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Conference Memos

POMEPS Studies 43: Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East

Larry Diamond, Eileen Donahoe, Shelby Grossman, Renée DiResta, Josh A. Goldstein
2021
The Project on Middle East Political Science partnered with Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and its Global Digital Policy Incubator for an innovative two week online seminar to explore the issues surrounding digital activism and authoritarianism. This workshop was built upon more than a decade of our collaboration on issues related to the internet and politics in the Middle East, beginning in 2011 with a series of workshops in the “Blogs and Bullets” project supported by the United States Institute for Peace and the PeaceTech Lab. This new collaboration brought together more than a dozen scholars and practitioners with deep experience in digital policy and activism, some focused on the Middle East and others offering a global and comparative perspective. POMEPS STUDIES 43 collects essays from that workshop, shaped by two weeks of public and private discussion.
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Case Studies

Qualms with Quayside: Public Engagement in the Toronto Smart City Project

Maha Al-Fahim, Sydney Frankenberg, Michael Bennon
2021
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Working Papers

Government Quality and State Capacity: Survey Results from Brazil

Ana Karine Pereira, Raphael Amorim Machado, Pedro Luiz Costa Cavalcante, Alexandra de Avile Gomide, Amanda Gomes Magalhaes, Isabella de Araujo Goellner, Roberto Rocha Coelho Pires, Katherine Bersch, Alan Ricardo da Silva
2021
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Journal Articles

Governing youth in times of dissent: essay competitions, politics of history, and emotions

Ayça Alemdaroğlu
Turkish Studies , 2021
This article examines the AKP’s youth politics in the aftermath of the 2013 Gezi Protests. It focuses on a seemingly mundane cultural practice of essay writing and student essay competitions to investigate the party’s message and methods in addressing young people. In particular, it examines the politics of history and emotional politics in the party's effort to construct and administer youth publics. The article argues that the AKP’s power is embedded in and reproduced by the articulation of political differences and mobilization of emotions, which play a significant role in the party’s broader bid to reorganize society, redefine collective identity, and control dissent.
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Books

Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order

Kathryn Stoner
2021
An assessment of Russia that suggests that we should look beyond traditional means of power to understand its strength and capacity to disrupt international politics.
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Journal Articles

Lancet Series on Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings

Paul H. Wise, Eran Bendavid, Stephen J. Stedman
2021

A new four-paper series in The Lancet exposes the far-reaching effects of modern warfare on women’s and children’s health.

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Journal Articles

Reassessing American Democracy: The Enduring Challenge of Racial Exclusion

Johanna Kalb, Didi Kuo
Michigan Law Review Online , 2020

American democracy is in trouble. Since the 2016 election, a sizable literature has developed that focuses on diagnosing and assessing the state of American democracy, most of which concludes that our system of government is in decline.[2] These authors point to the rise in party polarization, the increasingly bipartisan abandonment of the norms of the democratic process, the rise of populism, the degradation of the public sphere, and the proliferation of gerrymandered districts and voting restrictions to illustrate the breakdown.

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Journal Articles

What Would a Second Trump Term Do to the Federal Bureaucracy?

Francis Fukuyama, Francis Fukuyama
Washington Monthly , 2020

American public service is under grave threat. It has been heavily politicized during the first Trump term, and in a second may deteriorate rapidly as cronyism, corruption, and incompetence become the new norms.

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Journal Articles

Political Reform and American Democracy

Didi Kuo
2020

The 2016 election brought into sharp relief the anomalies and imperfections of our democratic institutions. Trump, beating out a crowded field of primary candidates, won the election having lost the popular vote. Despite intense media coverage, the party primaries were still low-turnout events, and party infighting undermined the legitimacy of the final candidates. Third-party candidates who stood no chance of winning nonetheless drew significant votes in swing states.

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Journal Articles

Egypt’s Consolidated Authoritarianism

Amr Hamzawy
2020

The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic human rights abuses and continuous societal crises.

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Journal Articles

PROTECTING ELECTORAL INTEGRITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Stephen J. Stedman, Nathaniel Persily, Alex Stamos, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Laura Chinchilla, Noeleen Heyzer, Yves Leterme, Ory Okolloh , Ernesto Zedillo, Megan Smith, William Sweeney
2020

Democratic consolidation around the world currently faces major challenges. Threats to democracy have become more insidious, especially due to the manipulation of legal and constitutional procedures originally designed to guard democracy against arbitrary action and abuse. Free and fair elections, the cornerstone of democratic legitimacy, are under considerable stress from populism and post-truth movements, who abuse new digital communication technologies to confuse and mislead citizens.

