Colloquia during Spring 2015

January 26, 2015 (Monday) [stream unavailable due to technical difficulties]


"Resolving the Authoritarian Dilemma: Policy Outcomes and Political Control in the Hong Kong Legislative Council"


Professor William Bianco, Department of Political Science, IUB
(Coauthors: Regina Smyth, Department of Political Science, IUB; and Kwan Nok Chan, Department of Political Science, Hong Kong University)


Abstract: This paper focuses on the authoritarian dilemma: while an interest in sustained social support may lead an authoritarian governments to allow opposition forces to win legislative seats, doing so may lead to outcomes that the government opposes, even its removal from office. While the literature clearly identifies this dilemma, it is remarkably short on the details of how authoritarian regimes resolve it. In this paper, we demonstrate that the Hong Kong government uses formal institutions to decouple electoral success from policy influence. We identify the electoral and legislative institutions developed by the Hong Kong government to maintain control over legislative outcomes in the face of expanded representation of opposition forces. We find that the Council's rules of procedure create all-but insurmountable roadblocks to opposition initiatives, while providing incentives for opposition forces to support the governments' policy initiatives. In this way, the authoritarian government in Hong Kong has managed electoral liberalization while preserving its ability to veto policy changes that it opposes.

Bio: William Bianco is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. His research focuses on American Politics (particularly legislatures) and formal theory. He is the author of Trust: Representatives and Constituents, and has authored or coauthored numerous journal articles. He was PI or co-PI of five National Science Foundation Grants (including two Dissertation Improvement Grants) and a grant from the National Council for Eurasian and Eastern European Research.

He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from SUNY Stony Brook (1982), and his PhD. from the University of Rochester (1987). He arrived at Indiana University in September 2006 after holding faculty appointments at Duke University and Penn State University, and visiting appointments at Stanford University and Harvard University. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Brookings Institution in 1990, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Moscow, Russia during 2011-2.


February 2, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Formal Institutions and the IAD Framework: Bringing the Law Back In"


Professor Daniel Cole, Mauer School of Law


Abstract: Elinor Ostrom's IAD framework has been described as "one of the most developed and sophisticated attempts to use institutional and stakeholder assessment in order to link theory and practice, analysis and policy." But not all elements in the framework are yet sufficiently well-developed. This paper focuses on one such element: the "rules-in-use" (a.k.a., "working rules"). Specifically, the paper begins a long overdue conversation about relations between formal legal rules and "working rules" by offering a tentative typology of relations. Type 1: Some formal legal rules equal or approximate the working rules; Type 2: Some legal rules plus widely-held social norms equal or approximate the working rules; and Type 3: Some legal rules bear no evident relation to the working rules. Several examples, including some previously used by Lin Ostrom, are provided to illustrate each of the three types, which can be conceived of as nodes or ranges along a continuum. The paper concludes with a call for empirical research into which of these types of relations is more common than the others in various circumstances.

Bio: Daniel H. Cole is Professor of Law and Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he also serves on the Affiliated Faculty of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Professor Cole is author or editor of eight books, including most recently Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School of Political Economy: Vol. 1, Polycentricity in Public Administration and Political Science (Lexington Books 2015), which he co-edited with Mike McGinnis, andProperty in Land and Other Resources (Lincoln Institute 2012), which he co-edited with Elinor Ostrom. Professor Cole has authored more than 50 articles, book chapters, and essays most of which overlap the blurry boundaries of law, economics, and political science. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, and a Life Member of Clare Hall (College for Advanced Study), University of Cambridge.


February 9, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Where is the Ecology in Social-Ecological Systems Research? A Review of Methods"


Dr. Adena Rissman, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
(Coauthor: Sean Gillon, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology)


Abstract: Research on social-ecological systems (SES) is rapidly advancing, but SES methods and implications have not been systematically analyzed. Our systematic review of 120 empirical papers on social-ecological systems examined methodologies for coupling social and ecological variables. Just over half (58%) of papers measured an ecological variable, while nearly all measured a social variable. Six primary approaches linked social and ecological variables: ecological models, causal loop diagrams, quantitative correlations, separate quantitative analyses, indicators of the link, and rich narratives. We examined whether researchers developed decision-relevant recommendations and how they framed human – environment relationships. Papers with an ecological variable were more likely to make recommendations about social-ecological systems than papers with only social variables. Making strong recommendations about improving SES sustainability requires understanding the ecology of systems in relation to their social dynamics. We outline methodological linkages for ecologists and other scientists seeking to make these important connections.

