The Journal of Politics

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 1468-2508
Print ISSN: 0022-3816
This essay argues, contrary to some interpretations, that Locke does indeed teach that men have inalienable rights, i.e., rights which they cannot irrevocably consent away even in civil society. This inalienable rights teaching is contained in his argument that suicide is absolutely forbidden by nature. Furthermore, through the prohibition of suicide, Locke shows the limits of the individual's right to consent, and this prohibition is the indispensable logical and moral basis of (1) his argument against slavery, (2) his defense of the right of revolution, (3) his argument that men have some duty to care about their fellow men, and (4) his teaching that the legitimate powers of government are limited. This interpretation defends Locke against the harshly critical treatment which is now common. In particular, his teaching about freedom is argued to be superior to the currently influential teaching that one is free to do as one wishes with oneself, limited only by the equal right of others to do the same.
Scholars in many fields have long noted the importance of social context in the development of political ideology. Recent work suggests that political ideology also has a heritable component, but no specific gene variant or combination of variants associated with political ideology have so far been identified. Here, we hypothesize that individuals with a genetic predisposition toward seeking out new experiences will tend to be more liberal, but only if they are embedded in a social context that provides them with multiple points of view. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we test this hypothesis by investigating an association between self-reported political ideology and the 7R variant of the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4), which has previously been associated with novelty seeking. Among those with DRD4-7R, we find that the number of friendships a person has in adolescence is significantly associated with liberal political ideology. Among those without the gene variant, there is no association. This is the first study to elaborate a specific gene-environment interaction that contributes to ideological self-identification, and it highlights the importance of incorporating both nature and nurture into the study of political preferences.
Contemporary scientific investigations have brought about extraordinary breakthroughs in our understanding of both physical and biological phenomena. However, these research modes also pose risks of uncertain dimension, and they have been, therefore, apt targets for government regulation. Addressing especially recombinant DNA procedures, because they constitute the prime example of such innovation, this essay argues that constitutional freedoms extend to laboratory inquiry, covering, to greater or lesser extent, various aspects of such research.
The states play pivotal roles in implementing the protective regulatory policies of the federal government. In this capacity they often profoundly shape who gets what from these programs. A well-rounded theory of the policy process requires precise specification of why some states try harder than others to implement Washington's regulatory policies. This article tests four important theories (wealth, partisan, group, and organizational search) in an attempt to explain state implementation effort under one major regulatory program—the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. State participation and enforcement vigor comprise the two major dimensions of implementation effort examined. The theories prove the most useful in explaining enforcement vigor. In this regard, a path analysis discloses that while wealth and interest group theories contribute to understanding, organizational-search theory is the best predictor of enforcement vigor. Partisan theory predicts the least. The study sheds light on a neglected aspect of regulatory policy and helps lay the cornerstone for a general theory of state implementation effort.
Most research on the diffusion of policy innovations focuses on the date of adoption and its correlates. This research examines an aspect of innovation which has received little attention: policy reinvention during the initial diffusion process and through amendment. The central proposition is that even though a set of laws or policies may be grouped into one broad, general category, states create substantively different policies through reinvention, which has important consequences for groups affected by the legislation. Hypotheses concerning the relationship between date of adoption and policy content and the effect of particular controversial policy provisions on reinventions are examined. The study has general implications for the study of the diffusion of innovations and policy in state politics.
Scholars disagree whether negative advertising demobilizes or stimulates the electorate. We use an experiment with over 10,200 eligible voters to evaluate the two leading hypotheses of negative political advertising. We extend the analysis to examine whether advertising differentially impacts the turnout of voter subpopulations depending on the advertisement’s message. In the short term, we find no evidence that exposure to negative advertisements decreases turnout and little that suggests it increases turnout. Any effect appears to depend upon the message of the advertisement and the characteristics of the viewer. In the long term, we find little evidence that the information contained in the treatment groups’ advertisements is sufficient to systematically alter turnout.
