122 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. Reduce the contagiousness of low-quality information

      While other social media platforms have made (at least attempted to make) some changes to reduce the negative impact of social media, Facebook has remained pretty unchanged. What could Facebook do to reduce low-quality information or disinformation? I am asking you to be creative.

    2. Reduce the reach of unverified accounts

      Many countries have some real ID laws that mandate the verification of personhood (e.g., age, name verification) before making an account. This real ID verification varies by country, and there is definitely a danger that an oppressive government can use this as a tool of political oppression.

      Do you think this could help social media (and us) face less misinformation and just nastiness? Develop your answer using your personal experience and this reading. Substantiate your answer (i.e., provide evidence for your claims).

    3. (1) Reduce the frequency and intensity of public performance

      Recently, I learned that Instagram has decided to hide 'likes' and Twitter has banned political ads all together. Are these measures enough to relieve 'the intensity of performance' or moral-grandstanding? What do you think? Develop your answer using your personal experience and this reading. Substantiate your answer (i.e., provide evidence for your claims). **

    4. When the majority of Americans began using social media regularly, around 2012, they hyper-connected themselves to one another in a way that massively increased their consumption of new information—entertainment such as cat videos and celebrity gossip, yes, but also daily or hourly political outrages and hot takes on current events—while reducing the share of older information. What might the effect of that shift be?

      Read the following section carefully. Briefly define "the decline of wisdom" and briefly describe its effects in your words.

    5. Madison’s design has proved durable. But what would happen to American democracy if, one day in the early 21st century, a technology appeared that—over the course of a decade—changed several fundamental parameters of social and political life? What if this technology greatly increased the amount of “mutual animosity” and the speed at which outrage spread? Might we witness the political equivalent of buildings collapsing, birds falling from the sky, and the Earth moving closer to the sun?

      Jonathan Haidt, you might have noticed, is a scholar that I admire very much. In this piece, his colleague Tobias Rose-Stockwell and he ask the following questions: Is social media a threat to our democracy? Let's read the following article together and think about their question together.

    1. Responding to criticism from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on Wednesday, President Trump insisted that he had a best feel for the sentiment of the American people."The people of South Carolina want to see those troops come home," Mr Trump said. "And I won an election based on that. And that's the way it is, whether it's good or bad. That's the way it is. And if you look at this country, I'd be willing to bet anything - political instinct - that that's what the country wants."If Circleville, and recent polling, are any indication, the American public isn't quite sure what it wants with regard to the situation in Syria - or whom to blame. The president may not be exactly right, then, but he's also not wrong.

      OUCH! Is this how it is? Why don't we change how it is a bit here? Go out into the internet and use reliable sources (avoid political organizations or think-tank; go to fact-tanks like Pew), and learn more about the following topics and briefly describe what you have learned here. Share your sources too (e.g., Pew research center says... or the Economist/BBC/whatever neutral report in March 2019 says...). Must answer this question to get a grade. :)

    2. It's been nearly a week since a surprise White House press release announced a US withdrawal from northern Syria, setting the stage for a Turkish invasion and more than 200 civilian deaths along the war-torn nation's Kurdish-controlled border region.

      Did you know anything about this withdrawal before reading this article? Did/Do you think this is a wise decision? In particular, what do you think about what Biden (and in the later paragraph, Romney) said about this?

    3. According to a recent Ipsos poll, 36% of Americans didn't know what to think about the Syrian situation. An earlier YouGov poll had the number at 41%.

      *This is nothing new. Americans, in general, are known to be uninterested and uninformed about foreign policy or global affairs. It goes on to say that even college students like yourself are not very interested in (or informed about) foreign policy. What do you think is the consequence that Americans are not very into foreign policy or global politics? *

    4. What rural Ohio makes of Turkey-Syria crisis

      This could be about really any town in the US. Except for some college towns and big cities, most Americans live in mostly remote places -- in an actual sense or in an intellectual sense. Let's read this warm-up article together. Please leave your actual name in the responses unless your ID is the school ID (for me, that would be Baekk).

  2. Nov 2019
    1. Meddling in the US election

      Read the following sections, and discuss what it takes to spur on a successful disinformation campaign in our time. If you were a former KGB officer working for the Russian government, what would your plan for a successful disinformation campaign look like? (what do you need? who would you target? what do you need?)

    2. Coming just fourteen years after the liberation of the camps, the reaction to such recrudescent race hatred was swift and furious. One British peer vowed to wage a personal investigation in West Germany to determine for himself the extent of the "rising tide of Nazism" in its former epicenter. Honorable West Germans were appalled and self-critical in a manner bordering on masochistic.