Bio: Adena Rissman is an assistant professor of the Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is affiliate faculty of the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, and Agroecology program. As an environmental policy and management scholar, her research is at the boundary of human-environment interactions. She investigates conservation policy design and implementation, ecological impacts of conservation policy, and social and legal adaptation to environmental change, with a focus on forests, wildlife, water quality, and agroecosystems. Work with interdisciplinary teams funded by the National Science Foundation's Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) programs led her to a broad interest in methodological approaches for coupling social and ecological variables in research. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and her BA from the University of Texas at Austin. Before graduate school, she worked as a forest planner for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


February 12, 2015 (Thursday) 12:00-1:30 p.m. [archive stream]


"The Violence Trap: A Political-Economic Approach to the Problems of Development"


Professor Barry Weingast, Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Department of Political Science; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
(Coauthors: Gary W. Cox, Stanford University; and Douglass C. North, Washington University)


Abstract: Why do developing countries fail to adopt the institutions and policies that promote development? Our answer is the violence trap. Key political reforms—opening access and reducing rents—are typically feasible only when the domestic economy reaches a given level of complexity (for reasons we specify); yet complex economies typically can emerge only when key political reforms are already in place (for standard reasons). The interdependence of political reform and economic complexity entails violence because, as we show, unreformed polities lack adaptive efficiency. The literature sparked by Lipset's modernization thesis has operationalized "economic development" as a higher GDP per capita. Building on Steuart, we view development as creating a more complex economy whose workings will be more seriously disrupted by political violence. Empirically, we show that economic complexity (as measured by the Hidalgo-Hausmann index) strongly deters coups, even controlling for GDP per capita and level of democracy.

Bio: Barry R. Weingast is the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Department of Political Science, and a Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution. He served as Chair, Department of Political Science, from 1996 through 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Weingast's research focuses on the political foundation of markets, economic reform, and regulation. He has written extensively on problems of political economy of development, federalism and decentralization, legal institutions and the rule of law, and democracy. Weingast is co-author of Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (with Douglass C. North and John Joseph Wallis, 2009, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) and Analytic Narratives (1998, Princeton). He edited (with Donald Wittman) The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy (Oxford University Press, 2006). Weingast has won numerous awards, including the William H. Riker Prize, the Heinz Eulau Prize (with Ken Shepsle), the Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha Award (with Kenneth Schultz), and the James L. Barr Memorial Prize in Public Economics.


February 23, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"A Preliminary Report on the Strategic Plan"


Professor Lee Alston, Ostrom Workshop Director; and Addie Backlund, Consultant


March 2, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Fiscal Federalism and Legislative Malapportionment: Causal Evidence from Independent but Related Natural Experiments"


Dr. Gustavo Torrens, Department of Economics, IUB
(Coauthors: Sebastian Galiani, University of Maryland; and Iván Torre, Sciences Po)


Abstract: We exploit three natural experiments in Argentina in order to study the role of legislative malapportionment on the biased federal tax sharing scheme prevalent in the country. We do not find support to attribute it to legislative malapportionment during periods when democratic governments were in place; nor did we find any evidence that the tax sharing distribution pattern became less biased under centralized military governments. We argue that these results are attributable to two of Argentina's institutional characteristics: first, the predominance of the executive branch over the legislature; and, second, the lack of any significant difference in the pattern of geographic representation in the executive branch under democratic and autocratic governments. Thus, the observed biases in the distribution of tax revenues among the Argentine provinces are not caused by legislative malapportionment, but are instead the result of a more structural political equilibrium.

Bio: Gustavo Torrens' research centers on Political Economy and Economic Development. He is not only interested in understanding how institutions influence economic outcomes, but also the determinants of institutions and institutional change. He does theory as well as applied work, including laboratory experiments. In particular, there are three lines of research in which he has focused his work: (i) economic structure and institutions, (ii) political economy of the media industry, and (iii) political institutions and fiscal policies. He has published in Journal of International EconomicsJournal of Economic Behavior and OrganizationJournal of Public Economic Theory and Public Choice. Gustavo received his PhD in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Indiana University.


