Kevin Koehler, Dorothy Ohl, and Holger Albrecht, From Disaffection to Desertion: How Networks Facilitate Military Insubordination in Civil Conflict

Scholarship on intrastate conflict and civil-military relations has largely ignored individual desertions during civil war. We show that high-risk behavior, such as desertion, is best thought of as coordinated action between individual decision-makers and their strong network ties. Soldiers hold preexisting opinions on whether high-risk action is worthwhile, but it is their networks that persuade them to act. Specifically, it is the content of strong network ties (rather than their mere existence) and the ability to interpret information (rather than the presence of information), which helps explain individual action under extreme risk. Our thick empirical narrative is based on substantial fieldwork on the Syrian conflict and contributes to debates on military cohesion, intrastate conflict trajectories, and the power of networks in catalyzing high-risk behavior.

Santiago Anria, Democratizing Democracy? Civil Society and Party Organization in Bolivia

The rise to power of movement-based parties is a new and expanding phenomenon. Existing theories predict these parties will become increasingly oligarchic as they govern nationally. The Bolivian MAS deviates from this conventional wisdom, as it has followed a remarkably different organizational trajectory that has facilitated grassroots impact and constrained elite control. Through a within-case comparative examination of MAS, this article identifies necessary conditions and explains mechanisms facilitating this outcome in the crucial area of candidate selection. Key to understanding how these parties operate is the organizational context in which they are embedded. Where civil society is strong, has mechanisms to arrive at decisions, and can agree on candidate selection, it can play an important role in resisting the oligarchization of allied movement-based parties.

Agnes Blome, Normative Beliefs, Party Competition, and Work-Family Policy Reforms in Germany and Italy

For a long time, German and Italian work-family policies reflected the traditional male-breadwinner model. Recently, however, the parental leave scheme was substantially reformed and public childcare provision significantly expanded in Germany. By contrast, Italy, a country known for many similarities, witnessed little change. I use the systematic variation in the development of normative beliefs and political competition to explain why policy change occurred in Germany but not in Italy between 1990 and 2009. Based on individual-level data on voting behavior and on normative beliefs, I show that a change in normative beliefs and increased party competition contributed to this policy change in Germany. In Italy, by contrast, the population still generally prefers a traditional work-family model, and work-family policies are not a salient issue for party competition.

Kathryn Hochstetler and J. Ricardo Tranjan, Environment and Consultation in the Brazilian Democratic Developmental State

Twenty-first century developmental projects like those of the Brazilian Workers’ Party take place in a regulatory context that—at least on paper—demands new scrutiny of their environmental and community impacts. Scholars of the democratic developmental state also argue that development now requires building human capabilities, promoting sustainable development, and seeking community feedback. We examine 302 electricity projects financed by BNDES to see if and when these developmentalist infrastructure projects faced challenging scrutiny on environmental and community impact grounds. 29 percent generated organized community opposition, extended licensing processes, and/or legal action. These were most common for large projects and projects where community and state actors worked together in blocking coalitions. We conclude that the ideals of the democratic developmental state are more compatible in theory than in practice.

Lauren Honig, Immigrant Political Economies and Exclusionary Policy in Africa

In moments of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment, why do states use different forms of exclusionary policies? While scholarship has traditionally grouped together immigration policies to study variation between open and closed immigration regimes, these policies are not of one kind. This article examines the cases of Ghana’s 1969 expulsion order targeting immigrant traders and Côte d’Ivoire’s 1998 restrictive land policy that curtailed the rights of immigrant farmers to explain how the economic power of immigrants shapes the types of exclusionary policies used. By leveraging the important similarities between the neighboring West African countries, this article demonstrates that these different forms of anti-immigrant policies reflect not the number of immigrants in certain industries, culture, or objective measures of economic scarcity, but divergent immigrant political economies.

Kelly M. McMann, Developing State Legitimacy: The Credibility of Messengers and the Utility, Fit, and Success of Ideas

Legitimacy is important to governance, yet we know little about how it develops. This article examines an initial step—how citizens come to use the same criteria to evaluate legitimacy. Earlier studies have identified the state and society as sources of possible legitimacy criteria but have not explained the process by which citizens adopt them. This article offers a framework to help understand this process. Specifically, it argues that citizens embrace ideas as legitimacy criteria based on the credibility of the messengers and the utility, fit, and success of the ideas. Original survey, in-depth interviews, and observational data from Central Asia as well as published accounts of government leaders’ and societal forces’ ideas and actions in the region illustrate the argument.

Yael Shomer, The Electoral Environment and Legislator Dissent

Electoral rules and party candidate selection processes both affect legislators’ behavior, specifically, their tendency to either toe or break their party’s line. However, elections and selections may produce contradictory incentives for legislators, leading us to ask how conflicting motivations affect legislators’ tendencies to dissent. I argue that the effect of these two institutions is conditional and that legislators who face contradictory incentives will tend to maintain voting discipline. On the other hand, when the incentives of elections and selections align, they tend to amplify one another. This is especially true when elections and selections both incentivize personalization. In this article, I test and find support for the conditional hypothesis using an original individual-level dataset with more than 6,700 legislators from thirty country-sessions.