2011 Conference

From May 4-7, 2011 Ohio State University will host a conference entitled Visions in Methodology: A Workshop for Women in Political Methodology. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Ohio State University, the workshop brings together junior and senior women faculty working in political methodology. Conference participants can look forward to:

  • Scholarly research presentations
  • Feedback on research from conference participants
  • Sessions on career and gender topics (e.g., networking, mentoring, balancing family and work, women in the classroom)

Purpose:

The conference is part of a broader goal of supporting activities for women in the field of political methodology that are funded by the NSF. The activities are intended to create networks and opportunities, as well as to plug the “leaky pipeline” for women in the field of political methodology where women are under-represented. The new initiative implements recommendations from the recent National Academy of Sciences reports, the APSA Workshop on the Advancement of Women in Academic Political Science, and the 2006 Political Methodology Long Range Strategic Planning Committee Report.
Featured Senior Scholars for Spring 2011:

Back Row (l to r): Suzanna Linn (Penn State University); Courtenay Conrad (University of California-Merced); Lauren Ratliff (University of Texas); Janet Box-Steffensmeier (Ohio State University) Third Row (l to r): Lauren Mattioli (Ohio State University); Jennifer Wolak (University of Colorado-Boulder); Delia Baldissarri (Princeton University); Aya Kachi (University of Illinois); Carolina Mercado (Ohio State University); Meredith Rolfe (Nuffield College- University of Oxford); Sona Golder (Penn State University): Eleonora Mattiacci (Ohio State University) Second Row (l to r): Caroline Tolbert (University of Iowa); Nancy Burns (University of Michigan); Olga Chyzh (University of Iowa); Burcu Savun (University of Pittsburgh); Lee Ann Banaszak (Penn State University); Margaret Peters (Stanford University); Sara Mitchell (University of Iowa) Front Row (l to r): Rocio Titunik (University of Michigan); Amanda Murdie (Kansas State University); Stella Rouse (University of Maryland); Amanda Licht (University of South Carolina); Michelle Dion (McMaster University) Not pictured: Jennifer Mitzen (Ohio State University); Corrine McConnaughy (Ohio State University).

Sponsors

Program

Wednesday, May 4th
7:00-9:00 p.m. Dinner at Eddie George’s Restaurant, 1636 North High Street.

Thursday, May 5th
Network Methods: Sponsored By PRISM, NSF, Complex Systems Innovation Group, and the Department of Political Science.
9:00am-9:30 a.m.
The Blackwell Inn
Ballroom C Breakfast
The Blackwell Inn

9:30-11:30 a.m.
The Blackwell Inn
Ballroom C Networks Workshop

11:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch
The Blackwell Inn

1:00-3:00 p.m.
The Blackwell Inn
Ballroom C Networks Workshop

6:00-7:00 p.m.
The Blackwell Inn
Stadium View Area VIM Reception at the Blackwell Hotel – For VIM Participants Only

7:00-9:00 p.m.
The Blackwell Inn
Ballroom A Dinner at the Blackwell Hotel
Senior Biographies: Nancy Burns & Caroline Tolbert
Career/Gender Discussion #1 Women as Career Academics
Discussion Leaders: Jan Box-Steffensmeier & Corrine McConnaughy

Friday, May 6th
8:30 to 9:00 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Breakfast
SPINELLI’S DELI: Pastries, Fruit Tray, Coffee, Orange Juice

9:00 to 9:45 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Foreign Aid, Corrupt Governments, and the Fight Against Terrorism: The Effect of Aid Delivery Channels on Terrorist Attacks
Authors: Burcu Savun, Jude C. Hays
Discussant: Sara Mitchell

9:45 to 10:30 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Firm Mobility, Mortality, and Immigration Policy Making in the US Senate
Author: Maggie Peters
Discussant: Allison Hamilton

