Bates, Robert H. 2008. When Things Fell Apart . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. WebsiteAbstract
the later decades of the 20th century, Africa plunged into political chaos. States failed, governments became predators, and citizens took up arms. In When Things Fell Apart, Robert H. Bates advances an explanation of state failure in Africa. In so doing, he not only plumbs the depths of the continent's late-century tragedy, but also the logic of political order and the foundations of the state. This book covers a wide range of territory by drawing on materials from Rwanda, Sudan, Liberia, and Congo. Written to be accessible to the general reader, it is nonetheless a must-read for scholars and policy makers concerned with political conflict and state failure.
Rogoff, Kenneth S, and Carmen M Reinhart. 2008. Is the 2007 US Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison, American Economic Review 98, no. 2: 339-344. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The first major financial crisis of the twenty-first century involves esoteric instruments, unaware regulators, and skittish investors. It also follows a well-trodden path laid down by centuries of financial folly. Is the “special” problem of sub-prime mortgages really different? Our examination of the longer historical record, which is part of a larger effort on currency and debt crises, finds stunning qualitative and quantitative parallels across a number of standard financial crisis indicators. To name a few, the run-up in US equity and housing prices that Graciela L. Kaminsky and Reinhart (1999) find to be the best leading indicators of crisis in countries experiencing large capital inflows closely tracks the average of the previous 18 post–World War II banking crises in industrial countries. So, too, does the inverted v-shape of real growth in the years prior to the crisis. Despite widespread concern about the effects on national debt of the tax cuts of the early 2000s, the run-up in US public debt is actually somewhat below the average of other crisis episodes. In contrast, the pattern of US current account deficits is markedly worse. At this juncture, the book is still open on how the current dislocations in the United States will play out. The precedent found in the aftermath of other episodes suggests that the strains can be quite severe, depending especially on the initial degree of trauma to the financial system (and to some extent, the policy response). The average drop in (real per capita) output growth is over 2 percent, and it typically takes two years to return to trend. For the five most catastrophic cases (which include episodes in Finland, Japan, Norway, Spain, and Sweden), the drop in annual output growth from peak to trough is over 5 percent, and growth remained well below pre-crisis trend even after three years. These more catastrophic cases, of course, mark the boundary that policymakers particularly want to avoid.
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Feldman, Noah. 2008. The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. Princeton University Press. WebsiteAbstract
Perhaps no other Western writer has more deeply probed the bitter struggle in the Muslim world between the forces of religion and law and those of violence and lawlessness as Noah Feldman. His scholarship has defined the stakes in the Middle East today. Now, in this incisive book, Feldman tells the story behind the increasingly popular call for the establishment of the shari'a--the law of the traditional Islamic state - in the modern Muslim world. Western powers call it a threat to democracy. Islamist movements are winning elections on it. Terrorists use it to justify their crimes. What, then, is the shari'a? Given the severity of some of its provisions, why is it popular among Muslims? Can the Islamic state succeed - should it? Feldman reveals how the classical Islamic constitution governed through and was legitimated by law. He shows how executive power was balanced by the scholars who interpreted and administered the shari'a, and how this balance of power was finally destroyed by the tragically incomplete reforms of the modern era. The result has been the unchecked executive dominance that now distorts politics in so many Muslim states. Feldman argues that a modern Islamic state could provide political and legal justice to today's Muslims, but only if new institutions emerge that restore this constitutional balance of power. The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State gives us the sweeping history of the traditional Islamic constitution - its noble beginnings, its downfall, and the renewed promise it could hold for Muslims and Westerners alike.
Rosen, Jeffrey. 2007. Conscience of a Conservative, NY Times Magazine. Publisher's Version
Ferguson, Niall. 2007. The Problem of Conjecture: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine.Abstract
It is now nearly five years since President Bush promulgated what has become known as "the Bush Doctrine". The seminal document, published above the President’s signature twelve months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and entitled National Security Strategy of the United States, argued that because "deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network or murderous dictator … constitute as grave a threat as can be imagined", the President as commander-in-chief should, at his discretion, "act preemptively" to forestall or prevent any such threat. "As a matter of common sense and self-defense", the President stated, the United States would “act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed” and before they reached America’s borders. NSS-2002 asserted not only the principle of preemption but also the principle of unilateralism. "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community," the document declared, "we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary..." At the time, and subsequently, the two principles of preemption and unilateralism were widely criticized as dangerous novelties in American foreign policy.