March 9, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Who Responds to U.S. News & World Report's Law School Rankings?"


Professor Jeffrey Stake, Mauer School of Law, IUB; and Professor Michael Alexeev, Department of Economics, IUB


Abstract: U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) publishes annual rankings of ABA approved law schools. The popularity of these rankings raises the question of whether they influence the behavior of law teachers, lawyers and judges, law school applicants, employers, or law school administrators. This study explores some indicia of USN&WR influence. Using data purchased from USN&WR, we attempt to determine whether USN&WR might have influenced 1) law faculty members who respond to the USN&WR survey of law school quality, 2) lawyers who respond to USN&WR surveys, 3) law school applicants choosing a school, 4) employers who hire law school graduates, and 5) administrators who set tuition. We find significant effects on the first three groups, particularly with respect to lower rank schools. That is, there may be "echo effects" of USN&WR rankings that are folded back into subsequent rankings and tend to stabilize them. We also find that rankings may exert some influence on tuition at law schools outside the top 40. We do not find evidence that employers hiring law graduates respond to changes in USN&WR rankings, either in median salaries paid or in employment percentages reported by law schools.


Jeffrey Stake's research focuses primarily on property law, but also includes topics ranging from the First Amendment and divorce law to law school grading and rankings. In addition to examining effects of rankings, he has written about steps that might be taken to mitigate some of the negative incentives created by rankings. Stake teaches Property, Wills and Trusts, and Land-Use Controls. In both his research and teaching he employs tools borrowed from economics, psychology, and biology.

Michael Alexeev's research and teaching interests lie mostly in the fields of comparative economics and economics of transition from a Soviet-type economy to a market economy. Recently he has also been interested in comparative analysis of institutions and in law and economics. In studying the economics of transition, Dr. Alexeev concentrates on the behavior of various economic agents (enterprise managers, consumers, government officials) paying special attention to informal aspects such as underground economic activities. Dr. Alexeev's research has appeared in the Journal of Economic TheoryReview of Economics and Statistics, and European Economic Review, as well as in comparative economics journals and edited volumes. Since early 1992, Dr. Alexeev, who is a native of Russia, has been actively participating in the technical assistance programs to the former Soviet Union.


March 23, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"River Basin Councils as Action Arenas: Analyzing Rules and Norms in the Lerma-Chapala River Basin Council Using the IAD Framework"


Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega, Public Administration Division, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE Region Centro, Aguascalientes, Mexico


Abstract: This paper uses Elinor Ostrom and collaborator's Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework and applies its insights to an underresearched area in the water field: sanitation policy. Water governance in Mexico has been paradigmatically driven by an internationally praised concept: integrated water resources management (IWRM). This paradigm suggests that water should be governed through multistakeholder roundtables called river basin councils. This paper uses empirical data from a cross-regional analysis of wastewater policies in five Mexican states whose territory is embedded within the Lerma-Chapala watershed to shed light on the complex network of cross-jurisdictional linkages and policy interactions around wastewater governance. To explain how policy decisions within river basins are made, I conducted an institutional ethnographic study of rules, norms and interactions within the river basin council, exploring the emergence of formal and informal governance rules. I use the Lerma-Chapala river basin council in Mexico as a case study to explain how norms, rules and interactions shape wastewater governance. The paper illuminates the complexities inherent to the politics of wastewater management in diverse urban habitats and provides fertile ground and a foundation for future research on the limitations of the river basin council model for water and wastewater governance.

Bio: Dr. Pacheco-Vega is an Assistant Professor in the Public Administration Division of the Centre for Economic Research and Teaching, CIDE (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE, AC) based out of CIDE Region Centro in Aguascalientes, Mexico. His research is interdisciplinary by nature, although he considers himself more of a political scientist and geographer, as those are the two major fields he studied during his doctorate. His research lies at the intersection of space, public policy, environment and society. He is primarily interested in understanding the factors that contribute to (or hinder) cooperation in natural resource governance. While his major focus has been sanitation, wastewater and pollution control, he is also interested in solid and hazardous waste management and urban/industrial restructuring.