For too long, research on retrospective voting has fixated on how economic trends affect incumbents' electoral prospects in national and state elections. Hundreds of thousands of elections in the United States occur at the local level and have little to do with unemployment or inflation rates. This paper focuses on the most prevalent: school boards. Specifically, it examines whether voters hold school board members accountable for the performance of their schools. The 2000 elections reveal considerable evidence that voters evaluate school board members on the basis of student learning trends. During the 2002 and 2004 school board elections, however, when media (and by extension public) attention to testing and accountability systems drifted, measures of achievement did not influence incumbents' electoral fortunes. These findings, we suggest, raise important questions about both the scope conditions of retrospective voting models and the information voters rely upon when evaluating incumbents.
This essay reconsiders the meaning of politics. It argues that economics offers theory and language that can contribute to the understanding and fulfillment of political life by facilitating analysis of the public interest. However, economics does not provide an escape from political disagreement, whether based on inevitable differences of interest or of belief, or on self-serving efforts to advance one cause at the expense of another. As a language of discourse, economics is shown to be compatible with a broader conception of human nature than is sometimes claimed by its practitioners or acknowledged by its critics.
In recent decades, U.S. senators have made increasing use of complex unanimous consent agreements (UCAs) which preclude filibusters by setting a time for a final vote on legislation and which often specify permissible amendments and their proposers. Because of the numerous dilatory tactics permitted in the absence of a UCA, controversial legislation is often doomed unless such an agreement is reached. But in spite of correspondingly strong temptations for opponents to object to unanimous consent requests (UCRs), consent is prevalent. This paper addresses the puzzle with a decision-theoretic model that yields a rather stringent condition for objection to a UCR. Two cases of objection in the Senate are analyzed and found to support hypotheses derived from the model. A concluding discussion considers UCAs as endogenous institutions that permit Senate leaders to induce behavior that appears cooperative but is nonetheless consistent with individual utility maximization.
Despite many examples to the contrary, most models of elections assume that rules determining the winner will be followed. We present a model where elections are solely a public signal of the incumbent popularity, and citizens can protests against leaders that do not step down from power. In this minimal setup, rule-based alternation of power as well as "semi-democratic" alternation of power independent of electoral rules can both arise in equilibrium. Compliance with electoral rules requires there to be multiple equilibria in the protest game, where the electoral rule serves as a focal point spurring protest against losers that do not step down voluntarily. Such multiplicity is possible when elections are informative and citizens not too polarized. Extensions to the model are consistent with the facts that protests often center around accusations of electoral fraud and that in the democratic case turnover is peaceful while semi-democratic turnover often requires citizens to actually take to the streets.
Elected officials in the United States appear to represent relatively extreme support coalitions rather than the interests of middle-of-the-road voters. This contention is supported by analysis of variance of liberal–conservative positions in the United States Senate from 1959 to 1980. Within both the Democratic and the Republican parties, there is considerable variation in liberal–conservative positions, but two senators from the same state and party tend to be very similar. In contrast, senators from the same state but from different parties are highly dissimilar, suggesting that each party represents an extreme support coalition in the state. Moreover, the distribution of senators is now consistent with the hypothesis that, in the long run, both parties have an equal chance of winning any seat in the Senate. This result suggests that there is now competition between equally balanced but extreme support coalitions throughout most of the United States.
I develop a formal model of bureaucratic policymaking to investigate why a legislature would choose to delegate authority to a bureaucratic agency whose actions can be controlled, ex post, by an executive with divergent policy preferences. Because the executive and legislature might find different policies to be salient to their constituencies, I demonstrate that executive review of agency rulemaking can benefit both branches of government, relative to legislative delegation without the possibility of such review. In trying to undermine the impacts of executive oversight, agencies propose policies that could benefit the legislature were the executive to choose not to intervene in agency policymaking. Likewise, if the executive does intervene, executive review allows him to implement a policy more desirable than absent such review. This joint-desirability of executive review is more likely when legislative and executive policy preferences are relatively aligned, and when legislative and agency policy preferences are relatively divergent. The broader social welfare consequences of executive review depend on the relative effectiveness of the executive's oversight of agency policymaking. These results provide insight for why mediating lawmaking institutions such as the Office of Information and Regulatory Analysis (OIRA) continue to survive in a separation of powers system despite their potential to advantage one branch of government at the expense of the other.
