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American Political Science Review
Journal Prestige (SJR): 5.587
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 291  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0003-0554 - ISSN (Online) 1537-5943
Published by Cambridge University Press Homepage  [374 journals]
  • Notes from the Editors
    • PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000734
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • PSR volume 113 issue 1 Cover and Front matter
    • PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000941
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • JMR volume 113 issue 1 Cover and Back matter
    • PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000953
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Legislative Staff and Representation in Congress
      Pages: 1 - 18
      Abstract: Legislative staff link Members of Congress and their constituents, theoretically facilitating democratic representation. Yet, little research has examined whether Congressional staff actually recognize the preferences of their Members’ constituents. Using an original survey of senior US Congressional staffers, we show that staff systematically mis-estimate constituent opinions. We then evaluate the sources of these misperceptions, using observational analyses and two survey experiments. Staffers who rely more heavily on conservative and business interest groups for policy information have more skewed perceptions of constituent opinion. Egocentric biases also shape staff perceptions. Our findings complicate assumptions that Congress represents constituent opinion, and help to explain why Congress often appears so unresponsive to ordinary citizens. We conclude that scholars should focus more closely on legislative aides as key actors in the policymaking process, both in the United States and across other advanced democracies.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000606
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Does Private Regulation Preempt Public Regulation'
      Pages: 19 - 37
      Abstract: Previous research has emphasized corporate lobbying as a pathway through which businesses influence government policy. This article examines a less-studied mode of influence: private regulation, defined as voluntary efforts by firms to restrain their own behavior. We argue that firms can use modest private regulations as a political strategy to preempt more stringent public regulations. To test this hypothesis, we administered experiments to three groups that demand environmental regulations: voters, activists, and government officials. Our experiments revealed how each group responded to voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) by firms. Relatively modest VEPs dissuaded all three groups from seeking more draconian government regulations, a finding with important implications for social welfare. We observed these effects most strongly when all companies within an industry joined the voluntary effort. Our study documents an understudied source of corporate power, while also exposing the limits of private regulation as a strategy for influencing government policy.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000679
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Does Party Trump Ideology' Disentangling Party and Ideology in America
      Pages: 38 - 54
      Abstract: Are people conservative (liberal) because they are Republicans (Democrats)' Or is it the reverse: people are Republicans (Democrats) because they are conservatives (liberals)' Though much has been said about this long-standing question, it is difficult to test because the concepts are nearly impossible to disentangle in modern America. Ideology and partisanship are highly correlated, only growing more so over time. However, the election of President Trump presents a unique opportunity to disentangle party attachment from ideological commitment. Using a research design that employs actual “conservative” and “liberal” policy statements from President Trump, we find that low-knowledge respondents, strong Republicans, Trump-approving respondents, and self-described conservatives are the most likely to behave like party loyalists by accepting the Trump cue—in either a liberal or conservative direction. These results suggest that there are a large number of party loyalists in the United States, that their claims to being a self-defined conservative are suspect, and that group loyalty is the stronger motivator of opinion than are any ideological principles.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000795
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • The Informational Theory of Legislative Committees: An Experimental
      Pages: 55 - 76
      Abstract: We experimentally investigate the informational theory of legislative committees (Gilligan and Krehbiel 1989). Two committee members provide policy-relevant information to a legislature under alternative legislative rules. Under the open rule, the legislature is free to make any decision; under the closed rule, the legislature chooses between a member’s proposal and a status quo. We find that even in the presence of biases, the committee members improve the legislature’s decision by providing useful information. We obtain evidence for two additional predictions: the outlier principle, according to which more extreme biases reduce the extent of information transmission; and the distributional principle, according to which the open rule is more distributionally efficient than the closed rule. When biases are less extreme, we find that the distributional principle dominates the restrictive-rule principle, according to which the closed rule is more informationally efficient. Overall, our findings provide experimental support for Gilligan and Krehbiel’s informational theory.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S000305541800059X
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Preventive Repression: Two Types of Moral Hazard
      Pages: 77 - 87
      Abstract: Authoritarian leaders maintain their grip on power primarily through preventive repression, routinely exercised by specialized security agencies with the aim of preventing any opponents from organizing and threatening their power. We develop a formal model to analyze the moral hazard problems inherent in the principal-agent relationship between rulers and their security agents in charge of preventive repression. The model distinguishes two types of moral hazard: “politics,” through which the security agents can exert political influence to increase their payoff by decreasing the ruler’s rents from power, and “corruption,” through which the agents can increase their payoff by engaging in rent-seeking activities that do not decrease the ruler’s rents from power. The surprising conclusion is that both the ruler and the security agent are better off when the only moral hazard problem available is politics rather than when the agent can choose between politics and corruption. We also show that the equilibrium probability of ruler’s survival in power is higher when politics is the only moral hazard available to the agent. These findings lead to our central conclusion that opportunities for corruption undermine authoritarian rule by distorting the incentives of the security agencies tasked with preventing potential threats to an authoritarian ruler’s grip on power.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000552