He is now an affiliated faculty, and from 2006 until 2012 he was a Lecturer, in the Department of Political Science at The University of British Columbia, and affiliated faculty in the Latin American Studies Program at UBC. From January 2010 until February 2011, he also held the position of Regional Director, Western Canada, for the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) while also being CIELAP's Lead Researcher on Water and Climate Change.

He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Environmental Sciences and Studies and sits on the editorial boards of Global Environmental PoliticsWater InternationalJournal of Environmental Sciences and Studies, and URBANA: Urban Affairs and Policy Research.

His previous research projects have focused on wastewater governance, comparative environmental policy in North America, industrial restructuring, urban sustainability and environmental NGO mobilizations. More about his research interests can be found here. Hiscurrent projects include a study of the global politics of sanitation, an analysis of intractable water conflicts in Mexico, an investigation of polycentricity and its applicability to Mexican water governance, a project on the role of transnational private actors in North American environmental governance and a study of informal waste picking in Latin America.


March 25, 2015 (Wednesday)


"Civic Participation in Public Goods Provision: The Efficacy of Institutional Reforms in Kenya's Constituency Development Fund"


Kirk Harris, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, IUB


Abstract: Prior research on civil society, social capital, and civic engagement suggests that widespread participation in public life is associated with more efficient and representative public goods provision. Some of this research describes the positive effects of citizen-state "co-production" of public goods. These findings raise important policy questions about how to accomplish "co-production" without a robust and well-organized civic sector. In this context, how can state institutions create meaningful opportunities for citizens to help produce public goods? How does co-production affect citizen satisfaction with outcomes? And how does this process affect citizens' relationships with, and expectations from, the state?

This paper uses original data from interviews with over ninety civil society activists, politicians, and civil servants in several parliamentary constituencies in Kenya to evaluate the efficacy of the country's Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as a tool for promoting public participation in community development projects. Changes to the rules governing the institution since its creation in 2003, along with variation in fund management across constituencies, provide insight into which institutional arrangements are effective in facilitating public participation in the fund and which are not. This interview data also suggests that stakeholders who participate are more satisfied with outcomes, and that participation is potentially transformative, equipping citizens to engage more actively in other aspects of community life.

Bio: Kirk A. Harris is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University. He studies the politics of ethnicity, service provision, and democratic accountability in Sub-Saharan Africa. His dissertation examines how ethnicity, geography, and party politics shape the allocation of 'local' public goods like schools, clinics, and water projects in Africa — with a particular focus on how these features impact the performance of Kenya's Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This dissertation research has been funded by grants from the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University as well as a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (NSF DDRIG). Prior to graduate school, Kirk spent several years working for humanitarian relief, development, and peacebuilding organizations in the U.S. and Africa.


March 30, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Corporate Taxation and the Regulation of Early Twentieth-Century American Business"


Professor Ajay Mehrotra, Mauer School of Law, IUB
(Coauthor: Steven A. Bank, UCLA School of Law)


Abstract: In the early twentieth century, the taxation of modern business corporations became increasingly important to the development of American democracy. During that time, governments at all levels began to view business corporations not only as sources of badly needed public revenue, but also as potentially dangerous wielders of concentrated economic power. To combat the growing dominance of corporations, many fiscal reformers sought to use corporate taxation as a mode of regulatory governance. This paper explores the motives and intentions of fiscal reformers during critical junctures in the development of early twentieth-century U.S. corporate taxation. It seeks to explain how changing historical conditions shaped corporate tax law and policy. More specifically, this paper investigates why activists at certain times turned to taxation as a mode of corporate control, and why at other times they used tax policy to promote corporate growth. By focusing on the pivotal ideas and actions of key political economists, social commentators, and lawmakers, this paper attempts to answer the question: why did reformers see taxation as a viable form of public control over corporate power?