      Please read the following section -- a few paragraphs -- and answer the following question. Isn't it amazing how fast people forget? Only 14 years since the end of the Holocaust and how fast the message of hatred spun out? Why do you think that is? **

    3. A Truth that's told with bad intent/ Beats all the Lies you can invent.

      That is one very poetic way to describe it.

    4. Making the West look weak

      Read the following sections carefully, and briefly discuss the consequences/results of the recent Russian disinformation campaign on the US. In sum, how does disinformation shape us and our policy?

    5. It started with a synagogue in Cologne.

      Read the following article, and discuss what it takes to start a disinformation campaign, the "swastika graffiti operation" in particular, according to the author.

    6. The making of a Russian disinformation campaign: What it takes

      This brief article tells us about the history of disinformation campaign from its modern conception to more recent versions of it.


      Thus, it comes down to a couple of things: whether we should engage in un/intentional disinformation campaigns (fake news) and how can we stop it from happening? Please share your reflections/analysis and SUBSTANTIATE your answer using the reading.

    2. “motivated reasoners”

      I hope you are one of the 'motivated reasoners,' but we all get busy at times and do not always bother 'reasoning' our way through news. In the following section, the author lists some of the recent shocking disinformation campaigns; tell us honestly whether you or someone you know might have fallen for any of the scandals and how that happened.

    3. In fact, bad information often circulates much more quickly than accurate information and ismore likely to be shared, for human, financial, and technical reasons (Meserole,2018;Polyakova & Gonzalez,2018; Warzel,2018). Facebook, riddled in recent years with fakenews, has nearly two billion users worldwide (Allcott & Gentzkow,2017). And today,Americans rely heavily on social media for their news

      What about you? Do you rely on social media for political, social, and economic news? What was the latest (and interesting) news you saw on your social media feed? Did you bother fact-checking?


      Read the following section carefully, and identify and briefly describe the consequences of disinformation domestically (American domestic politics) and internationally (American foreign policy).


      Read the following section, and identify how US covert actions (e.g., the Iranian and British Guiana) could have long term consequences. The author does not go deep into each case, so go out into the internet and/or the articles cited here to find out more about how US involvements shaped the Iranian and the British Guiana politics. Briefly describe them.

    6. The United States has seen its politics and elections profoundlyundermined by both disinformation (intentionally false information to serve an objective)and misinformation (simply incorrect information) in recent years, from internal and exter-nal sources.

      While the last 2016 election brought our attention to the vulnerability of our electoral politics, this is nothing new. This is nothing new to us, either. This article examines the practices and ethics (and other potential dangers and rewards) of our own disinformation campaigns.

    7. Disinformation in Contemporary U.S. ForeignPolicy: Impacts and Ethics in an Era of Fake News,Social Media, and Artificial Intelligence

      The authors examine the implications of fake news (aka disinformation campaigns). Before we start reading the article, I would like you to go out into the internet (preferably the reliable and credible sources on the net) and find more about American disinformation campaigns abroad. Please share the cases you found here.



    1. Disinformation in Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy: Impacts and Ethics in an Era of Fake News, Social Media, and Artificial Intelligence

      The authors examine the implications of fake news (aka disinformation campaigns). Before we start reading the article, I would like you to go out into the internet (preferably the reliable and credible sources on the net) and find more about American disinformation campaigns abroad. Please share the cases you found here.


      Thus, it comes down to a couple of things: whether we should engage in un/intentional disinformation campaigns (fake news) and how can we stop it from happening? Please share your reflections/analysis and SUBSTANTIATE your answer using the reading.


      Read the following section carefully, and identify and briefly describe the consequences of disinformation domestically (American domestic politics) and internationally (American foreign policy).

    4. “motivated reasoners”

      I hope you are one of the 'motivated reasoners,' but we all get busy at times and do not always bother 'reasoning' our way through news. In the following section, the author lists some of the recent shocking disinformation campaigns; tell us honestly whether you or someone you know might have fallen for any of the scandals and how that happened.

    5. Americans rely heavily on social media for their news.

      What about you? Do you rely on social media for political, social, and economic news? What was the latest (and interesting) news you saw on your social media feed? Did you bother fact-checking?


      Read the following section, and identify how US covert actions (e.g., the Iranian and British Guiana) could have long term consequences. The author does not go deep into each case, so go out into the internet and/or the articles cited here to find out more about how US involvements shaped the Iranian and the British Guiana politics. Briefly describe them.

