Journal of Theoretical Politics Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: SAGE Publications

Journal description

Journal of Theoretical Politics is the major journal for publication of work concerned with the development of theory in the study of political processes. It provides an authoritative forum for the publication of original papers that seek to make genuinely theoretical contributions to the study of politics. The journal offers rigorous articles on a range of theoretical topics. It focuses on new theoretical work that is broadly accessible to political scientists and enhances an understanding of political processes. Journal of Theoretical Politics does not confine its readers to a specific theoretical approach but offers the benefit of a range of research perspectives that affirm the general importance of theory in political science. The journal also publishes articles which evaluate the relative merits of competing theories to explain empirical phenomena, and original syntheses of recent theoretical developments in diverse fields.

Current impact factor: 0.43

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 0.74
Cited half-life >10.0
Immediacy index 0.16
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.75
Website Journal of Theoretical Politics website
Other titles Journal of theoretical politics (Online)
ISSN 1460-3667
OCLC 38526092
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

SAGE Publications

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Authors retain copyright
    • Pre-print on any website
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website, departmental website, institutional website or institutional repository
    • On other repositories including PubMed Central after 12 months embargo
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Post-print version with changes from referees comments can be used
    • "as published" final version with layout and copy-editing changes cannot be archived but can be used on secure institutional intranet
    • Must link to publisher version with DOI
    • Publisher last reviewed on 29/07/2015
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • Journal of Theoretical Politics 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/0951629815603494
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    ABSTRACT: This paper contributes to our understanding of legislative behaviour in mixed-member electoral systems through a simple game-theoretic model. It argues that legislators seeking re-election in mixed-member electoral systems need to take into account the interests of two distinct selectorates rather than an electorate in order to maximize the probability of regaining a legislative mandate. Assuming that the policy interests of list and district selectorates systematically differ, legislators may face diverging demands from two principals whose relative capability to sanction incumbents crucially hinges upon the reward they may offer. Such reward, I argue, is best understood as the strength of the nomination, which refers to the probability of subsequent election. A simple game-theoretic model then shows how variation in the relative strength of both selectorates induces three different scenarios with distinct equilibrium outcomes and thus effectively impacts patterns of representation.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 01/2014; 26(1):93-116. DOI:10.1177/0951629813489547
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    ABSTRACT: In democratic systems, the rich have diverse channels through which they can influence policies. In a model of taxation, I study the capacity of the rich to constrain the fiscal choice of a government by starting a costly political conflict (for example, a press campaign), which imposes a cost on the government and influences the fate of the government’s fiscal plan. I show that the government’s tax proposal depends critically on the marginal disutility of taxation for the rich. This approach provides a new rationale for the empirically documented U-shaped relationship between inequality and taxation. It also highlights a new role for opposition parties. By agreeing to bear part of the cost of a political conflict in exchange for compromise, the opposition makes Pareto-improving arrangements possible.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 01/2014; 27(4). DOI:10.1177/0951629814559722
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of a trust survey and public goods experiment conducted with high school students in rural Thailand and Cambodia that together help clarify the dynamics at work in sustaining economic cooperation within these two third-world communities. We find that standard survey measures of trust employed by the World Values Survey, which form the basis of most macro-empirical investigations of trust and political-economic development, are not useful for predicting contributions to a public goods game. Expectations, on the other hand, profoundly influence contributions and do so independently of trust levels. However, this influence is complex and depends on the distribution of player types. We observe a distribution similar to previous studies, with the largest group, principled reciprocators, updating their behavior quickly based on expectations of trustworthiness. Indeed, this study suggests that trustworthiness in particular is more important than trust in general and further challenges ‘a-rational’ theories of trust.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 04/2012; 24(2):172-209. DOI:10.1177/0951629811423233
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    ABSTRACT: Why would a generic parliament have committees with minority party members? If the majority party considers minority party committee members a burden, then it could choose to exclude minority party members entirely from the committee system. This, however, has rarely happened in history. In this paper, I provide an informational rationale for the bipartisan committee system through a simple signaling model. I show that, in equilibrium, the majority party on the floor can extract better information and, therefore, enact more preferred policy outcomes by forming committees with members of both parties.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 04/2012; 24(2):248-264. DOI:10.1177/0951629811429049
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    ABSTRACT: International institutions lack the independent ability to punish non-compliance, but states sustain cooperation because they can target one another for punishment. In contrast, international criminal courts and tribunals (ICTs) can enforce rulings once suspects are in custody, but they lack the independent power of capture, leaving them unable to punish alleged criminals and therefore deter crime. We analyze a game between an ICT and a suspect to assess the potential of pre-arrest bargaining as a solution to the problem of capture. We show that ICTs that bargain with fugitives will be able to secure their surrender and administer justice, although this comes at the cost of incentivizing some crime. Further, those courts least able to secure their suspects’ capture will, surprisingly, be the most willing to issue warrants. International institutions may thus be able to achieve compliance even when faced with uncooperative member states.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 04/2012; 24(2):149-171. DOI:10.1177/0951629811429048