We argue that the corporate tax emerged and developed as a result of competing factions and changing social, political, and economic conditions. During the height of corporate consolidations, some reformers believed taxation could be used to control, or even reverse, the growth of corporate size and power. In the wake of corporate scandals, the government's collection and possible publicity of corporate information was seen as one specific way to regulate and discipline large-scale industrial corporations. By contrast, others saw the corporate tax as a means to encourage and foster the kind of behavior that would generate much needed economic activity and growth, especially during periods of financial crisis and economic recovery. Still others, mediating between these two extremes, sought to use the corporate tax in a supervisory capacity, while ensuring that it did not "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs." Thus, the corporate tax that developed throughout the first half of the twentieth century reflected changing visions of corporate regulation — visions that fluctuated among demands for penalty, subsidy, and neutrality.

Bio: Ajay K. Mehrotra is Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law, and Louis F. Niezer Faculty Fellow at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He is also an adjunct Professor of History at Indiana University and an Affiliated Faculty member of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. From 2007-2011, he was Co-director (with Michael Grossberg) of the Indiana University Center for Law, Society & Culture. Before arriving at Indiana University, he was a Doctoral Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. He received his BA in economics from the University of Michigan, a law degree from Georgetown, and his PhD in American history from the University of Chicago. At IU, he teaches tax law and legal history, and his research focuses on the historical relationship between taxation and American state formation. He is the author of Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). He is the co-editor (with Isaac William Martin and Monica Prasad) of The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).


April 1, 2015 (Wednesday)


Entrepreneurship, Corruption and Income Inequality


Farzana Chowdhury, Doctoral Candidate, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUB


Abstract: Income distribution varies widely across countries, the exact reason of which remains unclear and remains under investigation. In this study, we propose an alternative relationship, specifically, we propose that the level of corruption level in a country may be useful in explaining variation in income distribution through entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is well established as a contributor to economic development through employment, wealth creation and innovation. Still, entrepreneurial activity varies across countries and can be affected by the state and quality of resources related to financial institutions, financial systems and human capital. Corruption could be another important consideration because it can affect the distribution of social services, such as education and health care services, as well as access to resources by citizens in a country. Government officials are responsible for implementing public policies, and corrupt officials can use this opportunity to extract bribes, reducing public revenues for public works and cementing inefficient resource allocation. Therefore, income distribution as well as resources necessary for entrepreneurs could be affected by corruption.

We empirically investigate how entrepreneurship and corruption can affect income inequality by examining low and middle income countries of South and East Asia region during the period of 2004-2012. We include three types of entrepreneurship measures in our study—necessity, opportunity, and total early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA). We also include corruption measures from two sources—Index of Economic Freedom (IEF) and World Governance Indicators (WGI). IEF data is derived from Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. WGI measures perception of corruption captures perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain.

Our result find that necessity entrepreneurship and TEA reduces income inequality but opportunity entrepreneurship increases income inequality. When we include corruption as an interaction, necessity and TEA increase income inequality and opportunity entrepreneurship reduces income inequality.

Bio: Farzana Chowdhury is a doctoral candidate in the Public Affairs program of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) in Indiana University. Her PhD program concentrations are in Public Management and Public Finance. She holds a Master's degree in Public Affairs from SPEA, with specialization in Public Policy, Nonprofit Management, and Comparative and International Affairs. Her research interests include corruption, institutions, culture, income inequality, entrepreneurship, economic growth, and finance with regional specialization in the South and East Asia and the Central and Latin America. Her research has recently been supported by a grant from the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University.


April 6, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Fiscal Decentralization and Budget Discipline in Russia's Regions"


Professor Michael Alexeev, Department of Economics, IUB
(Coauthors: Arseniy Mamedov and Nikolay Avxentyev, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy and the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow)


Abstract: We use panel data from the Russian regions for 2005-2013 to estimate the link between intraregional fiscal decentralization and regional budget deficits. Although Russia's regions are not as autonomous in their fiscal policies as regions in some other federal states such as Switzerland or the U.S., we obtain rather robust and highly statistically and economically significant results. Most important, we show that expenditure decentralization tends to have a positive effect on consolidated regional budget balance while the weakness of regional tax base (relative to municipal one) is associated with significantly higher deficits. Also, as expected, the dependence of municipal budgets on transfers from the regional government leads to higher deficits of consolidated regional budget. We conjecture that the deficit-reducing role of expenditure decentralization is due in part to better monitoring by the citizens and more efficient handling of expenditures by officials closer to the place where the funds are spent. Also, it might be easier for the regional government to precommit to a given level of expenditures when these expenditures are allocated to municipalities, because most municipalities in Russia appear to have harder budget constraints than the regional government.