    7. The United States has seen its politics and elections profoundly undermined by both disinformation (intentionally false information to serve an objective) and misinformation (simply incorrect information) in recent years, from internal and external sources.

      While the last 2016 election brought our attention to the vulnerability of our electoral politics, this is nothing new. This is nothing new to us, either. This article examines the practices and ethics (and other potential dangers and rewards) of our own disinformation campaigns.

  3. Oct 2019
    1. The internet freedom advocacy challenge

      What is the lesson for American politics here? For our foreign policy? What is the personal lesson here? For example, do you think your use of the internet (the way you use it now) helps promote healthier American democracy? Do you see so called the 'psychological firewall' happening in the US (i.e., there are risky or even bad/immoral news/information)?

    2. Tamping down political interest

      Read the following section carefully, and briefly describe how authoritarian governments like Russia and China work to curtail democratic impulses at home.

    3. Those who spent more of their online time engaging with entertainment content were more satisfied with living under autocratic conditions. These users were happy with the authoritarian elites who oversaw them and were uninspired by the prospects of greater freedom. In other words, online political use enhanced democratic attitudes, while online entertainment use entrenched authoritarian ones.

      This study was done in Russia and Ukraine. Based on your observations of your friends and family, do you think this finding applies to America?

    4. On the surface, this policy makes sense. The internet is an intuitive boon for democracy. It provides citizens around the world with greater freedom of expression, opportunities for civil society, education and political participation. And previous research, including our own, has been optimistic about the internet’s democratic potential.

      The authors essentially argue that just granting and expanding access to the internet is not going to bring about democracy or democratization.

      What about you? What percentage of your online time do you spend getting politically active (e.g., learning more about it, reading more in-depth about political or policy issues, or expressing your views) rather than engaging in fun and distracting activities (0% = I do nothing political online to 100% = I spend every single breathing (online) moment doing something political). So, what do you do online?

    5. Political use of the internet ranks very low globally, compared to other uses. Research has found that just 9 percent of internet users posted links to political news and only 10 percent posted their own thoughts about political or social issues. In contrast, almost three-quarters (72 percent) say they post about movies and music, and over half (54 percent) also say they post about sports online.

      Ouch! Hope we all were above the average!

    6. The U.S. has made increasing internet access around the world a foreign policy priority. This policy was supported by both Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

      Especially during and after the Arab Spring, our State Department has been supporting democratization and activities by expanding freedom of expression online and access to the internet.

    7. The irony of internet freedom was on full display shortly after midnight July 16 in Turkey when President Erdogan used FaceTime and independent TV news to call for public resistance against the military coup that aimed to depose him.

      Learn more about the Turkish coup attempt of 2016. During this coup, the Turkish military (who happens to be secular advocating for the clear separation of politics and religion) attempted to take over the Erdogan administration (supportive of bringing more Islamic teaching into politics...although some think it is just rhetoric to galvanize the public). It failed leading to the executions and removals of so very many military men, public officials, professors, journalists, etc.

      Is there any question about the coup? Did you find anything interesting, odd, or relevant (to American politics)? Tell us briefly.

    8. Is internet freedom a tool for democracy or authoritarianism?

      I chose this article because its topic speaks to our time. Also, this article has a lot of great links out just in case you want to learn more about the topics the authors speak of.

    1. Concluding Remarks

      Do y'all use Twitter? What do you usually tweet about? If not Twitter, what do you discuss on your social media?

      If you are a Twitter user, I would like you to tweet about what you learned from this article. If you use other social media, do the same. Let's see if we could bring more reflective (and empirical and open) political conversations to the US. Share a screen capture here.

    2. General Discussion

      Read the following section, and briefly discuss what surprised the researchers most.

    3. U.K. disability insurance, namely PIP

      PIP is the UK's Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It is like disabilities (Social Security Disability Benefits). PIP is really not much, according to my quick research -- Standard £23.20 per week. Enhanced £61.20 per week, while here in the US our disabilities can range $800 and $1,800 per month (the average for 2019 is $1,234). However, when one is eligible for PIP, they (or s/he) can seek out other non-payment benefit 'top-ups.'

    4. Results

      Read the following section carefully, and briefly summarize their findings; what constitutes the good/bad society according to liberals? what constitutes the good/bad society according to conservatives?

    5. Analysis of Textual Data

      This section is rather technical. Skim through it.

    6. Method of Data Collection, Classification, and Processing

      Read the following section, and briefly describe how the authors collected unobtrusive data for their study.

    7. an unobtrusive manner

      That simply means, people would not know that they are being studies and, thus, behave normally. Unobtrusive data, thus, remove experimenter effects from our research. Cool, heh?

