Events

2021-2022 Events

Interdisciplinary Workshops on Politics and Policy will be hosted via Zoom through the end of 2021. Please see below for additional details.

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

December 1, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Yan Chen (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/99556815110

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

January 12, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Shea Streeter (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95429587214

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

January 26, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Sara Morell (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/98593054333

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

February 9, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Angela Ocampo (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95330249746 

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

February 23, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Edgar Franco Vivanco (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95010610206

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

March 9, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Michael Minta (Univ. of Minnesota)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/91356860896

2022 Miller Converse Lecture

Stanley Feldman, Stony Brook University
March 24, 2022 | 4:00-5:30 PM EDT

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

April 13, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Joshua Kertzer (Harvard University)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/92595158228

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

April 20, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Scott Abramson (Univ. of Rochester)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/99866895010

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

April 27, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Guy Grossman (Univ. of Pennsylvania)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/97999542552

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Policy

May 4, 2022 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Iza Ding (University of Pittsburgh)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/97236439790

Past Events

Why You Should and Should Not be Worried about American Democracy

The Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professorship in Political Science, Inaugural Lecture

Sept. 21, 2021 | 4:00 to 5:00 PM EDT
Ken Kollman (University of Michigan)
Details available on the University of Michigan Events Calendar.

Gender, Social Recognition, and Political Influence

October 6, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Cesi Cruz (UCLA)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/91971833625
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Abstract

What determines women’s political influence? While the literature on political engagement focuses on individual traits, attitudes, and participation, we argue that how these factors translate to political influence is fundamentally a social process that requires recognition from the broader community, with important implications for understanding women’s political engagement. Using new data on networks of political influence in Philippine villages, we show that even after controlling for socioeconomic status or political participation, women are still markedly less likely to be recognized as influential. Furthermore, we show that engagement in politics through traditional means–running for office, participating in councils, or joining parties–are only associated with political influence for men. The determinants of influence are more complex for women: embeddedness in the community and participation in community activities are more important than traditional modes of political participation.

Trust in Religious Leaders & Voluntary Compliance: Lessons from Social Distancing during COVID-19 in Central Asia

October 20, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Pauline Jones (University of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/92005095888
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Abstract

What is the relationship between trust in religious leaders and voluntary compliance with policies that are costly to the individual? Religious leaders have the moral authority to affect individuals’ willingness to adopt pro-social behaviors across many societies. Less clear is whether that influence will be positive or negative. It cannot be assumed ex ante that religious leaders will uniformly support social distancing guidelines both because they may be reluctant to discourage congregants from attending services and because their leadership within a country is often decentralized. We investigate how trust in religious leaders affects compliance in countries where religious authority is centralized and state aligned. We argue that, under these conditions, greater trust in religious leaders will be associated with more voluntary compliance, but that this effect will be limited to religious celebrations and rituals. Using novel data from surveys fielded in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan during the COVID-19 pandemic, we find support for both hypotheses but only in Kazakhstan, where religious leaders consistently offered adherents substitutes that enabled them to practice their faith while social distancing. The influence of religious leaders on voluntary compliance, therefore, may depend as much on the content of the message as it does on the source.

Remembering the life and work of Ronald F. Inglehart

On Friday, October 22, 2021, friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate the life and work of Ronald F. Inglehart. A recording of this memorable event is now available below. Thank you to all of the people who shared memories and honored the significance of Ron’s life and his professional and personal impact.

Flyer for an event celebrating the life and work of Ronald F. Inglehart. Includes a photo of Dr. Inglehart and event details.

View a four-minute video of appreciation for Ron: 

View the full event recording: 

Emotional Sensibility: Exploring the Methodological and Ethical Implications of Research Participants’ Emotions

October 27, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Wendy Pearlman (Northwestern University)
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Abstract

Building upon the term “ethnographic sensibility,” this article makes the case for an “emotional sensibility” that seeks to glean the emotional experiences of the people whom we study and who participate in our research. I argue that an emotional sensibility is relevant for any human subjects research, including interviews, surveys, and experiments, even when emotions are not a direct variable under study. Methodologically, attention to research participants’ emotions can improve research because these emotions are themselves data, influence the validity of other data, and affect our ability to collect data in the future. Ethically, it balances ethics committees’ rationalist emphasis on elements such as information and cognitive capacity with appreciation for how emotions infuse consent, vulnerability, and experiences of risk and benefit. Against the tendency to narrow concern about participants’ emotions to a medicalized notion of retraumatization, an emotional sensibility encourages deeper thinking about research participants’ emotional experiences beyond harm and about emotional harms that do not qualify as trauma. Upon presenting these and other claims about how an emotional sensibility can make political science research more empirically valid and ethically sound, the article outlines strategies for cultivating and upholding an emotional sensibility in practice.

