2023 Government Publications and Grants

*Indicates student co-author.

Appel, Hilary. Review of The Afterlife of the 'Soviet Man': Rethinking Homo Sovieticus. The Russian Review, vol. 8, issue 42, 2023, pp. 770-771.

Ascher, L. William. “Coping with the Ambiguities of Poverty-Alleviation Programs and Policies: A Policy Sciences Approach.” Policy Sciences, vol. 56, issue 2, 2023, pp. 325-354. 

Abstract: The many varieties of ambiguity shape the prospects in lower-income countries to establish viable poverty-alleviation programs, appropriately target the poor, and reduce deprivations of families applying for or participating in such programs. Ambiguity can be both a problem and an asset, potentially serving pro-poor purposes but often manipulable to drain benefits away from the poor. The distinctive functions of the decision process, as outlined in the classic policy sciences framework, are applied to cash transfers, pro-poor price subsidies, guaranteed unconditional employment, affirmative action, and resource access for the poor. The guidance for adapting these programs depends heavily on the appraisal function. This article contributes both the diagnosis of how ambiguity can undermine or contribute to the soundness of the poverty-alleviation program selection processes, and how to address these issues. It also demonstrates the utility of the classic policy sciences framework in identifying an extremely broad range of relevant considerations.

Ascher, William L. "Human Capital versus Basic Income: Ideology and Models for Anti-Poverty Programs in Latin America': Critical Dialog with Fabian Borges." Perspectives on Politics, vol. 20, issue 4, 2023, pp. 1420-1421.

Bou Nassif, Hicham. "The Summer of Living Dangerously: Robert C. McFarlane and the Breakdown of Reagan's Lebanon Policy." The Journal of Middle East and Africa, vol. 14, no. 3, 2023, pp. 249-275.

Abstract: This article reconsiders the US Lebanon policy in the wake of the Lebanese-Israeli Agreement of May 17, 1983. After failing to convince Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad to accept the Lebanon-Israel May 17 Agreement and withdraw from Lebanon, US policymakers adopted a confrontational approach with Damascus. The American-Syrian duel over Lebanon escalated in the summer of 1983 and ended with Assad's victory. The United States disengaged from Beirut, thus paving the way for Syrian control. I use untapped archival sources pertaining to the mission of Robert C. McFarlane, Ronald Reagan's envoy to the Middle East, to shed a new light on these events.

Branch, Jordan and Jan Stockbruegger. "State, Territory, and Sovereignty." The Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations, edited by Mlada Bukovansky, Edward Keene, Christian Reus-Smit, and Maja Spanu. Oxford University Press, 2023.

Abstract: This chapter considers three concepts—state, territory, sovereignty—that are fundamental not only to the intersection of History and IR but also to IR theoretical debates. We track how the literature on these concepts has changed over time and discuss broad critiques and avenues for future research. We argue that state, territory, and sovereignty need to be studied as analytically distinct yet interrelated outcomes and processes. Key challenges for historical IR scholarship include overcoming a Eurocentric bias inherent in these concepts, how to apply contemporary concepts to earlier historical periods, and how--and whether--to draw lessons from history for contemporary politics. Finally, historical IR scholars could pay more attention to the important yet largely unexplored material dimensions of state, territory, and sovereignty.

Evrigenis, Ioannis. "The Fact of Fiction: Popular Sovereignty as Belief and Reality." Where the People Rule: Popular Sovereignty in Theory and Practice, edited by Ewa Atanassow, Thomas Bartscherer, and David A. Bateman. Cambridge University Press, 2023, pp. 57-72.

Evrigenis, Ioannis. "In Praise of Dystopias: A Hobbesian Approach to Collective Action." Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, vol. 26, no. 1, 2023, pp. 7-21.

Abstract: Long before Prospect Theory and Loss Aversion Theory, Thomas Hobbes's account of self-interest and risk assessment formed the basis of a powerful argument for the benefits of negative appeals. Dismissing the pursuit of highest and final goods as inherently incapable of yielding collective action, Hobbes proposed a method focusing instead on the highest evil, something that individuals with different goals could agree on as a barrier to their respective pursuits. In his own theory, that evil was violent death in the dystopian setting of his notorious state of nature. The staying power of Hobbes's memorable image itself validates Hobbes's rationale and offers important reminders regarding the limits of utopian appeals to collective action.

Evrigenis, Ioannis. Review of Reformation, Resistance, and Reason of State (1517-1625), by Sarah Mortimer. Grotiana, vol. 44, 2023, pp. 217-223.

