Gustavo Gouveia Maciel: “Expanding the knowledge on the effects of social norms on tolerance towards corruption: an experimental approach”

Gustavo Gouveia Maciel, from ICS – University of Lisbon, presented the paper above mentioned. It follows an introductory note about the study:

“There is a long-standing tradition of testing the impacts of social norms (both descriptive and injunctive) on a plethora of phenomena. However, knowledge on the effects of those norms on the decision to condone or not corruption remains limited. On the one hand, recent evidence suggests that the predisposition to tolerate corruption is influenced by
prior exposure to a corruption descriptive-norm input – i.e. by the individual perception of what the majority (the ‘others’) typically do in situations of corruption (Köbis et al. 2015; Zhao et al. 2019). On the other hand, little is known about the effects of corruption injunctive-norm priming – i.e. of what is typically approved (or valued) by a society when
dealing with corruption – on the level of tolerance towards corruption. The present study aims to fill this gap by carrying out two online experiments to test if (a) the predisposition to condone corruption is also affected by the way individuals react in relation to being exposed to injunctive norm information about corruption (Experiment A) and (b) if there is an interplay between both types of norms to generate a predisposition to tolerate corruption (Experiment B). In the end, it is expected that adding the injunctive corruption norm perspective to the discussion can enhance our knowledge on how distinct perceived social norms effectively affect the decision to condone situations usually associated to corruption in a democratic environment – where individuals’ opinions are not contingent on coercive and/or repressive aspects.”

Homero Gil de Zúñiga, Hugo Marcos-Marne and Emily Carty: “Affective Polarization, Social Media News, and Political Persuasion”

Hugo Marcos-Marne, from University of Salamanca, presented the paper above mentioned. It follows the abstract:

“Prior research underscores the utility of political persuasion to sustain more deliberative and engaged democracies. When citizens display increased openness to political attitude change, societies benefit as diverse viewpoints thrive, and a more consensual public sphere may be fostered. This contrasts with today’s contentious political and media environment. With political affective polarization on the rise, and new social media avenues enabling citizens to curate more diverse news consumption patterns, little is known about how affective polarization affects the ability for citizens to be politically persuaded in social media environments. Relying on US panel survey data, this study seeks to shed light on this phenomenon. Cross-sectional, lagged, and overtime causal order (autoregressive) models results suggest that social media news use and affective polarization directly predict social media political persuasion (SMPP). Those who consume more news on social media and exhibit lower levels of political affective polarization tend to more frequently engage in political attitude change. Theoretical implications of these findings, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are all discussed.”

Joris Thijm: “Theories of Political Coalitions”

Joris Alberdingk Thijm, PhD student from ICS, University of Lisbon, presented a chapter of his PhD thesis. It follows the abstract:

“The aim of this chapter is to discuss a selection of the most important theories of coalition formation that have emerged in the literature since the mid-20th century. This exercise will ultimately inform the formulation of an original theoretical model of government coalitions in presidential systems in a subsequent chapter. Four different but interconnected literatures can inform our attempt to build such model. These are: (1) the fundamental game theoretical literature and the two applied literatures inspired by it, namely (2) the literature on government coalitions in parliamentary systems, which is mainly centered on Europe, and (3) the social choice literature on legislative coalitions, which is mostly based on the US context. Aside from those three literatures, there is (4) the younger literature on government coalition formation and management in multiparty presidential systems, which is mainly empirical in origin. This chapter is organized into four main sections, one for each aforementioned literature. The focus will be on theories and theoretical arguments; we do not concern ourselves here with the findings of empirical studies that operationalize and test these theories. Furthermore, as explaining oversized coalitions in presidential systems is one of the main objectives of this thesis, the focus will be of theories and models which have something to say about coalition size.”

Ignacio Lago: “Making Mobilization Work:​ The Adoption of Proportional Representation”

Ignacio Lago, from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, presented a paper with the following abstract:

“This paper examines the adoption of electoral systems in the last two centuries. I argue that PR was adopted to make parties’ mobilization easier when majoritarian electoral systems with many small districts were no longer an efficient response to the problem of collective action in mass elections. With the expansion of suffrage and the parallel process of national integration, mass parties became technologically feasible and took care of bringing voters to the ballot box. PR systems with few and large districts facilitated their mobilization efforts. PR was endorsed by those parties that are found it easier to attract voters using a single mobilization strategy with strong economics of scale, and resisted it by locally focused parties. The argument is tested using longitudinal and cross section data both at the country and party levels. Key Words: Collective Action; Electoral System; Nationalization; Political Parties; Proportional Representation.”

Roula Nezi and Carsten Wegscheider: “The People and the Nation Conceptions of nationalism and the level of support for radical parties​”

Roula Nezi, from the University of Surrey, presented a paper with the following abstract:

“Voters and parties hold different views on who belong to the nation and to Europe. Previous research shows that radical left parties focus on the political, economic, and cultural integration of marginalized groups, while they promote social and cultural diversity. In contrast, radical right parties are exclusionary and focus on the ethnic homogeneity of the nation by excluding those perceived as non-native. While nationalism has been studied extensively at the party level, we know relatively little about voters’ self-understanding of nationalism and Europeanism and how it affects their level of support for radical parties. In this article, we use survey data from the latest wave of the European Values Study, and we employ a multilevel latent class analysis to identify varieties of nationalism and Europeanism in Europe and they affect the support for radical parties. Our results thus make important contribution to the study of nationalism as well as to the study of voting behaviour in a comparative European perspective.”

Markus Wagner: “Voters and the IMF: Experimental Evidence From European Crisis Countries”

Markus Wagner, from the University of Vienna, presented a paper with the following abstract:

“Critics of the IMF have raised concerns that IMF programs undermine democracy in the countries where the Fund intervenes. But although voters are central for questions of democratic governance, existing research does not directly examine how voters evaluate the costs and benefits of such external interventions. Our analysis uses an experimental approach to assess competing theories about the impact of IMF interventions on voters and the mechanisms behind this relationship. Our results from surveys in Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain show that – with the exception of Greece – approval of fiscal adjustment among voters is higher with than without IMF intervention. This is the case because voters expect that the crisis is more likely to be solved when the IMF intervenes. At the same time, voters are critical of the constraints that an IMF intervention imposes on the government’s room to maneuver. Taken together, however, the hope that the crisis can be resolved with the IMF generally dominates the dissatisfaction over the loss of democratic control.”

Yani Kartalis: “Parliamentary questions’ constituency focus under times of crisis. An Examination of the Greek Case”

Yani Kartalis, from ICS, presented a chapter from his thesis. The abstract reads:

“Do macro-economic conditions affect legislators’ representative focus? This article examines this novel predictor by analyzing an original dataset of parliamentary questions from the Greek parliament. Greece is a very informative case since not only is the country most severely hit by the recent Eurozone Crisis but it also offers an institutional setting that provides plenty of incentives to re-election-seeking actors for constituency-focused representative work. The data utilized covers an extended period of six Greek legislatures and over 12000 parliamentary current questions asked pre, during and post-crisis between 2006 and 2019. The stand-alone effect of macro-economic conditions as well as its interaction with known predictors like the legislators’ vulnerability are tested. Findings provide evidence that a better national economic performance conditions increase the likelihood that MPs with table current questions about their constituency, although other traditional factors are more important.”