    8. experimenter effects

      Experimenter effects are the potential faultiness of data due to the fact that people are funny.

      When humans know that they are being watched or their interviews recorded, sometimes they do not behave like themselves. This can potentially skew our data.

      If I were to be asked, How many MoonPies did you eat this week? I could honestly say, just two. That is because I ran out of them this week. If I were to be asked next week, you probably would have a harder time getting the truth out of me, because I would be really embarrassed to discuss it. For this very reason, it is so very hard to do nutritious/dietary studies well.

    9. A Study of Social Media Usage

      This is the entry into the authors' research design section, where the authors describe HOW they answered the questions they proposed and HOW they collected empirical evidence.

      Please read the following section, and briefly describe why the authors think that their research design/method is better than the conventional ways of studying ideological convergence and divergence.

    10. Social Psychological Theory and Research Value Priorities

      Read the following section, and briefly describe how liberal (or leftist) thinkers might define the good society and how conservative (or rightist) thinkers might define the good society.

    11. What is the good life? What is the good man? The good woman? What is the good society and what is my relation to it? What are my obligations to society? What is best for my children? What is justice? Truth? Virtue? What is my relation to nature, to death, to aging, to pain, to illness? How can I live a zestful, enjoyable, meaningful life? What is my responsibility to my brothers? Who are my brothers? What shall I be loyal to? What must I be ready to die for?—Abraham Maslow

      Please reflect and respond to the following questions: What is the good life to you? Who are your brothers (i.e., your people)? What should you be loyal to?

      I appreciate your honest reflections (in advance).

    12. Most, but not all, contemporary social scientists agree that, by historical standards, politics today in the United States and many other Western democracies is especially divided along ideological lines (e.g., Abramowitz, 2010; Groskopf, 2016; Grossmann & Hopkins, 2016; Levendusky, 2009; McCarty, Poole, & Rosenthal, 2006; Pew Research Center, 2014; Schier & Eberly, 2016).

      Please notice that the authors use different sources to substantiate their claims and justify their research. When the authors say, "politics today ... is especially divided along ideological lines" (Sterling, Jost, and Hardin 2019; para. 2), it is a claim (an argument). However, when the authors cite all the sources they cited, it is their way of saying, all these people agree with us. Then, it becomes a substantiated claim -- a claim with support (intellectual and empirical support).

      That is why science, including social science, is a team sport. It is a bit more like a contact sport like football, and one'd better be ready for a big tackle when making any scientific claims. Scientists challenge each other's theory, research methods, and findings all the time, keeping each other humble and in check. For this very reason, scientific knowledge takes a long time to develop, emerge, and be accepted as knowledge. For this very reason, scientific knowledge is more credible and reliable, too.

      Read the following sections, titled "A Few Illustrative Examples" and "Social Psychological Theory..." Identify a section where the authors did a good job using other research to illustrate, describe, explain, and/or substantiate their claims. Briefly tell us why you like it.

    13. Abstract

      Abstract is a sale's pitch, I would say. It summarizes the whole article, and helps the audiences like you and me, to determine whether/how this work might be relevant.

      In the following abstract, identify the research question, highlight it, and state it in your own words (because the authors ask something quite different from what they propose in the beginning).

    14. Liberal and Conservative Representations of the Good Society: A (Social) Structural Topic Modeling Approach

      I chose this article, because it is timely, relevant, easy-to-follow (because it is intuitive), and innovative (using data sources, Twitter, and an innovative method, textual analysis). I hope you enjoy the reading. Please follow my annotations (comments + questions) and respond to the questions I pose. Try to answer them in your own words.


      Please briefly describe the Summary Points of your Literature Review: What are the most important things you would like to communicate to your audience regarding your RQ?

    2. What then does a focus on the politics of transformations to sustainability and development suggest for future research?

      This author starts each section with a question, and I thought that is helpful to me; it helps me refocus and realize what is the key question in each section.

      Conclusion is where we summarize our research so far and suggest future directions/future research.

      Please summarize the conclusion section in your words.


      We will skip to the section, tiled "Conclusion."


      In the following section, please notice how the author does NOT list a series of literature sources. He summarizes and synthesizes (bring together and find a common thread of thoughts). He brings our attention to only selected literature sources like Mitchell (2011), Fine (2008), and Mehta (2005).

      Please do NOT simply list and summarize literature sources one by one.

      Please identify and summarize the authors' thoughts on scarcity in your own words.

