Clause Analysis: Using Syntactic Information to Automatically Extract Source, Subject, and Predicate from Texts with an Application to the 2008–2009 Gaza War
. Political Analysis. 2017;25 (2) :207-222.Abstract
This article presents a new method and open source R package that uses syntactic information to automatically extract source–subject–predicate clauses. This improves on frequency-based text analysis methods by dividing text into predicates with an identified subject and optional source, extracting the statements and actions of (political) actors as mentioned in the text. The content of these predicates can be analyzed using existing frequency-based methods, allowing for the analysis of actions, issue positions and framing by different actors within a single text. We show that a small set of syntactic patterns can extract clauses and identify quotes with good accuracy, significantly outperforming a baseline system based on word order. Taking the 2008–2009 Gaza war as an example, we further show how corpus comparison and semantic network analysis applied to the results of the clause analysis can show differences in citation and framing patterns between U.S. and English-language Chinese coverage of this war.
The Politics of Social Status: Economic and Cultural Roots of the PopulistRight
. British Journal of Sociology. 2017;68 (S1) :57-84.Abstract
This paper explores the factors that have recently increased support for candidates and causes of the populist right across the developed democracies, especially among a core group of working‐class men. In the context of debates about whether the key causal factors are economic or cultural, we contend that an effective analysis must rest on understanding how economic and cultural developments interact to generate support for populism. We suggest that one way to do so is to see status anxiety as a proximate factor inducing support for populism, and economic and cultural developments as factors that combine to precipitate such anxiety. Using cross‐national survey data from 20 developed democracies, we assess the viability of this approach. We show that lower levels of subjective social status are associated with support for right populist parties, identify a set of economic and cultural developments likely to have depressed the social status of men without a college education, and show that the relative social status of those men has declined since 1987 in many of the developed democracies. We conclude that status effects provide one pathway through which economic and cultural developments may combine to increase support for the populist right.
The Legitimacy of Alien Rulers
. Swiss Political Science Review. 2017;22 (4) :454-469.Abstract
In the modern world, alien rulers are generally perceived to lack legitimacy. Political legitimacy is important because it is thought to be the principal alternative to coercive institutions. Little empirical evidence supports these claims, however. We devise a laboratory experiment that isolates alienness from other ruler characteristics. The experiment tests whether alien rulers have less legitimacy than native rulers, and whether the ability to punish compensates for this disadvantage. Using American and Israeli college student samples, we find that alien rulers receive less compliance than native rulers, and that the ability to punish does not allow alien rulers to “catch‐up” with native rulers.
Unpacking Party Unity: The Combined Effects of Electoral Systems and Candidate Selection Methods on Legislative Attitudes and Behavioural Norms
. Political Studies. 2017;65 (2) :452-474.Abstract
This article analyses the effect of electoral systems, candidate selection methods and the interplay between them on individual legislative attitudes and behavioural norms, specifically on two facets of party unity: party agreement and party loyalty. Our main argument is that one must take into account the effect of inter- as well as intra-party competition, and the interaction between the two, in order to explain individual legislative attitudes and norms. Using data from 34 European parties across 10 countries, we show that under exclusive candidate selection methods, there are large differences between proportional representation and single-member district electoral systems in their effect on party agreement and party loyalty. Under inclusive candidate selection methods, however, such differences are much less apparent. In other words, the candidate selection method conditions the influence of the electoral system on legislative attitudes and behavioural norms.
An Intra-Party Democracy Index: Theory, Design and a Demonstration
. Parliamentary Affairs. 2017;70 (1) :84-110.Abstract
This article presents a new index for a comprehensive and systematic measurement of the level of intra-party democracy (IPD). The proposed index is designed on the basis of a comparison with state-level democracy and previous attempts to measure IPD. It examines five dimensions: participation, representation, competition, responsiveness and transparency. The way each dimension is measured is explained and justified on the basis of the procedure of its design and democratic theory. Its application and potential contribution to the analysis of democracy and party politics is demonstrated through its use to comparatively evaluate the level of internal democracy in political parties in Israel; and through examining several hypotheses concerning the relationship between party characteristics and their level of IPD and the relationship between the various dimensions of IPD.
