Eduardo Moncada, Resisting Protection: Rackets, Resistance, and State Building
The state occupies a central place in the study of a range of political, economic, and social outcomes. This article brings into dialogue literature on the state and emerging research on criminal politics through a study of protection rackets. Conceiving of criminal protection rackets as institutional arrangements of extraction and domination, I develop a political economy framework to explain variation in forms of resistance to rackets. The framework shows that distinct configurations of economic and political resources influence the type of resistance available to subordinates. I illustrate the framework’s utility using micro-level data on resistance to rackets in Latin America. Attention to how resource endowments shape patterns of resistance to projects of extraction and domination provides a novel window into the bottom-up dynamics of state building.
Erica S. Simmons and Nicholas Rush Smith, The Case for Comparative Ethnography
To what extent can comparative methods and ethnographic inquiry combine to advance knowledge in political science? Ethnography is becoming an increasingly popular method within political science. Yet both proponents and detractors often see it as a technique best suited for producing in-depth knowledge about a particular case or for explicating the meaning of a particular political behavior. This article argues that comparative ethnography—ethnographic research that explicitly and intentionally builds an argument through the analysis of two or more cases—can be of particular value to political scientists, and to scholars of comparative politics in particular. The approach can hone our theoretical models, challenge existing conceptual categories, and help develop portable political insights. This article has two goals: (1) to show that comparative ethnographic research deserves a prominent place in the repertoire of qualitative methods and (2) to elaborate the logics of inquiry behind such comparisons so that scholars will be better equipped to use them more frequently. Two or more cases are not always better than one, but comparative ethnography can yield new and different insights with important implications for our understandings of politics.
Brandon Van Dyck, Why Not Anti-Populist Parties? Theory with Evidence from the Andes and Thailand
Intense polarization can birth enduring political parties. Yet, whereas civil war and authoritarian repression often produce two parties, populist mobilization more often produces one: a populist, not an anti-populist, one. Why not anti-populist parties? The article argues that successful populism, by its nature, inhibits anti-populist party building. Because successful populists discredit a wide array of elites and institutions, anti-populists, who come from these discredited elite and institutions, are unpopular and lack cohesion. Where populists govern over a decade, anti-populist party building remains difficult, but conditions become less unfavorable: populists inevitably lose popularity, and the opposition commits to elections and undergoes leadership renovation. The article compares four countries: three where no anti-populist party-building has occurred (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Thailand) and one where an anti-populist party almost took root (Venezuela).
Yuri Kasahara and Antonio José Junqueira Botelho, Ideas and Leadership in the Crafting of Alternative Industrial Policies: Local Content Requirements Brazilian Oil and Gas Sector
Latin America is viewed as a region that has embraced a strategy of “open economy industrial policy” (OEIP). However, the region’s transition to OEIP has been neither complete nor irreversible. In this article, we argue that economic development concepts and instruments introduced during Brazil’s previous import-substitution industrialization regime still influence the country’s industrial policy. By tracing the evolution of local content requirements (LCR) in the Brazilian oil and gas sector, we show that conflicts between inward-oriented and outward-oriented forms of industrial development have been the main source of recent policy changes in the country. In addition, we show how institutional structures affect the implementation of economic ideas. The country’s centralized policymaking facilitated significant changes in the orientation of the LCR policy during the last twenty years.
Jessica Price, Keystone Organizations versus Clientelism: Understanding Protest Frequency in Indigenous Southern Mexico
This study builds on relational approaches to social mobilization and organizational ecology to explain local variations in protest frequency in the newer democracies of the developing world. I introduce the concept of keystone organizations, or organizations that justify protest and build influential networks that catalyze protest activity, to explain the localized growth of protest. I contribute to the literature on clientelism by showing that the networks that fuel political clientelism monopolize the organizational environment and discourage protest politics. I test my arguments statistically using an original dataset of protest events in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Yucatan, Mexico, during the 2000 to 2012 federal election seasons that I coded from local newspaper reports.
Catherine Reyes-Housholder, A Constituency Theory for the Conditional Impact of Female Presidents
The theory argues that female presidents are more likely to (1) mobilize women on the basis of gender identity (core constituency); and (2) network with elite feminists (personal constituency). Only presidents who meet both conditions are most likely legislate on behalf of women. Controlled case studies illustrate the theory: Michelle Bachelet in Chile and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil attempted to mobilize women on the basis of gender identity, but only Bachelet succeeded. Furthermore, only Bachelet maintained extensive ties with elite feminists. Original evidence shows that Bachelet, but not Rousseff, legislated in ways that statistically differed from her co-partisan male predecessor. Bachelet’s constituencies incentivized and enabled some of her pro-women proposals while a lack of expertise from feminists inhibited Rousseff’s pursuit of pro-women change.
Isabela Mares and Lauren Young, Varieties of Clientelism in Hungarian Elections
In elections around the world, candidates seek to influence voters’ choices using a variety of intermediaries and by relying on either positive electoral inducements or coercive strategies. What explains candidates’ choices among different forms of clientelism? When do candidates incentivize voters using positive inducements and when do they choose coercive strategies? This article proposes a new typology of clientelism and tests two families of explanations for why candidates would choose to use state versus non-state brokers, and inducements versus coercion, as private incentives to voters. First, existing theory predicts that political conditions such as incumbency or co-partisanship with the national party should enable the use of public over private brokers and resources. In addition, we conjecture that clientelism carries programmatic signals, such that the choice between inducements and coercion depends on local political conditions. We test our predictions using a post-electoral survey fielded in 2014 in ninety rural Hungarian communities. We find little evidence that local political conditions are related to the choice between state versus non-state brokers, but significant support for the prediction that programmatic signals explain the choice between inducements and coercion.
Dima Kortukov, Review Article, Bandits, Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Businessmen:Post-Communist Political Economy Twenty-Five Years after Soviet Dissolution
In this review article, I review four recent books that deal with various aspects of post-Communist political economy and argue that they represent a major shift in the research orientation of this subfield. Early scholarship mostly analyzed the causes of the diverging transitional paths that the post-Communist economies took, while highlighting the impact of Soviet legacies, the political pressures that the reformers faced, and the role of Western influences. Recent work shifts focus to the consequences of the divergent transition paths. It seeks to understand how economic development is possible in the post-Communist world, where state agents are predatory, where civil society organizations are weak, and where regulatory mechanisms are underdeveloped.