10:30 to 10:45 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Coffee Break

10:45 to 11:30 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Exit Stage Right: The Decision to Retire From Legislative Service
Author: Stella M. Rouse
Discussant: Lauren Mattioli

11:30 to 12:15 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly: The Curvilinear Effects of Civil-Military Conflict on International Crisis Outcome
Author: Amanda Murdie
Discussant: Burcu Savun

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Lunch
ADRIATICO’S: Pizza, Soda

1:15-2:00 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Falling Out of Favor: Economic Sanctions and the Tenure of Leaders
Author: Amanda Licht
Discussant: Sona N. Golder

2:00-2:45 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Career/Gender Discussion #2 Publishing and Citations
Discussion Leaders: Sara Mitchell & Lee Ann Banaszak

2:45-3:00 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Coffee Break
CHERYL’S COOKIES

3:00-3:45 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Title: Geographic Boundaries as Regression Discontinuities
Authors: Rocio Titiunik and Luke Keele
Discussant: Caroline Tolbert

3:45-4:30 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Turbulent Times: Volatility in State’s Interactions
Author: Eleonora Mattiacci
Discussant: Suzie Linn

7:00 p.m. Dinner: hosted by Jan Box-Steffensmeier
1640 West Case Road, Columbus, OH 43235. Department invited as well
MILO’S CATERING

Saturday, May 7th
8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
The Blackwell Inn Breakfast
THE BLACKWELL

9:00 to 9:45 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Political Belief Networks: Socio-Cognitive Heterogeneity in American Public Opinion.
Authors: Delia Baldassarri, Amir Goldberg
Discussant: Jennifer Wolak

9:45 to 10:30 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) When the STARs Align: What International Organizations Promote Member Democratization.
Author: Olga Chyzh
Discussant: Michelle Dion

10:30 to 10:45 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Coffee Break

10:45 to 11:30 a.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) International Treaties and Conflicting Incentives to Torture
Authors: Courtenay R. Conrad and Emily Hencken Ritter
Discussant: Carolina Mercado

11:30 to 12:15 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Right Censoring in Interdependent Duration Models: The Possibility of Recovering a Joint Survivor Function Using Copulas
Author: Aya Kachi
Discussant: Nancy Burns

12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Lunch
SPINELLI’S DELI: Tomato Bisque + Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Caesar and Poppy-Fruit Salad

1:30-2:15 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Career/Gender Discussion #3 Teaching
Discussion Leaders: Sona N. Golder & Jennifer Mitzen

2:15-3:00 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Is Influence Mightier Than Selection? Forging Agreement in Discussion Networks During a Campaign
Authors: Meredith Rolfe and Jason Bello
Discussant: Lee Ann Banaszak

3:00-3:15 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Coffee Break
Jeni’s ice cream

3:15-4:00 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Michelle Dion presents OPOSSEM

4:00-4:30 p.m.
Derby Hall
Spencer Room (Rm 2130) Concluding Session

6:30 p.m.
Figlio Dinner
FIGLIO: 1369 Grandview Avenue

VIM Conference Paper Abstracts

Foreign Aid, Corrupt Governments, and the Fight Against Terrorism: The Effect of Aid Delivery Channels on Terrorist Attacks
Authors: Burcu Savun, Jude C. Hays
Discussant: Sara Mitchell

Aid is theorized to reduce the supply of terrorist attacks by defraying the cost of counterterrorism for recipient governments and draining the pool of terrorist sympathizers. We argue and show empirically that the effectiveness of foreign aid in reducing terrorism depends on the level of corruption in recipient countries that host terrorist organizations and the channels through which donors deliver aid. Aid given directly to corrupt governments is unlikely to reduce terrorism, as aid capture and distortion are more likely in such environments. In addition, the general population in recipient countries is more likely to sympathize with terrorist groups when the government is corrupt and less likely to oppose attacks against the government’s foreign benefactors. When recipient governments are corrupt, therefore, we expect donors to deliver aid through alternative channels, such as NGOs, which can reduce broad-based support for terrorists by providing public goods and poverty relief. On the other hand, aid is more effective in reducing the number of terrorist attacks when the recipient government is clean. Therefore, donors are more likely to use governments as channels of aid delivery when terrorist organizations reside in host countries with good governance.

