News

Soules and Piazza Publish New Article

Soules and Piazza Publish New Article, 11/21

Graduate student Michael Soules, along with faculty member Jim Piazza and Nazli Avdan, published "Silver Lining? The Effects of Epidemics on Terrorist Groups" in Terrorism and Political Violence. The COVID-19 pandemic spurred fears among policy makers that widespread grievances and reduction in government counterterrorism resources caused by the pandemic would enable militant groups to increase their recruitment of new combatants and launch more attacks. However, Nazli Avdan, Jim Piazza, and Michael Soules investigate the effect that epidemics had on terrorist groups that operated between 1970 and 2016. They find that epidemics actually reduced the quantity and sophistication of terrorist attacks perpetrated by militant groups. The authors argue that epidemics both reduce the resources available to terrorist groups and increase state surveillance measures in affected areas, rendering insurgent operations ineffective. You can read the article here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546553.2021.1987894.

Prof. Marie Hojnacki elected to be the President-Elect of the Political Organizations and Parties section of APSA.

Prof. Marie Hojnacki elected to be the President-Elect of the Political Organizations and Parties section of APSA. 11/8/21

The department is pleased to announce that Marie Hojnacki, Associate Professor of Political Science was elected to the position of President-Elect of the Political Organizations and Parties (POP) section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).

The organized section on Political Organizations and Parties works to further scholarship on American political parties, comparative political parties, interest groups, and social movements. POP facilitates interaction and communication among scholars working in these areas; sponsors workshops to train scholars in the use of various methods and databases; and recognizes excellence in scholarship through awards for both faculty and graduate student research.

Marie will begin her two-year term as president in October 2022Congratulations, Marie!

Graduate student, Seth Warner receives grant for his research

Graduate student, Seth Warner receives grant for his research, 10/29/21

Seth Warner, a fourth-year student in our graduate program, was recognized by the Center for Effective Lawmaking as part of its annual small grants award program. The award will support Seth's work on his dissertation, which studies the origins and consequences of partisan polarization in the American public. Specifically, the grant is tied to his project, "Affective Polarization and Legislative Behavior: Does Citizen Heat Meet with Elite Red Meat?," which hypothesizes a vicious cycle in which legislative gridlock leads to citizen polarization, encouraging elites to prioritize messaging over lawmaking, and resulting in more gridlock yet.

Graduate Publishes Two Articles

Graduate Publishes Two Articles, 10/21
Graduate student Tom Etienne, together with Jan-Willem van Prooijen and colleagues at the VU University Amsterdam, has published an article in Psychological Medicine investigating the predictive nature of conspiracy beliefs on detrimental health and social behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.. Leveraging a large scale (n=5745) multi-wave survey study in the Netherlands, he finds that both COVID-19 specific conspiracy beliefs and to a smaller extent also a more general conspiracy mentality (both measured in April 2020) prospectively predict a range of detrimental behaviors in December 2020. These include a decreased likelihood to get tested for COVID-19, an increased likelihood of testing positive, of noncompliance with government imposed health measures such as mask wearing, financial challenges such as job loss and reduced income, and social ostracism. These findings shed light on the long-term negative impact of conspiracy belief and underscore the relevance of conspiracy thinking on people's health and well-being. The article is available here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/conspiracy-beliefs-prospectively-predict-health-behavior-and-wellbeing-during-a-pandemic/9739301679DEF2B81958CBB03C5D5AC1
Second, in a new publication in the Journal of Health Psychology, Tom, together with Jan-Willem van Prooijen and colleagues at the VU University Amsterdam, uses mediation analysis in a large (n=9033) cross-sectional design in the Netherlands to demonstrate that a self-perceived previous infection with COVID-19 mediates the link between conspiracy beliefs and health beliefs and behaviors. This relationship exists independently of actual medically determined infections, suggesting conspiracy beliefs shape people's perception of their own body. The article is available here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/13591053211051816.

Prof. Michael Nelson wins Law and Courts Section's Best Conference Paper Award

Prof. Michael Nelson wins Law and Courts Section's Best Conference Paper Award, 10/21

Congratulations to Professor Michael J. Nelson for winning the 2021 Best Conference Paper at this years APSA conference for his paper, "The Minimal Costs of Court Curbing: Experimental Evidence from the United States." This paper, coauthored with Amanda Driscoll (Florida State University) was written with support from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and the National Science Foundation and demonstrates that, contrary to conventional wisdom, that public retaliation against legislators who try to weaken courts is rare.