109 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. Winnie Xia

      Dear all, I hope this note finds you well.

      We had a great discussion about social media and political violence today.

      For next week's reading group, I will present a reading group on anti-war protests. Attached, you will find two papers and a blog post in progress from me.

      Recently, we have seen many anti-war protests, even on our campus. However, to the best of my knowledge, there seems to be a lack of empirical or quantitative work studying this phenomenon. In my blog post, I have included some personal thoughts: What are the research questions that are not yet fully explored? How can future research build upon existing knowledge? What exactly is the concept of an anti-war protest? Are there any good data sources you are aware of, or have you read any relevant papers?

      With these questions in mind, I hope to gather some insightful thoughts from you. Additionally, we might discuss the differences between writing for an academic journal and a research blog.

      Our IR workshop will be held in room 5S.4.19. Here is the Zoom link:

      https://essex-university.zoom.us/j/94460872034 if you plan to join us remotely.

      Best wishes,



  2. Jan 2024
    1. Winnie Xia

      Dear Sara, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and suggestions regarding the literature. I hope everything goes well for you next week.

      I've been thinking the same question and think it would be great to be included in the next week's discussion: How are anti-war protests different from other forms of protest?

      I think they are distinct, perhaps categorizable as protests against issues occurring overseas. This way of thinking, at least, connects to the literature on whether international community pressure can affect (or not affect) situations in specific regions, and the mechanisms involved. Alternatively, these can be approached as diaspora protests, prompting us to think about the mobilization process, the immigrant community's network and protest entrepreneurs in their new home country. It will be great to hear other people's thoughts on this.

      Many thanks in advance for insights from all of you.

      Best wishes,



    1. Echoes of Peace: Understanding the Dynamics ofGlobal Anti-War Protests

      Dear Winnie,

      Thank you for sharing these interesting papers as well as your draft blog post. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the workshop next week due to a medical appointment, but I wanted to share some thoughts on this topic that I hope can be helpful for the discussion. I very much enjoyed today's reading group and think it is a very nice format!

      The Vietnan War spurred a great deal of anti-war protests in the US and elsewhere. There is literature on Vietnam war protests and mobilization that can provide important insights into the topic you are interested in. How are anti-war protests different from other types of protests? Do we need to study these separately or can we apply a more general theoretical model to understand this phenomenon? Given the examples you mention in the blog post, what are the political impacts, if any, of anti-war protests (both on the conflict county and in the country where the protests occur)? The topic of political protests straddles disciplines and subfields. Another relevant literature comes from sociology and focuses on social movements (see, e.g. the work of Donatella della Porta)

      I hope you all have a productive discussion next week!




  3. Nov 2023
    1. H2a: Affiliating with AQ increases an affiliate’s use of terrorism

      Since AQ has longer history, could it be due to larger local terrorist groups have affiliated with AQ so left smaller one to affiliate with IS?

      Could it be possible control the terrorist groups affiliated with AQ or IS after 2014?

    2. We present reasons why affiliation with AQ inparticular should lead to more violence, while affiliation with IS offers a less clearrelationship

      Looks to me it makes more sense to focus on the different effects of affiliation between AQ and IS.

    3. Conflict dynamics are influenced by patterns of relationships among non-stateactors.

      What distinct your research since similar research has been done and three possible outcomes have been argued?

    4. Affiliation with IS is not robustlyassociated with a change in violence.
      1. Only works for AQ?
      2. How about those without affiliation with external networks?
      3. How to distinguish whether they affiliate or not? Is it supposed to be secretive?


