March 2016

Bridging Theory and Practice: A Life in the Field

Image of Robert Bates in his office

Robert Bates’s When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa released as a classic

During the turmoil in Uganda after the fall of repressive leader Idi Amin Dada, political scientist Robert Bates was in the field. At the time, he was widely known for his astute public policy analysis of agricultural decline in Africa. His war zone experience led to the great concern of the latter part of his career—the study of political violence.

Neoliberal Policy Implementation Goes Hand in Hand with Stronger Symbolic Boundaries

Image of Figure 1

Jonathan Mijs and Michèle Lamont

Citizens in countries that implemented more rigorous neoliberal policies over the last two decades (1990 to 2010) draw stronger symbolic boundaries between themselves and unwanted others. Based on publicly available data from the European Values Study, our research suggests that neoliberal policy implementation is intricately related to the ways in which citizens define worthiness.

Research Spotlight: Beth A. Simmons

Researchers Say International Criminal Court is Flawed, But Essential

The International Criminal Court is saving civilian lives in multiple countries, according to research that provides the first quantitative evidence.

The study by professors at Harvard University and Texas A&M, which will be featured in the summer issue of the journal International Organization, has drawn widespread attention from people on either side of a polarized debate about the ICC’s role in international justice.

Vocal critics have long claimed the ICC is an ineffective obstacle to peace processes while enthusiasts believe it useful in advancing global peace and security. The underlying question: is the ICC irreparably flawed or an institution worth investing in?

Now researchers Beth A. Simmons and Hyeran Jo have contributed a systematic study that can impartially inform this pressing debate in international affairs.