    5. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1, p. 45)

      Please notice how the author defines key terms using the pre-existing literature. It is hard to come up with a precise definition (in and of itself a separate research, by the way), and, thus, we tend to borrow definitions from the literature.

      Precise definitions = Precise research = Better grades

      Thus, be sure to define key terms in your literature review section.

      Please share a definition of key terms from your research and literature sources. Something like this works, 'Baek (2018) defines xxx as ....

    6. The review is organized as follows.

      A good intro should the following: 1) state the RQ explicitly 2) define the IV and the DV clearly 3) discuss briefly how the paper will proceed -- a plan

      Be sure to include all these elements in your intro.

    7. Malthusian narrative

      Malthusian narrative is a population + resource theory proposed by the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus. In sum, when unchecked or uncontrolled, population will grow exponentially, while our resources, like food, will not grow as fast. Thus, unchecked population growth will be met with famine and other sufferings. You might have guessed, this idea later developed into the whole idea of advocating for population control. Overall, not a happy thought.

      Whether it is empirically supported or not, it holds a great power over how people think about sustainability.


      Read the following section, and briefly summarize how the idea of 'sustainability' has evolved over time.


      In the following section, identify and highlight the research question.

    10. Abstract

      As usual, read Abstract carefully, as it would be your guide throughout the article.

    11. The Politics of Sustainability and Development

      This reading is to help you better understand the role and importance of literature review. Literature review connects us to a bigger community of scientists who study the same research topic, and helps us build up, illustrate, and develop our theory (what is happening between the IV and the DV?) and research design (how one plans to answer the RQ).

  4. Sep 2019
    1. Variation in Rates of Fatal Police Shootings across US States:the Role of Firearm Availability

      Hello! This article is about the relationship between firearm prevalence (the IV) and the rates of fatal police shootings (the DV). The authors hypothesize that the greater the prevalence of firearms, the grater the rates of fatal police shooting.

      This article follows the classical structure of social science research -- abstract, introduction, literature review/theory, research design, findings, and conclusions.

    2. Table 3

      Don't worry too much about Table 3--5, but see if you can make sense out of written descriptions. Give your best shot at it!

    3. Specifically, we exam-ine the extent to which firearm prevalence explains thevariation in fatal police shootings of civilians, and, inturn, the extent to which the association between firearmprevalence and police shootings of civilians depends onwhether victims were armed with a firearm

      Unfortunately, this article skips a literature review (there is some) and theory all together, but we can extrapolate. Please describe, how does the IV cause/affect/shape the DV?

    4. The rate of killings by USpolice is higher than in other developed nations

      Ouch! Please notice how descriptive statistics (i.e., statistics that summarizes and describe a phenomenon) such as these bring a clarity -- we sort of knew it was bad, but this bad?

    5. Discussion

      This is where the authors try to extrapolate and explain what could be the reason for their findings.

      Please summarize their findings and extrapolations in your words and discuss what stands out most about this research and why.

    6. Results

      This is the fun bit, isn't it?This where the authors describe and discuss their findings.

      Please identify and highlight the most important finding, and tell us why you think so.

    7. Fatal police shootings in the 5 states with the lowest and the 10 states with the highest firearm availability (FS/S): United States,2015–201

      Please identify and highlight the independent variable (IV, the cause) and the dependent variable (DV, the effects).

    8. egative binomialmodels

      Please don't worry about that. Just glance over the rest of the methods section.

    9. Table 1

      Please take a look at the following descriptive statistic, and make informed observations -- What stands out to you? What is the relationship between the IV and the DV based on your quick analysis?

    10. Methods

      Please identify and highlight the section on how researchers measure the independent variable (IV, the cause) and the dependent variable (DV, the effects). Please discuss whether you dis/agree with these methodological choices, and tell us why you agree or present an alternative measurement if you disagree.

    11. Abstract

      Abstract is like a sale's pitch. It is a very short summary of the entire paper (typically 200 words or so). Use abstract as your tour guide throughout the paper. Please identify and highlight the research question (RQ) in the abstract. Please identify and highlight the independent variable (IV, the cause) and the dependent variable (DV, the effects).

    12. theWashington Postdatabase only includes shootings in which a policeofficer, in the line of duty, shoots and kills a civilianand does not include deaths of people in police custody,fatal shootings by off-duty officers, or non-shootingdeaths

      Before this data set, we really had no way of knowing much about civilian deaths. We have had good data sources and, thus, a better understanding of the shooting of the law enforcement.

    13. such asKilledbyPolice.netandFatalEncounters.org.

      These sources, while are helpful, are not as reliable as there is a review or fact-checking process.

