Virtual Room 4: Applications

Date: 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 12:00pm to 1:30pm

The Political Ideologies of Organized Interests: Large-Scale, Social Network Estimation of Interest Group Ideal Points

Sahar Abi-Hassan, Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Dino P. Christenson, Aaron R. Kaufman and Brian Libgober

All (Mayoral) Politics is Local?

Betsy Sinclair, Steven Webster, Sanmay Das and Hao Yan

 

Chair: John Londregan (Princeton University)

 

Co-Host: Mikaela Karstens (Penn State University)

The Political Ideologies of Organized Interests: Large-Scale, Social Network Estimation of Interest Group Ideal Points

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Author(s): Sahar Abi-Hassan, Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Dino P. Christenson, Aaron R. Kaufman and Brian Libgober

Discussant: In Song Kim (MIT)

 

Interest group influence is pervasive in American politics, impacting the function of every branch. Core to the study of interest groups, both theoretically and empirically, is the ideology of the group, yet relatively little is known on this front for the vast expanse of them. By leveraging ideal point estimation and network science, we provide a novel measure of interest group ideology for nearly 15,000 unique groups across 95 years, which provides the largest and longest measure of interest group ideologies to date. We make methodological and measurement contributions using exact matching and hand-validated fuzzy string matching to identify amicus curiae signing organizations who have given political donations and then impute and cross-validate ideal points for the organizations based on the network structure of amicus cosigning. Our empirical investigation provides insights into the dynamics of interest group macro-ideology, ideological issue domains and ideological differences between donor and non-donor organizations.

All (Mayoral) Politics is Local?

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Author(s): Betsy Sinclair, Steven Webster, Sanmay Das and Hao Yan

Discussant: Jonathan Nagler (New York University)

 

One of the defining characteristics of modern politics in the United States is the increasing nationalization of elite- and voter-level behavior. Relying on measures of electoral vote shares, previous research has found evidence indicating a significant amount of state-level nationalization. Using an alternative source of data – the political rhetoric used by mayors, state governors, and Members of Congress on Twitter – we examine and compare the amount of between-office nationalization throughout the federal system. We find that gubernatorial rhetoric closely matches that of Members of Congress but that there are substantial differences in the topics and content of mayoral speech. These results suggest that, on average, American mayors have largely remained focused on their local mandate. More broadly, our findings suggest a limit to which American politics has become nationalized – in some cases, all politics remains local.


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