    1. conservative or traditionalist political ideologies and favour authoritarian gover-nance structures


      1. Majority or minority?

      2. Choose policy or elect candidates? Who propose the policy? Is there a candidate from their own ethnicity?

      3. The correlation between conservative, traditionalist and authoritarian? Should it be left vs. right?


    1. Why do criminal groups provide public goods and services to civilians in Mexico?
      1. Who are the main victims of the criminal groups? Local or remote? if main victims are remote, local provision of public goods might gain support from local communities, even from local government.
      2. Scale of size of the criminal groups: To provide public goods, they have to be big enough; if they are big enough, they need internal governance as well and public goods provision might be a good approach of internal governance. Otherwise, members of the criminal groups might ask for troubles in their spare time.
      3. Could be a way to laundry money?
      4. The relationship with government authority: competitive, cooperation, or dominant?
      5. Who pays the bill? Local residents or profits that criminal groups gained somewhere else?
      6. Would it make more sense: Why do some criminal groups provide public goods but others do not?


  4. Oct 2023
    1. no two democracies are alike, nor are any twoautocracies, monarchies, or juntas.

      Very true!

    2. The Emperor, therefore, was their sole support andthey lived or died, rose or fell, entirely by his favour.

      Unfortunately, this is not true. Eunuchs were not more loyal at all. They killed many emperors.

    3. He is especially concernedabout coming to power because if he fails, having once challenged theincumbent, in our model he is eliminated from the prospective futurerole of challenger.

      This is an unreasonable assumption either in democracies or in autocracies.

    4. she will always form the cheapest coalition possible.

      The issue is that is not easy to price. There is no such free market to find the price.

    5. her current supporters understand that they willcontinue to receive private benefits as long as they remain loyal.

      That's not always the case either.

    6. The inability ofthe challenger to guarantee that the prospective defectors will alwaysbe members of his winning coalition is a substantial advantage forthe incumbent leader.

      Incumbent advantage.

    7. Unfortunately for the challenger, such a promise lacks long-termcredibility.

      However, this is not the key point. The issue is that you cannot discuss it without cost. It's not like a bargain in a free market where you just leave without any negative effect if you fail to make a deal with each other.

    8. nomenklatura


    9. within the “rules” or norms of transition inthe existing system

      This excludes non-democratic countries.

      Of course, in some forms of gov- ernment the standard rules or norms for transitions include coup d’état, execution, and the like, so that the theory is not restricted to orderly transitions.

      This is confusing: how come disorderly transitions are counted as "within the 'rules'"?

    10. leader or leadership

      those who have the authority to raise taxes and allocate government funds to pursue chosen policies, including private uses of the monies as well as uses aimed at the general welfare.

    11. Because of the loyalty norm, leaders who rely on a broad-basedcoalition to remain in office cannot keep their supporters from defect-ing to a rival by offering substantial private benefits.

      This is different in totalitarian countries where there are no such thing as rivals.

      In totalitarian countries, the concept of rivals doesn't exist.

    12. Leopold II

      Very good example.

    13. Why, if oppression is the solution to political longevity, are therelong-lasting autocrats who avoid extreme oppressiveness and who,instead, provide peace and prosperity? Lee Kwan Yew held power inSingapore for twenty-six years before voluntarily stepping aside.

      Good point and good examples.

    14. We take as axiomatic that everyonein a position of authority wants to keep that authority and that it is themaneuvering to do so that is central to politics in any type of regime.

      I don't think it is central to politics in any type of regime.

    15. The politics behind survival in office is,we believe, the essence of politics.

      That's not true in democratic countries which shift leaders on a fixed and frequent schedule.

    16. What leads to the selection and maintenance of democracyin some places, autocracy in others, military juntas in still others, whileothers choose monarchy or some other form of governance?

      If you have to say "choose", it is not the choice of all people, but few in power.

    17. the Bolshevik revolutionaries in Russia

      This is not a good example. It was not the people's option. They are forced by power.


    1. Authoritarian rulers often establish narrow institutions, such as consultativecouncils, juntas, and political bureaus, as a first institutional trench againstthreats from rivals within the ruling elite. But we claim that when they needto neutralize threats from larger groups within society and to solicit thecooperation of outsiders, autocrats frequently rely on nominally democra-tic institutions. Specifically, partisan legislatures incorporate potentialopposition forces, investing them with a stake in the ruler’s survival. Bybroadening the basis of support for the ruler, these institutions lengthen his 1tenure.