A theory of deliberation must provide a plausible account both of individuals? choices to speak or to listen and of how they reinterpret their own views in the aftermath of deliberation. We describe a game-theoretic laboratory experiment in which subjects with diverse interests and information choose to speak or to listen and, after updating their beliefs, vote over a common outcome. An important feature of our strategic setting is that not receiving a specific communication is sometimes just as informative as receiving it. We analyze subjects? deliberative choices and the relationship between these choices, subjects? initial positions and arguments, and individual cognition. Our evidence shows that, although subjects behave instrumentally, their behavior reveals the existence of a cognitive hierarchy defined by differing abilities to grasp the strategic implications of different kinds of information. We trace the consequences of these underlying cognitive differences for individual deliberative choices and for the informativeness of deliberation.
A recent development in the theory of voting is the possibility that agendas over which legislators may engage in sophisticated voting can place legislators in awkward situations. Consequently, some legislators may choose not to vote sophisticatedly. Roll-call votes on the school construction bill of 1956 are cited as support for this "position-taking" hypothesis (Denzau, Riker, and Shepsle 1985). This article questions the relevance of classical sophisticated voting theory in general and the position-taking extension in particular. First, the body of rules and precedents in the U.S. Congress make it easy to avoid opportunities for sophisticated voting. Second, when rare cases arise in which agendas do permit identifiable sophisticated voting, uncertainty makes the application of perfect-information theory inappropriate. Reconsideration of some heretofore overlooked procedural facts surrounding the school aid bill, as well as its distributive content, yields an alternative approach: characterization of the situation as a game with incomplete information and extraction of hypotheses that are testable without employing the ad hoc assumptions required in previous accounts. Empirical analysis supports our model, accentuates the limitations of previous voting theory, and illustrates the interplay of information and procedure in legislative politics.
Institutional Requirements for Passing Constitutional Amendments
Comparisons of Attitudes and Outcomes by State Type  
Legislative and Voter Requirements in Non-DCI States
Some states treat a same-sex marriage as legally equal to a marriage between a man and a woman. Other states prohibit legal recognition of same-sex marriages in their constitutions. In every state that has a constitutional restriction against same-sex marriage, the amendment was passed by a popular vote. The conventional wisdom about allowing voter participation in such decisions is that they yield constitutional outcomes that reflect attitude differences across states. We reexamine the attitude-amendment relationship and find it to be weaker than expected. In particular, we show that states vary in the costs they impose on constituencies that desire constitutional change. Some states impose very low costs (i.e., a simple majority of voters is sufficient for change). Other states impose very high costs (i.e., substantial legislative and voter supermajoriries are requires). We find that variations in the legal status of same-sex marriage across US states is better explained by these variations in costs than they are by differences in public opinion. Our method yields an improved explanation of why states differ in their constitutional treatment of same-sex marriage today. Our findings have distinct implications for people who wish to understand and/or change the future status of same-sex couples in state constitutions.
The central claim of a rapidly growing literature in international relations is that members of pairs of democratic states are much less likely to engage each other in war or in serious disputes short of war than are members of other pairs of states. Our analysis does not support this claim. Instead, we find that the dispute rate between democracies is lower than is that of other country pairs only after World War II. Before 1914 and between the World Wars, there is no difference between the war rates of members of democratic pairs of states and those of members of other pairs of states. We also find that there is a higher incidence of serious disputes short of war between democracies than between nondemocracies before 1914. We attribute this cross-temporal variation in dispute rates to changes in patterns of common and conflicting interests across time. We use alliances as an indicator of common interests to show that cross-temporal variation in dispute rates conforms to variations in interest patterns for two of the three time periods in our sample.
We construct a locational model of majority voting when competing parties offer special favours to interest groups. Each group's membership is heterogeneous in its affinities for the two parties. Individuals face a trade-off between party affinity and their own transfer receipts.The model is sufficiently general to yield two often-discussed but competing theories as special cases. If the parties are equally effective in delivering transfers to any group, the outcome of the process conforms to the `swing voter' theory: both parties woo the politically-central groups most responsive to economic favours. If groups have party affiliations and each party is more effective in delivering favours to its own support group, we can get the `machine politics' outcome, where each party dispenses favour to its core support group. But in some circumstances the machine may find it advantageous to tax its core and use the proceeds to win the support of other voters.
