Social Science Scholar: Lex Legal Fellowship 2019 in Madrid, Spain

This past summer, I worked on two different projects through Social Science Scholars. During the initial part of the summer, I worked on my Honors Thesis and IDEA grant research project in the region of Catalonia focused on the region’s declaration of independence. On the latter half of the summer, I became a Lex fellow…

Social Science Scholar: Michigan Department of State

My internship and broader experience within the Social Science Scholars program helped me gain a clearer focus on my plans post-graduation. I have decided to use my fourth and final year as an undergraduate at Florida State to fulfill requirements for dual degrees in Political Science and Spanish. I already intended to pursue a graduate degree, but some of my conversations with executive staff during my internship led me to reconsider my program of study, and to shift away from political science and toward data science. My ultimate goal is to work in either state or federal government, or as a researcher at a think tank, and to be able to use both my political science background and my data science skills to craft robust, empirically-derived public policy.

The Measurement and Importance of Economic Freedom

Since the initial publication of the Economic Freedom of the World report in 1996, numerous scholarly studies have used the data to examine the impact of economic freedom on investment, economic growth, income levels, and poverty rates. Virtually without exception, these studies have found that countries with institutions and policies more consistent with economic freedom have higher investment rates, more rapid economic growth, higher income levels, and a more rapid reduction in poverty rates.

Survey Research and the Politics of Old Age Welfare

A recent paper appearing in Theory in Action, co-authored by William R. Earnest and FSU Sociology Professor Irene Padavic and supported by FSU’s Pepper Center on Aging, tackles a flawed proposal from Robert Binstock about minimizing intergeneration conflict over elderly benefits and uses it to analyze how assumptions grounded in interest group liberalism inform current…

Lessons from the Lab: Fighting Corruption

Corruption is one of the “wicked” problems facing many societies. Simple punishment and regulation is often ineffective and more creative, bottom-up approaches to fighting corruption have been proposed. Testing these approaches in the field is next to impossible as it is difficult to find a government able and willing to experiment on its citizens. Social science laboratory experiments provide a way to assess effective tools in the battle against systemic corruption. 

A ‘Third Space’ Opens Arena for Community Dialogue

In this guest column, we embrace the other function, namely that nonprofits serve as a venue for people who share particular community values to gather and jointly articulate those values. For us to understand this expressive function, we first need to unpack our taken-for-granted labels for these organizations. Why, for example, do we name these organizations for what they are not – nonprofit or nongovernmental – rather than what they are or what they do?