The PS: Political Science & Politics Editorial Team will not be accepting new manuscripts for the two-week period from December 23, 2016–January 6, 2017 for the holiday break. We encourage you to submit your manuscripts in the new year, after January 6.
by James E. Campbell,
With the dust settling from one of the most brutal and nasty presidential campaigns in modern American history and with the late vote returns creeping up to a final count, it is time to take stock of the presidential election forecasts offered initially to readers of the Crystal Ball website and then published in the October issue of PS: Political Science and Politics. Despite the surprising electoral vote victory of Donald Trump, the vote count as of one week after the election indicates that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received 50.5% of the two-party popular vote cast nationwide to Republican President-elect (yes, it is still jolting) Trump’s 49.5%.
So how did the forecasts do? From late June to early September in Sabato’s Crystal Ball, eight forecasters or teams of forecasters issued 10 presidential election forecasts of the national two-party popular vote (along with the PollyVote meta-forecast assembled from array of different types of forecasts). Aside from a few minor updates, these were the same forecasts later published in PS (in no case did the difference between the Crystal Ball and PS reported forecast differ by more than two-tenths of a percentage point). Table 1 reports the forecasts from the closest to the actual vote division as it appears at this time to the forecast with the largest absolute error.
Table 1: Political science forecasts of the 2016 presidential election
Read the full analysis.
Yes, But Did They Learn Anything? An Experimental Investigation of Voter Decision Making on Foreign Policy Issues
Jacqueline M. Sievert, (@jm_sievert), Bowling Green State University
Michael K. McDonald, Western Carolina University
Charles J. Fagan, Western Carolina University
Niall Michelsen, Western Carolina University
Do short, interactive presentations on foreign policy issues affect voting behavior among students? Did the information presented increase students’ understanding of foreign policy in evaluating and candidates? And did this information lead to sustained changes in students’ preferences? In the weeks prior to the North Carolina primary students attended a panel discussion of the foreign policy positions of the presidential candidates and were given pre- and post-treatment questions on the general foreign policy knowledge and voting intentions. By using real-time polling technology, we find that while foreign policy issues tend not to be the primary motivation for voting for a particular candidate there is preliminary evidence that shows presentations of specific policy positions can influence students’ political preferences and increase their knowledge of foreign policy issues. Increased information on candidates’ positions led to more students who felt Hillary Clinton’s positions most closely reflected their own, and a shift in votes toward Clinton.
The Michigan Four and their Study of American Voters: A Biography of a Collaboration
by Herbert F. Weisberg, Ohio State University
This article provides an intellectual history of the creation of The American Voter, the 1960 book that revolutionized the analysis of American voting behavior. A chronological history is presented, from assembling the research team, through writing the book, to its aftermath, and ending with brief perspectives on each author. Archived papers and oral histories provide new information about how the book came about, including the challenges that were encountered along the way. The reviews of the book are summarized, along with the authors’ subsequent careers and their contributions both to the voting behavior field and to its institutional infrastructure.
Becoming a Stop on the Road to the White House, Using a University Protocol to Govern Candidate Visits
Karen M. Kedrowski, Winthrop University
Katarina Duich Moyon, Winthrop University
Winthrop University capitalized upon South Carolina’s early presidential primary to bring 10 U.S. Presidential candidates to campus between August 2015 and February 2016. These events are part of Winthrop University’s intentional commitment to civic engagement. This essay describes and analyzes how Winthrop University developed a campus-wide protocol for hosting visits by public officials and candidates. It also provides best practices
Colleges and universities have many opportunities to engage first-time voters in education and information gathering prior to their vote. Studies show that these early habits can lead to lifelong civic engagement and education. As a part of its voter and civic engagement efforts, Winthrop University hosted visits from ten presidential primary candidates between August 2015 and February 2016. To pull off these events the University worked ahead of time to develop a university-wide protocol. The protocol offered Winthrop a systemic, unified approach for dealing with potential candidate visits and it also helped in distribution of responsibilities. The protocol ensured that all major stakeholders were included in the process and understood their roles. Information on development and content of the protocol is shared in this article. Additionally, the authors have created a list of best practices taking into consideration the many aspects involved for universities hosting such events, including protesters; faculty incentives; and capacity building. Hosting high level national candidates can be a challenge even for well-resourced institutions. This article offers a strategy that many institutions can utilize for developing a thoughtful, efficient approach for such events.