      So this paper focused on the threat from outsiders.

    2. Mao ruled over China for 33 years,and each was responsible for millions of deaths

      Where did you get the 33 years?

  5. Sep 2023
    1. 以前常把这诗解释为“民间情歌”,恐怕不对头,它所描绘的应该是贵族阶层的生活。


    2. Le 之还是 yue 之?

  6. Mar 2023

      good dataset.

    1. On the one hand

      This is a test for CanDoSo.


  7. Nov 2022
    1. a survey conducted in east Asia found that 57% of thechildren had volunteered

      East Asia?


    1. three institutional options

      What are other two options?

    2. Presidential term limits are often the first casualty of authoritarian backsliding,and in many jurisdictions have been extended or abolished entirely throughconstitutional amendments” (Choudhry and Bisarya 2014: 190)

      Authoritarian backsliding.

    3. When undemocratic practicespersisted, the AU elaborated various norms and set up an increasingly robustenforcement and sanctioning apparatus on unconstitutional changes of gov-ernment (Vandeginste 2013).

      This is a great mechanism. But, does it work?

    4. the issue of a presidential term limit was raised by one speaker.

      Only one speak, just like the case in Russia in 1993.

    5. In theFifth Republic, no president was re-elected more than once before the intro-duction of term limits in 2008.

      What about Mitterrand?

    6. 1 December 1991

      But it announced the independence on 16 December 1991. How?

    7. The current political landscape of Kazakhstan bears strikingsimilarities to postcolonial African “imperial presidencies” (Prempeh 2008)

      Prempeh, Kwasi H. 2008. ‘Presidential Power in Comparative Perspective: The Puzzling Persistence of Imperial Presidency in Post-Authoritarian Africa.’ Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 35(4): 761–834.

    8. there is no turnover in power of the regime.

      the term limits that take place in authoritarian regimes constitute leadership turnover that takes place within the regime itself, or restrictions to the tenure of the president/leader.

    9. Fixed terms will continue and the 2018 consti-tutional change only meant that the top leader would be able to serve morethan two, but certainly not infinite, life-long terms.



    1. If a third party agreed to enforcethe terms of a peace treaty, negotiations always succeeded regardless of the initialgoals, ideology, or ethnicity of the participants.

      Not in Chinese Civil War between 1947-1949.


    1. In the absence of a supreme authoritythere is then the constant possibility that conflicts will be settled

      What to define "constant possibility"?

    1. eligious repression fosters regime support and weakens group identityby inducing risk-averse behavioral response at the individual level and eliminating in-termediate entities that carry out the transmission of cultural attitudes at the grouplevel.

      It could not foster support for regime, but the fear of the regime.


    1. it is sometimesdifficult in a crisis to determine who is the troublemaker and who is the victim.1

      Nonsense. It is normally obvious that who is the troublemaker.

  8. Oct 2022
    1. As applied to term limits, such asurvey suggests that constitutional changes away from extremely strict one-termlifetime limits should generally be allowed but that judges have strong normativegrounding to place limits on attempts to eliminate or radically ease presidentialterm limits, and that even very strict term limits should not themselves be struckdown as a UCA.

      What's point?

    2. Rafael Correa recently tried a version of this in Ecuador. Seeking a thirdterm, he obtained a constitutional amendment in 2015 removing constitutionalterm limits, on the promise that he would step down for a term in 2017. AfterCorrea’s handpicked successor Lenin Moreno assumed the presidency, he calleda referendum that reinstated term limits in early 2018.

      This is a special case which the overstayer steps down voluntarily.

    3. These executives are remarkably successful, and their “battingaverage” in the attempts is something like 80 percent.

      80%! That is something.