Bio: Michael Alexeev's research and teaching interests lie mostly in the fields of comparative economics and economics of transition from a Soviet-type economy to a market economy. Recently he has also been interested in comparative analysis of institutions and in law and economics. In studying the economics of transition, Dr. Alexeev concentrates on the behavior of various economic agents (enterprise managers, consumers, government officials) paying special attention to informal aspects such as underground economic activities. Dr. Alexeev's research has appeared in the Journal of Economic TheoryReview of Economics and Statistics, and European Economic Review, as well as in comparative economics journals and edited volumes. Since early 1992, Dr. Alexeev, who is a native of Russia, has been actively participating in the technical assistance programs to the former Soviet Union.


April 8, 2015 (Wednesday)


"The Public Good Nature of the Urban Forest and Implications for Management"


Shannon Watkins, PhD Student, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUB


Abstract: This paper uses the context of the urban forest to illustrate how identifying the nature of goods yields important implications for the management of natural resources. Urban trees provide an array of economic, social and environmental benefits, yet canopy cover in cities in the United States is frequently lower than desired and often decreasing. Given the public benefits of urban trees, some scholars have referred to urban trees as a public good. However, little work has given the discussion more than a few sentences and scholars disagree over the "nature of the good" for urban trees. Even less work has connected the public goods nature of the urban forest to the challenges of urban forest management or used it to inform evaluation of policy tools for urban forest management. This paper lays out the argument that the urban forest is best considered as a public good, rather than as a common pool resource. It then illustrates the implications of this argument for the health of the urban forest—without public intervention, there are fewer urban trees than is socially optimal. Finally, it discusses the implications of this argument for urban forest management, including a discussion of policy tools most suited to encourage tree planting and care. It concludes that two options offer opportunities to increase both public and private trees: grants to and coproduction with residents in planting and maintenance activities.

Bio: Shannon Lea Watkins is a doctoral candidate in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) with fields in environmental policy and policy analysis. Much of her recent research has focused on environmental justice and community engagement in urban green infrastructure development. In her dissertation, "Trees, communities, and equity: nonprofit tree planting and the coproduction of urban forests," Shannon examines the outcomes of urban nonprofit tree planting, including their influence on urban trees, neighborhoods, and equity and justice. Shannon Lea is an affiliate of the Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group (BUFRG) at the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC) where she and her colleagues examine urban systems through the perspective of social-ecological systems. Shannon Lea earned a Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil) degree in Political Science and History from the University of Pittsburgh.


April 13, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Applying Anthony Giddens' Structuration Theory to Committee Governance — Translating Theoretical Propositions into Methodological Principles"


Dr. Mark Lock, ARC Discovery Indigenous Research Fellow, School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Australia


Abstract: Anthony Giddens' Structuration Theory (AGST) holds particular challenges for researchers who want to translate theory into methodology: he yields no methodological scalpel rather leaving it to the researcher to engage with the theory. One aim of this article is to translate AGST's propositions and principles into specific methodological points for the study of committees. In so doing, another aim is reached, which is to shift the health research lens to bring into view the public administration processes (governance) as a critical part of the equation in achieving health equity for Australia's First Peoples. This translation of theory into methods has more bite because it is also coupled with a social network analysis approach to empirical data collection in field research. Therefore, in the governance equation, I see committees as the unit of analysis due to their role as integrative structures through which to achieve health system reform. I take the interlocked corporate directorate perspective from social network analysis, where committees are interlocked by co-members and then constructed as a knowledge diffusion network. Currently, there are hundreds of committees and thousands of agents (committee members) from 53 towns in a regional zone of Australia. This coupling of theory, methodology, and empirical process offers new insights into how committees can enable and constrain minority voices in Western democratic processes.

