Research Library

2012
Robinson, James A, and Daron Acemoglu. 2012. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Book Review), The Economist. Publisher's Version
Norris, Pippa. 2012. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Understanding Human Security, Scandinavian Political Studies. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Since the end of the Cold War, security studies have broadened to take into account a wide range of non-military threats ranging from poverty to environmental concerns rather than just national defense. Security scholars, backed by international organizations and a growing number of national governments, have developed the concept of Human Security, focusing on the welfare of ordinary people against a broad range of threats. This has aroused vigorous debate. Part I of this paper proposes an analytical model of Human Security. Part II argues that it is important to measure how ordinary people perceive risks, moving beyond state-centric notions of Human Security. We examine new evidence, drawing upon survey items specially designed to monitor perceptions of Human Security, included for the first time in the 6th wave of the World Values Survey (WVS), with fieldwork conducted in 2010–2012. Part III demonstrates that people distinguish three dimensions: national, community, and personal security and then explores some structural determinants driving these perceptions. Part IV discusses why perceptions of Human Security matter, in particular for explaining cultural values and value change around the world. The conclusion argues that the shift from a narrow focus on military security toward the broader concept of Human Security is a natural response to the changing challenges facing developed societies, in which the cost-benefit ratio concerning war has become negative and cultural changes have made war less acceptable. In this setting, valid measures of perceptions of Human Security have become essential, both to understand the determinants of Human Security among ordinary people, and to analyze their consequences.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2012. The Twenty-First Century Will Not Be a Post-American World, International Studies Quarterly. Publisher's VersionAbstract
One of the refreshing aspects of Christopher Layne’s work over the years has been his willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. But now, he is in the awkward position of being part of a new conventional wisdom. Recent polls show that in 15 of 22 countries surveyed, most people say that China either will replace or has replaced America as the world’s leading superpower. Even Americans themselves are equally divided about whether China will displace the United States.
Good, Byron J. 2012. Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis, and Subjectivity in Java, Ethos, Journal of the Society of Psychological Anthropology. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This essay outlines the evolution of my personal thinking about phenomenology and subjectivity. In previous work, I drew heavily on cultural phenomenology for studying illness, subjective experience, and medical knowledge across cultures. Here I describe why I have become increasingly dissatisfied with this framework for understanding subjectivity and the subject and suggest alternatives I consider important for psychological anthropology. I focus in particular on questions of how to investigate that which is largely unspeakable and unspoken in everyday speech but at times erupts into awareness as complex specters haunting the present. I provide a case from my ongoing research in Java of a young man who suffered an acute psychosis, drawing implications for a theory of subjectivity and methods for psychological anthropology. I point briefly to the relation of madness and memories of political violence as sites for investigating subjectivity, suggesting the importance of a “hauntology” for psychological anthropology. Finally, I address questions about whether a method that addresses hidden aspects of psychological experience requires a stance in which ethnographers “know better than” those with whom they are interacting.
