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Political Science

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Experimentally testing the roots of poverty and violence: Changing preferences, behaviors, and outcomes

It is widely believed that poor and unemployed young men are more likely to fight, riot and rebel. In poor countries like Liberia, governments are especially fearful of the young, urban poor, who may be especially vulnerable to armed recruitment, rioting, or election violence. In addition to increased security, the most common policy recommendation is cash transfer and employment programs. This study uses a field experiment with high-risk young men in Liberia to answer four questions. First, is there a causal relationship between poverty and violence?

Research Grants

To support research on the relationship between Austria and the United States.

Deadline: 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Action Research Projects

To support research linked to social strategy and change.

Deadline: 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Dissertation Fellowships

To support dissertation research in the social sciences.

Deadline: 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Using Multilevel Regression and Poststratification to Measure and Study Dynamic Public Opinion

This research project will develop techniques for using national survey data to estimate dynamic measures of public opinion across a variety of types of subnational units such as states, congressional districts, and state legislative districts. These techniques will allow researchers to generate accurate estimates of public opinion over time by fine-grained demographic-geographic-temporal subgroups. National surveys are designed to give good estimates of national public opinion at a particular point in time.

Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS: The Psychology of Political Risk in Repressive Regimes

The US government spends billions per year on democracy and governance assistance in foreign countries. Nevertheless, one in five elections in Africa since 1990 has been afflicted by significant levels of violence, which impedes citizens from freely voting for their preferred candidates. Identifying how and when coercive violence influences voters is critical to effectively reducing its impact on the quality of elections. This study uses the case of Zimbabwe to understand how citizens make decisions about politics when faced with the threat of violence.

Collaborative Research: Voter Mobilization and Electoral Subversion in the Workplace

Intellectual Merit: The project is important to US national security interests because it addresses economic coercion that undermines democracy. Scholars have long recognized that rulers in non democracies can extend their tenure by subverting elections, focusing on ballot-box fraud, repression, turnout-buying, vote buying, patronage spending, and the co-optation of opposition elites. However, they have largely overlooked one prominent form of electoral subversion in contemporary hybrid regimes: the coercive mobilization of voters by employers.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Accountability in Rebel Regimes

The project investigates local governance and the establishment of law-like systems of order in territory controlled by rebel organizations during civil war. In particular, the project explains variation in rebel organizations' provision of public goods and services as well as their use of coercive violence against civilians to control territory. Departing from existing research, the argument examines civilian political mobilization and collective action to constrain rebel organizations, advancing a political accountability theory of rebel governance.

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