    14. We use a cross-sectional, state-level study design toexamine the association between the availability of fire-arms and the rate of fatal police shootings across the 50states averaged over a 3-year period (2015–20 17). Thenumber of observations is 50

      Cross-sectional simply means more than one subject in the study. In this case, 50 states. What they really should have said is a cross-sectional time series analysis. That means, an analysis involving a cross-sectional (50 states in this case) design over time (longitudinal). Simply put, they collected data on 50 states between 2015-2017.

    15. he proxy (the fraction of suicides committedwith a firearm)

      When researchers do not have a direct way of measuring a variable, they use a proxy variable (a variable or measurement that approximates). For example, we often use the years of education (i.e. how long a respondent went to school) as a proxy measure of educational attainment. What researchers might want to measure is educational attainment -- did you get the education you need? do you know to analyze and critique a research paper? However, it is hard and very expensive to measure it, so researchers tend to use a more straightforward and readily available measurement such as the years of education.

    16. state-level

      State is the unit of analysis in this research, just so you know.

    17. MappingPolice Violence, Fatal Encounters, theGuardian,theWashington Post)

      The more date, the merrier!

    18. Although numerous studies have examined howrates of police killings of civilians are related toseveral ecologic determinants of these events, nopeer-reviewed study to date has examined the extentto which variation in police involved firearmhomicides is explained by firearm prevalence whileadjusting for violent crime rates (the most well-established ecologic factor associated with fatal po-lice shootings).

      Please notice how the authors point out the hole in the literature (what other researchers have not been able to accomplish so far or what they are not doing well), and, thus, bring attention to how important their research is.

    1. casualty aversion

      Please briefly describe the impact of casualty aversion.

    2. onethird of the voters stated that foreign policy issues were the most important factorin determining their vote choice

      Do you think it was because of 9/11 attacks? What I mean is, did foreign policy surface as an important issue only because of 9/11 attacks? Is foreign policy still one of the most important issues to the public?

    3. etrospective voting

      Just in case you did not quite get it in the previous section, retrospective voting is when a voter makes a vote decision for/against an incumbent president based on his/her performance in the previous term. For example, in the upcoming election, inevitably all the voters will have to determine whether they dis/approved Trump's work. That is retrospective voting.

    4. The earliest assessments found foreign affairs to have a limited relationshipto voting


    5. Heckscher-Olin (H-O) models

      The Heckscher-Ohlin (H – O) model or theorem (aka Factor Proportions Model or Factor Model) argues that people hired in high-skill (tends to be also high-capital) sectors and people hired in low-skill (also low-capital) sectors are going to disagree about trade liberalization and globalization. Trade liberalization (more global trade) tend to benefit a more competitive sectors. In the US where our stronger and more competitive sectors tend to be high-capital and high-skills, trade globalization tends to benefit these sectors while hurting low-capital and low-skills sectors.

      Think about the garment industry in the US; as we did more trades with other countries, the garment industry (low-capital and low-skill) lost out to its global competitors.

    6. economic policy becomes an increasingly important part of foreign policy

      Read the following section on the impact of economic policy on public opinion, and summarize its findings briefly in your own words. In particular, how do Americans feel about trade liberalization? How do high skilled versus low-skilled Americans feel about trade liberalization (more global trade + less trade barriers like tariffs)?

    7. the willing-ness of the American public to tolerate casualties in war

      Read the following section on the public's tolerance for casualties, briefly summarize how our understanding has changed over time.

    8. Hurwitz and Peffley

      In the following section, identify and list all the foreign policy events to which the public responds.

    9. Page and Shapiro found that changes in publicopinion in response to international events regularly preceded eventual changes inpublic policy. Not only do Page and Shapiro offer compelling direct evidence, butthe evidence of rational response to international events subtly undermines one ofthe pillars of the Almond-Lippman consensus—Almond’s analysis of the Gallup“most important problem” question following major international events.

      Have you noticed such a shift? Have you seen how a pivotal international relations event leads to a change in public opinion and eventually a change in foreign policy in the US?

    10. Zaller’s(1992) Receive-Accept-Sample (RAS) model of public opinion formation

      This is a seminal piece of American public opinion, by the way. Typically, considered the book of public opinion in America.

      In the following section, draw from the RAS model and summarize how media shape public opinion on foreign policy. Don't forget to mention 'frame' and 'prime' effects!

    11. these opinions “fail to correlate with placement on the socialwelfare dimension” or with partisanship (p. 198).

      What we now know is that the public holds rather contradicting views on policy matters, sometimes even against their own interests. For example, many conservative and older Americans are opposed to medicare expansion. One might see that, and say they do not know what is good for them. Or maybe to them their political ideologies or principles are more important?