Kewes, Paulina, Ioannis Evrigenis, Michael Valdez Moses, and Filippo Sabetti. "The Roman Senate in Early Modern Europe." Liberty Matters, 2023, online.

External Grant: Evrigenis, Ioannis. Jack Miller Center Grant for MA Teacher Civic Education Training, 2023.

Fortner, Michael and Colin Scanlon. "Crime, The Dangers Of Racial Tropes, And The Limits Of Racial Metaphors." Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture, vol. 22, no. 1, 2023, online.

Fortner, Michael. "From Nelson Rockefeller to Eric Adams: The Evolving Politics of Crime and Punishment in New York." Rockefeller Archive Center, February 16, 2023.

Abstract: Despite calls for the "defunding" of the police and the reimagining of policing following the death of George Floyd in 2020, many New York politicians, in response to rising rates of violent crime, have begun to embrace "law and order." All of this bears a great similarity to the politics of crime and punishment during the governorship of Nelson Rockefeller. Examining several documents in the gubernatorial records of Nelson Rockefeller at the Rockefeller Archive Center, newspaper articles, and public opinion, this report documents the political response to violence and drug addiction in the 1960s and 1970s and compares it to the present, reviewing contrasting arguments of influential Black leaders and "white liberals." It concludes that the present crime context, much like the one during the Rockefeller-era, has divided the left and Black leadership while solidifying Republican commitment to "law and order." It argues that the history of the Rockefeller drug laws illustrates that these divisions and the legitimate fears of working- and middle-class minorities can produce haphazard policies that harm rather than save these communities.

Fortner, Michael. "Public Administration, Racial Capitalism, and the Problem of ‘Interest Convergence': A Commentary on Critical Race Theory." Public Integrity, vol. 25, issue 3, 2023, pp. 262-272.

Abstract: This essay reviews the analytic utility of critical race theory for contemporary studies of public policy, public administration, and nonprofit management. Highlighting and interrogating Derrick Bell's theory of "interest convergence," it discusses critical race theory's insufficient attention to economics and class. It then builds on Cedric Robinson's notion of racial capitalism to theorize the interaction of racism and capitalism and the impact of that interaction on urban political development and public administration. Next, it explores the analytic possibilities of a racial capitalism framework for the study of policing and the criminal justice system more broadly. It concludes by reflecting on the analytic, normative, and political implications of these considerations.

Fortner, Michael. "Racial Capitalism and City Politics: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis." Urban Affairs Review, vol. 59, issue 2, 2023, pp. 630-653.

Fortner, Michael. Review of The Myth of Mob Rule: Violent Crime and Democratic Politics, by Lisa L. Miller. Punishment & Society, vol. 25, issue 1, 2023, pp. 290-292.

Fortner, Michael. "What Charlie Rangel's Rise Tells Us About Black New York and Substance Abuse." Vital City, December 13, 2023.

External Grant: Fortner, Michael. 2023 Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections Research Fellow, 2023, $3000.

Abstract: The Research Fellowship is one $3000 award given annually to support substantial research projects requiring the use of the Dole Archive.

External Grant: Fortner, Michael. Larry J. Hackman Research Residency, 2023.

Abstract: The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program supports advanced work on New York State history, government, or public policy using archival records in the State Archives.

Koch, Lisa Langdon. "Military Regimes and Resistance to Nuclear Weapons Development." Security Studies, vol. 32, issue 2, 2023, pp. 239-270.

Abstract: Few military regimes have seriously pursued a nuclear weapons capability, and only Pakistan has succeeded. I argue that military regimes governing nonnuclear weapons states are likely to prefer to invest in conventional rather than nuclear forces, even in the presence of external security threats. I identify two domestic sources of nuclear proliferation behavior in military regimes: the resource distribution preferences of the military organization and the need to manage the domestic conflicts that threaten the regime's political survival. I test this theory using case evidence from Egypt, Brazil, and Pakistan. This study suggests that while external conditions are certainly important, domestic factors also have a significant impact on state security behavior.

Koch, Lisa Langdon. Nuclear Decisions: Changing the Course of Nuclear Weapons Programs. Oxford University Press, 2023.

Abstract: Throughout the nuclear age, states have taken many different paths toward or away from nuclear weapons. These paths have been difficult to predict and cannot be explained simply by a stable or changing security environment. We can make sense of these paths by examining leaders' nuclear decisions. The political decisions state leaders make to accelerate or reverse progress toward nuclear weapons define each state's course. Whether or not a state ultimately acquires nuclear weapons depends to a large extent on those nuclear decisions. This book offers a novel theory of nuclear decision-making that identifies two mechanisms that shape leaders' understandings of the costs and benefits of their nuclear pursuits.

