At this year’s American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting in Montreal (September 14-18, 2022) GDL Lab Members presented new research, participated in roundtables, and taught mini courses on a range of problems central to the work of the lab including on topics of forced displacement, the effects of community diversity on political action, ethnic bias in bureaucracies, the long-run effects of ethnic repression, the effects of causal contact between ethnic others, and concerns about climate justice. Abstracts below:

Ariel White

Paper Title: Registering Returning Citizens to Vote (w/ Laurel Eckhouse, Allison P. Harris & Hannah Walker)
Session: Policing and Criminal Justice: Representation, Turnout, and Accountability

This study reports the results of a series of randomized control trials of mail-based interventions aimed at encouraging people with criminal records to register to vote in North Carolina. The results speak to how communities can increase voter registration and turnout among people with criminal records, without necessarily changing laws to broaden eligibility.

Paper Title: Engaging People on Probation or Parole in New Jersey (w/ Hannah Walker, Tova Wang & Melissa R. Michelson)
Session: New Directions in Policy Feedback and Mass Publics Studies

Millions of people in the US are eligible to vote despite past criminal convictions, and that is true for an increasing number of people as states move to expand access to the franchise for people with felony convictions. In this study, Prof. White and co-authors partnered with a community-based organization in New Jersey to develop a novel mailer targeted to people on probation and parole who saw their rights restored in 2019 after the successful “1844 No More” Campaign. Roundtable: Get the Grant: Finding Funding, Writing Proposals, and Advancing Your Research at Every Career Stage

Erin Walk

Paper: Syrian Refugee Migration and Return on Social Media (w/ Kiran Kiran Garimella, Fotini Christia)
Session: Forced Displacement and Return to Oppressive Regimes

This paper analyzes how the widespread use of social media has recorded considerations around internal displacement and return for Syrian refugees. The authors use social media text and image data from three widely used platforms (Twitter, Telegram, and Facebook) to understand differences in discussion in areas with internally displaced peoples (IDPs), returnees, neither and both in northern Syria.

Evan Lieberman

Roundtable: Politics of Climate Governance

Global, national, and local deficiencies in curbing carbon emissions and in developing equitable and effective adaptation strategies are ultimately governance failures rooted in various forms of political conflict. Making progress on climate thus requires better understanding of the drivers of political interests, the functioning of political institutions, and the behaviors of key actors. In this roundtable, presenters discussed the recent political science literature on climate change and directions for future research. 

Jasmine English

Paper Title: Dilemmas of Accommodation: Diversity and Congregational Involvement in Politics
Session: Religion and Social Conflict

This article asks why some churches facilitate deliberation and political action while others do not, and what are the political consequences of this are? Using data from ethnographic and interview-based fieldwork in the United States, the author finds that specialist churches develop understandings of “how we do things here” (or “styles”) that facilitate deliberation and action, while diverse churches develop styles that constrain these involvements. 

Mai Hassan

Paper Title: Fighting Bias with Bias: Patronage and Local Bureaucrats in Kenya (w/ Stuart Russell and Horacio Larreguy)
Session: Patronage and politics in the public sector

This paper highlights the importance of bureaucratic managers, the public officials who actually hire and fire those in menial positions. They argue that, if managers’ incentives are not aligned with politicians, managers can neuter politicians’ ability to pursue patronage. 

Paper Title: Explaining the Gender Gap: Women and Land Titling in Kenya (w/ Kathleen Klaus)
Session: Political Economy of Rural Politics

In this is paper, the authors explore why women’s land tenure security might vary sub-nationally. They examine this question drawing on data from Kenya’s recent land titling program and find that women are more likely to acquire land rights in spaces where women hold greater local political power or experience higher levels of political violence, rupturing traditional gender norms around land, in some cases increasing the possibilities for great gender equity in tenure rights.

Noah Nathan

Pre-Conference Short Courses: Political Mobilization in 21st Century Cities: Resistance, Reform, Renewal

This short course examines the political implications of rapid urbanization and social change across the world. How do different governments across the world respond to urbanization? How do actors and institutions respond to pressure on urban space? Why do certain populations benefit from urban growth while others are left behind? What are the conditions under which urban growth leads to development? What are the relationships between local, regional, and national-level policymaking?

Roundtable: Author Meets Critics: Mobilizing for Elections: Patronage and Political Machines in Southeast Asia

Across Southeast Asia, as in many other regions, politicians win elections by distributing cash, goods, jobs, projects, and other benefits to supporters. But they do so in ways that vary tremendously—both across and within countries. This author-meets-critics roundtable examine these dimensions through a discussion of Edward Aspinall, Meredith Weiss, Allen Hicken, and Paul Hutchcroft’s Mobilizing for Elections: Patronage and Political Machines in Southeast Asia (Cambridge UP, 2022).

Paige Bollen 

Paper Title: The (Spatial) Ties that Bind: Space, Place and Inter-Ethnic Cooperation
Session: Identity Politics: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism

How does the built environment of a neighborhood interact with its demography to create distinct patterns of contact between social groups? And, how do these patterns of contact shape intergroup relations? This paper theorizes that the built environment influences contact rates between neighborhood residents and that these rates of contact, in turn, have important implications for a community’s capacity to work cooperatively. 

Volha Charnysh

Paper Title: The Enduring Effect of Nazi Repression in Poland (w/ Ricardo Pique)
Session: Legacies of History and Contemporary Politics

In this paper, the authors leverage the exogeneity of the border between the western half of Poland that was annexed by the Nazis and Nazi occupied areas in Eastern Poland to estimate the long-run effects of Nazi repression on political and social behavior. Using a geographic RD resign, we find evidence of changes in population structure, religiosity, and voting behavior.

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