Firm Mobility, Mortality, and Immigration Policy Making in the US Senate
Author: Maggie Peters
Discussant: Allison Hamilton

What explains immigration policy formation in the US? In this paper, I argue that immigration policy is a product of interest group lobbying – especially the lobbying, or the lack thereof, by firms –and the increased competition for firms due to globalization. Increased globalization has led to the death of less competitive firms in the US. These firms were often supporters of open immigration in that they tended to rely on cheap labor. Their death allowed anti-immigrant groups relatively more influence over policy as these firms no longer lobby for open immigration. Additionally, increased globalization has allowed some firms to move their production overseas. This increased mobility gives these firms less incentive to lobby for open immigration but relatively more leverage as policy makers seek to keep these firms at home. I argue that, while politicians can give firms incentives to stay home in the short run, in the long run these incentives are unsustainable and immigration policy will become more restrictive. I show how this process works using new data on voting in the US Senate from 1945 to 2008. First, I show that voting in the Senate does not conform to the single left-right dimension that most voting conforms to. Instead, immigration is driven by constituency level factors including firm mobility, firm death, and the size of the welfare state in the constituency.

Exit Stage Right: The Decision to Retire From Legislative Service
Author: Stella M. Rouse
Discussant: Lauren Mattioli

Previous research has examined political ambition and other factors influencing the career decisions of legislators. This literature has outlined three general choices for members: run for reelection, seek higher office, or retire. Despite the obstacles involved in measuring and predicting legislative career decisions, past work discusses such characteristics as party system interaction and the opportunity structure to influence the exercise of ambition, components that influence decisions to pursue elective office, and reasons why members practice progressive ambition. However, considerably less is known about the decision of elected officials to remain in office. Using the career choices of U.S. House members from 1996 to 2008, this project examines the factors that influence retirement from Congressional service. The focus is not only on previously tested measures that influence career decisions, but also on factors that involve self determination, workplace satisfaction, and chamber interaction.

The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly: The Curvilinear Effects of Civil-Military Conflict on International Crisis Outcome
Author: Amanda Murdie
Discussant: Burcu Savun
Does civil-military conflict harm military effectiveness? Most previous empirical literature on the effects of civil-military conflict has utilized dichotomous indicators of the presence or absence of overall civilian control. However, the extant theoretical literature is clear that mid-levels of civil-military conflict could be good for innovation and overall decision-making. In line with these arguments, I argue that we should not expect all civil-military conflict to harm military effectiveness and, by extension, international crisis bargaining outcome. Instead, some civil-military conflict should have a positive effect on the overall success of the military. Utilizing new events data that captures the level of civil-military conflict cross-nationally from 1990-2004, I examine how civil-military conflict actually has an inverse U-shaped relationship with crisis success. This project also adds to the theoretical literature by examining variations across different degrees of civil-military conflicts, drawing attention to the usefulness of mid-range civil-military “friction.”

Falling Out of Favor: Economic Sanctions and the Tenure of Leaders
Author: Amanda Licht
Discussant: Sona N. Golder

Despite their increasing popularity as tools of statecraft, the effectiveness of economic sanctions remains contested in both the political and academic community. Few attempts have been made to track this spotty record back to the incentives of targeted leaders through direct statistical analyses of leader survival. With an updated measure of leader failure, which more carefully discriminates between leaders’ reasons for leaving power, the analyses here contradict previous findings. Economic sanctions do not consistently endanger the political prospects of their targets. To the contrary, leaders targeted with economic sanctions or the threat thereof face systematically lower risks of losing office through a mechanism indicative of failure than do those who have not been “punished” by another state or the international community.