Bio: Dr. Mark J Lock: PhD - University of Melbourne; MPH, BSc (Biochemistry/Microbiology) with Honors (Nutrition) - Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle. Mark is an Ngiyampaa man and descended from British convicts and Latvian immigrants. In 2013, his team was awarded three quarters of a million (Australian) dollars for the project Aboriginal Voice Integration and Diffusion (AVID) in Public Health Collaboratives ( This article continues his process for engaging with AGST in the context of the AVID study. However, it also continues his agenda for health policy research focusing on concepts such as 'holism' (article link) and 'participation' (article link) and developing an empirical research approach to shed light on how policy concepts can be empirically analyzed.

Mark has a particular approach to the research process as evident in the social media integration strategy where the AVID study is 'online, all the time,' thus stakeholders can engage with the research through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. His philosophy is to make the research transparent and accountable but also engaging as evident through Mark's training with the International Association for Public Participation (Australasia) in order to make the research 'true and honest' for Australia's First Peoples.

He balances his research career by also training for Ironman (first race is Muskoka in Canada, August 30) and raising two young children and their dogs and turtles.


April 15, 2015 (Wednesday)


"Capabilities and Demand for Civic Engagement in the Development Policy Process: Cases from Mexico and India"


Dr. Forrest FleischmanDepartment of Ecosystem Science and Management; Texas Agrilife Research, Texas A&M University; and Dr. Claudia Rodriguez Solorzano, Department of Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College


Abstract: Scholars and practitioners of development have spent the last several decades promoting public participation as a crucial element of strategies to uplift the poor and disempowered. Few have noted the disconnect between these efforts and studies of civic engagement, which demonstrate that even in the most politically liberated societies, the vast majority of people do not engage deeply in political processes, and those that do tend to come from a narrow slice of elite interests. Much of the critique has focused on institutional design and development philosophy. While not disagreeing that institutional design and philosophy are important, in this paper we complement this with a focus on the role of individual agency in effective participatory processes. We argue that in order for participation to be effective, individuals need to feel a demand to participate, and have the skills to do so. Further, we show, drawing on case studies from India and Mexico, that individuals and groups that cultivate these skills can effectively use highly imperfect institutional designs to advance their interests. This indicates that under some circumstances, individual capabilities may be more important to the success of participatory democracy than institutional design.


Forrest Fleischman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M University, where his research focuses on the role of government officials in the implementation of environmental policies in India and the U.S. He received his PhD in public policy from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2012.

Claudia Rodriguez Solorzano is an NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability funded fellow at Dartmouth College and a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University, where her research focuses on climate adaptation, land use change, and sustainability programs in Mexico. She received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and was a visiting scholar at the Ostrom Workshop during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Paper not available

April 20, 2015 (Monday) [presentation will not be video streamed]


"Political Economy of Crony Capitalism"


Dr. Armando Razo, Department of Political Science, IUB


Abstract: The notion of "crony capitalism" pervades studies of international development with its focus on special arrangements between government and "cronies," both of which appear to enrich themselves at the expense of general populations. In fact, crony capitalism poses at least two major challenges to institutional theories about the political foundations of economic development. First, we lack a general explanation for the credibility and effectiveness of these special arrangements. Sometimes crony capitalism enables economic development, but sometimes it deteriorates into corruption and persistent underdevelopment. Second, there is a tendency to characterize these arrangements in terms of idiosyncratic factors, often conveyed with particular labels that only apply to one country, which makes it difficult to assess whether there is an underlying common logic that applies across different cases.

This paper provides a general framework to model and understand crony capitalism based on its inherently relational nature, which calls for an explicit network-analytic approach. To that effect, the paper first develops a baseline game-theoretic model of politician-business networks in weak democracies and non-democratic settings to understand relevant relational and incentive structures. The formal theory is complemented with computer modeling that measures the impact of variable network structures on predicted equilibrium outcomes that affect the overall credibility of crony capitalism arrangements. This is primarily a theoretical paper that aims to derive testable implications for future cross-country empirical work.

