Seminars - Page 4

Time and place: Dec. 3, 2021 10:15 AM11:30 AM, Gullhaug Torg 1

Title of the presentation "The Politics of COVID-19 Containment: The Curious Case of Tanzania"


Time and place: Nov. 26, 2021 10:15 AM11:30 AM, Zoom

Title of the presentation "Vox Populi. Public Support for the Popular Initiative"


Time and place: Nov. 5, 2021 10:15 AM11:30 AM, Zoom

Title of the presentation "International Sports Events, Media Attention, and Repression: Evidence from the 1978 FIFA World Cup"


How do international sports events shape repression in authoritarian host countries? International tournaments promise unique gains in political prestige through global media attention. However, autocrats must fear that foreign journalists will unmask their wrongdoings. We argue that autocracies solve this dilemma by strategically adjusting repression according to the spatial-temporal presence of international media. Using original, highly disaggregated data on the 1978 World Cup, we demonstrate that the Argentine host government largely refrained from repression during the tournament, but preemptively cleansed the streets beforehand. These adjustments specifically occurred around hotels reserved for foreign journalists. Additional tests demonstrate that: 1) before the tournament, repression turned increasingly covert, 2) during the tournament, targeting patterns mirrored the working shifts of foreign journalists, 3) after the tournament, regime violence again spiked in locations where international media had been present. Together, the paper highlights the human costs of mega-events, contradicting the common whitewashing rhetoric of functionaries

Time and place: Oct. 22, 2021 10:15 AM11:30 AM, Gullhaug Torg 1

Title of the presentation "Ethnic Inequality and Regime Change: Investigating an Asymmetric Relationship"


Do socioeconomic disparities between ethnic groups affect the likelihood of a country to democratize and remain democratic? I argue theoretically that higher ethnic socioeconomic inequality does not one-sidedly reduce the likelihood of transitioning to democracy. Although such inequalities give rise to grievances that fuel the demand for democracy, they also make the ruling elites from dominant groups less willing to concede political rights. Moreover, I argue that ethnic inequality is clearly related to democratic breakdowns, because high-inequality countries are more likely to experience distributional conflict and polarization. Investigating these arguments with panel data for 162 countries for 120 years, I find that ethnic inequality is not significantly associated with the likelihood of democratization. However, there is a strong and robust association between ethnic inequality and the risk of democratic breakdown. A quantitative examination of the mechanisms provides further evidence of the theoretical argument.


Time and place: Oct. 15, 2021 2:15 PM3:30 PM, Zoom

Title: The Institutional Sources of Economic Transformation: Energy Policy from the Oil Crises to Climate Change


Why are some governments more effective in promoting economic change than others? We develop a theory of the institutional sources of economic transformation. Domestic institutions condition the ability of policymakers to impose costs on consumers and producers. We argue that institutions can enable transformation through two central mechanisms: insulation and compensation. The institutional sources of transformation vary across policy types—whether policies impose costs primarily on consumers (demand-side policies) or on producers (supply-side policies). Proportional electoral rules and strong welfare states facilitate demand-side policies, whereas autonomous bureaucracies and corporatist interest intermediation facilitate supply-side policies. We test our theory by leveraging the 1973 oil crisis, an exogenous shock that compelled policymakers to simultaneously pursue transformational change across OECD countries. Panel analysis, case studies, and discourse network analysis support our hypotheses. The findings offer important lessons for contemporary climate change policy and low-carbon transitions.