The internal mechanism is the intervention of domestic experts in key scientific and military organizations. If the conditions are right, those experts may be able to influence a leader's nuclear decision-making. The external mechanism emerges from the structure and politics of the international system. Nuclear Decisions: Changing the Course of Nuclear Weapons Programs identifies three different proliferation eras, in which changes to international political and structural conditions have constrained or freed states pursuing nuclear weapons development. Scholars and practitioners alike will gain new insights from the fascinating case studies of nine states across the three eras. Through this global approach to studying nuclear proliferation, this book pushes back against the conventional wisdom that determined states pursue a straight path to the bomb. Instead, nuclear decisions define a state's nuclear pursuits.

Muravchik, Stephanie and Jon A. Shields. “Republicans in Wyoming See Clearly What’s Happening.” The New York Times, September 7, 2023.

External Grant: Nadon, Christopher. Bradley Foundation Research Fellowship Program, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Add Dissidents to Blinken's To-Do List in Beijing." Bloomberg, June 12, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Armchair Warriors Are Getting Taiwan All Wrong." Bloomberg, May 31, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Biden Has the Edge on Xi. That's Why It's Time to Talk." Bloomberg, January 26, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Biden Wants a Good Summit. Xi Needs One." Bloomberg, November 8, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Can the US and China Go Back to Being Frenemies?" Bloomberg, July 11, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Cannot Hide the COVID Death Toll From Its People." Nikkei Asia, January 10, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Can't Afford Xi's Quest for Security." Bloomberg, May 24, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Can't Blame Everything on Wayward Billionaires." Bloomberg, October 4, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Had Better Listen to What Blinken Has to Say." Bloomberg, June 15, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Hawks Are Throwing Away Their Strongest Weapon." Bloomberg, March 9, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Is Acting More Like a Scrooge Than a Champion of Socialism." Bloomberg, August 14, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Is Making the Same Mistake the Soviets Did." Bloomberg, October 23, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Isn't Buying the Message US Officials Are Selling." Bloomberg, September 6, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Isn't Winning the War for Hearts and Minds." Bloomberg, December 7, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Is Walking a Tightrope with the US. It Needs a Net." Bloomberg, April 4, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Must Repair Damage From Its Burst Balloon." Bloomberg, February 5, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Needs to Get Off the Fence in the Middle East." Bloomberg, October 11, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Shouldn't Gloat About US Gridlock." Bloomberg, August 8, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Should Welcome Yellen With Open Arms." Bloomberg, July 4, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China's Covid Surge Could Make Xi More Dangerous." Bloomberg, January 11, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China's Disappearing Generals Could Be Bad for GDP." Bloomberg, September 19, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China's Economy Is OK. The Problem Is Its Politics." Bloomberg, December 12, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China's Pro-Growth Happy Talk." Project Syndicate, January 24, 2023.

Abstract: A robust economic recovery in China would require the country's leaders to find ways to improve relations with the West and launch a credible political, legal, and economic reform program. But despite official vows to boost growth, no such agenda is on the horizon.

Pei, Minxin. "China's Slowdown Isn't Xi's Biggest Problem." Bloomberg, August 23, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "China Wants to Buy Off Europe. The Price Is Too High." Bloomberg, June 21, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Climate Makes This Cold War More Dangerous Than the Last." Bloomberg, November 29, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Don't Ban TikTok, Put It on Probation." Bloomberg, March 7, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Don't Be Too Quick to Write Off Xi's Awkward Putin Summit." Bloomberg, March 19, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Don't Count China Out as a Peacemaker in Ukraine." Bloomberg, May 16, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "How China Responded to Its Economic Slowdown in 2023." China Leadership Monitor, issue 78, 2023, online.

Abstract: After its zero-Covid lockdowns led to the worst economic growth in the last three decades, the Chinese government counted on a strong rebound in 2023 to make up for the lost ground. Despite the initial signs of recovery in the first quarter, the economy slowed down significantly in the second quarter. Constrained by Xi Jinping's security-centered priorities, high levels of debt, and limited fiscal resources, China opted for modest stimulus measures and rhetorical reassurances in response. Analysis of Beijing's response indicates that the technocrats lacked explicit and strong support from Xi, who said relatively little on the economy in 2023 and provided no clear guidance after the second quarter. The moderate recovery of the economy in the third quarter seems to have vindicated Xi's cautious policy of "seeking progress on the basis of stability." However, preliminary data for October suggest that economic weakness is likely to persist and that the factors behind the slowdown remain largely unchanged. Continuation of the current policy will make China's efforts to build resilience far more costly than its leaders anticipate.

