The Monkey Cage

Why Study Social Science

We study social science because social phenomena affect people’s lives in profound ways. If you want to start with Cantor’s focus—physical illness and death—then social phenomena are tremendously important.

7 years ago

The Study of Conflict Mediation by Political Scientists

As Hilary Clinton arrives in Israel to attempt to negotiate a cease fire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hammas, it is worth noting that there is a sub-field of political science that focuses on the determinants and effectiveness of these kinds of mediation effects.

7 years ago

Economic Inequality and Political Power (Part 3 of 3)

Faith in the wisdom of the affluent to guide public policy has been sorely tested by the enormous costs in money and human suffering resulting from the Great Recession. My data cast further doubt on the notion that representational inequality arises from the greater knowledge or better judgment of those with higher incomes.

7 years ago

Economic Inequality and Political Power (Part 1 of 3)

If policy influence becomes so unequal that the wishes of most citizens are ignored most of the time, a country’s claim to be a democracy is cast in doubt. And that is exactly what I found in my analyses of the link between public preferences and government policy in the U.S.

7 years ago

Why the Stevens Op-Ed is Wrong

The claim that real politics is messier than the statistics are capable of capturing is obviously correct. But the implied corollary – that the government shouldn’t go out of its way to support it – doesn’t follow.

7 years ago
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