Human rights and political transition in South Africa: the case of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
This article is dedicated to recounting the main initiative of Nelson Mandela’s government to manage the social resentment inherited from the segregationist regime. I conducted interviews with South African intellectuals committed to the theme of transitional justice and with key personalities who played a critical role in this process. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is presented as the primary institutional mechanism envisioned for the delicate exercise of redefining social relations inherited from the apartheid regime in South Africa. Its founders […]
When is statistical significance not significant?
The article provides a non-technical introduction to the p value statistics. Its main purpose is to help researchers make sense of the appropriate role of the p value statistics in empirical political science research. On methodological grounds, we use replication, simulations and observational data to show when statistical significance is not significant. We argue that: (1) scholars must always graphically analyze their data before interpreting the p value; (2) it is pointless to estimate the p value for non-random samples; […]
Investigating Elite Behavior through Field Experiment in Brazil: do candidates answer more to core or swing voters?
This paper explores recent advances in experimental methodology to analyze elite behavior. Using an email experiment conducted in the context of the Brazilian 2008 municipal elections, we studied whether candidates target “swing” or “core” voters during campaigns. Candidates from all parties – 1,000 candidates in all – were contacted by randomly generated citizens who identified themselves as either core or swing voters. Additionally, we randomized senders’ past voting behavior and their gender. To identify the baseline answer rate, we employed […]
Human Security Paradigms and Economic Crisis in first year of the North Caucasus Federal District
The decrease in insecurity in the North Caucasus during the first eight years of the 21st century was achieved with the help of federal money used to amnesty soldiers and to pacify ethnic leaders’ ambitions. But circumstances changed after Dmitry Kozak’s announcement that the federal budget for the entire region would decrease significantly. As all the republics in the North Caucasus are dependent on federal aid of no less than 50% (in Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan dependence is superior to […]
Public Policy and Media Frames: The Debate over Migration in Brazil
The main goal of this article is to provide a good basis to assess the way media frames are embedded in a wider social scenario, and how public and political preferences can be researched through media debate. The methodology adopted allows for an analysis of newspaper articles that can show broader trends of the debate and serve as a thermometer to measure public debate. It can further highlight details and enable in-depth analyses of media discourse. The article explores the […]
Two to Tango: An Analysis of Brazilian-Argentine Relations
“The Federal Republic of Brazil seeks to form a Latin American community of nations through the economic, political, social, and cultural integration of the peoples of Latin America.” So declares the opening paragraph of Article IV of the Fundamental Principles of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988. At first glance, one has the impression that this provision represents a focus of Brazilian foreign policy along with issues such as autonomy, human rights, self-determination, and others in the same Article. The reality, […]