In the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks, it has become increasingly difficult to argue that the executive branch of the United States be bounded by constitutional rules that might hamper its capacity to ensure collective security. Given the potentially horrific costs of failing to stop another large-scale terrorist attack, the citizens themselves viewed a rigid […]

By Samuel DeCanio Ever since the initial study of public opinion, political scientists have found voters ignorant of basic political information.  Typically voters cannot name their representatives, describe their actions in office, or explain major policy debates.  Widespread public ignorance has been described as the strongest findings of any of the social sciences. Despite recognizing […]

The forthcoming article “Institutional characteristics and regime survival: Why are semi-democracies less durable than autocracies and democracies?” by Carl Henrik Knutsen and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård is summarized here: In Zaïre (currently DR Congo) in 1991, the country’s personalist ruler Mobutu Sese Seko faced popular unrest, army mutinies, and shrinking resources for patronage. Mobutu was seemingly starting […]

Academics, media pundits and activists alike have often pointed to the policy and institutional changes that large-scale collective actions can produce. Yet despite its role in generating social change, we still know relatively little about how collective action shapes the political attitudes of not only those engaged in these mobilizations, but also of those who […]

By Bethany Lacina The vast majority of political violence is within rather than between states. How do national politics—that is, the central government’s attempts to stay in office—make civil violence more or less likely? Social science has ignored that question in favor of debate, catalyzed by scholars at the World Bank, over whether “greed’’ or […]

Summary by Luca Corazzini “Should we trust the promises of this candidate?” This surely represents one of the common questions we ask ourselves during political campaigns in close proximity to elections. When facing fierce electoral competition, candidates typically spend substantial amounts of resources on electoral campaigns. Even though electoral campaigns are literally anything but cheap, […]

The forthcoming article “Making Young Voters: The Impact of Preregistration on Youth Turnout” by John Holbein is summarized here: Political scientists have long debated the extent to which voter turnout might be fostered by various electoral reforms, like early voting, online registration, and loosening of voter identification restrictions.  While it was once assumed that reducing legal […]

The forthcoming article “Rising to the Top: Gender, Political Performance, and Party Leadership in Parliamentary Democracies” by Diana Z. O’Brien is summarized here: In parliamentary democracies, changes in party leadership are newsworthy events. The battle between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard over the leadership of the Australian Labour Party attracted international attention, and there is […]

News that Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in Congress, will not seek re-election in 2016 prompts reflection on both her four decades of pioneering service and the cause of women’s representation more generally.  Despite some progress, women remain woefully under-represented in both Congress and most state legislatures, relative to their proportion of the population.  In […]

The Editorial Staff of the American Journal of Political Science is pleased to announce important new revisions to the policy regarding replication materials for AJPS articles. These innovations represent significant changes to current operations. Research transparency and replicability of results are standards to which the discipline traditionally has paid lip service. The new AJPS replication […]


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