reports descriptive statistics for a selected set of these characteristics. The
Democratic Candidates' Vote Shares in 2006 and 2002 in Precincts Just Above versus Just Below the Income Threshold for Receiving Mail in 2006
Other Characteristics of Precincts Just Above and Just Below Income Threshold for Receiving Mail in 2006
presents the point estimates and standard errors for these estimates. 7 It indicates that there is about an 11.1 percentage point difference in mail concentration above the income threshold relative to below. The difference point estimate of 1.6
Fitted Democratic Candidates' Vote Shares in 2006 and 2002 from Local Linear Regression at the Income Threshold
During the contest for Kansas attorney general in 2006, an organization sent out 6 pieces of mail criticizing the incumbent's conduct in office. We exploit a discontinuity in the rule used to select which households received the mailings to identify the causal effect of mail on vote choice and voter turnout. We find these mailings had both a statistically and politically significant effect on the challenger's vote share. Our estimates suggest that a ten percentage point increase in the amount of mail sent to a precinct increased the challenger's vote share by approximately three percentage points. Furthermore, our results suggest that the mechanism for this increase was persuasion rather than mobilization.
This paper compares the voting rates of those who are enrolled by registration drives in comparison to the rates of those who register themselves. The central question is whether the return from registration drives in terms of the number of voters they yield is worth the effort? In addition, the paper looks at the demographic profile of the group-registered voters to discover how they differ from self-registered individuals. The data set consists of 108,653 individuals in Los Angeles County who registered between the 1980 and 1982 elections. The results indicate that 41% of those registered by registration drives actually voted as compared to 57% of the self-registered. It also appears that the group-registered voters are younger and more frequently minority.
This paper provides an interpretation of the uncertainty that exists at the beginning of the day of an election as to who will win. It is based on the theory that there are a number of possible conditions of nature that can exist on election day, of which one is drawn. Political betting markets like Intrade provide a way of trying to estimate this uncertainty. It is argued that polling standard errors do not provide estimates of this type of uncertainty. They instead estimate sample-size uncertainty, which can be driven close to zero with a large enough sample. This paper also introduces a ranking assumption concerning dependencies across U.S. states, which puts restrictions on the possible conditions of nature than can exist on election day. The joint hypothesis that the last-day Intrade ranking is correct and the ranking assumption is correct predicts the exact outcomes of the 2004 presidential election and the 2006 Senate election. Although not a test of the ranking assumption, there is evidence that the Intrade traders used the ranking assumption to price contracts in the 2004 presidential election. This was not the case, however, in the 2006 Senate election. Finally, it is shown if the ranking assumption is correct, the two political parties should spend all their money on a few states, which seems consistent with their actual behavior in 2004.
While the world of politics is uncertain, previous work, both theoretical and empirical, has largely failed to incorporate this uncertainty into the analysis of public opinion and electoral behavior. In this article we discuss measures designed to elicit the uncertainty survey respondents feel about their political perceptions. These measures exhibit response patterns which are interpretable, substantively interesting, and consistent with a model relating uncertainty to citizen information costs. We also find that variation in respondent uncertainty leads to different models of perception of political figures and speaks to models of the survey response. As a practical matter, our measures can easily be incorporated into existing surveys with no disruption of continuity.
This paper examines the extent to which constituency and subconstituency preferences are reflected in roll-call voting in the 106th House. Aggregating 100,814 randomly selected respondents to measure subconstituency preferences provides an unprecedented ability to measure subconstituency preferences in the House. Looking at the relationship over all votes, “key votes,” and on individual votes confirms that representatives are not completely responsive to the district mean voter, that only majority party Republicans are especially responsive to the preferences of same-party constituents, and that same-party constituency preferences cannot entirely account for systematic differences in Republican and Democratic voting behavior.
Recent globalization discussions have revived the issue of regulatory convergence. Convergence advocates point to the structural pressures of the global economy on countries, while the divergence school points to the embeddedness of domestic regulatory institutions. This paper examines cross-national divergence in adoption rates of ISO 14001, an important international nongovernmental environmental regime developed with the cooperation of multinational firms. ISO 14001 offers a process-based system of voluntary regulation instead of an outcome-based system of public regulation that many firms find cumbersome. Our analysis of data from 59 countries suggests that ISO 14001 adoption rates are likely to be higher in countries whose trading partners have adopted this nongovernmental regime, which are embedded in international networks of nongovernmental organizations, whose governments flexibly enforce stringent environmental regulations with a less adversarial and litigious stance towards firms, and where consumers want mechanisms for identifying environmentally progressive firms.
