transfer from donor to recipient, right governments cut aid budgets. We also fi nd that the right and left do allocate aid di fferently in major powers, with right governments reallocating aid toward more strategically important recipients - the diff erence between parties is in cross-recipient allocation rather than in the overall amount of aid flows in major power donors.
This paper examines the recent commitment by developed countries to allocate $100 billion per year for climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. It does so by drawing lessons from the experience of official development assistance. The results of this analysis suggest that a climate funding regime, as currently proposed, fails to avoid many of the problems faced by the existing foreign aid regime. In some cases, the development of parallel structures for climate funding and aid exacerbates existing difficulties, and the failure to integrate development and climate funding foregoes the possibility of significant synergies. An alternate proposal is advanced that seeks to (1) avoid duplication by utilizing existing structures; (2) ensure additionality of funding; (3) measure success by outcomes rather than inputs; and (4) harness the potential of issue linkage between development and climate mechanisms to create incentives for developed states to carry out their commitments toward their developing country counterparts.
This paper develops and tests the argument that industrialized countries pursue an agenda of strategic development in their relations with developing countries. In an increasingly interdependent world, wealthy states have an interest in promoting development abroad. This leads them to focus on development, but disproportionately in the poorer states where the benefit from development to the wealthy states is higher. Hypotheses are tested in the area of foreign aid, where evidence is found that donors alter the composition of aid across recipients to account for different levels of government capacity to use aid for development, but also increase the volume of aid flows to developing countries with which they have strong existing connections. The attention to government capacity is new, suggesting that in an interdependent world relations between industrialized and developing countries have evolved, with development promotion becoming an important, strategic goal for industrialized states.
International trade agreements lead to more foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries. We examine the causal mechanisms underpinning this trade-investment linkage by asking whether institutional features of preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which allow governments to make more credible commitments to protect foreign investments, indeed result in greater FDI. We explore three such institutional differences. We first examine whether PTAs that have entered into force lead to greater FDI than PTAs that have merely been negotiated and signed since only the former constitute a binding commitment under international law. Second, do trade agreements that have investment clauses lead to greater FDI? Third, do PTAs with dispute settlement mechanisms lead to greater FDI? Analyses of FDI flows into 122 developing countries from 1971 to 2007 show that more FDI is induced by trade agreements that include stronger mechanisms for credible commitment. Institutional diversity in international agreements matters.
This paper examines the striking transformation of the European Commission from a weak antitrust regulator with no authority to regulate mergers into an extremely powerful, unambiguously supranational regulator of market competition, with broad authority to review and impose conditions upon or even prohibit mergers. To explain this institutional development, which was not intended by the member states and opposed by the largest, most powerful ones, I put forward an actor-centric historical institutionalist theory. It emphasizes institutional feedbacks from economic integration to the preferences of sub- and transnational private actors—actors that treat the broader institutional context as a political opportunity structure. This allows me to specify the conditions under which these actors' pursuit of their private, often commercial interests incrementally leads to supranational market regulation. The theoretical framework also recognizes that institutional change—such as establishing supranational authority—has opponents as well as supporters and identifies the conditions under which the latter are more likely to succeed. Actor-centric historical institutionalism thus can explain institutional changes in the international political economy that take place without directly involvement by, and even contrary to the preferences for autonomy of, powerful states.
A large and increasing share of international humanitarian and development aid is raised from non-governmental sources, allocated by transnational NGOs. We know little about this private foreign aid, not even how it is distributed across recipient countries, much less what explains the allocation. This paper presents an original dataset, based on detailed financial records from most of the major U.S.-based humanitarian and development NGOs, which allows us for the first time to map and analyze the allocation of U.S. private aid. We find no support for the common claim that aid NGOs systematically prioritize their organizational self-interest when they allocate private aid, and we find only limited support for the hypothesis that expected aid effectiveness drives aid allocation. By contrast, we find strong support for the argument that the deeply rooted humanitarian discourse within and among aid NGOs drives their aid allocation, consistent with a view of aid NGOs as principled actors and constructivist theories of international relations. Recipients' humanitarian need is substantively and statistically the most significant determinant of U.S. private aid allocation (beyond a regional effect in favor of Latin American countries). Materialist concerns do not crowd out ethical norms among these NGOs.
This introduction to the special issue combines a review of the existing literature about the causes and consequences of private regulation in the global economy with a preview of the articles in this issue. To organize this (p)review, I introduce a conceptual model “beyond supply and demand,” which distinguishes three major subsets of stakeholders of global private regulation, which may (but need not) overlap: the political actors who call for private regulation, the rule-makers who provide such governance for the global economy, and what I call the “targets” of the private regulations, who are supposed to behave according to these private rules. I then highlight the three core questions addressed by the contributions to the special issue: (1) How do private bodies attain regulatory authority; why do private regulators provide governance; and why do the targets of the rules comply? (2) Who governs the global economy through private regulations? And (3) what are the effects of private regulation, and how does the rise of private regulation affect public regulatory authority and capacity?
Guest editor's introduction to 11-article special issue on "Private Regulation in the Global Economy"
Private regulation often entails competition among multiple rule-makers, but private rules and regulators do not always compete. For substantial parts of the global economy, a single private body (per issue) is recognized as the focal point for global rule-making. The selection of the institutional setting here effectively takes place prior to drawing up the specific rules, with important consequences for the politics of regulating global markets. In this paper, I develop a theoretical explanation for how a private transnational organization may attain such preeminence—how it can become the focal point for rule-making—in its area of expertise. I emphasize the transnational body's capacity to pursue its organizational self-interest, as well as timing and sequence. I then examine empirically a particularly important body of this kind, which today is essentially uncontested as the focal point for private regulation in its area, even though its standards often have substantial distributive implications: the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). I analyze the persistence and changes in the IEC's formal rules or procedures and informal norms, as well as the broadening scope of its regulatory authority and membership over more than a century.