TADA 2021: 11th Annual Conference on New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data

October 28-29, 2021 
TADA is an interdisciplinary conference, drawing scholars from across the social sciences, computer science, and related fields. Learn more at https://tada2021.org.

Coordinated Dis-Coordination

November 3, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EDT
Mai Hassan (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/93865988691
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Abstract

Dissidents face a tension when coordinating mobilization against a repressive regime. Dissidents benefit from making coordination public: this increases the spread of the call, and thus the potential size of mobilization. But public calls are heard by the regime, giving the security apparatus advanced knowledge of, and improved ability to, stifle mobilization. How do dissidents coordinate collective action under repressive environments? Using interview and ethnographic data, I examine mobilization during Sudan’s 2018-19 uprising. I find that, on the surface, it appeared that mobilization was publicly coordinated by a social movement organization through internet and communicative technologies, consistent with common channels of coordination identified by existing literature. Yet some dissidents independently used these widespread calls to secretly organize simultaneous collective action away from main protest sites, intentionally deviating from centrally organized calls to confuse the security forces. By looking deeply within the internal workings of a protest movement, this paper suggests that existing literature may be mis-attributing successful coordination in repressive environments to public-facing channels of mobilization. 

Behavioral Foundations of Presidential Accountability

November 10, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Kenny Lowande (Univ. of Michigan)
Join via Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/99592649841
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Abstract

Presidents possess vast authority over policies and outcomes. Recent studies suggest the public checks this unilateralism through expressive opinions and political participation. We examine this accountability link by investigating the empirical implications of a model of presidential leadership. We present findings from a pre-registered panel survey prior to the 2020 presidential election and a dataset of news coverage of unilateral actions from 1993-2020. We find that presidents pay no net public cost — and may even benefit— by acting. Though respondents penalized presidents for failing to achieve their goals, our analysis of news coverage reveals that most action receives asymmetric media coverage. News stories are positive, assign credit for actions at their announcement, and rarely follow-up on realized outcomes. On balance, our theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that unilateral directives are credit-claiming devices most often unrestrained by public opinion and that presidents’ accountability relationship can incentivize actions that are welfare-reducing. 

This is joint work with Benjamin Goehring.

Consequences of Secular and Religious Civic Education Among Youth: Evidence from the Lead-Up to General Elections in Zambia

November 17, 2021 | Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Gwyneth McClendon (New York University)
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Abstract

Debate persists as to whether, and under what conditions, civic education increases political knowledge and political participation, particularly among younger voters. This project contributes new evidence to these debates through a community-collaborative field experiment in Zambia in the lead-up to its 2021 general elections. The study was conducted in collaboration with major religious coalitions, which are the most prevalent providers of civic education in Zambia and prevalent providers of civic education worldwide. The study randomly assigned youth (ages 18-35) participants in a WhatsApp-based civic education program into one of three conditions: civic information only (with no motivational messages), or civic information accompanied by either religious or non-religious motivational messages.  We then measured political knowledge, political attitudes, and participation in the lead-up to and during the 2021 elections. The study found that the information-only course and the non-religiously motivated course both had compensatory effects on political participation, raising political knowledge and participation most robustly among young women and often reducing the ex-ante gender gap. However, the religiously motivated course increased participation most robustly among those who already occupied church leadership positions and often led to a retreat from participation among those without leadership positions (an exacerbating effect). The study shows that one should not take for granted that religious civic education will have large positive and compensatory effects on political participation, even in highly religious contexts. More generally, the paper underscores that the content of civic education courses can have consequences not just for the courses’ influence on aggregate political participation but also for the distribution of political involvement across groups.