In a legislative setting, open access to the floor of a legislature and full debate are hallmarks of republican liberty. Yet the early U.S. House of Representatives closed access to the floor and restricted debate. A rational choice explanation of control based on the degree of party conflict is tested using a database of all rule change proposals regarding floor access and debate in the first through the twenty-eighth congresses. I find that easements are not connected to partisan conflict or the lack of the same, but restrictions are. The majority party initiated restrictions to strengthen its powers on the floor to compensate for its weakness. The minority party took advantage of divided majority-party coalitions to limit the severity of majority control.
The 17th Amendment established the direct election of senators. Although scholars have discounted the Amendment as inconsequential, we argue that it significantly changed patterns of election-seeking and legislative voting behavior. First, the Amendment negated the influence of state legislatures in senators’ decisions to stand for reelection, inducing more incumbents to run. Second, the Amendment introduced incentives for senators to moderate their public ideologies in pursuit of reelection. We employ a selection model to test the impact of the 17th Amendment on the interdependent decisions to stand for reelection and to shift late-term roll-call behavior. Using W-Nominate scores for major party senators serving from 1877 to 1932, we show that post-Amendment senators, particularly Republicans, were systematically more likely to moderate ideologically as elections approached.
Is the Enemy of My Friend or the Friend of My Enemy Also My Enemy?
The Effect of Indirect Friendship/Enmity Relations on Direct Relations-Accounting for Imbalances: Logit Analysis, All (Politically Relevant) Dyads, 1816-2001
The Causes of Relational Imbalance
This study explores logical and empirical implications of friendship and enmity in world politics by linking indirect international relations (e.g., “the enemy of my enemy,”“the enemy of my friend”) to direct relations (“my friend,”“my enemy”). The realist paradigm suggests that states ally against common enemies and thus states sharing common enemies should not fight each other. Nor are states expected to ally with enemies of their allies or with allies of their enemies. Employing social network methodology to measure direct and indirect relations, we find that international interactions over the last 186 years exhibit significant relational imbalances: states that share the same enemies and allies are disproportionately likely to be both allies and enemies at the same time. Our explanation of the causes and consequences of relational imbalances for international conflict/cooperation combines ideas from the realist and the liberal paradigms. “Realist” factors such as the presence of strategic rivalry, opportunism and exploitative tendencies, capability parity, and contiguity increase the likelihood of relational imbalances. On the other hand, factors consistent with the liberal paradigm (e.g., joint democracy, economic interdependence, shared IGO membership) tend to reduce relational imbalances. Finally, we find that the likelihood of conflict increases with the presence of relational imbalances. We explore the theoretical and practical implications of these issues.
One of the most fundamental changes in post-World War II congressional elections has been the rise of candidate-centered campaigns. This phenomenon has given rise to considerable theoretical and empirical literature demonstrating the strategic behavior of congressional candidates. Yet very few scholars have assessed the effect or existence of strategic candidate behavior for the pre-World War II era. We seek to fill part of this void by exploring the extent to which experienced or quality candidates played a role in influencing the electoral fortunes of incumbent House members in elections spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Our findings suggest that in terms of strategic emergence and electoral performance, congressional candidates exhibited patterns of behavior which are strikingly similar to those seen in modern-day campaigns, suggesting that individual ambition is the best explanation for candidate behavior in both eras.
We formalize and test arguments originating with Schattschneider and Burnham about elite control of the governing process in the “system of 1896.” To do so, we draw upon classic elite theory and contemporary public policy theory to specify the particular ways elite power might have operated and to deduce a series of hypotheses about such power at various stages in the policy process. Our empirical tests of the resultant propositions—for the controversy over direct democracy reform adoptions in individual American states—offer notable evidence for elite influence over the active agenda status of direct democracy proposals, as well as over the adoption, scope of adoption, and speediness of adoption of such reforms.