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • The Countervailing Effects of Competition on Public Goods Provision: When
           Bargaining Inefficiencies Lead to Bad Outcomes
      Pages: 88 - 107
      Abstract: Political competition is widely recognized as a mediator of public goods provision through its salutary effect on incumbents’ electoral incentives. We argue that political competition additionally mediates public goods provision by reducing the efficiency of legislative bargaining. These countervailing forces may produce a net negative effect in places with weak parties and low transparency—typical of many young democracies. We provide evidence of a robust negative relationship between political competition and local public goods using panel data from Mali. Tests of mechanisms corroborate our interpretation of this relationship as evidence of legislative bargaining inefficiencies. To explore the generalizability of these findings, we analyze cross-country panel data and show that political competition leads to better (worse) public goods provision under high (low) levels of party system institutionalization. The paper sheds light on why political competition is only selectively beneficial, and underscores the importance of considering both the electoral and legislative arenas.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000667
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Enhancing Electoral Equality: Can Education Compensate for Family
           Background Differences in Voting Participation'
      Pages: 108 - 122
      Abstract: It is well documented that voter turnout is lower among persons who grow up in families from a low socioeconomic status compared with persons from high-status families. This paper examines whether reforms in education can help reduce this gap. We establish causality by exploiting a pilot scheme preceding a large reform of Swedish upper secondary education in the early 1990s, which gave rise to exogenous variation in educational attainment between individuals living in different municipalities or born in different years. Similar to recent studies employing credible identification strategies, we fail to find a statistically significant average effect of education on political participation. We move past previous studies, however, and show that the reform nevertheless contributed to narrowing the voting gap between individuals of different social backgrounds by raising turnout among those from low socioeconomic status households. The results thus square well with other recent studies arguing that education is particularly important for uplifting politically marginalized groups.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000746
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • (Under What Conditions) Do Politicians Reward Their Supporters'
           Evidence from Kenya’s Constituencies Development Fund
      Pages: 123 - 139
      Abstract: We leverage innovative spatial modeling techniques and data on the precise geo-locations of more than 32,000 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects in Kenya to test whether Members of Parliament (MPs) reward their supporters. We find only weak evidence that MPs channel projects disproportionately to areas inhabited by their political allies, once we control for other factors that affect where projects are placed, such as population density, poverty rates, ethnic demographics, and distance to paved roads. Notwithstanding this result, we find evidence for cross-constituency variation in political targeting, driven in large part by the spatial segregation of the MP’s supporters and opponents. Our findings challenge the conventional wisdom about the centrality of clientelistic transfers in Africa and underscore how local conditions generate particular incentives and opportunities for the strategic allocation of political goods. We also highlight the benefits and challenges of analyzing allocations at the project level rather than aggregated to the administrative unit.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000709
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • The Psychology of State Repression: Fear and Dissent Decisions in Zimbabwe
    • Authors: LAUREN E. YOUNG
      Pages: 140 - 155
      Abstract: Many authoritarian regimes use frightening acts of repression to suppress dissent. Theory from psychology suggests that emotions should affect how citizens perceive and process information about repression risk and ultimately whether or not they dissent. I test the effects of emotions on dissent in autocracy by running a lab-in-the-field experiment with 671 opposition supporters in Zimbabwe that randomly assigns some participants to an exercise that induces a mild state of fear, whereas others complete a neutral placebo. The fear treatment significantly reduces hypothetical and behavioral measures of dissent by substantively large amounts. It also increases pessimism about parameters that enter into the dissent decision as well as risk aversion. These results show that emotions interact in important ways with strategic considerations. Fear may be a powerful component of how unpopular autocrats exclude large portions of their populations from mobilizing for regime change.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S000305541800076X
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • The Credibility of Public and Private Signals: A Document-Based Approach
      Pages: 156 - 172
      Abstract: Crisis bargaining literature has predominantly used formal and qualitative methods to debate the relative efficacy of actions, public words, and private words. These approaches have overlooked the reality that policymakers are bombarded with information and struggle to adduce actual signals from endless noise. Material actions are therefore more effective than any diplomatic communication in shaping elites’ perceptions. Moreover, while ostensibly “costless,” private messages provide a more precise communication channel than public and “costly” pronouncements. Over 18,000 declassified documents from the Berlin Crisis of 1958–63 reflecting private statements, public statements, and White House evaluations of Soviet resolve are digitized and processed using statistical learning techniques to assess these claims. The results indicate that material actions have greater influence on the White House than either public or private statements; that public statements are noisier than private statements; and that private statements have a larger effect on evaluations of resolve than public statements.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000643