The implications of the emerging disproportionate policy perspective for the new policy design studies
. Policy Sciences. 2017;50 (3) :383-398.Abstract
This paper articulates the disproportionate policy perspective and uses it to mount four challenges for the new policy design orientation. First, in contrast to the new policy design thinking, disproportionate policy options may be systematically designed, and at times, successfully implemented. Second, in contrast to the new policy design thinking, there are certain conditions under which policymakers may tend to develop effective response, with cost considerations becoming only secondary in importance if at all (read, policy overreaction), or cost-conscious response, with effectiveness considerations becoming only secondary in importance if at all (read, policy underreaction). Third, in contrast to the new policy design thinking, disproportionate policy options may be designed for purposes other than implementation (e.g., to be used as signaling devices or as context-setters). Fourth, in contrast to new policy design thinking, there are certain conditions under which the emotional arena of policy may be equally, if not more, important than the substantive one. The paper concludes that so far the literature on new policy design has not responded to the emergence of the disproportionate policy perspective, but a robust research agenda awaits those answering this paper’s call for action.
Lives of Frankish Princes from al-Ṣafadī’s Biographical Dictionary, al-wāfī bil-wafayāt
. Mediterranean Historical Review. 2017;32 (1) :83-104.Abstract
This article endeavours to bring to the English reader unpublished historical sources about Frankish figuers in the fourteenth century biographical dictionary al-Wāfī bil-wafayāt. This work, one of the largest biographical dictionaries in the history of the genre in Arabic, was written by Khalīl b. Aibak Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn, al-Ṣafadī who was born in 1297 to a Mamluk father and a respected amir of the Mamluk military troops in Ṣafad. This article analyse nine biographies of Frankish historical figures and endeavours to answer the question: how original were al-Ṣafadī’s biographies on Frankish princes?
Policy entrepreneurs in policy valuation processes: The case of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. 2017;35 :1407-1417.Abstract
Policy problems and solutions are frequently loaded with moral, emotional and cost-effectiveness components as well as with other ideational and symbolic elements in order to provide them with, or deprive them of, significance. Skillful policy entrepreneurs are key actors in this valuation process which results in policy problems and solutions becoming valued, overvalued or undervalued. Drawing on insights from the sociology of valuation, this article distinguishes between four types of policy entrepreneurs – defined by the particular strategies they pursue – that may be involved in this process: norm entrepreneurs, reputation entrepreneurs, meaning entrepreneursand standards and performance metrics entrepreneurs. The article elaborates on the role of these actors in the policy valuation process and the interactive nature of their activities. It thereafter illustrates their activities by elaborating on the valuation strategies pursued by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, which led several European governments to provide financial support for the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Proportionate and disproportionate policy responses to climate change: core concepts and empirical applications
. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning. 2017;19 (6) :599-611.Abstract
A fresh perspective on policy-making and planning has emerged which views disproportionate policy as an intentional policy response. A disproportionate policy response is understood to be a lack of ‘fit’ or balance between the costs of a public policy and the benefits that are derived from this policy, and between policy ends and means. This paper applies this new perspective on the proportionality of policy-making to the area of climate change. The first part of the paper discusses the underlying causes of disproportionate policy responses in broad terms and then applies the theoretical reasoning to understand the conditions in which they are likely to appear in relation to climate change. These conditions are hypothesized to relate to four main factors: economic considerations; levels of public demand; focusing events; and strategic considerations. It concludes with the suggestion that societal actors may be able to manipulate these four factors to encourage politicians to adopt policies that mitigate climate change more rapidly than is currently the case in most countries.
Compensating for Poor Performance with Promotional Symbols: Evidence from a Survey Experiment
. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 2017;27 (4) :661–675.Abstract
Extant literature regarding citizens’ responses to government public communications focuses on the roles of transparency and provision of information. Conversely, the effect of strategically designed symbols, which are integral to most public communications, received limited attention. Building on social psychology and marketing research, we theorize that familiar promotional symbols enhance citizens’ positive attitudes toward government through “evaluative conditioning,” yet this effect is conditioned by citizens’ experiences of actual government performance. We test these expectations via a survey experiment, which examines participants’ responses to a familiar promotional symbol of an Israeli state-owned electricity monopoly, given near-random variation in their experiences of prolonged power outages. We find that exposure to the well-known symbol enhances participants’ favorable attitudes toward the organization, and that this effect extends to those who recently experienced poor electricity services. The effect is significant in relation to participants’ trust in the organization, but not regarding their satisfaction and performance evaluation. These findings indicate that familiar promotional symbols can shape citizens’ attitudes, and compensate for the effect of poor performance, with regard to sufficiently ambiguous organizational aspects. We discuss the implications of these findings for current research on the effectiveness of transparency and performance information.