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As evidenced by the 2016 US presidential election, conspiracy theories, such as birtherism, the belief that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen, have become more impactful on modern-day liberal democracies. This study investigates the consequences of the conspiratorial narratives espoused by populist candidates, arguing that the creation of a narrative involving a “conspiring” establishment figure can positively benefit populist candidates during elections by allowing them to position themselves as defenders of “the people”. Taking the case of Donald Trump and the birther conspiracy theory, empirical testing indicates that by helping to spread birtherism, Donald Trump was able to create for himself a core group of supporters who turned out to vote for him in both the Republican primaries and general election. Moreover, when tests are performed to investigate whether this was a consequence of rallying a right-wing base or mainstreaming the fringe conspiracy theory, significant positive relationships are demonstrated not with more conservative birthers, but instead with the more moderate ones, testifying to the strength of the mainstreaming effect.
Voluntary assessments by a team of critical friends (external peer challenges) among local governments became established as popular complement to compulsory and centralized audits and inspections. This study empirically investigates the decision of English local authorities to have a voluntary peer challenge or not by taking advantage of an original dataset about participation in the Local Government Association’s Peer Challenge Programme (CPC) 2010-2015. We find that the LGA’s CPC programme does not carry a risk of leaving behind authorities with performance shortcomings. Councils with poor past performance scores and those with excellent ones do not differ in their tendency to invite a team of critical friends. Spatial clusters exist in the case of small district councils but not in the case of larger unitary authorities, London boroughs and metropolitan authorities. This implies that the corporate peer challenge process seems to be more suited to small authorities delivering community based services.
The current study investigates the effect that formal education, as a factor of socio-economic development, have on the intensity and forms of political protest. By way of increased socialization of democratic values, increased cognitive understanding of the society at large, and human capital to participate in protests, increases in a country's level of formal education should theoretically lead to increased levels of peaceful protest. On the other hand, increases in formal education are also theorized to play a mitigating role on the intensity of violent protests (riots) for the previously mentioned reasons as well as the fact that education acts as a strong factor in increasing social mobility. With data from 1960 to 2010 and spanning 216 countries,
This paper investigates the links between investment activity and personal contacts for small and medium-sized firms with public officials at the sub-national level in Russia. A list-experiment design, using a survey of 21,000 Russian firms in 2017, was used to evaluate the importance of personal connections with officials for conducting business. A total of 27% of firms without investment and 37% with investment considered personal connections with officials an important factor for doing business. The importance of such contacts was lower in regions with a better investment climate. However, a higher proportion of firms were likely to invest in the regions where higher importance was placed on political connections. Therefore, in Russia in the mid-2010s, investment from politically connected firms did not crowd out investment from other firms. Although the available data did not allow causality to be defined, the research shows that political connections are important for investors in emerging markets and that the importance of political connections diminishes with improvement in the business climate. This paper provides a quantitative estimate of the relationship between political connections and firm investment in Russia, an example of large emerging economy. This relationship is moderated by institutional quality at the subnational level. The results provide empirical support for the theory of limited access orders elaborated by North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009), and stress the importance of rents and their productive utilization for the development of emerging economies.
We revisit and empirically evaluate crucial yet under-examined arguments articulated in “God Gave Physics the Easy Problems” (2000), the authors of which emphasized that in IR predictions predominant nomothetic approaches should be supplemented with concrete scenario thinking. We test whether the IR predictive toolkit is in fact dominated by nomothetic generalizations and, more broadly, map the methodological profile of this sub-field. We build on the TRIP database, supplementing it with extensive original coding to operationalize the nuances of predictive research. In particular, we differentiate between nomoscopic predictions (predictive generalizations) and idioscopic predictions (predictions for concrete situations), showing that this distinction is not reducible to other methodological cleavages. We find that even though in contemporary IR increasing numbers of articles seek to provide predictions, they consistently avoid predictions about concrete situations. The proportion of idioscopic predictions is stably small, with an even smaller proportion of predictions that develop concrete narratives or specify any determinate time period. Furthermore, those idioscopic studies are mostly limited to a niche with specialized themes and aims. Thus, our research shows that the critical claims from 20 years ago are still relevant for contemporary IR, as the “difficult problem” of developing predictive scenarios is still consistently overlooked in favor of other objectives. Ultimately, the types of predictions that IR scholars develop depend on their specific aims and constraints, but the discipline-wide result is a situation in which international studies’ ambition to provide predictions grows, but they tend to reproduce the same limitations as they did in 2000.
Clinical practice is developing under influence of the evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (EBCPG). In Russia development of the documents prescribing the content of care is connected with the idea that they may be used as well for estimation of the cost of care. The outcome is the national healthcare legislation of 2011. It dictates that care should be planned, funded, provided, and evaluated in agreement with standards of healthcare (SHC)—documents prescribing the content of care. The objective of this study was to evaluate how the correction of the SHC with the relevant EBCPG may change the cost of the prescribed care.