    12. analogized to “moodswings” which “lack intellectual structure and factual content”

      Wowy! That is condescending, but it is a long held view.

      What do you think? Does your life experience (e.g., interacting with peers or colleagues at work) support this view or not?

    13. the public holds reasonablysensible and nuanced views, that these help shape their political behaviors, and thatthese, in turn, help shape and constrain foreign policy making

      So cool, isn't it?

    14. Abstract

      Abstract is a sales pitch and a guide; the authors summarize their entire paper into less than 100~200 words to draw you in and guide you throughout the rest of the paper.

      This is a literature review on the relationship between the public opinion and foreign policy. The American public is, largely, regarded as uninterested and unaware of foreign policy. However, here the authors survey the literature and conclude that the public is able to hold a nuanced and coherent view on foreign policy and is able to make a voting decision based on this view.

    1. Good observations, Nadine! Could you please highlight a relevant section and make your comments public next time? That way your classmates may learn from you. :D

    2. Estimating the Effect of Asking About Citizenship on the U.S. Census March 21, 2019, 1:21 pm

      This is a really interesting article in so many ways; it speaks to a larger political issue of our time, it uses an innovative method (an experiment!), and it follows a very generic and general structure of a social science research paper. Think of this as an ideal or prototype of social science research.

    3. Discussion and Conclusion

      Please submit a reading analysis in the next class (typed and printed). The reading analysis should contain the following elements and should be 500 words or so (that is one page when single spaced or two page long when double spaced).

      1. What is the research question (RQ)?
      2. What are the independent (IV) and the dependent variable (DV) of this research?
      3. What did the authors say about the relationship between the IV and the DV? In other words, summarize their theoretical argument.
      4. Briefly summarize their research procedure.
      5. What did the researchers find?
      6. Was there anything in particular you found surprising or interesting?
      7. So what? How are their findings relevant to our political reality? Policy application?
    4. Extrapolating to the 2020 U.S. Census Context

      Here the researchers are taking a step further and apply their findings to the greater reality -- the actual politics of America or the 2020 US Census.

    5. Robustness Checks

      Skip this section.

    6. Research Design

      Research design is all about telling others what the researchers actually did to answer the RQ(s) they proposed earlier.

      It has to be explicit (and detailed enough), so others could replicate this research (i.e., do the same things/ follow the same procedure).

      ***Do you think this research design section is explicit enough? Would you be able to replicate their research if you wanted?

      Please identify the control and treatment group (with the independent variable) in this research, and describe it briefly why you think so. ***

    7. significant effects

      "Significant" here means statistical significance or power. It is not enough that we find a positive (in this case, the larger effects on Latinx from Mexico or Central America) on the likelihood to skip/ non-response. When we say our findings are statistically significant or significant, it means that the difference between the treatment and the control group is SO LARGE that there is a very little chance we reached the wrong conclusions.

    8. Results

      Results == Findings.

      I am aware that this section contains some statistical technique you did not learn in the course. Try to read the authors' descriptions, nonetheless, and see if you can make sense out of it. If the authors did their job, you should be able to understand their findings even if you might not appreciate the intricacies of their methodological choices.

      Please identify and highlight the key findings of this research.

    9. Introduction

      Introduction is a bit longer summary of the entire paper. This is where researchers describe and justify their research questions and briefly discuss what is to come. Typically, introduction is about 500 -- 1000 words.

      Please identify and highlight a research question(s).

    10. Moreover, given the current conservative rhetoric and policies regarding immigrants and immigration, some U.S. residents – particularly Hispanics – may be primed to be skeptical of the government’s motives if the citizenship question is introduced

      One tiny unfortunate thing about this article is that it skips out on the literature review and the theoretical arguments sections. They are there, but just light versions of them.

      **Please notice and identify (then highlight) how the authors used prior research to build up and support their own research.

      Please notice and identify (and then highlight) their theoretical arguments (i.e., a description of the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable).

    11. Abstract

      Abstract typically follows the cover page with the title, author name(s), contact information, and other relevant information. Abstract is a sales pitch. It is a short summary (200 words or so) of the entire paper that follows. It is supposed to contain the following information -- a research question(s), a theoretical argument, a research design, findings, and a conclusion.

      Does this abstract contain all the essential information listed above? Is this, thus, a good abstract or not?

    12. we find that asking about citizenship status significantly increases the percent of questions skipped, with particularly strong effects among Hispanics, and makes respondents less likely to report having members of their household who are of Hispanic ethnicity

      Did you find this finding surprising? If so, why? If not, why not? How did your life experience inform your opinion?

