Dr. Tim Hellwig Research Luncheon Friday, February 27

Dr. Tim Hellwig will be joining us on Friday February 27th from the University of Houston for our Research Luncheon lecture Series. Please attend the meeting with graduate students on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m in Oldfather 516 and the lecture at 11:30am in Oldfather 538.

Dr. Hellwig is working extensively in the area of globalization and domestic electoral politics, comparative and international political economy and mass political behavior. He teaches courses on comparative elections, political economy, European politics, the EU, and quantitative methods.

He will give a presentation on “Who’s to Blame? The Distribution of Responsibility in Developing Democracies”. Please find the abstract below.

Lunch is provided for the first 20 attendees.


10:00 a.m.: Graduate Student meeting with Dr. Hellwig

11:30 a.m.: Research Luncheon

Abstract: Dependency on the world economy has long been cited as a culprit for low growth, high volatility, and sub par levels of redistribution. Far less is known, however, about the effect of international constraints on mass politics. This study examines the implications of these constraints for how citizens assign responsibility for policy outcomes. We develop a theory of responsibility distributions for developing democracies which combines insights from the political economy of development and the study of mass behavior. Evidence from 17 Latin American countries shows that citizens often blame policy outcomes on international and private-sector actors for which they, as voters, have no direct recourse. The bases of these attributions are not idiosyncratic but are shaped by extra-national factors. Ties to world markets and to the International Monetary Fund shift responsibility attributions, increasing the probability of blaming international actors while reducing tendencies to hold national politicians to accounts. Incurrence of foreign debt also affects how citizens attribute responsibility by increasing tendencies to blame international markets and institutions. Study results have implications for accountability, for policymaker strategies, and for how global contexts affect mass politics in the developing world.

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