This project investigates the role of place-based identification in influencing Americans’ racial attitudes and policy preferences. Specifically, I argue that Southern identity (i.e., identification with the American South) is an influential but omitted factor in the study of political behavior across racial groups. In this project, I create a novel survey measurement of Southern identity and assess its impact on public opinion. Contrary to the extant literature, this work argues that Southern identity has political consequences for the opinion formation of Black Americans as well as for White Americans. I expect that Southern identity will be associated with group-centric racial beliefs reflecting the perceived communalistic nature of Southern culture. Analyses from three original surveys suggest that Southern identity influences both Black and Whites to adopt distinct racial beliefs different from their non-southern racial group members. These results hint at a challenge to the claim that Southern identity among Black Americans is not as politically relevant as it is for White Americans. This work also speaks to the need for more nuanced approaches to understanding American’s racial beliefs across race and place.
Do refugees reshape long-term political behavior in receiving areas? To investigate this question, I examine the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe into West Germany at the end of WWII. Expellees were strangers to the cultural practices in their new surroundings. Tensions with natives forced expellees to rely on each other and helped foster a strong group identity. I argue that this shared identity, coupled with political circumstances speciﬁc to Germany, engendered support for the radical right among expellees. Using district-level data from 32 elections spanning 100 years, I ﬁnd that communities which received greater shares of expellees remain more supportive of the radical right in the short, medium, and long term. This legacy of forced migration responds to changes in the political context within Germany, and is driven primarily by districts that received greater shares of expellees who were not citizens of the Third Reich during the interwar period.
The State of the 2020 Presidential Campaign with Less than a Month to Go
Michael Traugott, Josh Pasek, and Stuart Soroka will provide an update on the 2020 contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden with an emphasis on the current state of public opinion about the candidates and key issues in the campaign. This event is part of the ISR Insights Speaker Series.
October 14, 2020 | 1:00 PM EDT
Despite a large comparative literature on party machines in distributive politics, few studies have systematically examined how party leaders select local brokers to staff their party organizations. We provide a theoretical framework for studying these selection decisions. We argue that patrons must balance two key concerns: a broker’s efficacy among clients and their loyalty to party and patron. We test the relative importance of these concerns through a conjoint experiment conducted with 343 local political patrons across two Indian cities. Briefly, we find patrons strongly prefer loyal brokers, and not simply brokers who are popular with clients. We suggest this preference reflects the high threat of broker exit under conditions of inter-party competition and intra-party factionalism. Further, we find that patrons value a broker’s everyday problem-solving efficacy more highly than their election-time mobilizing efficacy. We validate our experimental findings against actual broker promotion patterns in our study cities, drawing on data from a unique survey of 629 brokers operating within migrant slums.
Perspectives on the 2020 Presidential Election
Join faculty members from the Center for Political Studies for a panel discussion of the issues shaping the 2020 Presidential Election. Panelists include Jenna Bednar, Vincent Hutchings, and Angela Ocampo. This event is part of the ISR Insights Speaker Series.
October 22, 2020 | 4:00 to 5:30 PM EDT
In this paper we reexamine the role of racial group consciousness (RGC) in explaining why Black Americans choose to engage in costly, to the individual, political action. Attempting to add clarity to decades of inconsistent and at times contradictory findings, we argue that the effect of RGC at inspiring political action among racial minorities is conditional on 1) the relevance of the political activity to achieving a group-based ends, and 2) individual capacity to assume the cost associated with engaging in the activity. Given these conditions, we designed a series of behavioral experiments that vary the group relevance of political action while holding capacity to engage constant. We find that while nearly all measures of RGC exhibit a consistently strong relationship with engagement in low-cost political behavior (stated support or intent to support), only RGC beliefs that directly capture perceptions of discrimination reliably explain Black Americans’ willingness to engage in costly, to the individual, group based political behavior. This work has important implications for how we understand the role that race plays in black political decision making.
Now More Than Ever: The Increasing Public Value of Social Science Research
The Center for Political Studies marked its 50th anniversary with a celebration featuring a keynote speech by Arthur Lupia on October 29, 2020. Many alumni and faculty also shared their reflections on what the center has meant to them. Click here to view a recording of the event and statements about CPS.
Our families, our communities, and our nation face historic challenges. At the same time, we have incredible opportunities to improve quality of life, particularly for vulnerable populations. Dr Lupia will discuss these challenges and opportunities, offering examples of social science research’s increasing public value. He will also detail how more of us can serve others more effectively in the years ahead.
October 29, 2020 | 4:00-5:30 PM EDT
Examining the Co-Evolution of State-Militant Violence Using a New Micro-Level Dataset of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
November 11, 2020 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
How do militants and governments strategically adapt their military tactics in asymmetric conflict contexts? This paper presents patterns from the new Palestinian-Israeli Insurgency & Militarism (PA’ILIM) dataset, which includes information on approximately 180,000 Israeli military (and settler) actions and over 5,000 acts of Palestinian political violence from 2009 to 2018. This event-level dataset uses local Israeli and Palestinian NGO reports to capture fine-grained information on patterns of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including more low-level negative interactions between Israelis and Palestinians than is typically covered in datasets reliant on news stories. As such, PA’ILIM provides a fuller picture of the broad repertoire of violence used by both sides as well as the daily realities of violence for the communities involved in this long-standing conflict. To illustrate the utility of this dataset, I use the data to examine changes in patterns of violence over time, demonstrating how the unique strategic dilemmas facing each actor manifest in distinct tactical choices. This dataset will be useful to scholars interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, more generally, in the conduct of asymmetric warfare, strategic adaptation in conflict, state violence or repression, and repertoires of militant violence.