Lamont, Michèle, and Nissim Mizrachi. 2012. Interview with Michèle Lamont and Nissim Mizrachi: Special Issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies. Publisher's Version
Lamont, Michèle, and Nissim Mizrachi. 2012. Special Issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies: Responses to Stigmatization in Comparative Perspectives, Taylor and Francis. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This special issue offers a first systematic qualitative cross-national exploration of how diverse minority groups respond to stigmatization in a wide variety of contexts. This research is the culmination of a coordinated study of stigmatized groups in Brazil, Israel, and the USA, as well as of connected research projects conducted in Canada, France, South Africa, and Sweden. The issue sheds light on the range of destigmatization strategies ordinary people adopt in the course of their daily life. Articles analyze the cultural frames they mobilize to make sense of their experiences and to determine how to respond; how they negotiate and transform social and symbolic boundaries; and how responses are enabled and constrained by institutions, national ideologies, cultural repertoires, and contexts. The similarities and differences across sites provide points of departure for further systematic research, which is particularly needed in light of the challenges for liberal democracy raised by multiculturalism.Related Links
Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America
Hochschild, Jennifer L, Vesla Weaver, and Traci Burch. 2012. Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America. Princeton University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The American racial order—the beliefs, institutions, and practices that organize relationships among the nation's races and ethnicities—is undergoing its greatest transformation since the 1960s. Creating a New Racial Order takes a groundbreaking look at the reasons behind this dramatic change, and considers how different groups of Americans are being affected. Through revealing narrative and striking research, the authors show that the personal and political choices of Americans will be critical to how, and how much, racial hierarchy is redefined in decades to come. The authors outline the components that make up a racial order and examine the specific mechanisms influencing group dynamics in the United States: immigration, multiracialism, genomic science, and generational change. Cumulatively, these mechanisms increase heterogeneity within each racial or ethnic group, and decrease the distance separating groups from each other. The authors show that individuals are moving across group boundaries, that genomic science is challenging the whole concept of race, and that economic variation within groups is increasing. Above all, young adults understand and practice race differently from their elders: their formative memories are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Obama's election—not civil rights marches, riots, or the early stages of immigration. Blockages could stymie or distort these changes, however, so the authors point to essential policy and political choices. Portraying a vision, not of a postracial America, but of a different racial America, Creating a New Racial Order examines how the structures of race and ethnicity are altering a nation.
Cuban Economic and Social Development: Policy Reforms and Challenges in the 21st Century
Domínguez, Jorge I, Omar Pérez Villanueva, Mayra Espina Prieto, and Lorena Barberia. 2012. Cuban Economic and Social Development: Policy Reforms and Challenges in the 21st Century. Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Cuban economy has been transformed over the course of the last decade, and these changes are now likely to accelerate. In this edited volume, prominent Cuban economists and sociologists present a clear analysis of Cuba’s economic and social circumstances and suggest steps for Cuba to reactivate economic growth and improve the welfare of its citizens. These authors focus first on trade, capital inflows, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, and the agricultural sector. In a second section, a multidisciplinary team of sociologists and an economist map how reforms in economic and social policies have produced declines in the social standing of some specific groups and economic mobility for others. A joint collaboration between scholars at Harvard University and in Cuba, this book includes the same editors and many of the same authors of The Cuban Economy at the Start of the Twenty-First Century (edited by Jorge I. Domínguez, Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, and Lorena G. Barberia), which is also part of the David Rockefeller Center series.
Maier, Charles S. 2012. Europe Needs a German Marshall Plan. Publisher's Version
Keyssar, Alexander. 2012. Nova regra de financiamento produzirá campanha eleitoral amarga nos EUA. Publisher's Version
Chandra, Amitabh, and Katherine Baicker. 2012. The Health Care Jobs Fallacy, New England Journal of Medicine. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The United States is in the throes of the most serious recession in post-war history. Despite improving employment numbers, the official unemployment rate still exceeded 8% in March 2012. Amidst this malaise, the health care sector is one of the few areas of steady growth. It may seem natural to think that if the health care sector is one of the bright spots in the economy,public policies should aim to foster continued growth in health care employment. Indeed, hospitals and other health care organizations point to the size of their payrolls as evidence that they play an important role in economic recovery, a role that must not be endangered by reforms that seek to reduce spending on health care. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are quick to emphasize the “job-creating” or “job-killing” aspects of reforms. But this focus on health care jobs is misguided. The goal of improving health and economic well-being does not go hand in hand with rising employment in health care. It is tempting to think that rising health care employment is a boon, but if the same outcomes can be achieved with lower employment and fewer resources, that leaves extra money to devote to other important public and private priorities such as education, infrastructure, food, shelter, and retirement savings.
