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Indiana University Bloomington

Woodburn Hall facilities

The World Politics Research Seminar

The World Politics Research Seminar is a regular faculty symposium on research-in-progress in Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, and related fields. It is organized within the Department of Political Science but we are eager for faculty of other units on the Bloomington campus to attend, participate, and present their work. Seminar papers are invited for inclusion in the WPRS Working Paper Series. Faculty members who are interested in joining the WPRS listserv or presenting their work should contact Will Winecoff.


Friday, October 6th, 10:30 a.m. in Woodburn 218

Title: Responsiveness, If You Can Afford It: Public Opinion and Policy Outcomes in Fat and Lean Times

AUTHOR: Tim Hellwig

DISCUSSANT: Will Winecoff

ABSTRACT: Traditional theories suggest that political parties have incentives to respond to public opinion. As parties come together to form governments, this responsiveness is also thought to be reflected in public policy. Research on representation has provided evidence in support of these democratic linkages. Conspicuously absent, however, is the notion of costs. We argue that the government’s cost of responding to the electorate is low under conditions of strong economic growth. Conversely, responding to electorates comes at a higher cost when the economy is depressed. Cross-national analyses of voters and governments in a set of advanced capitalist democracies produces results consistent with this expectation. Probing this result, additional analyses indicate that the reason for this outcome can be traced not to any misrepresentation of voter preferences on the part of governments but instead to the inability of policy makers to channel their position-taking statements into actual policy solutions. Study findings imply that democratic performance, expressed as responsiveness, comes at a cost, conditional on economic growth and the preferences of the electorate.

Timothy Hellwig is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University.  He holds a BA from St. Cloud State University, an MA from American University, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. He has been a researcher at the International Foundation for Election Systems, on the faculty at the University of Houston, and a visiting researcher at the Australian National University, Gothenburg University, and the University of Essex.  He previously served as Director of the Institute for European Studies in IU’s School of Global and International Studies. 

His interests are in comparative political economy, political behavior, European politics, public policy, and research methods. He is author of Globalization and Mass Politics: Retaining the Room to Maneuver (Cambridge University Press), and his work appears in several journals and edited book, including the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics.

Friday, November 3rd, 10:30 a.m. in Woodburn 218

Title: Enmity in International Society

AUTHOR: Huss Banai

DISCUSSANT: Prashant Hosur Suhas

ABSTRACT: This paper considers the nature and function of enmity in international politics using the English School framework. Enmity is both constrained and mediated by what Hedley Bull identified as the ‘rules of coexistence’ and ‘rules of cooperation’ that define the terms of membership in the society of states. Yet, paradoxically, the normative foundations of enmity also affect the rules and institutions of international society as they transcend the hard boundaries of nation-states and spill onto the more contingent (and much larger) arena of world society. Enmity is both a resource and a curse for elites in international society. It is this subversive characteristic of enmity that establishes a sort of dialectic between international and world societies, and that distinguishes a pluralist society of states from a solidarist one (in the ES parlance). While constructivist accounts of world politics tend to characterize enmity as a particular ‘Hobbesian culture’ of anarchy, realists and liberals view it as an inevitable outcome of politics – yet, neither approach provides an adequate account of its genesis and development within and among human societies. The English School’s interpretivist approach and methodological pluralism, as this paper will attempt to show, allows for just such an undertaking.

Huss Banai is Assistant Professor of International Studies in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. His research is focused on Iran’s political development as well as on US-Iran relations. As regards the former, I am currently working on a book manuscript on the tortuous path of liberal thought-practices in modern Iran, provisionally titled Hidden Liberalism in Modern Iran. His is the co-author of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War (2012 Rowman & Littlefield) and his research has appeared in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, International Politics Review, Security Dialogue, and other outlets. 

Friday, December 1st, 10:30 a.m. in Woodburn 218

Title: TK

AUTHOR: Federica Carugati



Federica Carugati is the associate director of the Ostrom Workshop and a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Maurer School of Law at IU Bloomington. Her research focuses on two main topics: first, the development of political, legal, and economic institutions in pre-modern, citizen-centered, open-access governments; seconds, the lessons that the emergence, configuration, and breakdown of such institutions may hold for rethinking institution building in today's developing world. Federica is currently working on a book project based on her dissertation, titled The Athenian Constitution: Law, Democratic Stability, and Economic Growth in 4th century BCE Athens. The book analyzes the impact of legal innovation on democratic governance and economic performance in Classical Athens.

WPRS Archived Presentations