    1. kahve – coffee

      Take a look at this very short and fun article about how coffee brought down the Ottoman empire. :)

      Please identify and highlight the most interesting section and tell us why. Please identify what could be Kahve or coffee of our time -- a seemingly innocuous thing that could bring a revolution to the US?

    2. fatwa a

      A fatwa literally means a ruling or verdict by a authoritative legal scholar (according to the Islamic law or sharia), but it is not like the court ruling we see in that it is not legally binding. A fatwa, however, can be devastating in that a fatwa on person, for example, can be synonymous with a death sentence. There was a fatwa put out by Ayatollah Khomeini on Salman Rushdie after the public of the Satanic Verse. Until the fatwa was withdrawn and even after that, Rushdie and his family lived under government protection moving from one safe house to the next.

      If you want to know more about a fatwa, go to the following link and listen to a brief interview: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4775646

    3. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

      Look him up, if you have two minutes. He had an exciting life spanning the 15th and 16th century expanding the Ottoman empire deep into Europe. His burial site, the Süleymaniye Mosque, is seen from pretty much everywhere in Istanbul.

    1. Think of someone, either a person you have known or a national or historical figure, whom you regard as a charismatic leader. What is it about this person that makes her or him charismatic? Why is rational-legal authority generally more stable than charismatic authority?

      Please respond to these two questions. Please use the assigned reading to build up and substantiate your views and analysis.

  5. Aug 2019
    1. Harris said the data also showed African Americans accounted for 17% of total arrests and 25% of all deaths in custody. She also said black boys were arrested at far higher rates than white boys.

      Two things to note: Here this brief report does not make any distinctions as to whether these killings were justified or not.

      It is really heartbreaking to see these numbers, as all those who got killed are ultimately someone's baby just like you and me.

    2. The lack of data has been sharply criticised by activist groups. President Barack Obama’s White House policing taskforce recommended that it be addressed.

      How has the Open Justice Portal helped you understand the racial disparity in fatal shootings by law enforcement officers? Is it helpful to quantify a social/political issue like this? In what ways?

      If researchers are not allowed (or not funded) to collect any data on a political issue, how do you think it might affect us?

    3. “This is the first initiative of its kind across the US, to our knowledge,” said Kristin Ford, Harris’s press secretary.

      While we see a lot of news of fatal use of force by the law enforcement, there was no way for us (the public and the citizens of this country) had no systematic or clear way to know anything about it (e.g., how much. how often, to whom, when and under what circumstances these fatal use of force occurred) before the release of this data.

      Does it surprise you this data set (released about 3 years ago) was the first of its kind? Find how many states (and which states) collect data on fatal shootings by law enforcement officers.

    4. The Open Justice portal includes figures regarding arrest rates, deaths in custody and officers killed or assaulted

      Please click the link to explore the "Open Justice Portal" and summarize your findings here. Share the new insights you learned from the data portal site.

    5. Black men have been killed by police in California at eight times the rate of other residents over the past decade, according to records released under the first in a series of new state initiatives to disclose data on the use of deadly force by law enforcement. Statistics published by the California attorney general, Kamala Harris, stated that about 19% of almost 1,000 homicides by law enforcement recorded between 2005 and 2014 were against African American men, who made up only about 3% of the state’s population.

      What do you think about this finding? Did it surprise you or not? Why (or why not)?

    1. How we check numbers and facts at Pew Research Center

      A 'number check' is one of the reasons why something like Pew would be considered a credible and reliable source.

      After social (or any) research is conducted and concluded, scholars/researchers want to publish it, so others can enjoy their hard work. Before publication of scholarly work, it must go through a rigorous process called a 'peer-review'.

      When a 'number check' is done by external reviewers -- typically 2 -- 3 scholars in the field, we call that a peer-review. Peer-review is like a 'number check' on steroid. Typically, 2--3 scholars in the field are invited; they review the work in question and determine whether it is good research and worthy of publication. During a 'peer-review' process, reviewers (1) fact-check; (2) determined whether it is good research; and (3) determine whether it is publication-worthy.

      This is a short and engaging article about a 'number check' at Pew Center. As you read through the article, highlight how a 'number check' (or a peer-review process) helps making 'good research' and briefly explain why you think so.

    2. replicated

      Why bother replicating the findings?

    3. the following questions

      Out of the following questions, which one would you say is the most critical question? Briefly tell me why.

    4. a margin of error

      Please click the hyper link to read another short article about a margin of error.