In this concluding essay to the special issue on Private Regulation in the Global Economy, I review the main findings, focused on the answers that the papers in this issue jointly suggest to the three sets of core questions noted in the introductory essay: (1) How do private bodies attain regulatory authority? Why do private regulators provide governance and why do the targets of these rules comply? (2) Who governs? Who are the key actors in private regulation and what are their motivations? (3) What is the effect of the rise of private regulation on public regulatory authority and capacity? I then identify and discuss several key issues to develop a research agenda for what I call “global private politics.”
This chapter examines the role of private actors in raising, allocating, and implementing international development aid (understood as resources supposedly intended to lastingly improve the well-being of individuals and groups in another country). Private individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have long been important actors in the transnational governance of economic development through aid. Yet some, such as foundations providing funds for development projects in other countries, have become much more prominent in international development during the last two decades while others, such as NGOs, have become far more numerous or have taken on new roles. we organize our discussion around a distinction between four different kinds of new actors (or actors who have taken on new roles): (1) transnational NGOs as a channel of delivery for public (governmental) development aid; (2) transnational aid NGOs as agenda-setters; (3) foundations and other private sources of development aid; (4) transnational aid NGOs as private providers of privately funded aid. For each of them, we discuss the sources of their power and influence and examine how ideas about development and aid have shaped the rise of these new players, identifying throughout promising and important areas for future research. In the final section, we consider peer-to-peer development aid and related innovative attempts to solve pervasive accountability problems in development aid. Our review of the research frontier on this issue suggests: Increasingly, an analysis of global economic governance through development aid without attention to private players is not just incomplete but is likely to result in biased analyses and misguided policy advice.
This chapter analyzes the institutionalization of the transnational legal order(s) for the safety of internationally traded agricultural goods for human consumption ("food safety"). Today, in the public realm, the TLO for trade-related food safety is jointly underpinned by two international organizations (and their rules and procedures): the World Trade Organization, WTO, on the basis of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a hybrid public-private body jointly created by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. Following Halliday and Shaffer, I ask first: Does Codex Alimentarius standard-setting under the SPS-Agreement meet the definition of a TLO? I find that it does. But what exactly is being ordered by this TLO for food safety? Each TLO corresponds to an issue area, i.e., an issue or behavior that allegedly "need[s] to be addressed transnationally" to avoid problems or undesirable consequences for some stakeholders (Halliday and Shaffer 2013:37). Before we can assess how well the legal and geographic scope of the TLO fit the issue as conceived by the actors at the time, it is necessary to establish how the issue came to be understood as it was understood by those actors at that time. I will therefore examine in this chapter the development of food aid as a distinct issue in need of transnational ordering, including how food aid came to be seen as a trade issue, keeping in mind that the conceptual, legal, and geographic boundaries of both the issue and the TLO are socially and politically constructed, and it is highly likely that there is some recursivity between the two processes.
This article/chapter analyzes the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a "global governor." Founded in 1906 by the nascent professional associations of electrical engineers from nine countries, the IEC was set up to help its members coordinate on common terms, symbols, and basic measurements for science and the emerging field of electrical engineering. Today, the IEC is the clear focal point for international electrotechnical standard-setting. Its more than 5,000 standards govern research methods, product designs, and purchase specifications across a broad range of industries and are frequently incorporated into laws and regulations in many of the hundred-fifty countries in which the IEC has member bodies or affiliates. In the first half of this chapter, I describe and explain the remarkable institutional evolution of this international nongovernmental organization over the past century. I identify functional incentives for the increased scope and geographic reach of IEC governance, but institutional change from 1906 to 2008 was ultimately a political process, driven by specific actors pursuing their particular interests. Internationally competitive firms have often pushed for broadening the scope of international standardization since it reduces non-tariff barriers and integrates markets. And the IEC, as a non-governmental international organization, has at times been an actor itself, augmenting its expertise-based authority by developing formal and informal institutions, increasing effectiveness and efficiency, and getting governments to delegate international standard-setting functions to the IEC. In the second half of the chapter, I put IEC standard-setting (that is, transnational rule-making) into the context of the broader governance sequence: agenda-setting, rule-making, implementation, monitoring, and enforcement. For each of these activities, I identify the key groups with a stake in IEC governance, their motivations and resources, and why they do or do not play a role as "governors." I argue and show that the key characters at each stage in this process differ greatly. The answer to Dahl's deceptively simple question, "Who Governs?," therefore depends upon the stage of the governance sequence, but I find that formal and informal institutions at the domestic (as well as at the international) level generally determine who the main actors are at each stage of the governance sequence and what kinds of power resources they can use to exert influence in this realm of global private politics.
Over the past two decades, governments have delegated extensive regulatory authority to international private-sector organizations. This internationalization and privatization of rule making has been motivated not only by the economic benefits of common rules for global markets, but also by the realization that government regulators often lack the expertise and resources to deal with increasingly complex and urgent regulatory tasks. The New Global Rulers examines who writes the rules in international private organizations, as well as who wins, who loses--and why. The book examines three powerful global private regulators: the International Accounting Standards Board, which develops financial reporting rules used by corporations in more than a hundred countries; and the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which account for 85 percent of all international product standards. Büthe and Mattli offer both a new framework for understanding global private regulation and detailed empirical analyses of such regulation based on multi-country, multi-industry business surveys. They find that global rule making by technical experts is highly political, and that even though rule making has shifted to the international level, domestic institutions remain crucial. Influence in this form of global private governance is not a function of the economic power of states, but of the ability of domestic standard-setters to provide timely information and speak with a single voice. Büthe and Mattli show how domestic institutions' abilities differ, particularly between the two main standardization players, the United States and Europe.
Kurzban et al. argue that the experiences of “effort,” “boredom,” and “fatigue” are indications that the costs of a task outweigh its benefits. Reducing the costs of tasks to “opportunity costs” has the effect of rendering tasks costless and of denying that they can be inherently boring or tedious, something that “vigilance tasks” were intentionally designed to be.
In an earlier article we challenged the findings of Fowler and Dawes (FD) that two genes predict voter turnout as part of a more general critique of “genopolitics.” FD now acknowledge that their finding of a “significant” direct association between MAOA and voting was incorrect, but claim to have replicated their finding of an “indirect” association between 5HTT, self-reported church attendance, and self-reported voting. We show that this finding is likely driven by population stratification and omitted variable bias. We then explain why, from the standpoints of genetics, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, genopolitics is a fundamentally misguided undertaking; we also respond to FD’s charge that some of our previous statements concerning genetics are “highly misleading,” “extremely disingenuous,” and “even incorrect.” We show that their criticisms demonstrate a lack of awareness of some basic principles in genetics and of discoveries in molecular genetics over the past 50 years.