Patterson, Orlando. 2007. Jena, O. J. and the Jailing of Black America. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The miscarriage of justice at Jena, La.—where five black high school students arrested for beating a white student were charged with attempted murder—and the resulting protest march tempts us to the view, expressed by several of the marchers, that not much has changed in traditional American racial relations. However, a remarkable series of high-profile incidents occurring elsewhere in the nation at about the same time, as well as the underlying reason for the demonstrations themselves, make it clear that the Jena case is hardly a throwback to the 1960s, but instead speaks to issues that are very much of our times.What exactly attracted thousands of demonstrators to the small Louisiana town? While for some it was a simple case of righting a grievous local injustice, and for others an opportunity to relive the civil rights era, for most the real motive was a long overdue cry of outrage at the use of the prison system as a means of controlling young black men. America has more than two million citizens behind bars, the highest absolute and per capita rate of incarceration in the world. Black Americans, a mere 13 percent of the population, constitute half of this country’s prisoners. A tenth of all black men between ages 20 and 35 are in jail or prison; blacks are incarcerated at over eight times the white rate. The effect on black communities is catastrophic: one in three male African-Americans in their 30s now has a prison record, as do nearly two-thirds of all black male high school dropouts. These numbers and rates are incomparably greater than anything achieved at the height of the Jim Crow era. What’s odd is how long it has taken the African-American community to address in a forceful and thoughtful way this racially biased and utterly counterproductive situation. How, after decades of undeniable racial progress, did we end up with this virtual gulag of racial incarceration? Part of the answer is a law enforcement system that unfairly focuses on drug offenses and other crimes more likely to be committed by blacks, combined with draconian mandatory sentencing and an absurdly counterproductive retreat from rehabilitation as an integral method of dealing with offenders. An unrealistic fear of crime that is fed in part by politicians and the press, a tendency to emphasize punitive measures and old-fashioned racism are all at play here. But there is another equally important cause: the simple fact that young black men commit a disproportionate number of crimes, especially violent crimes, which cannot be attributed to judicial bias, racism or economic hardships. The rate at which blacks commit homicides is seven times that of whites. Why is this? Several incidents serendipitously occurring at around the same time as the march on Jena hint loudly at a possible answer.
  • In New York City, the tabloids published sensational details of the bias suit brought by a black former executive for the Knicks, Anucha Browne Sanders, who claims that she was frequently called a “bitch” and a “ho” by the Knicks coach and president, Isiah Thomas. In a video deposition, Thomas said that while it is always wrong for a white man to verbally abuse a black woman in such terms, it was “not as much…I’m sorry to say” for a black man to do so.
  • Across the nation, religious African-Americans were shocked that the evangelical minister Juanita Bynum, an enormously popular source of inspiration for churchgoing black women, said she was brutally beaten in a parking lot by her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks.
  • O. J. Simpson, the malevolent central player in an iconic moment in the nation’s recent black-white (as well as male-female) relations, reappeared on the scene, charged with attempted burglary, kidnapping and felonious assault in Las Vegas, in what he claimed was merely an attempt to recover stolen memorabilia.
These events all point to something that has been swept under the rug for too long in black America: the crisis in relations between men and women of all classes and, as a result, the catastrophic state of black family life, especially among the poor. Isiah Thomas’s outrageous double standard shocked many blacks in New York only because he had the nerve to say out loud what is a fact of life for too many black women who must daily confront indignity and abuse in hip-hop misogyny and everyday conversation. What is done with words is merely the verbal end of a continuum of abuse that too often ends with beatings and spousal homicide. Black relationships and families fail at high rates because women increasingly refuse to put up with this abuse. The resulting absence of fathers—some 70 percent of black babies are born to single mothers—is undoubtedly a major cause of youth delinquency. The circumstances that far too many African-Americans face—the lack of paternal support and discipline; the requirement that single mothers work regardless of the effect on their children’s care; the hypocritical refusal of conservative politicians to put their money where their mouths are on family values; the recourse by male youths to gangs as parental substitutes; the ghetto-fabulous culture of the streets; the lack of skills among black men for the jobs and pay they want; the hypersegregation of blacks into impoverished inner-city neighborhoods—all interact perversely with the prison system that simply makes hardened criminals of nonviolent drug offenders and spits out angry men who are unemployable, unreformable and unmarriageable, closing the vicious circle.Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other leaders of the Jena demonstration who view events there, and the racial horror of our prisons, as solely the result of white racism are living not just in the past but in a state of denial. Even after removing racial bias in our judicial and prison system—as we should and must do—disproportionate numbers of young black men will continue to be incarcerated.Until we view this social calamity in its entirety—by also acknowledging the central role of unstable relations among the sexes and within poor families, by placing a far higher priority on moral and social reform within troubled black communities, and by greatly expanding social services for infants and children—it will persist.
