Rafaela Dancygier, "The Left and Minority Representation: The Labour Party, Muslim Candidates, and Inclusion Tradeoffs"

As ethnic diversity increases across Europe, the Left faces a trade-off between incorporating new minorities and retaining support from settled, working-class voters. An examination of the Labour Party’s selection of Muslims, employing a dataset containing over 42,000 local election candidates in England, indicates that inclusion is less likely where core voters are most concerned about the representation of Muslims’ material and religious interests, in economically deprived areas with sizable Muslim populations. In these areas Muslim candidates underperform at the polls, and labor parties are less likely to choose Muslim candidates as a result. Selection thus varies based on the economic and cultural threats that Muslim representation poses to the Left’s core constituency. These findings contribute to understanding the forces that shape ethnic minority political incorporation across contexts.

Kerstin Hamann, Alison Johnston, and John Kelly, "Striking Concessions from Governments: The Success of General Strikes in Western Europe, 1980–2009"

Since the early 1980s, Western European labor unions in eleven of sixteen West European countries have mobilized protesters in a rising number of general strikes, opposing policy reforms by national governments. In over 40 percent of the cases, governments ceded concessions in response. The variation in government responses to general strikes can be explained by examining properties of governments, such as type of government and party family. Based on an original dataset using logistic regression, analysis of the outcomes of seventy-five general strikes indicates that concessions to unions are more likely when governments rule in coalition, and are led by center or Christian Democratic parties, compared to social democratic and conservative governments. A tentative explanation for this ?nding is based on shifting ideological alliances in multi-party systems.

Natasha Borges Sugiyama and Wendy Hunter, "Whither Clientelism? Good Governance and Brazil's Bolsa Família Program"

A clear development goal is to provide the poor with the benefits essential to human dignity without rendering them vulnerable to patronage politics. This is difficult to accomplish, especially in large federal countries where public policy requires cooperation between national and local authorities. Brazil’s Bolsa Família (Family Grant) confronts such a challenge. Have federal authorities managed to administer this complex and large-scale anti-poverty program while avoiding local “politics as usual?” The findings, based on survey data and focus group evidence from Northeast Brazil, a regional bastion of clientelism, suggest that municipal politicians do not use the Bolsa Familia for vote buying. The success of the Bolsa Familia in remaining insulated from clientelistic networks yields lessons that go well beyond Brazil.

Michael Buehler, "Subnational Islamization through Secular Parties: Comparing Shari'a Politics in Two Indonesian Provinces"

The Arab Spring has reinvigorated debate about the impact of Islamist groups on policy-making, particularly the adoption and implementation of Islamic law (shari’a), in democratizing, Muslim-majority countries. Most studies emphasize the causal primacy of Islamist parties in shari’a policymaking. Yet, determining policy agendas is almost never under the absolute control of one group. This is especially true for democratizing, Muslim-majority countries where decades of authoritarian rule have allowed secular elites to become deeply entrenched in state institutions. Field research in Indonesia shows that shari’a policymaking is politically mediated between secular elites and a broad range of Islamist forces situated both inside and outside the formal political arena.

Jaroslav Tir and Shane P. Singh, "Is It the Economy or Foreign Policy, Stupid? The Impact of Foreign Crises on Leader Support"

The public support literature maintains that leader popularity is driven by the state of the economy. Yet, according to the diversionary theory of war, foreign crisis participation may help an unpopular leader bolster his or her political fortunes through a rally-around-the-flag effect. Utilizing CSES Module II surveys covering twenty-six countries, 2001-2006, comparative investigation that links countries’ foreign crises participation with individual-level data on subsequent support for their leaders is useful. Multi-level analyses reveal that foreign crisis participation draws attention to foreign policy issues, increases support for the leader, and comes close to offsetting the negative impact of unemployment. While employed and unemployed individuals respond to crises nearly equally, the crises help the leader less among citizens concerned about foreign policy.

Review Article: Julie Hollar, "Human Rights Instruments and Impacts"

Human rights research has begun to shift from questions of why and under what conditions repression happens to analyzing and theorizing the impact of human rights instruments like treaties and trials. Recent works still use aggregated macro-level data and gloss over important struggles over the meaning and deployment of the concept of human rights. By questioning and taking apart both the concept of human rights and the presumed unity of the actors who struggle over them, scholars could begin to provide a more satisfying account of who gains and who loses through manipulation of human rights instruments, through what mechanisms, and how these processes and outcomes differ across time and place.