There is growing evidence that the complexity of higher organisms does not correlate with the “complexity” of the genome (the human genome contains fewer protein coding genes than corn, and many genes are preserved across species). Rather, complexity is associated with the complexity of the pathways and processes whereby the cell utilizes the DNA molecule, and much else, in the process of phenotype formation. These processes include the activity of the epigenome, non-coding RNAs, alternative splicing, and post-translational modifications. Not accidentally, all of these processes appear to be of particular importance for the human brain, the most complex organ in nature. Because these processes can be highly environmentally reactive, they are a key to understanding behavioural plasticity and highlight the importance of the developmental process in explaining behavioural outcomes.
Since the early twentieth century, inheritance was seen as the inheritance of genes. Concurrent with the acceptance of the genetic theory of inheritance was the rejection of the idea that the cytoplasm of the oocyte could also play a role in inheritance and a corresponding devaluation of embryology as a discipline critical for understand- ing human development. Development, and variation in development, came to be viewed solely as matters of genetic inheritance and genetic variation. We now know that inheritance is a matter of both genetic and cytoplasmic inheritance. A growing awareness of the centrality of the cytoplasm in explaining both human development and phenotypic variation has been promoted by two contemporaneous develop- ments: the continuing elaboration of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetics and the global rise of artificial reproductive technologies. I review recent developments in the ongoing elaboration of the role of the cytoplasm in human inheritance and development.
The science of genetics is undergoing a paradigm shift. Recent discoveries, including the activity of retrotransposons, the extent of copy number variations, somatic and chromosomal mosaicism, and the nature of the epigenome as a regulator of DNA expressivity, are challenging a series of dogmas concerning the nature of the genome and the relationship between genotype and phenotype. DNA, once held to be the unchanging template of heredity, now appears subject to a good deal of environmental change; considered to be identical in all cells and tissues of the body, there is growing evidence that somatic mosaicism is the normal human condition; and treated as the sole biological agent of heritability, we now know that the epigenome, which regulates gene expressivity, can be inherited via the germline. These developments are particularly significant for behavior genetics for at least three reasons: First, these phenomena appear to be particularly prevalent in the human brain, and likely are involved in much of human behavior; second, they have important implications for the validity of heritability and gene association studies, the methodologies that largely define the discipline of behavior genetics; and third, they appear to play a critical role in development during the perinatal period, and in enabling phenotypic plasticity in offspring in particular. I examine one of the central claims to emerge from the use of heritability studies in the behavioral sciences, the principle of “minimal shared maternal effects,” in light of the growing awareness that the maternal perinatal environment is a critical venue for the exercise of adaptive phenotypic plasticity. This consideration has important implications for both developmental and evolutionary biology
Political scientists are making increasing use of the methodologies of behavior genetics in an attempt to uncover whether or not political behavior is heritable, as well as the specific genotypes that might act as predisposing factors for—or predictors of—political “phenotypes.” Noteworthy among the latter are a series of candidate gene association studies in which researchers claim to have discovered one or two common genetic variants that predict such behaviors as voting and political orientation. We critically examine the candidate gene association study methodology by considering, as a representative example, the recent study by Fowler and Dawes according to which “two genes predict voter turnout.” In addition to demonstrating, on the basis of the data set employed by Fowler and Dawes, that two genes do not predict voter turnout, we consider a number of difficulties, both methodological and genetic, that beset the use of gene association studies, both candidate and genome-wide, in the social and behavioral sciences.
A life course perspective is committed to the proposition that from conception to death, all human outcomes are the result of a continual interaction between the individual and all of the environments that he or she inhabits at any given point in time. Early development is a critical period, a window of time during the life course when a given exposure can have a critical or permanent influence on later outcomes. But the impact of exposures upon outcomes does not end at any specific point in time, inasmuch as life is a continuing interactive and adaptive process. We now know that what applies to human beings, also applies to their genomes. The “outcome” of any gene at any given point in time (whether or not it is used to transcribe a particular protein, what form of that protein, and how much) is a product of the interaction between the gene and the multiple environments of which it is a part, which includes the epigenome, the cell, the biological human, and the assorted environments he or she occupies (e.g., geographical, socio-economic, ethnic, etc.). Early life experiences can permanently “reprogram” the epigenome and gene transcription with life-long behavioral consequences. At the same time, the epigenome as well as the genome continue to be environmentally responsive throughout the life course.
Proponents and critics of the democratic peace have debated the extent to which covert attempts by democracies to overthrow other elected governments are consistent with or contradict democratic peace theory. The existing debate, however, fails to acknowledge that there are multiple democratic peace theories, and that inter-democratic covert intervention might have different implications for different arguments. In this paper, we first distill hypotheses regarding covert foreign regime change from the major norms and institutions theories of democratic peace. Relying primarily on declassified government documents, we then investigate these hypotheses in the context of U.S. covert intervention in Chile (1970-73). The evidence suggests that covert intervention is highly inconsistent with norms and checks-and-balances theories of democratic peace. The evidence is more consistent with selectorate theory, but questions remain because democratic leaders engaged in interventions with a low likelihood of success and a high likelihood that failure would be publicized, which would constitute exactly the type of policy failure that democratic executives supposedly avoid.
Is systematically targeting an adversary’s civilians in war an effective military strategy? This paper assesses the impact of civilian victimization on interstate war outcomes from 1816 to 2007. Although targeting civilians is positively correlated with victory, this general finding is misleading. In fact, there are two distinct types of civilian victimization: coercive victimization—in which a belligerent targets an adversary’s civilians to persuade their government to surrender—and eliminationist victimization—where a belligerent removes members of a target group from a piece of territory it wishes to annex from another state. Coercive targeting is effective only when used against anocracies, but case evidence suggests that it plays a role only when the target state is essentially militarily defeated. Countries that employ eliminationist victimization are more likely to win, but this is primarily because conquering territory is often a prerequisite for implementing this type of strategy. Thus, states are already winning when they engage in this type of victimization. Once we correct for endogeneity, the relationship between eliminationist targeting and victory disappears.