King, Gary, and Ying Lu. 2007. Verbal Autopsy Methods with Multiple Causes of Death.Abstract
Verbal autopsy procedures are widely used for estimating cause-specific mortality in areas without medical death certification. Data on symptoms reported by caregivers along with the cause of death are collected from a medical facility, and the cause-of-death distribution is estimated in the population where only symptom data are available. Current approaches analyze only one cause at a time, involve assumptions judged difficult or impossible to satisfy, and require expensive, time consuming, or unreliable physician reviews, expert algorithms, or parametric statistical models. By generalizing current approaches to analyze multiple causes, we show how most of the difficult assumptions underlying existing methods can be dropped. These generalizations also make physician review, expert algorithms, and parametric statistical assumptions unnecessary. With theoretical results, and empirical analyses in data from China and Tanzania, we illustrate the accuracy of this approach. While no method of analyzing verbal autopsy data, including the more computationally intensive approach offered here, can give accurate estimates in all circumstances, the procedure offered is conceptually simpler, less expensive, more general, as or more replicable, and easier to use in practice than existing approaches. We also show how our focus on estimating aggregate proportions, which are the quantities of primary interest in verbal autopsy studies, may also greatly reduce the assumptions necessary, and thus improve the performance of, many individual classifiers in this and other areas. As a companion to this paper, we also offer easy-to-use software that implements the methods discussed herein.
King, Gary, and James Honaker. 2007. What to Do about Missing Values in Time Series Cross-Section Data.Abstract
Applications of modern methods for analyzing data with missing values, based primarily on multiple imputation, have in the last half-decade become common in American politics and political behavior. Scholars in these fields have thus increasingly avoided the biases and inefficiencies caused by ad hoc methods like listwise deletion and best guess imputation. However, researchers in much of comparative politics and international relations, and others with similar data, have been unable to do the same because the best available imputation methods work poorly with the time-series cross-section data structures common in these fields. We attempt to rectify this situation. First, we build a multiple imputation model that allows smooth time trends, shifts across cross-sectional units, and correlations over time and space, resulting in far more accurate imputations. Second, we build nonignorable missingness models by enabling analysts to incorporate knowledge from area studies experts via priors on individual missing cell values, rather than on difficult-tointerpret model parameters. Third, because these tasks could not be accomplished within existing imputation algorithms, in that they cannot handle as many variables as needed even in the simpler cross-sectional data for which they were designed, we also develop a new algorithm that substantially expands the range of computationally feasible data types and sizes for which multiple imputation can be used. These developments also made it possible to implement the methods introduced here in freely available open source software that is considerably more reliable than existing algorithms.
Garip, Filiz. 2007. International Migration in Context: Migrant Types, Strategies and Outcomes.Abstract
This paper explores types of migrants from Mexico to the United States in the period 1970-2000. Prior work analyzes the distinctions between migrants and non-migrants and suggests a number of theories that explain migration behavior. While each theory uncovers a different facet of migration flows, no single theory is able to capture the complexity of individuals’ migration choices. Furthermore, focusing on what distinguishes migrants from non-migrants, prior research effectively treats migrants as a homogenous group, assuming that they respond to changes in the migration context in the same way. This paper develops a context-dependent model of migration and argues that variations in the social, economic and political context of sending and receiving regions create different conditions for migrating. These conditions are heightened or lessened by migrants’ demographic characteristics and family networks. Hence, together all these elements help identify different types or strategies of migrants. A cluster analysis, informed by theories of migration, finds five distinct types of migrants from Mexico to the United States: network migrants (those who follow family or community migrants), income-maximizing migrants (those who seek to increase their income), risk-diversifying migrants (those who migrate to diversify their sources of income), push migrants (those who migrate to escape worsening economic conditions in Mexico), and pull migrants (those who take advantage of favorable migrating conditions to the U.S.). The relative presence and dominance of each migrant type follows a clear time pattern, signifying critical changes in the Mexican-U.S. migration context. Moreover, migrant types seem to influence several outcomes (legal or illegal entry, subsequent trips, length of stay), and lead to specific predictions not foreseen by the theories of migration. These results not only provide novel insights into the migration process between Mexico and the U.S., but they also show that different theories about why individuals migrate may each be correct in different contexts. Future research should focus on the interrelations among different theories of migration, and identify the specific contexts under which different ideas work.
