AY2018-19 Projects

Select Projects:

Title: Citizen-State Interactions at Bureaucratic Frontlines
CPD Research Associate: Anustubh Agnihotri
CPD Undergraduate Fellows: Leila Hooshyar along with Anurag Aiyer & Ankita Mitra

The ability of the state to effectively respond to demands made by citizens has long term consequences for democratic practice and economic development(Mettler 2002; Pierson 1993; Kruks-Wisner 2018; Dal Bo and Finan 2016).The interaction between citizen and the state is a site where ideas around state efficacy and accountability are formed; citizenship is both “state induced and socially produced”(quote from Kruks-Wisner 2018, Page 29). Yet, we understand very little about how bureaucrats engage with citizens. My dissertation research adds to this research by focusing on the functioning of the tehsildars and patwaris, Street Level Bureaucrats (SLBs) (borrowing from Lipsky) in India who engage with citizens on a regular basis. I seek to understand how these agents of the state exercise their discretion at the micro-level during their day to day interactions with citizens. As part of my research I am putting together a dataset of bureaucratic transfers of more than 1000 bureaucrats over a 4 year period.

Specific role for the undergraduate: The Research fellows helped me download and clean the data from a public website and then create a dataset of transfers using a coding manual.


Title: The Wartime Experiences of Civic Leaders:Legacies of Civil War in Côte d’Ivoire
CPD Research Associate: Justine Davis
CPD Undergraduate Fellow: Luca Amato

Justine Davis, PhD candidate in political science, and Luca Amato, 2019 graduate of political science, worked together on a project entitled “the Wartime Experiences of Civic Leaders: Legacies of Civil War in Côte d’Ivoire”. The mentorship project entailed creating a large dataset of department-level variables across time in Côte d’Ivoire to facilitate a matching case-selection strategy for the research design employed in the study. A description of the project can be found here.


Title: Democracy in the era of political disillusionment: is moderation ever strategic for outsiders?
CPD Research Associate: Natalia Garbiras-Díaz
CPD Undergraduate Fellows: Elisabeth Early & Hugo Santiago

Outsider candidates have been present in politics around the globe for decades. The most well-known outsider candidates who have won office share a populist style and have adopted extreme positions on policy issues, both on the right and on the left of the political spectrum (e.g., Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Alberto Fujimori in Peru, among others, including Donald Trump in the U.S.). This empirical observation has, in turn, led the literature on outsider candidates to focus almost exclusively on describing and studying the consequences of anti-establishment/extremist candidates (e.g., Levitsky et al. 2016; Carreras 2012; Serra 2018). However, these studies have overlooked important variation between outsider candidates. Notably, the last presidential elections in France, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, among other countries, all included moderate candidates running for office, who did not campaign on a populist style nor on extremist positions. This project seeks to fill in this gap by studying the strategic decisions adopted by candidates running as independents or with newly created parties (i.e., new entrants) in terms of where to locate along the policy dimension and which type of rhetoric to employ when appealing to voters.

Specific role for the undergraduate: Research fellows helped constructing an exhaustive database with a set of variables describing the profiles and contexts in which candidates running as independents or with newly created parties (i.e., new entrants) have risen around the world.


Title: Bang for the Buck – Reforms to Maximize Public Funding Outcomes in India
CPD Research Associate: Bhumi Purohit
CPD Undergraduate Fellow: Rudraveer Reddy

The book project undertakes an explanation of India’s Public Finance Management System and its implications on governance and public service delivery. The book highlights the current gaps in our understanding of funding outcomes and related variables in political economic studies.

Specific role for the undergraduate: Rudraveer Reddy helped edit the book manuscript and created a citation management system for references in the book to enable the creation of a bibliography.