    4. For example,China’s abolition of term limits in the Constitution will likely allow Xi Jinpingto remain president for a very long time, but he will be subject to re-election bythe Chinese People’s Congress every five years.

      The author is so naive.

    5. as ofJanuary 2017, 72 percent of presidential constitutions had executive term limitsas against 3 and 4 percent for the upper and lower houses, respectively.

      useful data.

    6. Upon hearing a rule, one knows what one is supposed to do (or at least,what the rule says one is supposed to do). But upon hearing a principle, one knowsboth what one is supposed to do and why.

      This is so clear.

    7. However, we can rely on previous estimatesindicating that between 20 and 30 per cent of presidents extend the term in oneway or the other (Baturo 2014: 148; Ginsburg, Melton, and Elkins 2011: 1845).

      This is great information.

    8. “the debate about term limits is the trade-offbetween the possibility of dictatorial takeover and restriction of democraticchoice.


    9. The institution of term limitscan be understood as the dependent variable, as the explanatory variable, as afocal point, and as an indicator—a tripwire.
      1. focal point
      2. indicator-tripwire


    1. Empirical Analysis

      反送中: Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement

      Movement led by women is more likely non-political, so more likely to be peaceful.

    2. he female group are more united, comparing with men

      Any supportive evidence for this argument?


    1. Why do voters support poli-ticians who undermine democracy?

      Good questions.


    1. I refer to theprobability that an existing democracy will survive long enough to consolidate as theconsolidation odds and find that, on average, only about 1 in 3 democracies can expect todo so at the time of their transition.

      1 in 3

    2. Huntington’s two-turnover testand Gasiorowski’s twelve-year threshold

      Is it a good index? Doubtful!


    1. when term-limitextensions are only short term and the incumbent stepsdown immediately thereafter (e.g. Brazil 1988, orComoros 2009).

      stepped down voluntarily or by force

    2. We define an incumbent takeover as an event perpetuatedby a ruling executive that significantly reduces the formaland/or informal constraints on his/her power.

      Perpetuated or Perpetrated?

    3. However, weare able to account for takeovers in such contexts byfirst using the removal of term limits as an observablemanifestation of expansion of incumbent power,

      This is great.


    1. State Repression

      Treat it as number?

    2. the leading actor

      Which means there is a leading actor, which is ambivalent with the organization level(spontaneous or well planned).

      Maybe "main participants"?

    3. relevant control variables

      How about the time (how long does the event last), size (how many participants)

    4. ed by the female (1), or not (0)

      Could be dintinguished? How much is led by female?

    5. 1) Dissidents; 2) Employed; 3) Youth; 4) Civil Societies; 5) Political Opposition;6) Ethno-Religious Minorities; 7) Armed Forces

      They are intertwined with each other.

    6. his paper argues that the use of violenceby protesters depends on the actor mobilisation experience.

      Main Argument: * iolence is more extensively used in protest events led by actors with limited mobilization capacity, and weakly connected.


  9. Sep 2022
    1. Second, many post–Cold War transitions were rooted more inthe weakness of incumbent governments than in the strength, strategies, ormobilization of opposition forces

      A corruptive government is more critical.

      So, should we wait for the complete corruption of CCP?


    1. facial-recognition software


    2. “picking quarrels and provokingtroubles”


    3. five-hundred Confucius Institutes in foreign universities and other institu-tions.

      So many?

    4. hostile for-eign forces


    5. hide our light and nurture our strength



    1. the middle class is likelyto support some form of extremism.

      That's right.

    2. Chinese middle class is not exceptional at all.

      Totally agree. It is not that Chinese middle class, or Chinese people is exceptional, but CCP is such an exceptional regime.

    3. China is where they live and want to live;the Chinese regime is the regime that China has; and the regime’s truthis the truth they are prepared to live with.

      Brilliant observation and depiction.

    4. The Chinese middle class has no such associational life. The govern-ment outlaws organizations that might compete with the official top-down youth, women’s, and labor “mass organizations.”