Perry, Elizabeth J. 2007. Patrolling the Revolution: Worker Militias, Citizenship, and the Modern Chinese State. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This pioneering study explores the role of working-class militias as vanguard and guardian of the Chinese revolution. The book begins with the origins of urban militias in the late nineteenth century and follows their development down to the present day. Elizabeth Perry focuses on the institution of worker militias as a vehicle for analyzing the changing (yet enduring) impact of China's revolutionary heritage on subsequent state-society relations. She also incorporates a strong comparative perspective, examining the influence of revolutionary militias on the political trajectories of the United States, France, the Soviet Union, and Iran. Based on exhaustive archival research, the work raises fascinating questions about the construction of revolutionary citizenship; the distinctions among class, community, and creed; the open-ended character of revolutionary movements, and the path dependency of institutional change. All readers interested in deepening their understanding of the Chinese Revolution and in the nature of revolutionary change more generally will find this an invaluable contribution. 
King, Gary, and Daniel Hopkins. 2007. Extracting Systematic Social Science Meaning from Text.Abstract
We develop two methods of automated content analysis that give approximately unbiased estimates of quantities of theoretical interest to social scientists. With a small sample of documents hand coded into investigator-chosen categories, our methods can give accurate estimates of the proportion of text documents in each category in a larger population. Existing methods successful at maximizing the percent of documents correctly classified allow for the possibility of substantial estimation bias in the category proportions of interest. Our first approach corrects this bias for any existing classifier, with no additional assumptions. Our second method estimates the proportions without the intermediate step of individual document classification, and thereby greatly reduces the required assumptions. For both methods, we also correct statistically, apparently for the first time, for the far less-than-perfect levels of inter-coder reliability that typically characterize human attempts to classify documents, an approach that will normally outperform even population hand coding when that is feasible. These methods allow us to measure the classical conception of public opinion as those views that are actively and publicly expressed, rather than the attitudes or nonattitudes of the populace as a whole. To do this, we track the daily opinions of millions of people about President Bush and the candidates for the 2008 presidential nominations using a massive data set of online blogs we develop and make available with this article. We also offer easy-to-use software that implements our methods, which we also demonstrate work with many other sources of unstructured text.
This paper describes material that is patent pending. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 2006 annual meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association (under a different title) and the Society for Political Methodology.Download PDF
Kremer, Michael, and Tom Wilkening. 2007. Antiquities: Long-Term Leases as an Alternative to Export Bans.Abstract
Most countries prohibit the export of certain antiquities. This practice often leads to illegal excavation and looting for the black market, which damages the items and destroys important aspects of the archaeological record. We argue that long-term leases of antiquities would raise revenue for the country of origin while preserving national long-term ownership rights. By putting antiquities into the hands of the highest value consumer in each period, allowing leases would generate incentives for the protection of objects.
Goodman, Ryan, Henry J Steiner, and Philip Alston. 2007. International Human Rights in Context, 3rd edition. Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The third edition of International Human Rights in Context continues to bring sophisticated and thought-provoking analysis to the study of human rights within its wider social and cultural context. This widely acclaimed interdisciplinary coursebook presents a diverse range of carefully edited primary and secondary materials alongside extensive text, editorial commentary, and study questions.Within its conceptual framework, the book thoroughly covers the major topics of international human rights: the basic characteristics of international law; evolution of the human rights movement movement; civil, political, economic and social rights; the humanitarian laws of war; globalization; self-determination; women's rights; universalism and cultural relativisim; intergovernmental and nongovernmental institutions; implementation and enforcement; internal application of human rights norms; and the spread of constitutionalism.The third edition has been considerably revised and restructured to incoroprate new themes and topics including: human rights in relation to terrorism amd national security; responsibility of nonstate actors for human rights violations; recent substantial changes in sources and processes of international law; achieved and potential reforrm within UN human rights institution; theories about international organizations and their influence on state behavior.Its scope, challenging enquiries, and clarity make it the ideal companion for human rights students, scholars, advocates and practitioners alike.
Aghion, Philippe, Pol Antràs, and Elhanan Helpman. 2007. Negotiating free trade.Abstract
We develop a dynamic bargaining model in which a leading country endogenously decides whether to sequentially negotiate free trade agreements with subsets of countries or engage in simultaneous multilateral bargaining with all countries at once. We show how the structure of coalition externalities shapes the choice between sequential and multilateral bargaining, and we identify circumstances in which the grand coalition is the equilibrium outcome, leading to worldwide free trade. A model of international trade is then used to illustrate equilibrium outcomes and how they depend on the structure of trade and protection. Global free trade is not achieved when the political-economy motive for protection is sufficiently large. Furthermore, the model generates both "building bloc" and "stumbling bloc" effects of preferential trade agreements. In particular, we describe an equilibrium in which global free trade is attained only when preferential trade agreements are permitted to form (a building bloc effect), and an equilibrium in which global free trade is attained only when preferential trade agreements are forbidden (a stumbling bloc effect). The analysis identifies conditions under which each of these outcomes emerges.