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • From Isolation to Radicalization: Anti-Muslim Hostility and Support for
           ISIS in the West
    • Authors: TAMAR MITTS
      Pages: 173 - 194
      Abstract: What explains online radicalization and support for ISIS in the West' Over the past few years, thousands of individuals have radicalized by consuming extremist content online, many of whom eventually traveled overseas to join the Islamic State. This study examines whether anti-Muslim hostility might drive pro-ISIS radicalization in Western Europe. Using new geo-referenced data on the online behavior of thousands of Islamic State sympathizers in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium, I study whether the intensity of anti-Muslim hostility at the local level is linked to pro-ISIS radicalization on Twitter. The results show that local-level measures of anti-Muslim animosity correlate significantly and substantively with indicators of online radicalization, including posting tweets sympathizing with ISIS, describing life in ISIS-controlled territories, and discussing foreign fighters. High-frequency data surrounding events that stir support for ISIS—terrorist attacks, propaganda releases, and anti-Muslim protests—show the same pattern.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000618
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Theopolitics Contra Political Theology: Martin Buber’s Biblical
           Critique of Carl Schmitt
    • Authors: CHARLES H. T. LESCH
      Pages: 195 - 208
      Abstract: This article recovers Martin Buber’s important but neglected critique of Carl Schmitt’s political theology. Because Buber is known primarily as an ethicist and scholar of Judaism, his attack on Schmitt has been largely overlooked. Yet as I reveal through a close reading of his Biblical commentaries, a concern about the dangers of political theology threads through decades of his work. Divine sovereignty, Buber argues, is absolute and inimitable; no human ruler can claim the legitimate power reserved to God. Buber’s response is to uncover what he sees as Judaism’s earliest political theory: a “theopolitics,” where human beings, mutually subject to divine kingship, practice non-domination. But Buber, I show, did not seek to directly revive this religious vision. Instead, he sought to incorporate the spirit of theopolitics, as embodied by Israel’s prophets, into modern society. The result is a new and significant perspective on liberal democracy and political theology.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000680
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Candidate Entry and Political Polarization: An Experimental Study
      Pages: 209 - 225
      Abstract: We report the results of a laboratory experiment based on a citizen–candidate model with private information about ideal points. Inefficient political polarization is observed in all treatments; that is, citizens with extreme ideal points enter as candidates more often than moderate citizens. Second, less entry occurs, with even greater polarization, when voters have directional information about candidates’ ideal points, using ideological party labels. Nonetheless, this directional information is welfare enhancing because the inefficiency from greater polarization is outweighed by lower entry expenses and better voter information. Third, entry rates are decreasing in group size and the entry cost. These findings are all implied by properties of the unique symmetric Bayesian equilibrium cutpoint pair of the entry game. Quantitatively, we observe too little (too much) entry when the theoretical entry rates are high (low). This general pattern of observed biases in entry rates is implied by logit quantal response equilibrium.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000631
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • The Endurance of Politicians’ Values Over Four Decades: A Panel
      Pages: 226 - 241
      Abstract: How much do the political values of politicians endure throughout their careers' And how might the endurance be explained' This paper uses a unique longitudinal data set to examine the persistence of political values among national politicians: members of the British House of Commons, who completed Rokeach-type value ranking instruments during 1971–73 and again 40 years later in 2012–16. The findings show remarkable stability and provide strong support for the persistence hypothesis which predicts that politicians develop crystallized value systems by their early thirties and largely maintain those values into retirement. This is consistent with the view that rapid changes in aggregate party ideologies have more to do with new views among new waves of recruits than with conversions among old members.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000692
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Legislative Review and Party Differentiation in Coalition Governments
    • Authors: DAVID FORTUNATO
      Pages: 242 - 247
      Abstract: Multiparty governance requires compromise and this compromise can lead to electoral losses. I argue that coalition members are motivated to differentiate themselves from their cabinet partners to mitigate potential electoral losses resulting from voters perceiving them as not rigorously pursuing their core policy positions or not possessing strong policy stands. I test this argument with original data on the scrutiny of over 2,200 government bills gathered from three parliamentary democracies incorporating information on voter perceptions of partisan ideology and parties’ policy preferences as derived from their manifestos. I find that coalition partners that are perceived as more similar will amend one another’s legislative proposals more vigorously in an effort to differentiate in the eyes of the electorate—to protect their brand—and therefore provide evidence for “pure” vote-seeking behavior in the legislative review process. Furthermore, these original data provide answers to several open questions regarding the policy motivations of cabinet parties in legislative review and the role of committee chairs and external support parties on policy outcomes.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S000305541800062X
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Elections Activate Partisanship across Countries