Scholars and policymakers are increasingly interested in the question of whether sustainable democratic institutions can be imposed through military intervention, but appear to be arriving at opposite conclusions. The Bush administration, for example, cited the successful precedents of Germany and Japan after World War II in making the case for democratizing Afghanistan and Iraq. Leading academic studies of the effect of military intervention on democracy, by contrast, find that such interventions on average do little to enhance democracy. Some scholars argue that this is no accident because democratic leaders have few incentives to install democratic systems in other countries, preferring instead to impose a dictator who is responsive to the external intervener’s interests rather than the whims of his domestic public. Existing studies, however, define intervention too broadly. If the key question is whether sustainable democratic institutions can be imposed by military means, then the theoretically appropriate cases are those in which an intervener uses force to change the ruler and/or political institutions of the target state. In this paper, therefore, we examine the effect of one hundred instances of foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC) on the ensuing level of democracy in targets between 1816 and 2008. Our findings corroborate and extend those of previous studies: FIRC by democracies on average leaves the Polity scores of targets unchanged, even after accounting for selection effects in where states choose to intervene via matching techniques. Targets of democratic FIRCs remain firmly entrenched in the autocratic camp. Foreign-imposed regime change by democracies, however, does have a positive effect on democratization in states that are relatively wealthy or ethnically homogeneous; it has a negative effect on poor or heterogeneous states.
Foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC) has been argued to have a pacifying effect on interstate relations: when a victorious power changes the composition of its defeated rival’s government, a recurrence of armed conflict between them becomes very rare. Yet the domestic effects within states that experience FIRC may be less benign. This paper investigates the extent to which FIRC might be a form of “catastrophic success,” dampening international conflict but exacerbating internal conflict. My analysis differentiates between FIRCs that bring entirely new leaders to power versus those that restore a recently overthrown ruler to office. I argue that the former disrupts state power and foments grievances and resentments, whereas the latter does not. Analyzing a dataset of country-years from 1816 to 2008 that includes one hundred FIRCs, I find that only new leader FIRC significantly increases the risk of civil war in the short-term aftermath. New leader FIRC is also especially damaging to the prospects for domestic peace when it is inflicted in conjunction with defeat in an interstate war, and in poor or ethnically heterogeneous countries.
I co-moderated the Shadow Government Blog hosted on ForeignPolicy.com. According to the FP editors, this is the blog that receives the highest amount of traffic from the White House and State Department. This past year, I wrote scores of posts myself (most of op-ed length) and edited hundreds of blogposts submitted by my team.
Also printed in Providence journal, April 18, 2013
I co-moderated the Shadow Government Blog hosted on ForeignPolicy.com. According to the FP editors, this is the blog that receives the highest amount of traffic from the White House and State Department. This past year, I wrote scores of posts myself (most of op-ed length) and edited hundreds of blogposts submitted by my team.
This book examines the role of US women’s organizations in public policy advocacy from the late 19th century through the dawn of the 21st century. It shows that, after winning the vote, women’s groups exploded on the national stage; but after the feminist victories of the 1960s and 1970s, women’s groups’ presence declined dramatically. The book emphasizes the importance of mass membership groups with broad issue agendas for representing women’s interests in national policy debates, as well as women’s relevance in advancing the interests of disadvantaged groups and the general public.
The Million Mom March (favoring gun control) and Code Pink: Women for Peace (focusing on foreign policy, especially the War in Iraq) are organizations that have mobilized women as women in an era when other women’s groups struggled to maintain critical mass and turned away from non-gender-specific public issues. This article addresses how these organizations fostered collective consciousness among women, a large and diverse group, while confronting the echoes of backlash against previous mobilization efforts by women. We argue that the March and Code Pink achieved mobilization success by creating hybrid organizations that blended elements of three major collective action frames: maternalism, egalitarianism, and feminine expression. These innovative organizations invented hybrid forms that cut across movements, constituencies, and political institutions. Using surveys, interviews, and content analysis of organizational documents, this article explains how the March and Code Pink met the contemporary challenges facing women’s collective action in similar yet distinct ways. It highlights the role of feminine expression and concerns about the intersectional marginalization of women in resolving the historic tensions between maternalism and egalitarianism. It demonstrates hybridity as a useful analytical lens to understand gendered organizing and other forms of grassroots collective action.
For at least 20 years, American universities, political scientists, and college students each have been criticized for holding themselves aloof from public life. This article introduces a pedagogical method – research service-learning (RSL) – and examines whether it can provide a means of integrating scholarly theory with civic practice to enhance student outcomes. In particular, we examine whether a modest dose of RSL in the form of an optional course add-on (the “RSL gateway option”) is associated with higher scores on 12 educational and civic measures. We find that the RSL gateway option did not have effects on some important outcomes – such as intellectual engagement, problem solving, and knowledge retention – but it did appear to open students’ eyes to future opportunities in academic research and nonprofit and public sector work. The RSL add-on also appears to have helped students make the intellectual link between scholarly theory and the challenges facing volunteers and voluntary organizations. We argue that RSL, in its gateway-option formulation, is an administratively feasible pedagogy that can simultaneously help to resolve the relevancy dilemmas facing research universities, political scientists, and students seeking connections between the classroom and public policy.
This paper grew out of our experience using research service learning as a voluntary component of PPS 114. It is coauthored with two recent Duke grads who worked for the Hart Leadership Program.
From World War I through the 1960s, U.S. women’s organizations regularly trekked to Capitol Hill to influence Congressional foreign policy debates. Yet by the 1990s, these groups had largely disengaged from international affairs. Why? Using an original dataset of women’s group appearances before Congress from 1916-2000, this study documents and explains this puzzling development by exploring the mutually reinforcing linkages among women’s identity, claims to issue ownership, and interest group evolution. In the case at hand, the advent of citizen and economic groups competing with women’s organizations for ownership of foreign policy questions, coupled with the declining legitimacy of gender “difference” arguments and the resurgence of “sameness” arguments, led women’s groups to focus on the dimensions of foreign policy particularly affecting women’s rights and status and to abandon less explicitly gendered foreign policy issues entirely. As multipurpose women’s associations declined in vitality, and feminist groups fueled by newly available philanthropic dollars staked claim to women’s rights-and-status questions, organized womanhood surrendered much of the foreign-policy issue space over which women had long claimed political authority, and women’s groups’ presence on Capitol Hill waned.