Geographic Boundaries as Regression Discontinuities
Authors: Rocio Titiunik and Luke Keele
Discussant: Caroline Tolbert
We explore the use of geographic boundaries as regression discontinuities (RD), studying designs where the assignment variable is distance to a political boundary and subjects on either side of this boundary are compared. We develop the identification assumptions behind RD designs of this type and suggest that the key assumption is more likely to be violated, since agents are better able to sort around the discontinuity. Moreover, we show that geographic RD designs that employ a naive notion of distance as the assignment variable fail to recover the treatment effects of interest, and develop an new estimator that is faithful to the inherently spatial qualities of the design. We illustrate our argument and method with an application to voter turnout that investigates whether ballot initiatives increase turnout by exploiting a political boundary as a regression discontinuity. We focus on a 2008 initiative that was on the ballot in the city of Milwaukee but not in Milwaukee county.

Turbulent Times: Volatility in State’s Interactions.
Author: Eleonora Mattiacci
Discussant: Suzie Linn
It is well established that the bulk of international conflict takes place between the same few dyads. However, dyads are not just divided between trouble makers and peace lovers. Some dyads experience steadily conflictual relations, others steadily peaceful ones and still others move quickly from periods of cooperation to periods of conflict. What explains the degree of volatility in dyadic interactions? In this project, I will model the structure of relations among states in a dyad by looking at groups and interests both at the domestic and international level that aim at impacting the decision making process of leaders. I posit that the causal mechanism that links the impact of transnational and international actors involved to volatility is a redistributional one.

Political Belief Networks: Socio-Cognitive Heterogeneity in American Public Opinion.
Authors: Delia Baldassarri, Amir Goldberg
Discussant: Jennifer Wolak
Most research on public opinion assumes that American political views are structured by a belief system with a clearly-dened liberal-conservative polarity; however, this is not true of all Americans. In this article we document systematic heterogeneity in the organization of political attitudes and explain its basis in the sociodemographic role of the respondents. We use Relational Class Analysis (RCA), a network-based method for detecting heterogeneity in collective patterns of opinion, to identify distinctive belief networks, each shared by a different group of respondents. Analyzing ANES data between 1984 and 2004, we identify three groups of American citizens: Ideologues, whose political attitudes strongly align with either liberal or conservative categories; Alternatives, who are instead morally conservative but economically liberal, or vice versa; and Agnostics, who exhibit weak associations among political beliefs. Respondents’ sociodemographic profiles, particularly their income, education, and religiosity, lie at the core of the different ways in which they understand politics.

When the STARs Align: What International Organizations Promote Member Democratization.
Author: Olga Chyzh
Discussant: Michelle Dion
The scholars of democracy have long noted the tendency of democratic states to cluster in time and space. While most theoretical explanations of this phenomenon posit causal mechanisms related to spatial interdependence (e.g. diffusion, socialization), very few studies have conducted adequate empirical tests of these theories. This methodological oversight is due both to the scarcity of available statistical techniques that allow for testing these types of effects, as well as to the methodological sophistication of the existing techniques. Yet the value of empirical inferences is largely dependent on correct model specification. I develop several hypotheses linking state democracy level to membership in international organizations (IOs) that vary in scope, institutional capacity, and centralization. I test these hypotheses using several alternative approaches that allow to correct or explicitly model spatial and temporal dependence. I start with more common approaches, such as the use of a lagged dependent variable, fixed effects, and panel corrected standard errors, and then re-estimate the results using a multi-parametric spatio-temporal autocorrelation model (m-STAR). In this final model, I test my hypotheses using overlapping IO memberships in different types of IOs, as well as geographic contiguity as the spatial weights. I argue that while the lagged dependent variable, fixed effects, and panel-corrected standard errors show more desirable qualities than a naïve model, the m-STAR provides for the most adequate testing, from both a methodological and a theoretical perspective. Unlike the former three techniques that treat spatial and temporal dependence as a nuisance, the M-STAR allows for explicit modeling and estimation of contemporaneous spatial effects. Its ability to estimate spatial effects occurring within the same time-period as the unit-level effects makes this model particularly useful at evaluating the hypotheses posited in this paper, as well as such phenomena as diffusion and socialization more broadly.