Bio: Professor Razo's research interests are in the field of comparative politics, with a concentration on the political economy of development. His general research and teaching interests center around two themes: (1) how political institutions in developing countries affect economic performance; and (2) the study of political institutions and political organization in non-democratic settings. He teaches courses in comparative politics, research methods, contextual and network analysis, modern political economy, and Latin American politics, among others. He serves on the Leadership Committee of the new Indiana University Network Science Institute. Current projects include the development of a linguistic corpus and ontology for comparative analysis of networks in collaboration with Markus Dickinson (IUB Linguistics), and a collaborative study of how clientelistic networks affect the provision of public services in Costa Rican local communities. He is the author of Social Foundations of Limited Dictatorship (2008), and co-author with Stephen Haber and Noel Maurer of The Politics of Property Rights (2003). He has published articles in World Politics, the Journal of Economic History, and the Journal of Latin American Studies.


April 24, 2015 (Friday)


Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Woodburn Hall 218
(Cosponsors: Department of Political Science and Ostrom Workshop)

"Revisiting The Communist Manifesto"


James Farr, Professor of Political Science; Director, Chicago Field Studies, Northwestern University


Abstract: "Revisiting The Communist Manifesto" invites us to work our way back through the historical images encrusted on the revolutionary pamphlet of 1848 in order to capture the dynamic intent of the young radical journalists, Marx and Engels. The Manifesto'srhetorical structure and assertoric propositions stand out in high relief. A supremely confident work of politics, there is nonetheless scarcely any political theory in it, save for a sketch of associational freedom foretold. Counting off some mileposts in the Anglo-liberal reception history of the Manifesto—beginning with its first English translation in 1850 and traveling along some scarcely remembered academic byways—brings the work back down to our time.

Bio: James Farr is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Chicago Field Studies Program at Northwestern University. Professor Farr teaches political theory and the history of early modern and contemporary political thought, as well as the history and philosophy of social science. He has published some sixty-five articles or chapters on Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Marx, Lieber, Dewey, Lasswell and Popper, as well as on conceptual change and on social capital. He is the coeditor of six books, including The General Will: The History of a Concept (Cambridge forthcoming) and The Cambridge Companion to the Communist Manifesto (Cambridge forthcoming). He is currently completing a series of essays on John Locke and the new world and another series on the history of American political science, emphasizing method, civic education, and the state. His presentation for the colloquium is based on the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Marx.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

April 27, 2015 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Biasing Access to Justice: A Social Psychological and Experimental Investigation of the Signaling Effect of Pro Se Status"


Dr. Victor Quintanilla, Mauer School of Law, IUB


Abstract: Over the past decade, the number of uncounseled claimants has risen sharply. For many Americans, a supply-side problem prevents access to counsel—in practice, many attorneys are financially unable to represent claimants with small, but meritorious claims. Troublingly, when claimants press their claims pro se, they fail at virtually every stage of litigation. Uncounseled claimants are less likely to receive early settlement offers and much more likely to have their case dismissed. In short, pro se claimants often fail to receive meaningful access to justice.

Civil justice researchers have posited why pro se claimants so poorly fare, including, that lawyers are more familiar with procedures; that counseled and uncounseled claimants differ demographically; and that attorneys select strong cases.

This research line harnesses social-psychological theory and methods to experimentally test an alternate hypothesis: mainly, that a claimant's pro se status itself sends a powerful, biasing signal. In the context of a claim of gender discrimination, we examine: first, the degree to which judges, jurors, and opposing counsel discount the claims of uncounseled parties; second, the extent to which this signaling effect occurs at different stages, including pre-trial negotiation, summary judgment, and trial; and third, the psychological mechanisms of this effect. Moreover, we examine the extent of this biasing effect across multiple populations: the public, law students, and lawyers.

Bio: Professor Victor D. Quintanilla joined the Maurer School of Law faculty in 2012. His research evaluates legal decision-making and jurisprudence by drawing on theory and methods within the field of social psychology. He examines how social psychological accounts of human behavior compare and contrast with assumptions about human behavior embedded within the law. His current empirical and experimental projects involve several phenomena, including implicit bias, lay theories of discrimination, implicit theories of jurisprudence, and procedural justice, and explore issues of race, gender, discrimination, and access to justice. At Indiana, he teaches Civil Procedure and Law & Social Psychology.

Quintanilla has presented his research at several academic conferences, including the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the Conference for Empirical Legal Studies (CELS), and the Law & Society Association (LSA).

Before joining the law school, Quintanilla served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, an associate of Sidley Austin LLP; a staff law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a law clerk to the Honorable Peter J. Messitte of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.