    5. about 57 percent of the population

      Based on a definition of the Asian middle class as those with consumption expenditures of $2 to $20 per person per day in 2005 PPP$, which counts more than 800-million Chinese as middle-class in 2005.

      Are you kidding? $2 -$20 per day!

    6. For example, in the2008 Asian Barometer Survey (ABS), which samples the entire popu-lation (both urban and rural) except for Tibet, when respondents wereasked to place themselves on a ten-step ladder from the lowest to thehighest status group in society, 58.2 percent ranked themselves in themiddle positions, 5 through 7.

      Interesting! Most people are quite satisfied with their status.

      Note that this survey is taken in 2008.


  10. Feb 2022
    1. 1

      Note: 1. Eighty-four percent of autocracies from 1946 to 2010 had a ruling party (Cheibub, Gandhi, and Vreeland 2010), and 57 percent of these parties failed to outlive the founding leader (Meng 2019).

    2. 2

      Note: 2. I use the terms “authoritarian regime” and “dictatorship” synonymously. I also use the terms “dictator,” “authoritarian leader,” and “president” interchangeably.

  11. Jan 2022
    1. I claim that constitutional rules thatdesignate a formal successor play a critical role in promoting peaceful leadershiptransitions in dictatorships

      to designate a formal successor

    2. Figure 1. Autocratic leadership transitions, 1946 to 2014.

      peaceful vs. unpeaceful power transitions:

      From 1946 to 2014, only 44 percent of autocratic leadership transitions were peaceful and resulted in the continuation of the regime after the departure of the incumbent.

    3. regimes that formally designate the vice president asthe successor are more likely to undergo peaceful transitions

      leadership succession, authoritarian regime, constitutional rules, Africa

    1. 1.1 Bernoulli distribution

      $$ Y \sim f_{B}(y ; \theta)= \begin{cases}\theta^{y}(1-\theta)^{1-y} & \forall y \in\{0,1\} \\ 0 & \text { otherwise }\end{cases} $$



    2. 1.6 conclusion

      The key innovation in the likelihood framework is treating the observed data as fixed and asking what combination of probability model and parameter values are the most likely to have generated these specific data.

    3. maximum likelihood: general

      General Steps

      • Step 1: Express the joint probability of the data.
      • Step 2: Convert the joint probability into a likelihood.
      • Step 3: Use the chosen stochastic and systematic components to specify a probability model and functional form.
      • Step 4: Simplify the expression by first taking the log and then eliminating terms that do not depend on unknown parameters.
      • Step 5: Find the extrema of this expression either analytically or by writing a program that uses numerical tools to identify maxima and minima.
    4. Definition 1.1 (Sum of squared errors (SSE))

      $$ \mathrm{SSE}=\sum_{i=1}^{n}\left[y_{i}-\left(\beta_{0}+\beta_{1} x_{i}\right)\right]^{2} $$

      $$ \begin{aligned} &\hat{\beta}_{0}=\bar{y}-\hat{\beta}_{1} \bar{x} \\ &\hat{\beta}_{1}=\frac{\sum_{i=1}^{n}\left(y_{i}-\bar{y}\right)\left(x_{i}-\bar{x}\right)}{\sum_{i=1}^{n}\left(x_{i}-\bar{x}\right)^{2}} \end{aligned} $$

    5. 1.4 Gaussian (normal) distribution


      is distributed iid normal with mean $$μ_i$$ and variance$$σ^2$$

      $$ Y \sim f_{\mathcal{N}}(y ; \boldsymbol{\theta})=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi \sigma^{2}}} \exp \left[-\frac{(y-\mu)^{2}}{2 \sigma^{2}}\right] $$

    6. Rather than consider the data as random and the parameters asfixed, the principle of maximum likelihood treats the observed data as fixedand asks: “What parameter values are most likely to have generated thedata?”

      maximum likelihood:

      The MLEs are those that provide the density or mass function with the highest likelihood of generating the observed data.