We selected the random sample of the SHC from the approved by the Ministry of Health for primary healthcare (SPHC) and specialized healthcare (SSHC). We analyzed interventions comparing SHC to the relevant EBCPG. Not recommended interventions were considered unnecessary. If the recommended by EBCPG intervention was missed in the SHC, then it increased the cost. We take the drug costs and the costs of interventions from the relevant ministerial registries. We calculated the total cost of the SHC by summing up the cost of each medical intervention/medications specified in the SHC.
SPHC and SSHC both contain medical interventions and drugs that should not be provided. The total cost of all SHC included became lower: SPHC cost decreased by 66%, SSHC by 19%. The smaller change of the cost of SSHC is explained by the fact that the major part of the total cost of SSHC is the stay in a hospital.
Correction of the SHC using EBCPG may reduce the cost of care
Brazil's Movimento de Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST, Homeless Workers' Movement) has grown dramatically in recent years. This growth was partly provided for by the use of a large government housing programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV, My House My Life), which allowed the MTST to construct housing for its members and swell its ranks with thousands of new members. Yet some have argued that the MCMV programme used by the MTST may compromise the autonomy of civil society organisations. This article, by contrast, argues that while the MCMV programme encouraged bureaucratic practices, it also helped to promote the cultural politics of the MTST.
Re-using and regenerating derelict and abandoned areas constitutes an important element in sustainable land use policy and planning. This paper explores the phenomenon of derelict farm premises in South Bohemia, the Czech Republic. It analyses the origin and extent of this phenomenon as well as land use targets applied to such sites by planning documents. A large number of derelict farm premises have emerged on former collectivized lands. According to local territorial zoning plans, agricultural use prevails as the reuse designation for these sites. However, they are still significantly less frequently planned to be used in agriculture than areas currently in active agricultural use and are more frequently planned to be converted into housing, public buildings, or industrial activities. Overall, strategies for the planned utilization of derelict premises are found to be contingent on temporal and spatial factors. While many long-term derelict premises are planned to be converted into non-agricultural use, newly emerged ones are more likely to retain the agricultural designation. In terms of spatial diversity, rural municipalities of the inner peripheries emphasize housing development rather than industrial activity. Further, by analysing successful regeneration projects accomplished for abandoned premises since 2004, it is found that they generally adhere to the requirements of territorial zoning plans.
This textbook on political geography is devoted to a discipline concerned with the spatial dimensions of politics. This course is an introduction to the study of political science, international relations and area studies, providing a systemic approach to the spatial dimension of political processes at all levels. It covers their basic elements, including states, supranational unions, geopolitical systems, regions, borders, capitals, dependent, and internationally administered territories. Political geography develops fundamental theoretical approaches that give insight into the peculiarities of foreign and domestic policies. The ability to use spatial analysis techniques allows determining patterns and regularities of political phenomena both at the global and the regional and local levels.
How does the presence of multiple combatants affect rebel groups’ ideological and demand positioning? Although violent forms of inter-group conflict have been widely studied in the civil war literature, rebel groups’ strategic use of ideology and demands has received scarce scholarly attention. We argue that the pressure of competition forces rebel groups to differentiate themselves ideologically and demand-wise from their rivals to maximize their chances of survival and success. Rebel groups strive to set themselves apart by offering unique products to their supporters and recruits. Thus, we contend that rebel groups are more likely to modify their ideologies and demands from the government in the face of competition from rival groups. We test this theory using novel data collected from rebel group manifestos and public statements. Our findings suggest that groups are more likely to shift their ideology and modify their demands as the number of rival groups increases.
Struggles against eviction are key moments in the (re)production of informal housing in Brazilian cities, as they contest the uprooting and displacement of generally low-income families. While recent research has focused on displacement due to the World Cup and Olympic Games mega-events, this paper explores struggles against eviction that are less high profile, underscoring the distributed nature of evictions in processes of urban change. Drawing on long term fieldwork, this paper examines three cases of struggles against eviction in different cities in the southeast of Brazil. This comparison highlights the everyday contestations that take place across varied geo-political terrain; the morphological constraints and opportunities for collective action of building as opposed to land occupations; the punitive and cooperative state logics with which threatened communities must engage; and drawing on recent attempts in geography to combine theorisations of territory, place, network and scale, contributes to understanding the polymorphy of spatial struggles in contemporary Brazil.
Research on individual differences in the fields of chronobiology and chronopsychology mostly focuses on two – morning and evening – chronotypes. However, recent developments in these fields pointed at a possibility to extend chronotypology beyond just two chronotypes. We examined this possibility by implementing the Single- Item Chronotyping (SIC) as a method for self-identification of chronotype among six simple chart options il- lustrating the daily change in alertness level. Of 2283 survey participants, 2176 (95%) chose one of these op- tions. Only 13% vs. 24% chose morning vs. evening type (a fall vs. a rise of alertness from morning to evening), while the majority of participants chose four other types (with a peak vs. a dip of alertness in the afternoon and with permanently high vs. low alertness levels throughout the day, 15% vs. 18% and 9% vs. 16%, respectively). The same 6 patterns of diurnal variation in sleepiness were yielded by principal component analysis of sleepiness curves. Six chronotypes were also validated against the assessments of sleep timing, excessive daytime sleepi- ness, and abilities to wake or sleep on demand at different times of the day. We concluded that the study results supported the feasibility of classification with the 6 options provided by the SIC.
