School of Politics and International Relations - Events

13
Aug
2015

The problem of intransigently biased agents

In recent years the social nature of scientific inquiry has generated considerable interest. We examine the effect an epistemically impure agent (e.g. big tobacco, big pharma, etc.) has on a community of honest truth-seekers. The inclusion of these intransigently biased agents often prevents the epistemic community from ever converging on the truth. We explore two solutions to this problem, including a novel procedure for endogenous network... Read more

06
Aug
2015

Causal and Moral Additionality for Carbon Offsetting

States, firms, and individuals can “offset” their greenhouse gas emissions by buying offset certificates, paying for the assurance that a quantified number of emissions will be avoided on their behalf in a suitable emission mitigation project. True offsetting can only be achieved when the mitigation project conducted is “additional”. Apart from this causal additionality, however, there is a second issue that has attracted much less attention: to... Read more

30
Jul
2015

Quotas and gender gaps in political participation among advanced industrial democracies: Distinguishing within- and across-country effects

Abstract: Legislative gender quotas could contribute to the advancement of women in all spheres of politics. It is believed that quotas affect women’s attitudes about their role in politics, leading to a greater involvement of women in the political process. This paper proposes to expand the knowledge on the effects of legislative quotas on gender differences in political participation by analyzing the within- and across-country effects of... Read more

23
Jul
2015

Crowd-sourced text analysis: reproducible and agile production of political data

Abstract: Empirical social science often relies on data that are not observed in the field, but are transformed into quantitative variables by expert researchers who analyse and interpret qualitative raw sources. While generally considered the most valid way to produce data, this expert-driven process is inherently difficult to replicate or to assess on grounds of reliability. Using crowd-sourcing to distribute text for reading and... Read more

09
Jul
2015

The Polsby Paradox and Asymmetric Polarisation in the U.S. Congress

Abstract: In this paper, I examine the relationship between the size of a party’s delegation in Congress and the party median voter. The Polsby Paradox indicates that when the Democrats (Republicans) gains seats in Congress, the party median voter should be more conservative (liberal) – so the larger the party delegation, the further its party median moves away from its “base”. Data indicate that these propositions hold for the Democrats but not... Read more

19
May
2015

Polarization vs. Polarisation: Comparing Party Divergence in the US and Australia

A defining characteristic of American politics over the past generation has been the growing ideological divide between the nation's two major parties. Measuring this polarization is straightforward, using roll call records from Congress where every vote is a conscience vote. Asking how Australian parties compare is complicated, because divisions within the party room disappear on the floor. This preliminary work begins to chart comparative... Read more

07
May
2015

The European Union as a Normative Power? Some reflections on the literature on external perceptions of the EU

The debate on the European Union as a Normative Power (NPE) has been running for more than a decade. At the same time, studies of the EU as a normative power have been conducted in three major research projects. These two lines of research have been running relatively independently of each other. I will argue that the studies of external perceptions of the EU offer some findings that are central for the NPE debate. I will also contend that the... Read more

25
Mar
2015

The Mass Political Consequences of Economic Reform in Latin America

Democracy works when citizens can hold policy makers to accounts. Nowhere is this connection between the governed and their representatives more evident than the economy. Citizens expect strong economic performance from incumbents, and executives who fail to live up to popular expectations will feel the voter’s wrath at election time. But what if the criterion on which governments are judged—the economy—is fundamentally restructured? Such is the... Read more

12
Mar
2015

The Effect of U.S. Troop Deployments on Human Rights

U.S. non-invasion troops deployed abroad often try to promote greater respect for human rights in the host country. The host country, having an incentive to retain the troop presence, may choose to comply with these requests. We argue that this effect will not be at play in states with high security salience for the United States (for which the U.S. may not be able to credibly threaten to remove the troops). In these cases, U.S. deployments will... Read more

05
Mar
2015

Why Elections Fail

The spread of elections to all parts of the globe has been one of the most dramatic developments transforming our world during the twentieth century. Yet, as numerous reports have highlighted, the quality of contemporary contests commonly fails. Contentious elections undermine the legitimacy of elected authorities, political participation, and stability in fragile states. What happens when elections violate international standards of electoral... Read more

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