      Pages: 248 - 253
      Abstract: It has long been argued that elections amplify partisan predispositions. We take advantage of the timing of the cross-national post-election surveys included in the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems to explore the effects that elections have on individuals’ attachments to political parties. Within these surveys, under the assumption that the dates on which respondents are interviewed are assigned independent of factors known to affect partisanship, we are able to identify the causal effects of election salience on partisan attachments. We find strong evidence that election salience increases the probability of one having a party attachment, increases the strength of attachments, and heightens the relationship between partisanship and evaluations of political actors. Empirical explorations of our identifying assumption bolster its validity. Our results substantiate the causal role that elections play in activating partisanship.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000722
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Education and Anti-Immigration Attitudes: Evidence from Compulsory
           Schooling Reforms across Western Europe
      Pages: 254 - 263
      Abstract: Low levels of education are a powerful predictor of anti-immigration sentiment. However, there is little consensus on the interpretation of this correlation: is it causal or is it an artifact of selection bias' We address this question by exploiting six major compulsory schooling reforms in five Western European countries—Denmark, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Sweden—that have recently experienced politically influential anti-immigration movements. On average, we find that compelling students to remain in secondary school for at least an additional year decreases anti-immigration attitudes later in life. Instrumental variable estimates demonstrate that, among such compliers, an additional year of secondary schooling substantially reduces the probability of opposing immigration, believing that immigration erodes a country’s quality of life, and feeling close to far-right anti-immigration parties. These results suggest that rising post-war educational attainment has mitigated the rise of anti-immigration movements. We discuss the mechanisms and implications for future research examining anti-immigration sentiment.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000588
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Public Attitudes toward Young Immigrant Men
    • Authors: DALSTON G. WARD
      Pages: 264 - 269
      Abstract: Young men often make up a large share of newly arriving immigrant populations. How this impacts attitudes is unclear: young men have the potential to make substantial economic contributions, meaning attitudes toward them may be more favorable. However, young men may be seen as security and cultural threats, exacerbating anti-immigrant attitudes. I conduct a conjoint experiment on a sample of 2,100 Germans, asking them to evaluate groups of immigrants with randomly varying shares of young men. The results show that groups of immigrants with a large share of young men receive substantially less support. Further tests reveal that respondents also perceive of these groups as likely to pose security and cultural threats; there is no evidence that young men are viewed as having high economic potential. These results have implications for the importance of economic, cultural, and security concerns in underpinning attitudes toward immigrants.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000710
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Effects of Divisive Political Campaigns on the Day-to-Day Segregation of
           Arab and Muslim Americans
      Pages: 270 - 276
      Abstract: How have Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies affected Arab and Muslim American behavior' We provide evidence that the de facto effects of President Trump’s campaign rhetoric and vague policy positions extended beyond the direct effects of his executive orders. We present findings from three data sources—television news coverage, social media activity, and a survey—to evaluate whether Arab and Muslim Americans reduced their online visibility and retreated from public life. Our results provide evidence that they withdrew from public view: (1) Shared locations on Twitter dropped approximately 10 to 20% among users with Arabic-sounding names after major campaign and election events and (2) Muslim survey respondents reported increased public space avoidance.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000801
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Partisan Affect and Elite Polarization
      Pages: 277 - 281
      Abstract: We examine the interaction between partisan affect and elite polarization in a behavioral voting model. Voting is determined by affect rather than rational choice. Parties are office-motivated; they choose policies to win elections. We show that parties bias their policies toward their partisans if voters exhibit ingroup responsiveness, i.e., they respond more strongly to their own party’s policy deviations than to policy deviations by the other party. Our results suggest that affective polarization is a driver of the growing elite polarization in American politics. Importantly, this observation does not assume any shifts in the voters’ bliss points and is therefore orthogonal to the controversy over whether the American electorate has become more polarized in ideology.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000655
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • Tactical Extremism
      Pages: 282 - 286
      Abstract: We provide an instrumental theory of extreme campaign platforms. By adopting an extreme platform, a previously mainstream party with a relatively small probability of winning further reduces its chances. On the other hand, the party builds credibility as the one most capable of delivering an alternative to mainstream policies. The party gambles that if down the road voters become dissatisfied with the status quo and seek something different, the party will be there ready with a credible alternative. In essence, the party sacrifices the most immediate election to invest in greater future success. We call this phenomenon tactical extremism. We show under which conditions we expect tactical extremism to arise and we discuss its welfare implications.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000758
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
  • List of Reviewers
    • Pages: 287 - 292
      PubDate: 2019-02-01T00:00:00.000Z
      DOI: 10.1017/S0003055418000874
      Issue No: Vol. 113, No. 1 (2019)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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