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Working Papers

Heroes and Villains: The Effects of Heroism on Autocratic Values and Nazi Collaboration in France

Julia Cage, Anna Dagorret, Pauline A. Grosjean, Saumitra Jha
Stanford GSB, 2021 January 8, 2021

We measure the effects of a network of heroes in legitimizing and diffusing extreme political behaviors. Exploiting newly-declassified intelligence files, novel voting data and regimental histories, we show the home municipalities of French line regiments arbitrarily rotated through Philippe Petain's command during the heroic WWI battle of Verdun, though similar before WWI, increasingly espouse Petain's authoritarian political views thereafter, raising 7% more active Nazi collaborators per capita during the Petain-led Vichy regime (1940-44). The effects are similar across joining Fascist parties, German forces, paramilitaries hunting Jews and the Resistance, and collaborating economically.

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Journal Articles

Authoritarian media and diversionary threats: lessons from 30 years of Syrian state discourse

Ala’ Alrababa'h, Lisa Blaydes
Political Science Research and Methods, 2020 June 24, 2020
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Journal Articles

Reassessing American Democracy: The Enduring Challenge of Racial Exclusion

Johanna Kalb, Didi Kuo
Michigan Law Review Online, 2020 June 11, 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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Books

How to Make Love to a Despot: An Alternative Foreign Policy for the Twenty-First Century

Stephen D. Krasner
2020 April 7, 2020

After generations of foreign policy failures, the United States can finally try to make the world safer―not by relying on utopian goals but by working pragmatically with nondemocracies.

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Journal Articles

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

Francis Fukuyama, Francis Fukuyama
Washington Monthly, 2020 April 1, 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

Legislatures and Policy Making in Authoritarian Regimes

Scott Williamson, Beatriz Magaloni
Comparative Political Studies, 2020 March 29, 2020
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Journal Articles

Egypt’s Consolidated Authoritarianism

Amr Hamzawy
2020 March 8, 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

Political Reform and American Democracy

Didi Kuo
2020 March 8, 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

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 January 24, 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 January 21, 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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Journal Articles

Breaking Out of the Democratic Slump

Larry Diamond
2020 January 15, 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 January 15, 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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Working Papers

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

Beatriz Magaloni, Veriene Melo
2020 January 15, 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

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

Beatriz Magaloni, Luis Rodriguez
2020 January 14, 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 January 14, 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 January 14, 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 January 14, 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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White Papers

What works to Prevent Violence Amongst Youth

Beatriz Magaloni, Thomas Abt, Chris Blattman, Santiago Tobón
2020 January 14, 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

The Road to Digital Unfreedom: The Threat of Postmodern Totalitarianism

Larry Diamond
2019 December 16, 2019

Once hailed as a great force for human empowerment and liberation, social media and related digital tools have rapidly come to be regarded as a major threat to democratic stability and human freedom. Based on a deeply problematic business model, social-media platforms are showing the potential to exacerbate hazards that range from authoritarian privacy violations to partisan echo chambers to the spread of malign disinformation. Authoritarian forces are also profiting from a series of other advances in digital technology, notably including the revolution in artificial intelligence (AI).

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Books

Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency

Larry Diamond
2019 December 16, 2019

From America’s leading scholar of democracy, a personal, passionate call to action against the rising authoritarianism that challenges our world order—and the very value of liberty.

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Journal Articles

Comparing America: Reflections on Democracy across Subfields

Didi Kuo
Cambridge University Press, 2019 September 4, 2019

Is America in a period of democratic decline? I argue that there is an urgent need to consider the United States in comparative perspective, and that doing so is necessary to contextualize and understand the quality of American democracy. I describe two approaches to comparing the United States: the first shows how the United States stacks up to other countries, while the second uses the theories and tools of comparative politics to examine relationships between institutions, actors, and democratic outcomes.

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Journal Articles

Professions of Friendship: Revisiting the Concept of the Political in the Middle East

Kabir Tambar
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2019 August 1, 2019

This essay examines “professions of friendship”: efforts by populations who are targeted as enemies of the state to proclaim their historical fidelity to the state's foundation and preservation. Such declarations often reinscribe a rigid and often violently statist narrative of politics. The essay argues that the retrenchment of this narrative, when reissued in the name of friendship, does not simply close down political options. It seeks to embolden sentiments of moral obligation across instituted lines of enmity. These solicitations of friendship are burdened by a particular historical task: to envision a past and a future of social cohabitation in a present where its possibilities have been violently undermined and morally devalued. The essay centers on two instances that bookend the past century: the first was delivered in Istanbul by an organization speaking on behalf of Armenians living in territories claimed by the Turkish nationalist movement in 1922; the second was issued by a Kurdish Peace Mother in Diyarbakır, as a plea for an end to state violence in late 2015.

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Working Papers

IMMIGRATION AND POPULISM IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA, AND THE UNITED STATES

Francis Fukuyama, Francis Fukuyama, Naz Gocek
2019 July 17, 2019

In the second decade of the 21st century, the world experienced the rise of a global populist movement built around ethnic nationalism and hostility to foreigners and immigration. This movement has been led by the United States after the election of Donald J. Trump as President in 2016, and today includes leaders in Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Brazil, and a host of parties throughout Europe that challenge the liberal international order. Canada, Australia, and the United States are three former British colonies that were settled by successive waves of immigrants from abroad.

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