The international trade regime offers various instruments by which states can pursue environmental policies, even at the expense of freer trade. Why - and what are the implications? This article traces environmental instruments to pressures on governments when the World Trade Organization (WTO) was designed in the early 1990s: environment-related trade disputes were on the rise, environmentalists were concerned even with regional trade agreements, and countries from the North and the South clashed over the possibility of green-protectionism. Consequently, WTO-permissible environmental instruments share two key features. First, information-revealing conditions compel states to divulge private information in order to maintain trade-restricting environmental measures. Second, the fact that the trade regime has a formal dispute settlement mechanism at all, while many other international regimes do not, endows WTO rules and officials with structural supremacy over other areas of international law, including environmental law. An illustration from the WTO's Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement shows how this works in practice. The argument advances knowledge in political science, law, and policy: about dispute settlement, institutional design, and information-provision in international organizations.
In life, delegation is fundamental. But it is difficult, especially when attempted internationally, as in the long delegation chains to the United Nations family and other global governance structures. There, much hinges on the design of delegation relationships. What prompts another entity to fall in line - and if it does not, what can be done? For international organizations, the conventional answer is simple: when designing institutions, member-states endow themselves with stringent control mechanisms, such as monopolization of financing or vetoes over decision-making in the new body. But as Tana Johnson shows, the conventional answer is outdated. States rarely design international organizations alone. Instead, negotiations usually involve international bureaucrats employed in pre-existing organizations. To unveil these overlooked but pivotal players, Organizational Progeny uses new data on nearly 200 intergovernmental organizations and detailed accounts of the origins of prominent and diverse institutions - the World Food Program, United Nations Development Program, International Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Financial Action Task Force, Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. When international bureaucrats have a say, they often strive to insulate new institutions against the usual control mechanisms by which states steer, monitor, or reverse organizational activities. This increases control costs for states, is difficult to roll back, and even produces bodies that powerful countries initially opposed. The result is a proliferation of organizational progeny over which national governments are literally losing "control". Johnson explores what this means for the democratic nature of global governance and how practitioners can encourage or staunch this phenomenon.
Winner of the International Studies Association's 2015 Chadwick F. Alger Prize for best book on international organization and multilateralism.
Bureaucrats working in international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) regularly help states design new IGOs. Sometimes international bureaucrats possess limited discretion in institutional design; sometimes, they enjoy broad discretion. In fact, they gain discretion even when they openly oppose state preferences. This contravenes conventional thinking about delegation: discretion should decrease as preference divergence between states and international bureaucrats increases. We develop a principal-agent theory of how much discretion states grant to international bureaucrats in the design of new IGOs. This is novel: while principal-agent theories of international delegation are common, scholars have not analyzed principal-agent relationships in the creation of new IGOs. We argue that even an international bureaucracy that disagrees with states’ design preferences may enjoy substantial design leeway, because of states’ need for bureaucratic expertise. In developing this argument, we employ a formal principal-agent model, case studies, and an original data set.
Why do governmental institutions look as they do, and who controls them? International relations scholars often point to states. However, two-thirds of today’s international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) were created not by states alone, but with participation by international bureaucrats working in pre-existing IGOs. International bureaucrats’ design activities range from modest to very proactive. Meanwhile, their interests differ from states’ interests: insulating their organizational family from state intervention facilitates international bureaucrats’ pursuit of material security, legitimacy, and policy advancement. The more proactive the design activities of international bureaucrats, I argue, the more insulated the resulting institution will be from mechanisms of state control (e.g., financial monopolization or veto power). Statistical analyses of an original dataset support the prediction and are robust to alternative specifications as well as approaches to control for endogeneity. The implications – concerning institutional design, principal-agent relationships, bureaucratic autonomy, and democratic deficits – go far beyond international relations.
Surprisingly little research investigates a stark reality: the vast majority of today’s international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) were crafted not by states alone, but with participation by international bureaucrats working in pre-existing IGOs. What explains this phenomenon? Drawing on international relations scholarship, this article develops predictions involving the capabilities of states, or a matter’s salience to states. The predictions are tested with a new and original dataset that captures, for the first time, variation in the roles that international bureaucrats play in the institutional design arena. Statistical analyses find that states’ need for expertise, as well as the design negotiations’ distance from high-politics, leave openings for international bureaucrats to enter institutional design processes. The findings enhance our understanding of institutional design, principal-agent relationships, non-state actors, and divisions of labor in contemporary global governance.
States frequently disagree on the importance of cooperation in different issue areas. Under these conditions, when do states prefer to integrate regimes instead of keeping them separated? We develop a strategic theory of regime integration and separation. The theory highlights the nature of spillovers between issues. Positive spillovers exist when cooperation in one issue area aids the pursuit of objectives in another issue area; negative spillovers exist when cooperation in one issue area impedes this pursuit in another issue area. Conventional wisdom suggests that both positive and negative spillovers foster greater integration. We argue that negative spillovers encourage integration while positive spillovers do not. States integrate not to exploit positive spillovers between issues but to mitigate negative spillovers. To test our theory, we examine the degree of integration or separation among environmental regimes.
Unfavorable views toward a particular state will result in skepticism about the legitimacy of international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) in which that state possesses influence. The more extensive the avenues of influence, the stronger this “guilt by association.” The rationale is two-fold. First, a state that possesses institutionalized influence (e.g., a veto) within an intergovernmental organization faces substantial difficulties in credibly committing to non-interference with organizational activities. Second, even if a state somehow could commit to abstention from overt interference, it may exert covert ideational influence if it already has embedded its values into an IGO. Elites and laypeople alike recognize the avenues of influence that fuel guilt-by-association. With statistical analyses of public opinion data from 35,397 people in 23 countries, I provide the first systematic evidence that guilt-by-association exists: for the United States, Russia, Japan, and Pakistan, vis-à-vis the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. The evidence is robust to numerous alternative specifications. The findings contribute to international relations scholarship by enhancing our understanding of threats to IGO legitimacy and by providing concrete evidence for a mechanism by which antipathy toward powerful states matters in the international realm.
