Seeing Red: How anger increases turnout in gerrymandered districts*
In this paper I find that when a person is advantaged by suppressive district lines, they are less likely to participate and even feel enthusiastic about their advantage. For those targeted by suppressive lines, they experience heightened senses of anger and choose to turnout more. Interestingly, partisanship does not seem to matter when we consider the effects of being advantaged by institutional suppression.
Playing (Un)Fair to Win: A New Measure of Democratic Attitudes for Survey Research (With Sam Fuller)*
In this research note, we aim to understand how individuals’ own senses of fairness interact with their level of partisan identity and influence support for undemocratic policies. One challenge to survey research about democratic attitudes is the prevalence of social normative bias. In order to sidestep this challenge, we present a novel measure of individual preferences about fairness and cheating in sports. Following this new battery, we then ask respondents to choose from a menu of democratic and undemocratic policies surrounding legislative redistricting. We find that those who accept cheating in sports are more likely to choose legislative maps that produce undemocratic outcomes. Our findings are robust. The results have significant implications for understanding the psychological underpinnings of support for policies that undermine or reinforce democracy.
Counterfactual Apportionment: The effects of malapportionment in hybrid regimes with evidence from Malaysia. (With Daniel Magleby)*
In this paper, we relay on a computer-generated algorithm to pinpoint malapportionment (gerrymandering) in Malaysia. We show how politics of excluding the ethnic-Chinese and Indian vote have led to the systematic over-weighting of ethnic-Malay votes.
Angry White Parents: How Emotions Mobilize Participation in Local School Board Politics (With Francy Luna Diaz and Zoe Walker)*
In this project, we find that attention to teaching about white privilege in schools matters when it induces anger in respondents. We test this theory through a novel survey experiment fielded with YouGov in the spring of 2023. We find that anger is a significant conditioning factor explaining white participation in local school board politics when we cue race.
“Angry Ballots: The role of emotions in decisions to mobilize in the face of voter suppression”*
In this paper, I present a theory of emotions and political participation in undemocratic electoral institutions. Through a novel survey experiment, I find that when people learn they are being targeted by electoral suppression they participate more when they experience anger; while those who benefit from the same suppression are more likely to be enthusiastic about it and stay home. I also test this theory through a difference-in-difference design and find that the longer the line a voter waited in during the 2020 Georgia Senatorial election, the greater the likelihood of that person turning out in the follow-up runoff a month later.
Emotion and mobilization in illiberal regimes: A case study in Malaysian electoral politics
In this project I test my theory of the effects undemocratic institutions and electoral behavior in Malaysia. To show how voter participation hinges on emotion and a person's respective institutional (dis)advantage, this project implements a survey experiment gauging citizen response to the effects of malapportionment, endemic in Malaysian electoral politics. I theorize that those who are advantaged (e.g. ethnic Malay and rural dwellers) will not experience anger and will be less likely to engage in activities to make elections more fair when they learn of their institutional advantage. On the other hand, those disadvantaged (e.g. urban Chinese) by the same undemocratic institution will experience anger and increase their engagement. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation's Dissertation Improvement Grant and based on field interviews and a survey experiment in August of 2023.
Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, July 2023