Jasanoff, Sheila. 2012. Genealogies of STS, Social Studies of Science. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Human societies fashion themselves through rites of memory, gilding and illuminating some pages of the past while consigning others to forgetfulness. Official memories reinforce dominant cultural narratives, asserting continuities where skeptics might see breaks or ruptures, contradictions or untruths; indeed, revolutions, scientific or otherwise, can be thought of as violent breaks with comfortable connections between past and present. To see the power of such story-telling, consider for example the myth of the durability of the US Constitution, a myth that proclaims the unchanging identity of that founding document through a secession, a civil war, and numerous democratizing amendments that totally transformed the look of the nation’s voting polity. To this day, that myth legitimates styles of constitutional analysis that challenge, under the rubric of strict constructionism, attempts to treat the Constitution as a source of living and evolving principles. Or, at the opposite pole of the Earth, take Australia’s ritualistic annual observance of Anzac Day. That remarkable celebration connects the forging of the nation’s identity to Gallipoli: to a dawn landing on faraway shores almost a century ago, in a war of others’ making, to a failed military enterprise that ended in an inglorious evacuation, following a bloody, months-long stalemate.
Hornbeck, Richard. 2012. The Enduring Impact of the American Dust Bowl: Short- and Long-Run Adjustments to Environmental Catastrophe, American Economic Review. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The 1930s American Dust Bowl was an environmental catastrophe that greatly eroded sections of the Plains. The Dust Bowl is estimated to have immediately, substantially, and persistently reduced agricultural land values and revenues in more-eroded counties relative to less-eroded counties. During the Depression and through at least the 1950s, there was limited relative adjustment of farmland away from activities that became relatively less productive in more-eroded areas. Agricultural adjustments recovered less than 25 percent of the initial difference in agricultural costs for more-eroded counties. The economy adjusted predominantly through large relative population declines in more-eroded counties, both during the 1930s and through the 1950s.
Norris, Pippa, and Ronald Inglehart. 2012. Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations, Political Studies. Publisher's VersionAbstract
To what extent do migrants carry their culture with them, and to what extent do they acquire the culture of their new home? The answer not only has important political implications; it also helps us understand the extent to which basic cultural values are enduring or malleable; and whether cultural values are traits of individuals or are attributes of a given society. Part I considers theories about the impact of growing social diversity in Western nations. We classify two categories of society: ORIGINS (defined as Islamic Countries of Origin for Muslim migrants, including twenty nations with plurality Muslim populations) and DESTINATIONS (defined as Western Countries of Destination for Muslim migrants, including twenty-two OECD member states with Protestant or Roman Catholic majority populations). Using this framework, we demonstrate that on average, the basic social values of Muslim migrants fall roughly mid-way between those prevailing in their country of origin and their country of destination. We conclude that Muslim migrants do not move to Western countries with rigidly fixed attitudes; instead, they gradually absorb much of the host culture, as assimilation theories suggest.
Sechser, Todd S, and Alexander B Downes. 2012. The Illusion of Democratic Credibility, International Organization. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Do democracies make more effective coercive threats? An influential literature in international relations argues that democratic institutions allow leaders to credibly signal their resolve in crises, thereby making their threats more likely to work than threats by nondemocracies. This article revisits the quantitative evidence for this proposition, which we call the “democratic credibility hypothesis,” and finds that it is surprisingly weak. Close examination of the data sets most commonly used to test this hypothesis reveals that they contain few successful democratic threats, or indeed threats of any kind. Moreover, these data sets’ outcome variables do not properly measure the effectiveness of threats, and therefore yield misleading results. The article then reassesses the democratic credibility hypothesis using the Militarized Compellent Threats data set, a new data set designed specifically to test hypotheses about the effectiveness of coercive threats. The analysis indicates that threats from democracies are no more successful than threats from other states.
Governing Guns, Preventing Plunder: International Cooperation against Illicit Trade
Efrat, Asif. 2012. Governing Guns, Preventing Plunder: International Cooperation against Illicit Trade. Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
From human trafficking to the smuggling of small arms to the looting of antiquities, illicit trade poses significant threats to international order. So why is it so difficult to establish international cooperation against illicit trade? Governing Guns, Preventing Plunder offers a novel, thought-provoking answer to this crucial question. Conventional wisdom holds that criminal groups are the biggest obstacle to efforts to suppress illicit trade. Contrarily, Asif Efrat explains how legitimate actors, such as museums that acquire looted antiquities, seek to hinder these regulatory efforts. Yet such attempts to evade regulation fuel international political conflicts between governments demanding action against illicit trade and others that are reluctant to cooperate. The book offers a framework for understanding the domestic origins of these conflicts and how the distribution of power shapes their outcome. Through this framework, Efrat explains why the interests of governments vary across countries, trades, and time. In a fascinating empirical analysis, he solves a variety of puzzles: Why is the international regulation of small arms much weaker than international drug control? What led the United States and Britain to oppose the efforts against the plunder of antiquities, and why did they ultimately join these efforts? How did American pressure motivate Israel to tackle sex trafficking? Efrat's findings will change the way we think about illicit trade, offering valuable insights to scholars, activists, and policymakers.