International Treaties and Conflicting Incentives to Torture
Authors: Courtenay R. Conrad and Emily Hencken Ritter
Discussant: Carolina Mercado
Commitment to international human rights law results in domestic consequences with differing implications for state repression. First, ratification of international human rights treaties (IHRTs) can facilitate increased mobilization against the incumbent regime, increasing state incentives to repress. Second, IHRT ratification increases the domestic court’s ability to rule against the state on issues of human rights, decreasing executive incentives to commit human rights violations. Considering these cross-pressures, why do IHRTs sometimes lead states to reduce repression to avoid domestic costs and other times increase repression in response to mobilization? In this paper, we argue that authorities balance conflicting domestic incentives generated by IHRT commitment based on their security in office. Leaders vulnerable to turnover will repress more to control the destabilizing effects of increased mobilization, even though it is more likely they will be held accountable for their actions in a domestic court. Conversely, leaders sitting securely in power will repress less to avoid potential court costs. We find support for the implications of our theory using data on the state’s propensity for torture as a function of ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 196 countries from 1984 until 2004.

Right Censoring in Interdependent Duration Models: The Possibility of Recovering a Joint Survivor Function Using Copulas
Author: Aya Kachi
Discussant: Nancy Burns
In many topics in political science, understanding survival time and failure rates of political processes is crucial. Event history analysis in general offers a set of tools that allows us to assess whether a certain political process is at risk of experiencing some failure at a given time point. In a previous work with Jude Hays, we pointed out that the occurrence of multiple political events or a single political event occurring to multiple units might be interdependent across events or units. For example, two political processes–cabinet formation duration and cabinet survival–might be endogenous to each other when the intensity of formation negotiation depends on the parties’ anticipation about the durability of the future government. At the same time, the very durability of a formed government also reflects the diversity in parties’ preferences in the negotiation phase. To handle this interdependence in the endogenous outcome variables, we developed an interdependent duration model, using a system of simultaneous equations. However, the approach taken in the previous work lacked a procedure to handle right-censored observations. The difficulty of writing the likelihood function with right-censored data comes from the fact that we do not necessarily know the joint cumulative distribution function (cdf) for the multiple endogenous variables. The joint cdf is necessary in order to define the joint survivor function, through which censored observations can contribute information to the likelihood function; however, the aforementioned estimator was derived through an approach that obtained the joint pdf without the joint cdf. In this project, I explore the use of copula functions to recover a joint cdf from a given joint pdf as a relatively simple way of handling data with right-censored observations in using interdependent duration models. I illustrate the method in a study of the determinants of government formation duration and survival in European parliamentary democracies.

Is Influence Mightier Than Selection? Forging Agreement in Discussion Networks During a Campaign
Authors: Meredith Rolfe and Jason Bello
Discussant: Lee Ann Banaszak
To what extent do social networks shape a person’s vote choice? Using data on political networks gathered during a novel, multi-wave panel study conducted during the 2010 election cycle in the UK, we argue that although people may choose to discuss politics more often with those who hold similar political views, remaining disagreements in political discussion networks can still have a substantial impact on vote choice. Our study is the first large scale, general population sample survey to track changes in an individual’s named political discussion partners over the course of an election campaign, and thus provides a unique opportunity to study the simultaneous processes of selection and influence in political discussion. Using longitudinal and multilevel statistical analysis we present evidence for two social processes, “selection”, or the likelihood that people choose discussion partners based on their political views, and “influence”, the convergence of views between discussion partners.