“United in Diversity”: Research Ethics in European Political Science
by Daniela R. Piccio, Università degli Studi di Torino
In a recent article reviewing how national policies define research misconduct in the top forty countries for Research and Development (R&D) funding, Resnik, Rasmussen, and Kissling (2015) come to two main conclusions. First, only half the countries under consideration (22 out of 40) have a policy for national misconduct. Second, among the countries that have established such policies, there is little common understanding on what actually qualifies as misconduct in scientific research. Considering the geographical distribution of the countries examined in their study, which are spread across all the continents of the world and include Australia, Mexico, Iran, Malaysia, South Africa, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, and the United States, these results do not appear particularly surprising. It is more surprising, however, to discover that a similar heterogeneity of approaches exists in Europe, among neighboring countries that are united at the supranational level by the European Union. Indeed, a study of research integrity guidance in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area has shown that only 19 have established national research integrity guidelines and that, as regards their content, “not one list of principles or one definition is identical in any two guidelines” (Godecharle, Nemery, and Dierickx 2013, 1097).
Based on the analysis of the regulations, the practices, and the codes of professional conduct in the region, this article seeks to develop a reasonably comprehensive picture of ethics assessment governance for the social sciences. It will show that European countries are still very diverse in the way and in the extent to which they address and regulate matters relevant to research ethics in the social sciences, and that, for the time being, a major dividing line still exists between the European and the American approaches to research ethics.
Varieties of Academic Labor Markets in Europe
by Alexandre Afonso, (@alexandreafonso), Leiden University
How are academic job markets organized in European countries? This article provides a brief comparative overview of the functioning academic job markets in Europe, paying particular attention to the market for political scientists. The article emphasizes how the expansion of higher education access has led to a growing demand for teaching staff in European countries, but this growing demand has been mostly met by the expansion of fixed-term staff. In spite of these common developments, there are still striking differences in how jobs for academics are allocated. First, the article differentiates between countries where access for outsiders is constrained by formal and informal barriers to entry. Second, it differentiates between countries where permanent contracts are available to recent PhD graduates, and those where permanent positions are confined to the top of the academic hierarchy. While the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are open and have permanent jobs for recent PhD graduates, Germany is more closed to outsiders and the bulk of the academic workforce is on fixed-term contracts. Switzerland is open with few permanent jobs, while France, Italy and Spain provide permanent jobs but display many formal and informal barriers which restrict access for outsiders.
SYMPOSIUM: The Discipline of Political Science in Europe: How Different Is It from Political Science in North America?
Daniel Stockemer, University of Ottawa
Ekaterina R. Rashkova, Utrecht University
Jonathon W. Moses, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Alasdair Blair, (@Alasdair_Blair), De Monfort University
How do we do political science in Europe? What is political science in Europe? How do we teach it? How do we advance it? The 5 articles included in the symposium address these questions by tackling the academic job market in Europe, the effects of the financial crisis on European universities, teaching versus research excellence, the relevance of political science as well as ethics and ethical considerations. The studies show evidence that the practice of political science in Europe and North America is distinct. On the one hand there are commonalities on both sides of the Atlantic, such as a strong emphasis on research rather than teaching, or an increase in the number of students enrolled in secondary and tertiary education. Yet on the other, the differences are much more pronounced. The differences stretch from recruitment (fixed term contracts in many European countries versus tenure track lines in North America) to the relevance of the discipline (a greater focus on policy in Europe as compared to the US), to financing (a tuition hike in the US versus still predominantly free education in Europe) to a more developed ethics regime in North America in contrast to many European countries.