Pei, Minxin. "Is China's About-Face Real? Better Ask the Chinese." Bloomberg, February 1, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "It's Time for a Timeout in US-China Rivalry." Bloomberg, April 26, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Musk and Dimon Missed an Opportunity in China." Bloomberg, June 7, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Old Friends Aren't What China Needs Right Now." Bloomberg, July 23, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Putin's Struggles Are a Teachable Moment for China." Bloomberg, June 25, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Putin and Xi Are More Divided Than Ever. And More United." Bloomberg, October 15, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Russia Is Losing in Ukraine. So Is China." Bloomberg, February 19, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "The Sudden End of Zero-Covid: An Investigation." China Leadership Monitor, issue 75, 2023 online.

Abstract: China's sudden exit from zero-Covid in early December surprised many observers. The most powerful motivations for this decision were the prohibitive costs to the economy inflicted by zero-Covid, the growing evidence of its ineffectiveness in face of a more infectious Covid variant, and the greatly diminished political incentive for maintaining zero-Covid after the 20th Party Congress. The party's poor preparations for the exit were mainly due to the leadership's overriding desire to stage a successful party congress. The politicization of the pandemic response continued even after the sudden end of zero-Covid as the official propaganda apparatus sought to reshape the narrative and the government refused to approve more advanced Western vaccines and to include an imported Pfizer anti-viral treatment in its health insurance program. The decisive end of zero-Covid and the subsequent pivot to the economy nevertheless reveal the party's pragmatist side.

Pei, Minxin. "Take Over the World? Not on This Budget." Bloomberg, August 10, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "There's One Way Xi Can Show He's Serious on the Economy." Bloomberg, February 28, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "To Save the Party, Xi Is Weakening China." Bloomberg, July 19, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "US Doesn't Need to Block China Everywhere All at Once." Bloomberg, March 13, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "War Over Taiwan Is the Last Thing a Slumping China Needs." Bloomberg, September 14, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Who Is Actually Weak on China? The GOP." Bloomberg, February 14, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Why China Is So Bad at Doing Big Things." Bloomberg, April 2, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Why China's Generals Keep Disappearing." Bloomberg, October 31, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Why Xi Should Talk Less Politics and More Economics." Bloomberg, August 31, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Xi Got Lucky This Year. He Shouldn't Get Used to It." Bloomberg, December 19, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Xi Is Looking for Friends in All the Wrong Places." Bloomberg, November 21, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Xi Jinping Has the HR Problem From Hell." Bloomberg, July 27, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Xi Jinping's New Economic Team and Government Reorganization." China Leadership Monitor, issue 76, 2023, online.

Abstract: The annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) that ended in mid-March unveiled a new economic team and a blueprint for government reorganization. Members of the new economic team are close supporters of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. They also have varying degrees of technocratic competence and experience as economic policymakers. The profiles of the senior members of the economic team suggest that Xi has already assembled a group of strong candidates to take over the State Council in five years' time. Because the members of the new team have close ties to Xi but no connections with one another, they are likely rivals for future promotions. For the most part, the reorganization of the government seeks to further strengthen the party's direct control of the state. The financial sector will be affected the most by the reorganization.

Pei, Minxin. "Xi Just Bought Himself a Headache in Moscow." Bloomberg, March 23, 2023.

Pei, Minxin. "Xi Makes Up With Biden. Now What About Trump?" Bloomberg, November 15, 2023.

Pitney, John J. "Disability Policy in the Contemporary Congress." The Forum, vol. 21, no. 2, 2023, pp. 287-308.

Abstract: A review of congressional action on disability policy since 1973 shows that it is far more bipartisan than popular accounts of Congress might suggest. One reason is that the issue affects a large share of the electorate, either directly or through family members. Key lawmakers also have ties to the disability community.

Muravchik, Stephanie and Jon A. Shields. "Republicans in Wyoming See Clearly What's Happening." The New York Times, September 7, 2023.

Shields, Jon A. "Liberal Professors Can Rescue the G.O.P.." The New York Times, March 23, 2023.

Shields, Jon A. "Why Abortion Rights Keep Winning in Red States." The Atlantic, November 8, 2023.

Echeverri-Gent, John, Aseema Sinha, and Andrew Wyatt. "Will India Realize Its Economic Promise? The Implications of Modi's Politicization of India's Economic Governance." Democracy and Autocracy, vol. 21, no. 2, 2023, pp. 13-17.