Past research on budgeting has ignored the existence of an equilibrating tendency in U.S. federal revenues and expenditures through time. Using time series error-correction models, show the existence of such an equilibrating tendency in federal budgets from 1904 to 1996, and theorize that it is due to the balanced-budget norm. Time-varying parameter estimation methods are then used to reveal substantial variations in the strength of the equilibrating tendency through time. Descriptive evidence from the time-varying coefficients shows that the equilibrating tendency in the federal budget was actually weaker prior to the Great Depression and the acceptance of Keynesian principles. There is little evidence of temporal change in the equilibrating tendency in the modern era due to partisanship or divided government. The results suggest that the balanced budget force is important in changing federal revenues and expenditures, but in a manner more complex than has been suggested by facile theories of the past.
Why does filibustering persist in the U.S. Senate? This article analyzes senators’ preferences toward majority cloture from 1918 to 1925, a crucial period in Senate history. I find that majority party members were more likely to support stricter cloture rules, but support for cloture reform diminished within both parties for senators far from the party median. I find little evidence that support or opposition to cloture reform was linked to seniority, prior House experience, legislative activism, or state size. These findings are consistent with the micro-level claims of conditional party government theory.
The transformation of the presidential electoral process from a party-controlled to a media-driven candidate-centered system has made it increasingly difficult for presidents to meld governing and campaigning expertise within a single White House-centered advisory organization. This is because the skills needed to win office are increasingly divorced from those needed to govern effectively. As presidential priorities shift from campaigning to governing (or vice versa), then, presidents must reorganize their advisory system to maximize the usefulness of those aides possessing the requisite talents and experiences. The findings from a logistic regression analyzing the causes of staff turnover during the period 1929–1997 are consistent with the claim that higher rates of presidential staff turnover are linked to changes in the presidential selection process.
A central question in the study of executive politics concerns whether presidents behave in an idiopathic, opportunistic fashion reflecting individual differences across administrations, or whether presidents behave as institutional actors who are constrained by external forces that occur across administrations. We argue that development of the institutional presidency is an important consideration in understanding presidential behavior. We maintain that presidents will behave consistent with the opportunistic model during the developmental phase of the institutional presidency, while they will act compatibly with the constraint model once the institution has fully matured. Using data on executive orders for the 1939–96 sample period, both event count regression techniques and model selection criteria are employed to test our theory. The statistical evidence supports our claim that each theory has empirical merit, depending upon the stage of the institutional presidency under investigation.
Scholars differ regarding the reason for the institutionalization of a large, functionally specialized White House-centered presidential staff system during the last six decades. Among the factors cited is a general growth in government size and complexity, increases in the presidential workload, and the institutional rivalry between the president and Congress. However, using new advances in time-series analysis based on fractional integration, we show that these models of staff growth are plagued by conceptual and methodological shortcomings that render their substantive conclusions unreliable. In response, we develop and test a comprehensive explanatory model that combines elements of previous research but uses fractional integration to account more accurately for whether newly created staff positions are institutionalized. We find that presidential staff growth is driven primarily by changes in presidents' bargaining relations with Congress, the media, and the public, and only secondarily by a general growth in government's responsibilities.
Media critics blame contemporary news for increasing levels of apathy and ignorance among the electorate. We agree that the amount of policy-oriented information in news coverage of presidential campaigns has declined and the level of news consumption has fallen. Yet, based on 50 years of data on media content and public attitudes, we find that over this period of time Americans have just as much to say about the major-party presidential candidates, what they have to say is more policy oriented, the association of vote choice with policy considerations has strengthened while the association with character considerations has weakened, and factual knowledge about the presidential candidates’ issue positions has not declined. We assess the role of education, party polarization, and paid advertising in explaining trends in Americans’ political knowledge and engagement. We show that the public's steady level of information and increased focus on policy in presidential politics reflects the high level of policy content in paid ads, which have compensated for the shift of news coverage toward candidate character, scandal, and the horse race.
Several studies have examined the relationship between presidential action and public opinion; however, few explore a direct and continuous connection between presidential rhetoric and public opinion. To measure presidential rhetorical congruence with opinion, I construct a data set of matched opinion and policy statements from Presidents Eisenhower to Clinton. Confirming expectations (while contradicting others), I find no differences in congruent position taking between presidents who served earlier (Eisenhower to Ford) from those who served later (Carter to Clinton). Importantly, the election effect discovered in the president’s first term is repeated in the second term in advance of midterm or presidential elections. Methods of public communication present mixed results; statements made on television are less likely to be congruent with public opinion in the first term (but more likely in the second term) while statements made in public speeches are positive for second-term presidents, both points suggesting presidents do not “go quietly” into retirement.