    7. 1.3 Bias and mean squared error

      Let $$T(X)$$ be an estimator for $$\theta$$. The bias of $$T(X)$$, denoted $$\operatorname{bias}(\theta)$$, is $$ \operatorname{bias}(\theta)=\mathrm{E}[T(X)]-\theta $$ The mean squared error, $$\operatorname{MSE}(\theta)$$, is given as $$ \begin{aligned} \operatorname{MSE}(\theta) &=\mathrm{E}\left[(T(X)-\theta)^{2}\right] \ &=\operatorname{var}(T(X))+\operatorname{bias}(\theta)^{2} \end{aligned} $$

    8. 1.2 Binomial distribution

      $$ \begin{aligned} X & \sim f_{b}(x ; n, p) \\ \operatorname{Pr}(X=k) &=\left\{\begin{array}{lll} \left(\begin{array}{l} n \\ k \end{array}\right) p^{k}(1-p)^{n-k} & \forall & k \in\{0, \ldots, n\} \\ 0 & \forall & k \notin\{0, \ldots, n\} \end{array}\right. \end{aligned} $$

      where $$\left(\begin{array}{l}n \ k\end{array}\right)=\frac{n !}{k !(n-k) !}$$ and with $$\mathrm{E}[X]=n p$$ and $$\operatorname{var}(X)=n p(1-p) $$ The Bernoulli distribution is a binomial distribution with $$n=1$$.

    9. The value of θ that the maximizes the likelihood function is called the maximumlikelihood estimate

      Definition of MLE.

    10. 4.2 Mixture distribution/mixturemodel

      $$ f\left(x ; w_{j}, \boldsymbol{\theta}_{j}\right)=\sum_{j=1}^{J} w_{j} g_{j}\left(x ; \boldsymbol{\theta}_{j}\right) $$

      $$ \mathcal{L}\left(w_{j}, \boldsymbol{\theta}_{j} \mid \mathbf{x}\right)=\prod_{i=1}^{n}\left[\sum_{j=1}^{J} w_{j} g_{j}\left(x_{i} ; \boldsymbol{\theta}_{j}\right)\right] $$

    11. Definition 4.1 (Profile Likelihood)

      $$ \begin{aligned} \mathcal{L}_{p}\left(\boldsymbol{\theta}_{1}\right) & \equiv \max _{\boldsymbol{\theta}_{2}} \mathcal{L}\left(\boldsymbol{\theta}_{1}, \boldsymbol{\theta}_{2}\right) \\ & \equiv \mathcal{L}\left(\boldsymbol{\theta}_{1}, \hat{\boldsymbol{\theta}}_{2}\left(\boldsymbol{\theta}_{1}\right)\right) . \end{aligned} $$

    12. 4.1 Uniform distribution

      Uniform distribution: $$ f(x)= \begin{cases}\frac{1}{b-a} & x \in[a, b] \ 0 & \text { otherwise }\end{cases} $$ $$E[x]={a+b\over2}$$ $$var(X)={(b-a)^2\over12}$$



    1. Central Limit Theorem

      the Central Limit Theorem tells us the sampling distribution of X̄ is closely approximated to a normal distribution.

    2. the sample standard deviation S

    3. standard error

    4. Generally, bootstrap involves the following steps:
      1. A sample from population with sample size n.
      2. Draw a sample from the original sample data with replacement with size n, and replicate B times, each re-sampled sample is called a Bootstrap Sample, and there will totally B Bootstrap Samples.
      3. Evaluate the statistic of θ for each Bootstrap Sample, and there will be totally B estimates of θ.
      4. Construct a sampling distribution with these B Bootstrap statistics and use it to make further statistical inference, such as:
        • Estimating the standard error of statistic for θ.
        • Obtaining a Confidence Interval for θ.