Research background: Ethnic identity development, while universal, is also recognized as an especially important prerequisite for economic and social life among indigenous populations [1, 2]. Global transformations such as technology, industrialization, global warming and political and economic forces are impacting positive ethnic identity development in indigenous populations around the world. Purpose of the article: The purpose of this study is to examine gender differences in ethnic identity erosion in the adolescent indigenous Nenets population of the Russian Siberian Arctic Region. Methods: The study sample included 78 children in boarding schools from the northern area of Western Siberia. To define ethnic identity, the "Types of Ethnic Identity" questionnaire  was used. Findings & Value added: The study results show that across 8th-9th grade as well as 10-11 grade Nenets adolescent boys perceive their ethnic identity positively. However, the same indicators show girls do not view their ethnic identity as positively. There are also several other interesting gender differences that emerge between the students in each grade. This may be the result of specific gender differences in perceptions about the economic and social realities of tundra life, the position of women in traditional societies as well as the impact of global transformations on indigenous populations overall.
This article examines the influence of civil society on Ukrainian anti-corruption policy after the Maidan in 2014. Drawing on the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), we hypothesise that the Maidan events led to a redistribution of formal legal authority in the anti-corruption policy subsystem, opened access to policy venues for civil society actors, and increased leverage of international organisations to push for strict reforms. We test these expectations with a systematic content analysis of primary documents and semi-structured interviews. Findings show that changes in the formal legal authority to make policy decisions led to anti-corruption policy change. The newly adopted policies were largely influenced by civil society actors who had increased venue access after the Maidan. In addition, civil society advocated for strict anti-corruption reforms through international organisation.
Globally, policy environments have become increasingly more complex with the growth in the number of
wicked problems, such as that posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In their response to these problems, public
administrations have, from necessity, become heavily reliant on their intergovernmental relations systems, as
the challenges posed generally require multilevel responses. This paper analyzes the role of intergovernmental
relations in shaping the responses of the BRICS countries when confronted with COVID-19. We develop an
analytical framework to understand the dynamics of intergovernmental relations in these countries. Based on
this we assess the capacity of the state and political systems to manage intergovernmental relations and ensure
effective responses to the COVID-19 crisis. This framework is based on an analysis of three dimensions of the
policy domain: the political and state system, formal and informal institutions, and the political alignment between
them. Whilst state and political systems were found to be instrumental in formulating an immediate response
to the crisis, informal institutions and political processes also played a prominent role in determining the extent to
which strategies were implemented, particularly in countries that are more decentralized. Countries lacking the
robust formal institutions needed to facilitate intergovernmental relations and to ensure swift policy responses,
tend to deliver ineffective and inefficient results when confronted with wicked problems.
This work is devoted to the methodology for identifying structurally
close objects of the type “country_year” based on a system of indicators characterizing
the state capacity 1996–2015. A comparison of clustering methods
(including hierarchical clustering) with methods of analyzing patterns based on
a pairwise comparison of indicators, ordinal-fixed and ordinal-invariant pattern
clustering, is proposed. The possibility of sharing the methods of clustering and
pattern analysis to obtain interpretable results from the point of view of political
science is demonstrated. Groups of countries with similar development paths by
reference years on the basis of a dynamic analysis of patterns are identified. The
dynamic change in state capacity (from the point of view of the selected indicator
system) of 166 countries of the world is determined.
Although there is a broad consensus among political scientists that polarization is detrimental to democracy, very few empirically investigate the links between political polarization and democratic erosion. Most studies use diversity measures that fail to capture contemporary polarization, where the society is divided into two large hostile camps. In this article, we address the gap. Theoretically, we argue that polarization increases animosity between “enemy camps,” making voters more willing to accept anti-democratic measures against the rival group. This tacit approval becomes even more pronounced during election periods, where political controversy reigns and the stakes are higher. Focusing on a specific type of electoral manipulation, we hypothesize that ceteris paribus, political polarization is strongly associated with higher levels of government intimidation of the opposition. We expect this relationship to be stronger in democracies than in autocracies. Empirically, we create our own measure of political polarization based on Esteban and Ray’s widely accepted measure, and test our hypotheses on panel data. In addition to the regression analysis, we offer anecdotal evidence from Turkey, Hungary, and the United States.
Strengthening providers integration to improve health indicators is an important direction of healthcare development. Comparison of the 2012 survey and 2020 survey suggests some improvements in interaction between district physicians and outpatient specialists, however its level is hardly adequate. Interaction between district physicians and emergency care providers in polyclinics has improved. Interaction between polyclinic and hospital physicians before and after hospital admission is very limited and has deteriorated over the period under study. The level of outpatient physicians’ awareness of emergency calls and hospital admissions of their patients is low. Interaction between polyclinics and hospitals on the one hand, and rehabilitation units and social care providers on the other hand, is also low. Information on the location and volumes of care provided to patients is still inaccessible for most physicians. This limits continuity of care. The study shows that the Russian healthcare system remains fragmental. This is the result of low priority of integrative activities, as well as low involvement of health managers in these activities.