Woodrow Wilson

Department of Politics

Lansing B. Lee, Jr./Bankard Seminar in Global Politics 2018

Sabrina Karim

Presentation Title: How International Post-Conflict Reforms Improve Public Opinion of State Bureaucracies: Experimental Evidence with the Liberian National Police

Organization: Cornell University

Start Date: 10-01-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: Gibson Hall 296

Bio

Sabrina Karim is an Assistant Professor in the department of Government. Her research focuses on conflict and peace processes, particularly state building in the aftermath of civil war.  Specifically, she studies international involvement in security assistance to post-conflict states, gender reforms in peacekeeping and domestic security sectors, and the relationship between gender and violence.  Much of her research has been in sub-Saharan Africa, where she has conducted field experiments, lab experiments, and surveys.  She is the co-author of Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict Countries (Oxford University Press, 2017).  The book was the winner of the Conflict Research Studies Best Book Prize for 2017 and the American Political Science Association Conflict Processes Best Book Prize in 2018.  Her work has appeared in International Organization, the British Journal of Political ScienceThe Journal of Peace ResearchInternational InteractionsWorld Development, and Conflict Management and Peace Science.  Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the International Growth Centre, and the British Research Council.  Born and raised in Colorado, Sabrina received her PhD from Emory University in 2016.

Abstract

As governments move to consolidate territory, they increase the state’s presence in areas of limited statehood.  There are at least two ways that this presence may influence the public opinion of those living in such areas: Face-to-face interactions with bureaucrats may improve public opinion of the bureaucracy.  Additionally, interactions with bureaucrats who represent the population could improve public opinion.   I test these two mechanisms using a novel field experiment in rural Liberia. Households in remote parts of Liberia were visited by either male or female police officers, or no police officers at all.  The results from the field experiment show that face-to-face interactions with police officers improved perceptions of police restraint and police effectiveness.  Increases in women’s representation in policing did not improve nor corrode public opinion.  The short-term implication is that as governments move to increase their presence, interactions with bureaucrats shape public perceptions of the state.

 

Laia Balcells

Presentation Title: Secessionist conflict and polarization: evidence from Catalonia

Organization: Georgetown University

Start Date: 12-03-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: Gibson 296

Details: 

Secessionist conflict and polarization: evidence from Catalonia

Laia Balcells (Georgetown University), José Fernández-Albertos (Spanish Higher Council of Scientific Research), Alexander Kuo (Oxford University)

Do self-determination movements and crisis over independence lead to social polarization? Who is likely to polarize in such instances? The recent political crisis over independence in Catalonia has made these questions more salient and provides an important testing ground to addresses these questions. We argue that policy-based polarization in the case of highly salient self-determination issues can spillover into social polarization, and we try to capture variation and persistence of such social polarization.

We fielded a two-wave survey in Catalonia embedding experiments that randomized evaluation of groups as well as consequences of policies related to independence of Catalonia from Spain. The first wave was fielded just before the politically salient 2017 regional elections, which took place a few weeks after a unilateral independence referendum, a declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament, and a subsequent suspension of regional autonomy by the Spanish government. We find strong evidence of policy-based polarization that spills over into social polarization, and that such polarization is partially driven by those with pro-independence stances, as well as with those with strong pro-state preferences.  However, we find limits to polarization in terms of the economic costs that even strong independence and status-quo supporters are willing to incur. The second wave was fielded in September 2018 to test the durability of this polarization.

Bio
Laia Balcells is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. She was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University between 2012 and 2017, and she was Niehaus Visiting Associate Research Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 2015-16. Her research and teaching are at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations. She focuses on issues of security, peace and conflict, with a special interest in civil wars, political violence, terrorism, and nationalism and ethnic conflict. Her first book, Rivalry and Revenge: the Politics of Violence during Civil War, has been published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics).

 

Jeff Kaplow

Presentation Title: The Changing Face of Nuclear Proliferation

Organization: College of William and Mary

Start Date: 11-12-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: Gibson Hall 296

Details: 

Abstract

A rich literature has identified a number of important drivers of nuclear proliferation. Most of this work, however, treats the determinants of proliferation as constant over the entire nuclear age—the factors leading to proliferation are assumed to be the same in 2010 as they were in 1945. But there are reasons to suspect that the drivers of proliferation have changed over this time: nuclear technology is easier to come by, the global strategic environment has shifted, and the nuclear nonproliferation regime has come into being. To examine how the drivers of nuclear proliferation have changed over time, I adapt a cross-validation technique frequently used in the machine learning literature. I create a rolling window of training data with which statistical models of proliferation are built, and I then test the predictive power of these models against data from other time periods. The result of this analysis is a temporal map of how the determinants of proliferation have changed over time. My findings suggest that the underlying dynamics of nuclear proliferation have indeed changed over time, with important implications both for the literature on nuclear proliferation and for policymakers interested in limiting the future spread of nuclear weapons.

Bio

Jeff Kaplow is an Assistant Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary. His research examines the drivers of international and civil conflict, the causes and consequences of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the role of international security institutions in constraining state behavior. His work applies qualitative and quantitative predictive analytic techniques to issues in international security. Kaplow was a Fellow with the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the RAND Corporation. In previous work, he analyzed foreign nuclear programs for the U.S. government. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, San Diego, an M.P.P. in international security policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and a B.A. in political science from Yale University.

 

Anne Meng

Presentation Title: Tying the Big Man's Hands: From Personalized Rule to Institutionalized Regimes

Organization: University of Virginia

Start Date: 11-05-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: Gibson Hall 296

 

Rory Truex

Presentation Title: Repression in the China Field

Organization: Princeton University

Start Date: 10-29-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: Gibson Hall 296

Details: 

Rory Truex, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

Abstract

This paper examines the nature of China’s current research climate and its effects on foreign scholarship. Drawing on an original survey of over 500 China scholars, we find that repressive research experiences are a rare but real phenomenon, and collectively present a barrier to the conduct of research in China. Roughly 9% of China scholars report having been “taken for tea” by authorities within the past ten years; 26% of scholars who conduct archival research report being denied access; and 5% of researchers report some difficulty obtaining a visa. The paper provides descriptive information on the nature of these experiences and their determinants. It concludes with a discussion of self-censorship and strategies for conducting research on China.

 

John Owen

Presentation Title: Divide and Conquer: Fifth Columns and Hybrid Warfare

Organization: University of Virginia

Start Date: 10-22-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: Gibson Hall 296

 

Eric Arias 

Presentation Title: Patronage by Credit: International Sources of Patronage Politics

Organization: William & Mary

Start Date: 09-24-2018

Start Time: 12:15

End Time: 1:30

Location: 296 Gibson Hall

Details: Eric Arias is Assistant Professor in the Government Department at William & Mary. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from New York University in 2017. His research interests lie in international and comparative political economy, focusing on the international sources of domestic politics and political economy of development.