Woodrow Wilson

Department of Politics

Lansing B. Lee, Jr./Bankard Seminar in Global Politics 2019

Ariel Dinar
Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy
School of Public Policy, University of California Riverside
Presentation Title: Why are there so Few Basin-wide Treaties?
Start Date: 02-11-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296

Abstract
Examinations of international water treaties suggest that riparian states are not heeding the advice for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). Theories suggest that the larger the number of negotiating states, the lower the cost of the joint operation of treaties, but the transaction cost of negotiating and maintaining large-N treaties increases. We model the trade-off between benefits and costs associated with the number of treaty signatories and apply it to a global International-water treaty dataset. Findings confirm that the transaction cost of negotiation and the economies of scale of benefits are important in determining the paucity of basin-wide agreements, the treaty contents, and its extent.

Bio
Ariel Dinar is a Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the School of Public Policy, University of California, Riverside (UCR). His work addresses various aspects of economic and strategic behavior associated with management of natural resources and the environment. Dr Dinar received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since then he spent 15 years in the World Bank working on water and climate change economics and policy. In 2008, Dr Dinar assumed a professorship at UCR. Dr Dinar founded the Water Science and Policy Center, which he directed until 2014. Dr Dinar is an International Fellow of the Center for Agricultural Economic Research of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel since November 2010; a Fulbright Senior Specialist since 2003; and was named a 2015 Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. He authored and co-authored nearly 220 publications in peer reviewed journals, policy outlets and book chapters. He co-authored and edited 29 books and textbooks. He founded two technical journals (Strategic Behavior and the Environment, and Water Economics and Policy) for the latter one he serves at present as an Editor-in-Chief. He founded and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the book series Global Issues in Water Policy.

Co-sponsored by the Darden School

 

Michael Ross
Professor
Department of Political Science, University of California Los Angeles
Presentation Title: The Four Worlds of Carbon Politics
Start Date: 03-04-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296
Details: Lunch provided.

 

Kevin Cope
Associate Professor of Law
University of Virginia
Presentation Title: Making Treaties
Start Date: 03-18-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296

Abstract
Multilateral treaties’ success depends in large part on decisions made during their drafting and negotiations. Lack of support from key states, weak or non-binding commitments, and sweeping reservations often doom treaties to ineffectiveness or worse.  Challenges to treaty effectiveness have inspired significant bodies of research in international law and relations. Yet existing research in these fields has given little systematic attention to negotiations or to the political origins of treaties generally. This manuscript aims to improve our understanding of treaty-making through both theory development and empirical analysis. I first develop a positive decision-theoretical model of the factors that states consider in drafting, negotiating, approving, and ratifying multilateral treaties. The model takes account of states’ right to opt-out of a treaty and that right’s several implications: that treaty-making entails a three-stage decisional process unique in democratic lawmaking, and that treaty externalities and the quantity and character of future members both affect states’ decisional logic during negotiations. These phenomena have not been fully appreciated in either the legal or international relations literatures, much less formally theorized. I then apply these insights to analyze real-world drafting efforts. Using a novel technique, I code the drafting states’ recorded positions based on two treaties’ negotiating histories, and I use them to estimate states’ ideal points on multiple issues. My findings demonstrate that this method can predict states’ ratifications and reservations with considerable accuracy. The analysis provides new insights into how international law is created and implemented, and under what circumstances it meaningfully affects later state behaviors. Specifically, the issues that divide states differ across treaties, and I find evidence that states’ preferences for particular treaty provisions coincide with those we would expect of utility-maximizing states. That the state positions predict subsequent behavior implies that treaty negotiations yield a rich trove of relatively authentic revealed state preferences. That suggests that, in addition to fueling theory and data-generation, these methods and the insights they provide could also be used to aid ongoing treaty negotiations in the future.

Bio
Kevin Cope is an associate professor of law at UVA Law School and faculty affiliate at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. Cope’s research focuses on law and economics, international relations, and international law. He is especially interested in the law and politics of international institutions, migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior. Cope’s work is published or forthcoming in journals such as the Michigan Law Review, Political Science Research and Methods, American Journal of International Law, Law and Contemporary Problems, and Virginia Journal of International Law, and in books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and others. His short articles on law and politics have appeared in The Washington PostFiveThirtyEight, LSE United States Politics & Policy Blog, and Slate.

 

Shiran Victoria Shen
Assistant Professor of Environmental Politics
University of Virginia
Presentation Title: Dirty Politics: Electoral Pollution Cycles in Mexico
Start Date: 04-01-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296

Abstract
Does electoral accountability harm voters? Air pollution is an invisible killer that claims more than 5.5 million lives annually worldwide. In this paper, we study the effect of electoral incentives on a critical public goods provision — air quality. Building upon the theory of the political pollution cycle (Shen 2018), we find that local politicians in Mexico will accommodate the preferences of their constituencies by engaging in activities that have short-term electoral and economic returns but would generate pollution unintentionally, imposing negative health consequences for the public. We leverage the exogenous variation in electoral timing in Mexican states and municipalities and measure its effect on pollution levels. Our paper contributes to the study of electoral incentives in young, unconsolidated democracies. It also sheds light on how voters fail to internalize the tradeoff between economic growth and environmental quality.
Lunch will be provided

