Research Spotlight: Air Superiority and Battlefield Victory

Is there a democratic war-fighting advantage? A significant body of research finds that democracies are more likely to win wars than non-democracies. A recent study challenges this argument. In their new publication, Dr. Souva and Ph.D. candidate, Richard Saunders, argue that the outcome of major battles and interstate wars is primarily a function of which…

Ph.D. Spotlight: Income Inequality and Mass Support for Redistribution

The United States stands out as the most economically unequal industrialized democracy. The wealthiest Americans hold nearly as much income today as they did prior to the Great Depression. Despite decades of rising inequality, public support for redistribution has not increased in a meaningful way. This is puzzling because it runs counter to canonical models…

Ph.D. Spotlight: Democratic Blind Spots: Organized Labor and the Persistence of Subnational Authoritarianism in Mexico

Newly transitioned democracies frequently exhibit authoritarian traits at the subnational level. Despite incentives to transition to democracy, subnational transitions occur unevenly. Some occur through natural electoral change, others due to intervention, while some enclaves are able to resist these pressures entirely. Thus, a question arises: under what conditions are subnational autocracies able to resist these…

When Are States Kicked Out of International Organizations?

Since World War II, international organizations – entities like the African Union, Arab League, Council of Europe and the Commonwealth – have suspended member states ninety-five times. While some intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) suspend states after financial, economic, or military violations, the vast majority of IGO suspensions happen in response to political backsliding – such as human rights violations, coups democratic recession, or flawed elections.

Majoritarianism, Pluralism and Liberalism: Bolivian Democracy Strikes a Delicate Balance

An original survey I conducted with support from the FSU Office of Research shows that more than 60% of Bolivians surveyed opposed President Morales’ stated intentions to pursue a fourth consecutive term in office. If correct, the same majority of Bolivian voters that brought President Morales to power may hold the seeds of his electoral demise. Whether President Morales will concede the logic of majoritarianism when said majority seeks to end his tenure, is a central question for the future of Bolivian democracy.  

How News Outlets Set the Agenda for Public Conversation

Our work raises some cautionary notes. As the composition of the media landscape continues to evolve, changes in how outlets cover important political issues may also have repercussions for the quality of our ongoing national conversation. Similarly, our findings appear to be in line with the notion that coordinated campaigns pushing misinformation (whether through established news outlets or newly invented ones) can have a surprisingly large impact in this era of online media consumption.