Aldrich, Daniel P, James Alt, and Arthur Lupia. 2007. Positive Changes in Political Science: The Legacy of Richard D. McKelvey's Most Influential Writings. University of Michigan Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Richard D. McKelvey was a pioneer in the use of mathematical modeling for understanding the nature of political choices. Positive Changes in Political Science brings together his most important articles, accompanied by original essays from contemporary political scientists, some his colleagues or students, who reflect upon his contributions, their continuing relevance today, and how they are still shaping research for the future.
Hall, Peter A. 2007. The Dilemmas of Contemporary Social Science.Abstract
For two hundred years, social science has provided the lens through which people view society and the visions animating most demands for political reform – at least since Adam Smith’s efforts to unleash the ‘invisible hand’ of the market without destroying the moral sentiments of society.1 However, the perspectives of social science shift, as each new generation questions its predecessors, with import for politics as well as the academy. From time to time, therefore, we should reflect on them. In this essay I do so from the perspective of political science, mainly about American scholarship and with no pretense to comprehensiveness, but with a focus on the disciplinary intersections where so many have found Archimedean points. Intellectual developments in any one field are often ‘progressive’ in the scientific sense of that term.2 But something can be lost as well as gained in the course of them, and there is reason for concern about the fate of social science over the past twenty-five years. What has been lost becomes clear only if we revisit the path taken.
Culpepper, Pepper. 2007. Eppure, non si muove: Legal Change, Institutional Stability and Italian Corporate Governance.Abstract
Prevailing theories in political economy hold that a coalition or political party, acting through parliament, can break down institutions of stable shareholding. In spite of extremely favourable conditions in the late 1990s—the election and durable rule of a leftist government supported by a transparency coalition, a bureaucratic elite that favoured institutional change, and substantial state shareholdings which the government could privatize in pursuit of its objectives—these reforms failed to affect the concentration of shareholdings among the largest private companies in Italy. This disjuncture between legal change and actual practice in Italian corporate governance suggests that current theories of institutional change in corporate governance systems are incomplete. The focus of inquiry needs to turn to the political resources of those who support the existing system: managers and large shareholders.
Rodrik, Dani. 2007. How to Save Globalization from its Cheerleaders.Abstract
When future economic historians write their textbooks, they will no doubt marvel at the miraculous turn the world economy took after 1950. Over the long stretch of history, neither the Industrial Revolution nor the subsequent economic catch-up of the United States and other “western offshoots” looks as impressive (Figure 1). The period since 1950 has witnessed more rapid economic growth than any other period before, with only the classical gold standard era between 1870 and 1913 coming close. Even more striking, there has been a quantum jump in the growth rate of the most rapidly growing countries since 1950. Prior to 1950, growth superstars experienced growth rates that barely surpassed 2 percent per annum (in per capita terms) over long stretches. Compare this with the post-1950 growth champions: Japan, South Korea, and China; each grew at 6-8 percent per annum during 1950-73, 1973-90, and 1990-2005, respectively. Even allowing for the shorter time slices, this indicates that the world economy became a much more enabling environment for economic growth after 1950. Clearly, the architects of this new world economic system got something right.
Walt, Stephen M, and John Mearsheimer. 2007. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Israel Lobby, by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in theLondon Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America’s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest. The lobby’s influence also affects America’s relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared, “Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force.” The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is certain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.
Khwaja, Asim, Jishnu Das, and Tahir Andrabi. 2007. Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow? Identifying Constraints on the Provision of Education.Abstract
With an estimated one hundred and fifteen million children not attending primary school in the developing world, increasing access to education is critical. Resource constraints limit the extent to which demand based subsidies can do so. This paper focuses on a supply-side factor—the availability of low cost teachers—and the resulting ability of the market to offer affordable education. We use data from Pakistan together with official public school construction guidelines to present an Instrumental Variables estimate of the effect of government school construction on private school formation. We find that private schools are three times more likely to emerge in villages with government girls’ secondary schools. In contrast, there is little or no relationship between the presence of a private school and pre-existing girls’ primary, or boys’ primary and secondary schools. Moreover, there are twice as many educated women and private school teachers’ wages are 18 percent lower in villages that received a government girls’ secondary school. In an environment with poor female education and low mobility, government girls’ secondary schools substantially increase the local supply of skilled women. This lowers wages for women in the local labor market and allows the market to offer affordable education. These findings highlight the prominent role of women as teachers in facilitating educational access and resonates with similar historical evidence from developed economies—the students of today are the teachers of tomorrow.