Sinha, Aseema. "Critical Juncture, Learning and State Capacity-in-Motion: Pathway Cases in Asia." Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, vol. 61, issue 4, 2023, pp. 399-426.

Abstract: Precisely because public health crises are uncertain, complex and have multiple dimensions, deeper institutional state capacity is needed. This paper develops an approach to thinking about state capacity by incorporating time as a key component of a refurbished idea of state capacity. This reorientation helps us understand the specific mechanisms, especially of learning—that were crucial for the success of East Asian cases in managing the COVID-19 epidemic. Previous exposure to a health crisis—a critical juncture—activates learning capacity via two distinct mechanisms, one a political route of the need to restore public trust and renew the social contract, and the second through a functional route leading to administrative capacity building necessitated by a complex and multiplex crisis that crosses a variety of boundaries. Learning that builds coordinating state capacity is therefore needed. This article applies these ideas to understanding the successful pathway cases of South Korea and Taiwan.

Sinha, Aseema and Manisha Priyam. "‘Willing' Ethnic-Nationalists, Diffusion, and Resentment in India: A Micro-Foundational Account." Modern Asian Studies, vol. 57, issue 3, 2023, pp. 1027-1058.

Abstract: Using evidence regarding the consolidation of Hindu nationalism in India we put forward new ethnographic data about the variety of popular support for a Hindutva project and a new framework that proposes an interactive theory of social identity. This framework helps us understand how Hindu nationalism becomes embedded in society. We assert that Hindu nationalism in India could be fruitfully analyzed by focusing on the processes through which ideas of exclusive nationalism spread among ordinary middle-class people and are expressed in micro-level psychological changes at the individual level. The consolidation of Hindu nationalism in India is being authored not only by parties or the state, but also by societal actors, specifically, ordinary middle-class Indians. Hindu nationalism has been spreading in micro-public spheres in a time of apparent peace and between elections, and with the participation of willing supporters. Building on our fieldwork and research in psychology and history, our conversations have also helped us to identify profiles of different types of nationalists, which we categorize as willing ethnic-nationalists, hardliners, bystanders, and moderates. Further, we suggest the need to focus on inter-linked micro-level mechanisms such as diffusion and emulation of Hindu-centric beliefs and ideas, mobilization by hardliners and organizations, and impunity resulting from protection by state agencies, which helps to create willing ethnic-nationalists and sustains Hindu nationalism. Evidence regarding social interactions from a variety of survey organizations concurs with our findings and our ethnographic material allows us to delve deeper into varieties of Hindu nationalist support across diverse ordinary people.

Chen, Sarah and Jennifer Taw. "Conventional Retaliation and Cyber Attacks." The Cyber Defense Review, vol. 8, no. 1, 2023, pp. 67-86.

Abstract: We explain here why improvements in attribution capabilities, combined with cyberattacks' increasing potential to kill people, threaten military readiness, and wreak economic destruction are making it more likely that a cyberattack will trigger a conventional response. This is significant because, as foreseen by President Biden, it means that a cyber-attack could be not only an element of war but a precipitating act of war.

Thomas, George. "Civic Education and Constitutional Democracy." Liberal Education and Citizenship in a Free Society, edited by Justin B. Dyer and Constantine C. Vassiliou. University of Missouri Press, 2023, pp. 327-346.

Thomas, George. "Crisis as Critique of the Founding." American Political Thought, vol. 12, no. 2, 2023, pp. 256-266.

Thomas, George. "Religious Liberty and Its Implications for Church and State." American Political Thought, vol. 12, no. 3, 2023, pp. 397-405.

Thomas, George. Review of Conservative Thought and American Constitutionalism Since the New Deal, by Jonathan O'Neill. Perspectives on Politics, vol. 21, no. 4, 2023, pp. 479-481.

Zarkin, Jessica. "The Silent Militarization: Explaining the Logic of Military Members' Appointment As Police Chiefs." Comparative Politics, vol. 55, no. 4, 2023, pp. 549-572.

What explains the militarization of public safety? Despite its failures, police militarization remains a popular policy. Existing scholarship has mainly focused on the police adopting military weapons and tactics but has neglected a silent but consequential type: the appointment of military members as police chiefs. Whereas the conventional wisdom points to partisanship and violence as key drivers, I argue that the militarization of police leaders responds to political motives. Based on a novel data set on 5,580 appointments in Mexico and repeated event history analysis, I find evidence of a top-down militarization sequence. Mayors are more likely to appoint military chiefs when upper levels of government and peers embrace a militarized security strategy. I further illustrate how coercive pressures and strategic incentives drive this sequence.