Professor John Gerring has just received a major grant to investigate some...
Professor John Gerring has just received a major grant to investigate some of the most fundamental questions of government around the world. The project will test things like the conventional wisdom that when rulers obey the law, when they are accountable to the people, when personal security and property rights are guaranteed, and when capable bureaucracies are responsive to elected officials, good things will follow. Professor Gerring’s project addresses these issues by leveraging new data from the Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem) that measure hundreds of aspects of democracy and governance – including electoral competition, the rule of law, civil liberty, inclusion, decentralization, and legislative power – at a very specific level for all sizeable countries in the world from 1900 to 2012. With this immense database at our disposal, the project team will test conventional ideas about the impact of these institutions on outcomes such as economic growth, infrastructure, health, and education over the past century.
The August 2014 Political Science Newsletter is available online here: http://www.bu.edu/cas/newsletter/polisci/8_14/. In it you will find a number of fascinating articles, including:
Sopfia Perez, an Associate Professor in the department, recently wrote an article on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. This blog is generally considered the leading source of bringing political science analysis to a wider audience. Perez discusses the sudden rise of Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos party and their increasing influence in Spanish politics.
Professor Dino Christenson, along with his colleague Luis Carvalho (Mathematics and Statistics) recently received a major grant from Boston University’s Hariri Institute for Computing. This grant will support their collaborative work into computational analysis of networks. This grant will allow for this exciting interdisciplinary collaboration between members of the Political Science and Mathematics and Statistics departments.
The BU Political Science community gathered together on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at the BU Castle to celebrate the accomplishments of nine Honors Program and BA/MA candidates. This poster session allowed students to communicate the results of their year-long theses with faculty, graduate students, family, and friends.
Check out more pics of the poster session here.
Professor Katie Einstein recently shared her expertise on local politics and polarization at a one day conference called “Dividing Lines” at Marquette University Law School. The conference was co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Professor Einstein’s contributions were featured in the paper. Among other themes, Professor Einstein spoke about the potential for helping both cities and their suburbs by overcoming polarization at the regional level. She also emphasized how race and polarization are inseparable at the local level.
The work of three department members has been recently featured on the London School of Economics “US Politics and Policy” Blog. This blog, run by faculty at LSE, seeks to share academic research on American politics with a wider audience. In the past few weeks the blog featured Professor Doug Kriner’s work on congressional investigations’ impact on Presidential support and Professor David Glick’s work on the diffusion of policy ideas as states try to learn from each other. Last but not least, the site recently featured Professor Dino Christenson’s work on the ways that a strong web presence can level the playing field for long shot candidates in primary races.
Graduate student Anshul Jain recently co-authored a book with James E. Katz, Director of the BU College of Communication’s Division of Emerging Media Studies, and Michael Barris, a New York-based journalist. The Social Media President: Barack Obama and the Politics of Digital Engagement was published by Palgrave Macmillan in December, 2013. It details how social media affects, for better and worse, citizen engagement and presidential politics in the United States. While many works consider social media dynamics and engagement in political campaigns, The Social Media President is the first to systematically examine the actual practices of social media in presidential administration and in governing a nation. (http://www.thesocialmediapresident.com/).
The authors will be hosting a book launch event at the BU Castle on February 20. (http://eepurl.com/Nlzjz)
Professor Kriner Publishes on Congressional Attitudes About War in the American Journal of Political Science
Professor Doug Kriner published an article in the latest issue of the American Journal of Political Science. The article, co-authored with Frances Shen and titled “Responding to War on Capitol Hill: Battlefield Casualties, Congressional Response, and Public Support for the War in Iraq” explores the sources of congressional attitudes about the war. Kriner and Shen analyze 7500 congressional speeches to measure legislator’s support and opposition to the war. They find that while partisanship and total war casualties matter, legislators are also high responsive to casualties among their own constituents. That is, their views about an international issue like the Iraq war are responsive to its effect on their constituents or, as Kriner put it in a recent post about the piece “All politics, and particularly congressional politics, are local.”
Professor Joe Fewsmith’s recent book was positively reviewed Perspectives on Politics which is a widely read journal that the American Political Science Association produces. The book, published in 2013, is titled the Logic and Limits of Reform in China. As the review begins, Fewsmith’s book is “important if somewhat dispiriting” because his argument is not terribly optimistic about reform. Professor Fewsmith is a member of the Political Science and International Relations departments and is an expert on Chinese politics.