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Journal Articles

30 Years of World Politics: What Has Changed?

Francis Fukuyama
2020

Since the publication of the Journal of Democracy began in 1990, the political climate has shifted from one of democratic gains and optimism to what Larry Diamond labels a “democratic recession.” Underlying these changes has been a reorientation of the major axis of political polarization, from a left-right divide defined largely in economic terms toward a politics based on identity. In a second major shift, technological development has had unexpected effects—including that of facilitating the rise of identity-based social fragmentation.

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Working Papers

Engaging, Empowering, and Enabling Youth to Lead Social Action in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Beatriz Magaloni, Veriene Melo
2020

This study is the result of over four years of active collaboration between the Poverty, Violence and Governance Lab (PovGov) and the Rio-based NGO Agency for Youth Networks (hereafter, Agency). What began in 2012 as an informal conversation between PovGov researchers and the program’s founder and director, Marcus Faustini, led to a solid partnership that has produced not only this research but also opportunities for engagement through events both in California and in Rio de Janeiro.

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Journal Articles

Breaking Out of the Democratic Slump

Larry Diamond
2020

Since 2006, democracy in the world has been trending downward. A number of liberal democracies are becoming less liberal, and authoritarian regimes are developing more repressive tendencies. Democracies are dying at the hands of elected authoritarian populists who neuter or take over the institutions meant to constrain them. Changes in the international environment, as well as technological developments and growing inequality, have contributed to this democratic slump.

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Working Papers

How body-worn cameras affect the use of gunshots, stop-and searches and other forms of police behavior: A Randomized Control Trial in Rio de Janeiro

Beatriz Magaloni, Vanessa Melo, Gustavo Robles, Gustavo Empinotti
2020

In this paper we examine the effects of police body-worn cameras through a randomized control trial implemented in Rio de Janeiro. The paper explores the use of this technology by police officers in charge of tactical operations and officers performing “proximity” patrolling in the largest favela of Brazil, Rocinha. The study reveals that institutional and administrative limitations at Military Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro (PMERJ) were associated with limited use of the cameras –basically officers refusing to turn the cameras on.

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White Papers

What works to Prevent Violence Amongst Youth

Beatriz Magaloni, Thomas Abt, Chris Blattman, Santiago Tobón
2020

What works in preventing and reducing violence among youth? This report draws on the global evidence base of evaluations of existing interventions designed to reduce or prevent violence and identifies those with the greatest evidence of effectiveness.

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Journal Articles

Torture as a Method of Criminal Prosecution: Democratization, Criminal Justice Reform, and the Mexican Drug War

Beatriz Magaloni, Luis Rodriguez
2020

A criminal trial is likely the most significant interaction a citizen will ever have with the state; its conduct and adherence to norms of fairness bear directly on the quality of government, extent of democratic consolidation, and human rights. While theories of repression tend to focus on the political incentives to transgress against human rights, we examine a case in which the institutionalization of such violations follows an organizational logic rather than the political logic of regime survival or consolidation.

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Journal Articles

Killing in the Slums: Social Order, Criminal Governance, and Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro

Beatriz Magaloni, Edgar Franco Vivanco , Vanessa Melo
2020

State interventions against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) sometimes work to improve security, but often exacerbate violence. To understand why, this paper offers a theory about different social order dynamics among five types of criminal regimes – Insurgent, Bandit, Symbiotic, Predatory, and Anarchic. These differ according to whether criminal groups confront or collude with state actors; predate or cooperate with the community; and hold a monopoly or contest territory with rival DTOs.

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Journal Articles

Living in Fear: The Dynamics of Extortion in Mexico’s Drug War

Beatriz Magaloni, Gustavo Robles, Aila M. Matanock, Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, Vidal Romero
2020

Why do drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) sometimes prey on the communities in which they operate but sometimes provide assistance to these communities? What explains their strategies of extortion and co-optation toward civil society? Using new survey data from Mexico, including list experiments to elicit responses about potentially illegal behavior, this article measures the prevalence of extortion and assistance among DTOs.

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Journal Articles

Public Good Provision and Traditional Governance in Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico

Beatriz Magaloni, Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, Alexander Ruiz Euler
2020

Can ethnically distinct communities ruled through “traditional” assemblies provide public goods and services better, than when they are ruled by leaders elected through “modern” multiparty elections? We exploit a unique institutional feature in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, where municipalities are ruled by traditional governance institutions, to explore the effect of these forms of governance on the provision of public goods. Using locality-level census data, we study the provision of local public goods through a geographic discontinuity approach.

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