We are pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, through its Accountable Institutions and Behavior (AIB) and Build and Broaden 2.0 (B2 2.0) programs, has funded the project Public Support in Challenging Times: Varieties of Crises, Elite Responses, and Executive Approval.
The co-PIs on this project are Tim Hellwig (Indiana University), Matt Singer (University of Connecticut), Greg Love (University of Mississippi), Ryan Carlin (Georgia State University), Jonathan Hartlyn and Cecilia Martinez-Gallardo (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). The following abtract was provided by the team of researchers.
Our project tests a unifying framework of crisis accountability across economic, security, natural disaster & public health domains. We posit at least four things should matter for popular support in the face of crisis: (1) ease of assigning role responsibility; (2) degree of expert consensus on policy response; (3) tendency for spill-over effects across policy domains; and (4) extent to which effective responses require citizen action. Our framework motivates a set of hypotheses, which we assess through analysis of a cross-national dataset to assess the effects of crisis type on public approval for political executives, a high-frequency time-series dataset to test how approval dynamics reflect leader responses, and survey experiments designed to examine causal links between crisis type and approval and to isolate the impact of messaging on public opinion.
The $684,000 award over 2.5 years is shared by Co-PIs from five universities. Funds will support massive data collection efforts and research support via a post-doc and undergraduate and graduate research assistants. Much of the funds will be used to increase scientific research capacity at minority-serving institutions.