Ichino, Nahomi, and Noah Nathan. 2012. Do Primaries Improve Electoral Performance? Clientelism and Intra-Party Conflict in Ghana.Abstract
We consider the effect of legislative primaries on the electoral performance of political parties in a new democracy. While existing literature suggests that primaries may either hurt a party by selecting extremist candidates or improve performance by selecting high valence candidates or improving a party’s image, these mechanisms may not apply where clientelism is prevalent. A theory of primaries built on a logic of clientelism with intra-party conflict instead suggests different effects of legislative primaries for ruling and opposition parties, as well as spillover effects for presidential elections. Using matching with an original dataset on Ghana, we find evidence of a primary bonus for the opposition party and a primary penalty for the ruling party in the legislative election, while legislative primaries improve performance in the presidential election in some constituencies for both parties.
This paper was published on November, 26, 2012, in the American Journal of Political Science: http://files.wcfia.harvard.edu/node/8225 Download PDF
Fruehwirth, Manfred, and Leopold Sögner. 2012. Does the Sun Shine Really Shine on the Financial Markets?.Abstract
After a series of papers has provided—partially ambiguous—results on the impact of weather variables on stock (index) returns, this article studies the impact of weather on a wide variety of financial market instruments, namely "risk-free" interest rates, the US corporate bond market, stock returns, stock index returns and the VIX volatility index. First, we construct a model that combines asset pricing and results from psychology to show how weather variables can affect asset prices in different market segments via mood. Second, in our empirical analysis we use several weather variables from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and control variables motivated by economic theory. Applying various econometric techniques and using different market segments (motivated by differences in the risk level and institutional differences) allows to give a more detailed picture on the impact of weather on financial market prices. We demonstrate that on none of the market segments analyzed the weather has any significant impact.
Alt, James, David Dreyer Lassen, and Joachim Wehner. 2012. Moral Hazard in an Economic Union: Politics, Economics, and Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe.Abstract
This paper examines empirically how transparency of the budget process affects fiscal rules and incentives for fiscal gimmickry or creative accounting in the European Union. Using stock-flow adjustment data for EU countries from 1990–2007, we show that pressure from a deficit limit rule as in the Stability and Growth Pact creates incentives for fiscal gimmicks, as does political pressure from the electoral cycle and economic pressure from negative shocks in the business cycle. However, we show that where institutional transparency is higher, these incentives are damped and largely disappear. We infer that fiscal rules do not work well when institutional transparency is low.
Kelly, Catherine. 2012. Senegal: What Will Turnover Bring?, Journal of Democracy. Publisher's VersionAbstract
On 25 March 2012, Macky Sall of the Alliance for the Republic (APR) won the second round of Senegal’s presidential election with 65.8 percent of the vote, handily defeating incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), who had won the most votes in the first round. In contrast to a tumultuous campaign season, election day itself was relatively peaceful. Wade graciously accepted defeat, phoning Sall to congratulate him several hours after the polls closed. French president Nicolas Sarkozy called this gesture “proof of [Wade’s] attachment to democracy.” This appraisal is too generous, however. The peaceful turnover followed months of protests and violent repression, as well as a rumored intervention by military officials to force Wade to accept defeat after the second-round voting. Debates about the constitutionality of Wade’s candidacy, as well as an earlier change that he had proposed in the election law, helped to generate this turmoil, which included at least ten deaths, dozens of arrests, and many injuries.