While a great deal of research has focused on understanding the foundations of public support for American courts, scant attention has been paid to the role of the media for such attitudes. Given the media’s demonstrated ability to inﬂuence public opinion, this remains a substantial gap in the literature. In the present paper we examine how different types of media—sensationalist (i.e., political radio and cable news) or sober (i.e., newspapers and network news) — inﬂuence individuals’ attitudes toward both the U.S. Supreme Court and courts at the state level. In line with our predictions, we ﬁnd that sensationalist media exposure depresses both diffuse and speciﬁc support for American courts. Additionally, our results call into question the unconditional nature of the ubiquitous sophistication-approval relationship. We ﬁnd that sophistication’s positive effect on court attitudes is conditional on an individual’s particular source of political information.
The ability to monitor state behavior has become a critical tool of international governance. Systematic monitoring allows for the creation of numerical indicators that can be used to rank, compare and essentially censure states. This article argues that the ability to disseminate such numerical indicators widely and instantly constitutes an exercise of social power, with the potential to change important policy outputs. It explores this argument in the context of the United States’ efforts to combat trafficking in persons and find evidence that monitoring has important effects: countries are more likely to criminalize human trafficking when they are included in the US annual Trafficking in Persons Report, while countries that are placed on a “watch list” are also more likely to criminalize. These findings have broad implications for international governance and the exercise of soft power in the global information age.
It is a striking feature of multilateral cooperation that although the United States often leads in the creation of treaties, it sometimes never joins those treaties or does so only after considerable delay. Most international relations theory expects states to join treaties as long as the benefits outweigh the costs. Domestic theories modify this with the constraints of institutional veto players. Yet, sometimes neither of these arguments explains the delay or absence of US participation. This paper supplements these explanations with an opportunity cost theory that argues that the advice and consent process sometimes slows or stalls because it imposes costs in terms of legislative time and political capital that politicians prefer to spend on other priorities. These costs alter the calculus of key players and may obstruct or delay the process, sometimes leading the President and Senators to deprioritize treaties despite their interests in their success. Statistical analysis of the stages of the treaty process supports the argument. The priority the Senate and President give to treaties depends not only on the value they assign to the treaty, but also on the value of other possible policy achievements. Presidents are less, not more likely to transmit treaties to the Senate the more support he has in Congress. Furthermore, the more support the President has in Congress, the more the cost of Senate floor time matters for advice and consent.
Election boycotts are over twice as common when international observers are present. Do international observers increase election boycotts as this correlation and past research suggest? This article argues not. Observers tend to go to elections with many problems and it is primarily these, rather than monitors, that drive boycotts. Furthermore, opposition parties have reasons to hope that observers can improve the quality of the election or that they will increase attention to election fraud, and therefore opposition parties may actually abandon boycott plans. Whether they do, however, depends on their expectations about how the observers will behave. This makes it important to account for the varying reputation of observer organizations. Thus, using matching to address the selection problem, this article shows that international observers can actually deter boycotts, but only if the observers are reputable.
Why do election monitors sometimes issue contradictory statements or endorse flawed elections? The answers are not always straightforward; in some cases, the monitors’ good intentions may undermine their credibility.
As the pressure to invite international election monitors rose at the end of the Cold War, states refused to grant the United Nations a dominant role. Thus, today multiple intergovernmental, regional and international non-governmental organizations often monitor the same elections with equal authority. This article examines the costs and benefits of this complex regime to highlight some possible broader implications of regime complexity. It argues that the availability of many different organizations facilitates action that might otherwise have been blocked for political reasons. Furthermore, when different international election monitoring agencies agree, their consensus can bolster their individual legitimacy as well as the legitimacy of the international norms they stress, and thus magnify their influence on domestic politics. Unfortunately the election monitoring example also suggests that complex regimes can engender damaging inter-organizational politics and that the different biases, capabilities, and standards of organizations sometime can lead organizations to outright contradict each other or work at cross purposes.
This data collection focuses on elections and election monitoring throughout the world. Dataset 1, Data on International Election Monitoring (DIEM), codes the assessement and activities of international election monitoring organizations to national-level legislative and presidential elections in 108 countries from 1980-2004. Dataset 2, Quality of Elections Data (QED), codes the quality of national-level legislative and presidential elections in 172 countries from 1978 to 2004. Dataset 3, Supplementary Election Data, includes supplementary information on all direct presidential and legislative elections in 182 countries from 1975-2004.
This paper explores how different membership models affect the ability of organizations to reduce regional heterogeneity and promote integration. The paper studies the advantages and disadvantages of different membership models, ranging from inclusive convoys to exclusive clubs. It argues that convoys have advantages in certain areas of cooperation, but that generally clubs offer a wider and stronger array of tools of influence. However, because all regions face constraints in terms of existing institutional arrangements, the paper explores ways that regions can alter their existing structure to progress along the path of integration. The paper also discusses the benefits of having multiple regional organizations in a form of layered integration. Drawing especially on the European experience, the paper then discusses modes of differential integration and options for varying membership based on specific instances of cooperation within an existing organization. The paper ends by considering the implications for Asia.
In this essay I overturn a long standing belief that the practice of legitimate opposition was discovered in the late 18th century in United States and Great Britain. Examining the institutions and practices of fifth century Athens, I show that the Athenians engaged in the practice. I draw out a series of important normative and theoretical implications on the basis of this conclusion.
The paper provides a textbook style overview of theories of party competition and citizen-politician linkage and principal-agent relations.
The paper explains how occupational experiences shape three dimensions of political preference formation: concerning income distribution, libertarian or authoritarian political governance, and exclusionary or inclusionary conceptions of political citizenship. The paper involves extensive statistical analysis.
