A fundamental tenet of democracy is that political parties present policy alternatives, such that the public can participate in the decision-making process. Parties, however, strategically control public discussion by emphasising topics that they believe will highlight their strengths in voters’ minds. Political strategy has been studied for decades, mostly by manually annotating and analysing party statements, press coverage, or TV ads. Here we build on recent work in the areas of computational social science and eDemocracy, which studied these concepts computationally with social media. We operationalize
and related political science theories to measure and quantify politicians’ communication behavior using more than 366k Tweets posted by over 1,000 prominent German politicians in the 2017 election year. To this end, we first identify issues in posted Tweets by utilising a hashtag-based approach well known in the literature. This method allows several prominent issues featuring in the political debate on Twitter that year to be identified. We show that different political parties engage to a larger or lesser extent with these issues. The findings reveal differing social media strategies by parties located at different sides of the political left-right scale, in terms of which issues they engage with, how confrontational they are and how their strategies evolve in the lead-up to the election. Whereas previous work has analysed the general public’s use of Twitter or politicians’ communication in terms of cross-party polarisation, this is the first study of political science theories, relating to issue engagement, using politicians’ social media data.
The scientific method is predicated on transparency -- yet the pace at which transparent research practices are being adopted by the scientific community is slow. The replication crisis in psychology showed that published findings employing statistical inference are threatened by undetected errors, data manipulation, and data falsification. To mitigate these problems and bolster research credibility, open data and preregistration have increasingly been adopted in the natural and social sciences. While many political science and international relations journals have committed to implementing these reforms, the extent of open science practices is unknown. We bring large-scale text analysis and machine learning classifiers to bear on the question. Using population-level data -- 93,931 articles across the top 160 political science and IR journals between 2010 and 2021 -- we find that approximately 21% of all statistical inference papers have open data, and 5% of all experiments are preregistered. Despite this shortfall, the example of leading journals in the field shows that change is feasible and can be effected quickly.
Based on extensive interviews and oral histories as well as archival sources, Women and the Islamic Republic challenges the dominant masculine theorizations of state-making in post-revolutionary Iran. Shirin Saeidi demonstrates that despite the Islamic Republic's non-democratic structures, multiple forms of citizenship have developed in post-revolutionary Iran. This finding destabilizes the binary formulation of democratization and authoritarianism which has not only dominated investigations of Iran, but also regime categorizations in political science more broadly. As non-elite Iranian women negotiate or engage with the state's gendered citizenry regime, the Islamic Republic is forced to remake, oftentimes haphazardly, its citizenry agenda. The book demonstrates how women remake their rights, responsibilities, and statuses during everyday life to condition the state-making process in Iran, showing women's everyday resistance to the state-making process.
Theoretical studies of practical political life conducted by M. Ya. Ostrogorsky allow us to call him one of the founders of Russian political science and party science. His doctrine was the first systematized theory of the emergence, functioning and development of political parties, the laws of their evolution and the technology of activity. He described the tendency to establish an oligarchic leadership of political parties and the failure of moral regulators of political processes taking place in society.
This essay addresses two related questions raised by the editors of the research topic for “Beyond the Frontiers of Political Science: Is Good Governance Possible in Cataclysmic Times?” In particular, it explores: 1) how we can identify new tools and perspectives from which to address the multiple and mutually reinforcing problems accumulating around climate change; and 2) what institutional alternatives to the nation-state need to be created and empowered to tackle such complex problems. It does so through an in-depth treatment of the paradigm of “social ecology” and the associated political project of “democratic confederalism.” It begins with an overview of the argument, first advanced by Murray Bookchin and subsequently adopted and adapted by the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, that building an ecological society requires an assault on hierarchy in all its forms, and the construction of alternative, direct-democratic institutions capable of transcending the system of the capitalist nation-state. It sketches the institutional architecture of popular assemblies central to this project, both emphasizing their potential to contest capitalist social-property relations and hierarchies intrinsic to the nation-state and pointing out some sources of resilience of the existing system. It hones in on the experience of the revolutionary forces in control of the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES), who have been directly inspired by Öcalan’s ideas. It highlights both the AANES’s achievements as well as the significant obstacles it has encountered in the attempt to bring into being a radically-egalitarian, ecological society. It concludes by drawing lessons from these difficulties.