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    ABSTRACT: We provide an analysis of a power-maximising model for dictatorial behaviour. In the model, the dictator’s revenues depend on the exports of a single crop. Using export earnings the dictator buys loyalty from the producers of the export crop by setting the domestic producer price. Revenues resulting from the difference between the international and the domestic price of the crop are used to finance a repressive apparatus. We present a complete comparative statics analysis of the choice between repression and loyalty to obtain power, in response to changes in the international price of the single crop in the economy. The results allow for a novel classification of power-maximising behaviour into benevolent, tyrannical and totalitarian dictatorships. We argue that the model and the associated dictatorship typology can be embedded into Wintrobe’s more general specification of a dictator’s objective function, which combines aspirations for power with rent-seeking motives. We compare our analysis with empirical observations of the Habyarimana regime in Rwanda (1973–1994). JEL Classification Numbers: D72, H30, H56.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 04/2012; 24(2):210-234. DOI:10.1177/0951629811426156
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    ABSTRACT: The ‘mean voter theorem’ implies that candidates should choose identical policy positions in a two-candidate race if voting is probabilistic. This result is in fact an artifact of the assumption that the candidates maximize expected vote share or probability of win, which is not true for many real-world elections. In this paper I analyze a probabilistic voting model in which the candidates have preferences other than the maximization of the expected number of votes or the probability of win maximization. I derive the comparative statics for two voters and one-dimensional policy space. Each voter cares about both the policy platform and the identity of the candidate. It is shown that an increase in the value of exactly one vote causes each candidate to choose a position closer to that of its partisan voter. Numeric computation of equilibria show that these results can be generalized to three or more voters. The results imply that the nonlinearity and non-symmetry of payoffs can affect the policy positions of the candidates.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 04/2012; 24(2):235-247. DOI:10.1177/0951629811423122
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    ABSTRACT: The Groseclose and Snyder (1996) model is one of the best-known models of vote buying in legislatures. Although the logic of the model is compelling, it is not clear that its key propositions, derived in a continuous set-up, hold in finite legislatures. This is an important issue because many real-world legislatures are small and should be modeled as finite in order to make predictions on coalition formation in them. This paper makes two contributions. The main one is to show with full generality that the key propositions in the Groseclose and Snyder model do carry through into finite legislatures. Secondly, it clarifies the role that parameter restrictions played in previous work on this question by Banks (2000) which was not fully general.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 04/2012; 24(2):265-273. DOI:10.1177/0951629811423092
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    ABSTRACT: When something goes awry in a governmental agency, a frequent claim is that appointed political heads are incompetent. If true, what explains this in a separation of powers system where the executive nominates and the legislature approves? Our analysis provides a rationale and conditions for rational incompetence. Specifically, we present a model in which a President nominates and the Senate confirms or rejects an appointee. Besides choosing a nominee’s ideology, the President can determine competence, with less competence meaning more policy outcome variance. Interestingly, without assuming that political actors are inherently risk takers, we identify conditions generating what Goemans and Fey (2009) have labeled institutionally-induced risk taking, where both the President and the relevant filibuster pivot propose and approve an incompetent administrator in equilibrium. Reasons for incompetence go beyond pure loyalty or patronage, and our model corresponds to contemporary cases of seemingly incompetent administration.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 01/2012; 24(1):3-18. DOI:10.1177/0951629811423232
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    ABSTRACT: The protests associated with the 2011 Arab Spring represent a serious and sustained challenge to autocratic rule in the Middle East. Under what conditions will Arab protest movements translate into a full-fledged ‘fourth wave’ of democratization? We argue that questions about the commitment of Islamic political opposition to democracy beyond a country’s first free election may hinder Middle Eastern democratization. We extend Przeworski’s canonical model of political liberalization as described in Democracy and the Market (1991) and find that transition to democracy is only possible under two conditions. First, uncertainty regarding the preferences of key elite actors is a necessary condition for democratic transition. Second, the repressive capacity of the state must lie above a minimum threshold. Given these conditions, democracy can occur when two types of political actors meet – regime liberalizers who prefer democracy to a narrowed dictatorship, and civil society elite who honor democratic principles. While a series of influential studies have argued that authoritarian elites block democratic transition because of their fear of the economic redistributive preferences of the median voter, this study suggests that regime liberalizers in the Middle East suspect political openings could become a vehicle for Islamists to seize power through free elections only to deny the median voter another chance to express their will.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 01/2012; 24(1):110-146. DOI:10.1177/0951629811423121
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    ABSTRACT: What are the factors that lead to variation in the clientelistic use of state resources in electoral contexts? In this article I provide one answer to this question by focusing on the role of intra-party politics and analyzing the empirical case of patronage jobs in the Argentine provinces between 1984 and 2001. Patronage jobs in provincial administrations help governors build political support both in their own party and with the general public. However, when governors need their party (leader)'s support for their political careers and when the national party leadership position is open to competition, they reduce their clientelistic efforts not to lose the party's (or party leader's) support. The statistical analysis of public employment confirms this prediction that patronage is lower when the party's (or party leader's) support is important for politicians and when the leadership position within parties is open to competition.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 10/2011; 23(4):480-509. DOI:10.1177/0951629811416397
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    ABSTRACT: I consider a model in which the winner of a primary election faces a third candidate in a general election immediately thereafter. Prior to the primary election, there is a pre-election poll on how voters would vote in a hypothetical general election between one of the candidates in the primary election and the third candidate. I illustrate that voters have an incentive to misrepresent their voting intentions in the pre-election poll in order to influence voter beliefs about candidate electability in the general election and possibly cause voters to vote differently in the primary election.
    Journal of Theoretical Politics 10/2011; 23(4):463-479. DOI:10.1177/0951629811416322