We investigate the effect of welfare state retrenchment on vote support for radical right parties in the 2000s. In countries with a legacy of national accommodative communism, early differentiation of major parties on socio-cultural issues and strategies of social policy compensation kept reform losers at bay, which limited votrer success of radical parties. Highly polarized patrimonial regimes, on the contrary, are the most fertile breeding ground for the radial right due to the high levels of inequality and dissatisfation resulting from a rapid dismantling of the welfare state.
The paper explains where and why Latin American voters build clientelistic linkages to parties, and why sometimes, but not always, parties make efforts to provide clientelistic targeted goods to voters that remain unreciprocated by voters' partisan choices. The paper involves an original dataset and extensive statistical analysis.
The paper reconstructs the development of the field of comparative political economy since the early 1980s as a steady complexification of theoretical models to increase the empirical explanatory reach of analysis.
Examines rival theories of party system change in postindustrial capitalism and provides evidence that realignment theories are most consistent with the data.
Based on a survey of legislators in 12 Latin American countries, the first part of the book develops empirical measures of the political alignments that prevail in these countries and the differential relevance of political alignments ("programmatic structuration"). The second part of the book goes systematically through a range of explanations why party systems develop "stronger" or "weaker" political alignments and what the consequences thereof may be for the political economy and regime stability of current Latin American polities.
Abstract The resurgence of revolutionary literature or Red Classics at the turn of the century is indicative of the cultural logic of the revolutionary hegemony during Mao and post-Mao China. Revolutionary hegemony served quite effectively to legitimate Mao Zedong’s, and much of Deng Xiaoping’s reign, but it has become increasingly difficult to sustain its viability and efficacy. From the beginning of the new century, both the state and consumer popular culture sectors have pushed for a Red Classic resurgence. While the ideological content and styles of the Red Classics are apparently incommensurable to China’s social reality today, their current popularity suggests a success in capturing or eliciting emotional responses from the audience primarily derived from their lived and felt experience during the Mao era. For the state, the Red Classics and the entire revolutionary legacy can now exist only as mummies of history, serving as a nationalist, “patriotic” narrative of the recent past. Meanwhile, the Red Classics is reinvented as nostalgia, a commodity in China’s cultural market. The paper examines the genealogy and current reinvention of the Red Classics, in order to shed some light on China’s post-revolutionary cultural politics. http://www.springerlink.com/content/2661414324308725/
A commonly proffered theory to explain the use of elections in authoritarian regimes is that they help identify talented young leaders who can be groomed for leadership positions. Unfortunately, due to the difficulties of obtaining data in authoritarian settings, this hypothesis has not been tested satisfactorily. We examine candidate-level data from the 2007 Vietnamese National Assembly (VNA) election and subsequent selection of candidates for top positions within the VNA and for top ministry positions. We find no evidence that vote share is associated with promotion to leadership positions in the VNA and only limited evidence for vote share association with ministerial posts. Instead, the results indicate that leadership selection takes place within the party rather than through elections. Furthermore, behavior within the assembly suggests that those who were chosen may have been selected based on their loyalty or at least pliancy to the party elites.
A growing literature demonstrates a strong statistical association between the presence of legislative opposition in authoritarian regimes and investment. This finding has been interpreted as evidence that authoritarian legislatures constrain executive decisions and therefore reduce the threat of expropriation. Although the empirical relationship is robust, the micro-logic of the relationship between authoritarian legislatures and property rights is both theoretically unsatisfying and empirically untested. Scholars have not provided systematic evidence that authoritarian parliaments are able to restrain the actions of state leaders, reverse activities they disagree with, or remove authoritarian leaders who violate the implied power-sharing arrangement. In this article, we provide an alternative explanation for the robust correlation. We argue that authoritarian legislatures, by providing a forum for horse trading between multiple private actors, are far better at generating corporate governance legislation that protects investors from the avarice of corporate insiders than they are at preventing expropriation by governments. Our statistical analysis reveals that the strength of authoritarian legislatures is associated with corporate governance rules and not expropriation risk.
This paper aims to quantitatively evaluate the microeconomic consequences of the four percent interest rate subsidy program – the main component of the Vietnamese government’s economic stimulus package in 2009¬, which was intended assist recovery from the global economic and financial recession. Our analyses based on the Provincial Competitive Index (PCI) 2009 survey and accounting data of firms listed on Vietnam’s two stock exchanges show that firms receiving subsidized loans were more likely to add labor, expand investment, and possess optimistic business plans. On the other hand, we find evidence that not all business activity generated by the stimulus led to productivity increases - a non-trivial proportion of subsidized loans were not used to invest in production or expansion, but for speculative activities such as real estate and stock market trading.
Which components of power sharing contribute to the duration of peace and what explains the linkages between institutional design and stability? The authors argue that certain types of political power sharing are associated with more durable peace than others, primarily through their positive effects on governance and public service delivery. In particular, closed-list proportional representation (PR) electoral systems stand out among power-sharing arrangements, due to their ability to deliver superior governance outcomes which, in turn, can promote stability by undercutting the initial motivations for conflict or by reducing the feasibility of rebellion. The authors argue that these positive outcomes result from closed-list PR’s ability to increase party discipline and checks on executive power, while reducing incentives for personalistic voting. The introduction of political institutions in postconflict negotiated settlements allows us to test the independent effects of institutions on governance and stability using survival analysis and a case study.
An influential literature has demonstrated that legislative transparency can improve the performance of parliamentarians in democracies. In a democracy, the incentive for improved performance is created by voters’ responses to newly available information. Building on this work, donor projects have begun to export transparency interventions to authoritarian regimes under the assumption that nongovernmental organizations and the media can substitute for the incentives created by voters. Such interventions, however, are at odds with an emerging literature that argues that authoritarian parliaments primarily serve the role of co-optation and limited power sharing, where complaints can be raised in a manner that does not threaten regime stability. We argue that under these conditions, transparency may have perverse effects, and we test this theory with a randomized experiment on delegate behavior in query sessions in Vietnam, a single-party authoritarian regime. We find no evidence of a direct effect of the transparency treatment on delegate performance; however, further analysis reveals that delegates subjected to high treatment intensity demonstrate robust evidence of curtailed participation and damaged reelection prospects. These results make us cautious about the export of transparency without electoral sanctioning.
