Political Studies Review

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • European Insiders and Outsiders? Assessing the Reaction of German and French Trade Unions to EU Austerity

    Though the existence of a European insider-outsider division has previously been theorised, a robust link between the actions of certain workers and the existence of such divisions has yet to be demonstrated. In this article, I examine differing reactions of German and French trade unions to austerity in Southern Europe. German and French unions reacted to austerity in a lukewarm manner, contributing to the emergence of European divides. This was particularly the case in Germany, in which the stronger position within Economic and Monetary Union meant that there were fewer incentives for solidarity. I link this development with the nature of the contemporary EU, contending that the division is related to the propensity of Economic and Monetary Union to initiate competition between national labour markets and an upturn in nationalism.

  • Moving Away From Partisanship: Diversifying the Motives Behind Political Polarization

    Most current academic work on political polarization treats partisanship as the dominant motivational driver behind social cleavage and mass polarization. This essay engages in the debate by moving beyond the conceptual straitjacket of partisanship-driven polarization, recasting the primary motives behind political polarization into the three situated and interrelated ideologies that drive the phenomenon of polarization at a mass level, namely, populism, system-justifying attitudes, and state-sponsored ideologies (including religiosity and other cultural identities). By signposting more open-ended, processual, and ambivalent conceptions behind polarization, this article attempts to systematically map the alternative motives of polarization, and in doing so supplement our understanding of the deep ideological divides present not only in Western democracies, but also in many (semi-)authoritarian contexts. The article offers a point of departure for appreciating the coexistence, coevolution, and mutual constitution of the different ideological motives behind polarization, and suggests ways to develop paths to depolarization through a grounded, processual–relational analysis of the world.

  • US Public Perceptions of an Intelligence Quotient Test Score Gap Between Black Americans and White Americans

    Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a common measure of intelligence that associates with many important life outcomes. Research over several decades has indicated that the average IQ test score among Black Americans is lower than the average IQ test score among White Americans, but in weighted results from a national nonprobability survey, only about 41% of US adults indicated awareness of this IQ gap. Results from a follow-up convenience survey indicated that, in the aggregate, White participants’ rating of White Americans’ average IQ and average intelligence is higher than Blacks Americans’ average IQ test score and average intelligence and was not driven by White participants’ belief in a universal White intellectual superiority. These and other results could have implications regarding the US public’s perceptions about the reasons for Black/White inequality and implications for the use of intelligence stereotype scales as measures of racial prejudice.

  • Democratization in Political Communication

    Disintermediation allows citizens to directly access political communication. The greater diversity of interactions between political actors results in increased flow of information. This causes decreased effectiveness for gatekeepers and agenda-setters (old media), and makes way for the creation of a deregulated, non-hierarchical, and borderless space, resulting in the empowerment of citizens and the democratization of political communication. This is a modernizing time that affects the development of political process and the role of different political actors. However, this transformation is shaped by bias and structural factors that limit its universalization and, a priori, encourage the emergence of a citizen elite that is capable of managing and benefiting from change.

  • The Quality of Political Information

    The article conceptualizes the quality of political information and shows how the concept can be used for empirical research. I distinguish three aspects of quality (intelligibility, relevance, and validity) and use them to judge the constituent foundations of political information, that is, component claims (statements of alleged facts) and connection claims (argumentative statements created by causally linking two component claims). The resulting conceptual map thus entails six manifestations of information quality (component claim intelligibility, connection claim intelligibility, component claim relevance, connection claim relevance, component claim validity, and connection claim validity). I explain how the conceptual map can be used to make sense of the eclectic variety of existing research, and how it can advance new empirical research, as a guide for determining variation in information quality, as a conceptual template for the analysis of different types of political messages and their common quality deficiencies, and as a generator of new research questions and theoretical expectations.

  • Activist Parties and Hybrid Party Behaviours: A Typological Reassessment of Partisan Mobilisation

    Integrating insights from party politics, social movement and political communication literatures, with a qualitative discussion of hybrid party behaviours observable in different contexts and regions, the article offers an original typology of four models of partisan mobilisation and focuses on a novel possibility, the activist party. Referring to parties that combine a professionalised organisation with the deployment of movement-like tactics to achieve electoral goals, the article points to current resources reducing the organisational trade-offs previously assumed to restrict the combination of electoral appeal with partisan militancy. Through this argument, the article challenges the thesis that under democratic conditions political parties should be expected to abandon outsider strategies for insider ones, while providing an analytical account of emerging patterns of organisational innovation and partisan behaviour being witnessed in contemporary party politics.

  • Public Office as a Stepping-Stone? Investigating the Careers of Ministerial Advisors

    Ministerial advisors have become an essential aspect of executive branches worldwide, thus making the ministerial advisor office a potential route for young politicians aspiring to an expanding political class. The article studies which professions ministerial advisors migrate to following their ministerial careers, how ministerial advisors’ post-ministerial careers compare to their pre-ministerial careers, and if the variance in careers can be explained by the resources that ministerial advisors obtain while in government. Empirically, the article draws on a cohort of 139 ministerial advisors in Norwegian governments between 2001 and 2009; it covers positions in the political sphere and the public, private and voluntary occupational sectors over a period from each ministerial advisor’s youth to the end of 2017. The bibliographic data are combined with surveys and elite interviews. The results show that more than expanding the political class as a recruitment ground for future Members of the Parliament and ministers, ministerial advisor appointments serve as stepping-stones to careers outside of politics. Most ministerial advisors experience shifts between occupational sectors and upwards to higher positions. However, ministerial advisors’ attractiveness in the labour market is surprisingly unaffected by what they actually did in office; rather, it rests on resources such as insider knowledge and networks.

  • The Sociology of Diplomats and Foreign Policy Sector: The Role of Cliques on the Policy-Making Process

    This paper studies the sociology of elites and the role of cliques on the foreign policy-making process through an exploratory case study of Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It identifies elite sociology as the independent variable triggering a policy-making process in the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in line with organisational process or governmental politic approaches. It shows that until the 1980s, the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs was marked by strong hierarchical tradition triggered by a certain career path and cliqueism leading to the homogeneity in the sociology of elites. This in turn triggered a foreign policy-making process based on organisational process. The role of cliqueism weakened along with the incremental circulation of elites in the post-1980s and particularly in the post-2005 period as the elite structure in the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs became even more heterogeneous, foreign policy-making process moved towards governmental politics which allowed taking into account diverse schools of thought. Nevertheless, newly emerging programmatic elites employed deliberate efforts for elite circulation by altering the dominant career path and relying on political appointments. The resulting outcome was the emergence of a new clique of ruling elites subordinate to political elites which led to the politicisation of the foreign policy decision-making process in the post-2011 period.

  • Book Review: Mubashar Hasan, Islam and Politics in Bangladesh: The Followers of Ummah
  • Book Review: Ben Wellings and Andrew Mycock, The Anglosphere: Continuity, Dissonance and Location

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