We know that policy makers respond more directly to citizen values on morality policy than on nonmorality policy (Haider-Markel and Meier 1996; Mooney and Lee 1995), but how is their response different when morality policy is favored by a clear majority (consensus policy) than when public opinion is more closely divided (contentious policy) (Meier n.d.)? Which values and whose values are responded to under each of these conditions? To address these questions, we conduct an event history analysis on the adoption of two states' death penalty reforms within very different public opinion contexts: the abolition of the death penalty (1956–71), and its reestablishment in the 11 years after Furman v. Georgia (1972). We find that when public opinion is closely divided on a morality policy issue, policy makers follow its contours closely, to the exclusion of most other influences. But when public opinion is one-sided, political elite ideology has almost exclusive influence on the timing and extent of policy change.
It is commonly believed by pundits and political elites that higher turnout favors Democratic candidates, but the extant research is inconsistent in finding this effect. The purpose of this article is to provide scholars with a methodology for assessing the likely effects of turnout on an election outcome using simulations based on survey data. By varying simulated turnout rates for five U.S. elections from 1960 to 2000, we observe that Democratic advantages from higher turnout (and Republican advantages from lower turnout) have steadily ebbed since 1960, corresponding to the erosion of class cleavages in U.S. elections.
Previous studies of U.S. foreign aid have firmly established that foreign policy and domestic considerations strongly influence allocations of military and economic development assistance. Uncharted, however, is the question of similar influences on U.S. humanitarian aid. Analyzing U.S. foreign disaster assistance data from 1964 through 1995, this paper concludes that foreign policy and domestic factors not only influence disaster assistance allocations but that they are the overriding determinant. This impact is, however, somewhat differential: the initial “yes/no” decision to grant disaster assistance is markedly political, but the subsequent “how much” decision is also not devoid of political considerations.
This paper uses individual-level data to examine the impact of unions on turnout and assesses the consequences of dramatic changes in union strength and in the composition of union membership since 1964 for the composition of the U.S. electorate. We first estimate individual-level models to test for the distinct effects of union membership and union strength on the probabilities of members and nonmembers voting and then test whether the effect of individual union membership and overall union strength varies across income levels. We find that unions increase turnout of both members and nonmembers. By simulating what turnout would be were union membership at its 1964 level, we show that the decline in union membership since 1964 has affected the aggregate turnout of both low- and middle-income individuals more than the aggregate turnout of high-income individuals. However, while class bias has increased as a consequence of the decline, the change is surprisingly small.
Scholars have devoted considerable attention to the consequences of delegate selection rules for presidential nominations, yet few have sought an explanation for the variance in these rules across the states and over time. In this article, we ask why state party elites would open their processes of delegate selection to a large and potentially ideologically diverse constituency by holding primary elections rather than caucuses. We develop an account of endogenous institutional choice that suggests elites ought to be increasingly likely to open their delegate selection rules as the ideological nature of the party and the state's electorate converge. We test this claim using a new data set on Democratic Party selection rules between 1972 and 2000 and find that the degree of ideological convergence is a strong predictor of state party choices to open the process of delegate selection. These results provide additional support for general theoretical claims that characterize political institutions as fundamentally endogenous to the politics they regulate.
This article employs Heckman selection models to explore the determinants of corporate PAC formation and PAC size and how these determinants have changed over time. While the findings suggest that high-tech firms use PACs to seek rents from government, internal organizational politics influence their behavior as well. I also find that the effect of some independent variables, including firm size, susceptibility to regulation, and R&D spending, changed significantly over the two-decade span encompassed in the data, peaking in influence in the mid-1980s. The quantitative analysis is supplemented by interview data that point to the existence of a political “arms control” process among some market competitors.
Top-cited authors
Alan I. Abramowitz
  • Emory University
Donald P. Green
  • Columbia University
James N Druckman
  • Northwestern University
James Kuklinski
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Kay Schlozman
  • Boston College, USA