AbstractThe basis of a methodology determines whether a research method can fit the core characteristics of a particular academic tradition, and thus, it is crucial to explore this foundation. Keeping in mind the controversy and progress of the philosophy of social sciences, this paper aims to elaborate on four aspects including the cognitive model, the view of causality, research methods, and analysis techniques, and to establish a more solid methodological basis for historical political science. With respect to the “upstream knowledge” of methodology, both positivism and critical realism underestimate the tremendous difference between the natural world and the social world. This leads to inherent flaws in controlled comparison and causal mechanism analysis. Given the constructiveness of social categories and the complexity of historical circumstances, the cognitive model of constructivism makes it more suitable for researchers to engage in macro-political and social analysis. From the perspective of constructivism, the causality in “storytelling,” i.e., the traditional narrative analysis, is placed as the basis of the regularity theory of causality in this paper, thus forming the historical–causal narrative. The historical–causal narrative focuses on how a research object is shaped and self-shaped in the ontological historical process, and thus ideally suits the disciplinary characteristics of historical political science. Researchers can complete theoretical dialogues, test hypotheses, and further explore the law of causality in logic and evidence, thereby achieving the purpose of “learning from history” in historical political science.
AbstractThe patterns of democracy are related to the success or failure of national governance; hence, they are a key topic in the theoretical research of political science. It is difficult to comprehend the worldwide political conflicts caused by the promotion of liberal democracy in the study of democratic models that have liberal democracy as their core. The emphasis of historical political science on the genes of civilization provides an opportunity to reinterpret the patterns of democracy. Relying on specific civilization genes, the patterns of democracy can be divided into the “value pattern”, which is shaped by historical civilization genes, and the “practice pattern”, which is based on the “value pattern”. Based on Christian concepts, Western civilization produced liberal democracy as the value pattern, and the value is inherited through the practice pattern of party democracy. Chinese civilization has continued the tradition of people-orientation and consultative practice, establishing socialist democracy in value and consultative democracy in practice. Theoretically, the analytical framework of the value pattern and the practice pattern of democracy illustrates the source of the diverse patterns of democracy, which helps demonstrate the limitations of liberal democracy and points out the possibility of developing a non-liberal democracy pattern.
Machiavelli is one of the founders of modern bourgeois political theory. The birth of his masterpiece The Prince creates a new pattern of western political thought, which marks the first time that political science has escaped from the bondage of religion and ethics. At the same time, Machiavelli is also named “Machiavelliism”. The so-called “no means to achieve the purpose” has become the greatest misunderstanding of Machiavelli. Based on the prince analysis of Machiavelli’s political thought, around his national unity of Italy launched the national regime, military, monarchy and other aspects of thinking.
We have selected articles to review from PS: Political Science & Politics that in some way inform civic education designed to promote civic knowledge, skills, and engagement. Our analysis provides a basic overview of these articles so that practitioners and scholars can quickly and easily reference the research and practices reflected in these articles and use these when designing their own course curriculum and assignments. A good many of these papers provide best practices or detailed descriptions of initiatives for easy replicability. This literature review has the modest intent to survey the works described herein in order to identify useful, actionable and broadly relevant research and practices that can easily be deployed to address the crises we currently face.
Social scientists commonly use computational models to estimate proxies of unobserved concepts, then incorporate these proxies into subsequent tests of their theories. The consequences of this practice, which occurs in over two-thirds of recent computational work in political science, are underappreciated. Imperfect proxies can reflect noise and contamination from other concepts, producing biased point estimates and standard errors. We demonstrate how analysts can use causal diagrams to articulate theoretical concepts and their relationships to estimated proxies, then apply straightforward rules to assess which conclusions are rigorously supportable. We formalize and extend common heuristics for “signing the bias”—a technique for reasoning about unobserved confounding—to scenarios with imperfect proxies. Using these tools, we demonstrate how, in often-encountered research settings, proxy-based analyses allow for valid tests for the existence and direction of theorized effects. We conclude with best-practice recommendations for the rapidly growing literature using learned proxies to test causal theories. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Political Science, Volume 25 is May 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.