Category Archives: Uncategorized

Meanings of Means

Social scientists tend to propose and test hypotheses of the following type: Hypothesis: As [our explanatory variable] increases, [our outcome variable] also increases, all else equal. The way that hypotheses of this sort are tested is by compiling a large … Continue reading

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Bias and Manipulation

I am on the record as having doubts about the validity of some official Chinese economic statistics. Provincial level GDP growth rates jump at moments of political turnover in excess of their electricity consumption and after controlling for other economic … Continue reading

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Urbanization Won’t Drive Chinese Democracy

Alex Lo in the South China Morning Post has a short column with the following explosive title: Urbanisation will drive democracy The piece begins: The greatest driver for democracy in China will not come from its dissidents, overseas subversives or … Continue reading

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Today’s China is Communist and Modern, Not High Modernist

The Chinese government released its long-awaited urbanization plan (国家新型城镇化规划) on 16 March. Ian Johnson, who has written extensively about China’s urbanization for the New York Times, begins his piece on the announcement of the plan in grand terms: China has announced a … Continue reading

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Seven Deadly Sins — Fresh from the Journals

Phil Schrodt’s influential paper on the “Seven deadly sins of contemporary quantitative political analysis” is now published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Peace Research. Here’s the abstract: A combination of technological change, methodological drift and a … Continue reading

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Fresh from the Journals

Kezhou Xiao and Brantly Womack have a new article, entitled “Distortion and Credibility within China’s Internal Information System” at the Journal of Contemporary China. Here’s the abstract: Behind the problems of credibility of public official information in China lie two … Continue reading

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Nighttime Lights and More

Joshua Keating at Slate continues his good work popularizing interesting social science research. Last year, he said some nice things about my paper on cities, redistribution, and authoritarian regime survival, writing for Foreign Policy. Today, he writes about the value of … Continue reading

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Politics in the Way

Tom Flores pointed out a great bit of an interview conducted by Foreign Affairs with former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Won’t politics always get in the way of technocratic reforms?  It’s not insurmountable, but we need a social contract where everybody … Continue reading

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Anti-Japanese Protest Locations

This image comes from a new working paper (with Jessica Weiss) looking at the political economy of nationalist protest in China. Here’s the abstract: Why do some cities take part in waves of nationalist protest but not others? Nationalist protest … Continue reading

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Fresh from the Journals

Jonathan Hanson has a paper coming out in the International Studies Quarterly (ISQ) titled “Forging then Taming Leviathan: State Capacity, Constraints on Rulers, and Development.” The article shows that countries with low levels of GDP per capita are aided by … Continue reading

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