 

Abby Fanlo and Lauren Sukin
Department of Political Science, Stanford University
Presentation Title: The Illogic of Nuclear Superiority: A Review Essay
Start Date: 04-08-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson Hall, Room S296

Abstract
How does the size of a state’s nuclear arsenal affect the likelihood that the state achieves its goals in an international crisis? Most scholars of this question have argued that having large nuclear arsenals does not especially benefit states in crisis situations. Matthew Kroenig’s The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy (2018) argues that states possessing a larger nuclear arsenal than a crisis opponent will emerge victorious more often. As a result, Kroenig’s book is an important and direct contrast to existing scholarship. If Kroenig’s argument is correct, policymakers should pursue larger nuclear arsenals, even though doing so could potentially trigger dangerous arms races. However, in a detailed reconsideration of Kroenig’s approach, we reaffirm the conventional wisdom that nuclear superiority does not generally determine crisis outcomes. This review essay identifies central concerns with the construction of Kroenig’s argument, including both the logic he uses to argue nuclear superiority confers advantages and his operationalization of superiority. We then utilize alternative methodological techniques to more accurately test the effect of superiority on crisis outcomes, concluding that Kroenig’s findings are flawed.
Lunch will be provided

 

John Marshall
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science, Columbia University
Presentation Title: Information Saturation and Electoral Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Facebook in Mexico
Start Date: 04-15-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296
Details: Marshall is an Assistant Professor in the Columbia University Department of Political Science. His research lies at the intersection of comparative politics and political economy, and spans elections in developing and developed contexts. In particular, he studies how news consumption, (public and private) performance indicators, levels of education, and social networks shape how voters select politicians. As well as bottom-up voter behavior, he is also interested in how politicians communicate their platforms, how information shapes politicians’ electoral strategies, when media outlets choose to report political news, and how institutions can be designed to improve bureaucratic performance. He analyzes these questions by combining quasi-experimental and experimental designs with theoretical models to identify and interpret causal relationships.His research has been published, or is forthcoming, in journals including the American Journal of Political ScienceAmerican Political Science ReviewJournal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Politics, and Review of Economics and Statistics.

 

Valerie Karplus
Class of 1943 Career Development Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management
Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Presentation Title: Smoke and Mirrors: Did China's Environmental Crackdowns Lead to Persistent Changes in Polluting Firm Behavior?
Start Date: 04-22-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296

Abstract
Sharp, short-lived increases in rule enforcement are common in hierarchical organizations facing multiple objectives. Using data from China that links quasi-random variation in the intensity of environmental policing to high-frequency air pollution data, we show that crackdowns in over short (one-month) periods result in a sharp (approximately 30%) reduction in sulfur dioxide pollution around coal power plants. Pollution reverts to prior levels after crackdowns end. The pace of reversion is faster for firms that outrank the city government, suggesting that hierarchical ties to China’s central authorities attenuate a firm’s accountability to the local environmental protection bureau. Engaging citizen informants deters a subset of egregious polluters during crackdowns, but has no lasting effect, especially among outranking firms. Our results document empirically the limits of a highly centralized approach to improving environmental governance through short-lived enforcement crackdowns.

Bio
Valerie J. Karplus is Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Karplusstudies resource and environmental management in firms operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with a focus on the role of institutions and management practices in explaining performance. Karplus is an expert on China’s energy system, including technology and business model innovation, energy system governance, and the management of air pollution and climate change.  She studies the determinants of clean energy transitions in emerging markets, with projects in China, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa. From 2011 to 2015, she directed the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project, a five-year research effort focused on analyzing the design of energy and climate change policy in China, and its domestic and global impacts. She holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a PhD in engineering systems from MIT.

 

Edmund Malesky
Professor
Department of Political Science, Duke University
Presentation Title: Testing Legislator Responsiveness to Citizens and Firms in Single-Party Regimes: A Field Experiment in the Vietnamese National Assembly
Start Date: 04-29-2019
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 1:30
Location: Gibson 296

Abstract
Our project aims to establish whether targeted provision of constituents’ preferences increases the responsiveness of delegates to the Vietnamese National Assembly (VNA). Utilizing a randomized control trial (RCT), we assign legislators to one of three groups: (1) those briefed on the opinions of their provincial citizenry; (2) those presented with the preferences of local firms; and (3) those receiving no informational treatment what- soever. We also used a saturation design, applying the treatments to differing shares of delegates across provinces. After the summer 2018 session, we collected behavioral data on delegates from the legislative session, including answers to a VNA Library survey about debate preparation; the identity of speakers in group caucuses, query sessions, and floor debates; and the textual content of those speeches. We find consistent evi- dence that citizen-treated delegates were more responsive, via debate preparation and the decision to speak; evidence from speech content is more mixed. More speculatively, we find little evidence of spillover from treated to untreated delegates, but substantial evidence of treatment reinforcement. Citizen-treated delegates grew more responsive as more of their peers possessed identical information.