(with Ricardo Guzman). Public Choice.
"Thinking About Order Without Thought." In Tullock's Contributions to Spontaneous Order Studies, Public Choice Special Issue, 135: 79-88.
“Everything You Know About Recycling is Wrong.” (5,000 words). Cato Unbound June.
This paper extends McKelvey and Ordeshook’s (1972) Calculus of Voting, providing a direct derivation of the conditions under which voters will vote strategically: choose their second-most preferred candidate in order to prevent their least-preferred candidate from winning. Addressing this theoretical problem is important, as nearly all empirical research on strategic voting either implicitly or explicitly tests hypotheses which originate from this seminal model. The formal result allows us to isolate the subset of voters to which strategic voting hypotheses properly apply, and in turn motivates a critical reevaluation of past empirical work. In making this argument, we develop a unified and parsimonious framework for understanding competing models of tactical voter choice. The typology helps to elucidate the methodological difficulties in studying tactical behavior when faced with heterogeneous explanatory models, and suggests the need for both theoretical caution and more precise data instruments in future empirical work.
Br J Philos Sci (2012) 63 (1): 1-26.
An invited 4400 word article for the National Humanities Center "On the human" web site.
A one hour discussion of the nature and prospects for economics with a well-known economist in a discussion format, afterward placed on line.
Scholars have been puzzled by the high level of support for democracy, as well as the high level of support for the authoritarian regime, in China, as revealed in numerous surveys. In this paper, Shi and Lu argue that people in different societies may understand democracy in distinct ways. Confucian culture defines democracy in terms of Minben, which is different from the procedural understanding of democracy following the liberal tradition. These two definitions generate different expectations for the government, provide varying standards for assessing political legitimacy, and define distinct functions of participation. Their findings suggest that meaningful comparative studies of support for democracy require scholars to be sensitive to culturally embedded understandings of democracy in different societies.
This paper examines the subjective evaluation of the changes and continuity in status of civil liberties and political rights by ordinary people in China. Our analysis, based on survey data, reveals that an absolute majority of people believe that both civil liberty and political freedom in China have improved significantly since 1979. To verify the validity of the survey findings, we analyze the contents of People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party in 1976, 1978, 1988 and 2002. We found that People’s Daily, the most conservative newspaper in China, published an increasing number of critical articles about the government. Its criticism not only challenged individual officials but also the fundamental development strategy adopted by the CCP. In content analysis, we also trace how four key terms – democracy, freedom, human rights, and religion – were employed in People’s Daily. The analysis shows that the official rhetoric appearing in People’s Daily exhibited a steady positive trend in describing these terms. We conclude our discussion by analyzing those who are more likely to perceive civil liberties and political rights as improved over time in China. The analysis reveals that those with a better education and a higher income are more likely to perceive positive changes in Chinese society.
How do people in authoritarian societies respond to the introduction of semi-competitive elections? Conventional wisdom suggests that once elections are introduced into an authoritarian society, people will quickly grasp the newly available opportunity to pursue their interests. The responses of people in rural China to the introduction of village elections seem to be different from what this conventional model assumes. Many peasants hesitated to vote when elections were available for the first time in their political lives. A two-stage political learning model captures people's responses to electoral reform, and survey data collected from China at both the individual and village levels in 2002 examine the model’s validity.
This is the closing chapter of a five-volume series on Mexico's three major attempts at economic and political modernization in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The series brings together leading economic and political historians from Mexico, the U.S. and Western Europe.
This article suggests that a society’s religious market structure can explain whether religion is “the opium of the people” or a major source of dissident secular mobilization. I present a simple model explaining why under monopolistic conditions, Catholic clergy in Latin America ignored the religious and social needs of poor rural indigenous parishioners but, when confronted by the expansion of U.S. mainline Protestantism, became major institutional promoters of rural indigenous causes. Catholic indigenous parishioners empowered by competition demanded the same benefits their Protestant neighbors were receiving: social services, ecclesiastic decentralization, and the practice of religion in their own language. Unable to decentralize ecclesiastic hierarchies, and facing a reputation deficit for having sided with rich and powerful elites for centuries, Catholic clergy stepped into the secular realm and became active promoters of indigenous movements and ethnic identities; they embraced the cause of the Indians as a member retention strategy and not in response to new doctrinal ideas emanating from Vatican II. Drawing on an original data set of indigenous mobilization in Mexico and on life histories and case studies, I provide quantitative and qualitative evidence of the causal effect of religious competition on the creation of the social bases for indigenous ethnic mobilization.
Though fiscal policies of central governments sometimes provide modest insurance against regional income shocks, this paper shows that pro-cyclical fiscal policy among provincial governments can easily overwhelm these stabilizing effects. We examine the cyclicality of budget items among provincial governments in eight federations, showing that own-source taxes are highly pro-cyclical and contrary to common wisdom, revenue-sharing and discretionary transfers are either acyclical or pro-cyclical. Constituent governments are thus left alone to smooth their own shocks, even though various restraints on borrowing and saving undermine their ability to do so. These results have important policy implications for Latin America and the European Union, as well as the current economic crisis in the U.S.
Researchers widely recognize that economic crises have important political consequences, yet there is little systematic research on the political factors that make nations more or less susceptible to economic crisis. Scholars have long debated the economic consequences of party systems, executive powers, and societal interest groups, but their relationships to crisis proclivity are poorly understood. We assess the political correlates of economic crisis using a cross-sectional time-series analysis of 17 Latin American countries over nearly three decades. Crises are measured along two dimensions—depth and duration—and disaggregated into three types: inflationary, GDP, and fiscal crises. Statistical results suggest that political institutions have a modest, and often unexpected, correlation with crises. More important than institutional attributes are social organization and the nature of party-society linkages, particularly the existence of a densely-organized trade union movement and/or a powerful leftist party. Strong unions and powerful parties of the left are associated with more severe economic crises, though there is some evidence that the combination of left-labor strength can alleviate inflationary crises. The results demonstrate the need to disaggregate the concept of economic crisis and incorporate the societal dimension when studying the political economy of crisis and reform.