Marc L. Hutchison
| Department of Political Science | Research Page
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2014. Marc L. Hutchison. Tolerating Threat? The Independent Effects of Civil Conflict on Domestic Political Tolerance. Journal of Conflict Resolution. Paper.
Abstract: Research on civil conflict focuses primarily on identifying underlying and proximate causes while leaving many questions of subsequent social consequences unanswered. Few studies have systematically examined how these conflicts affect public opinion, especially tolerance attitudes. Additionally, cross-national comparisons reveal significant differences in political tolerance levels but few explanations accounting for this variation. In this study, I bring together these disparate literatures and demonstrate the negative, independent effects of civil conflict on political tolerance levels across 32 countries. Examining data from the 1995-1997 World Values Survey using several statistical techniques to ameliorate problems with endogeneity and multilevel data, I find that civil conflict dampens the public’s willingness to extend basic civil liberties to nonconformist groups. By assessing the extent of domestic intolerance generated by various forms of civil conflict, this study makes important contributions to existing literatures and, more importantly, identify another obstacle to sustained peace in post-conflict societies.
Marc L. Hutchison and Kristin Johnson. Inclusive Institutions and State Development in Africa: The Positive Effects of Political Reach on Social Trust. Paper.
Abstract: Few, if any, studies have empirically assessed the influence of incipient institutions on individual social trust in Africa. We argue that the political reach of a government (i.e. the extent of regulated and formal transactions) positively influences the degree of individual social trust throughout a society. Drawing from 25 Afrobarometer surveys across 17 different countries and 35,097 individuals, we estimate the effect of state-level indicators on individual attitudes using multilevel modeling techniques. Our results show that higher levels of political reach are associated with increased social trust. Further analysis reveals a stronger effect of political reach on social trust in post-conflict societies. These findings have significant implications for state building strategies focused on increasing social cohesion.
Mark Peffley, Marc L. Hutchison, and Michal Shamir. The Impact of Persistent Terrorism on Political Tolerance: Israel, 1980 to 2011.
Abstract: How do persistent terrorist attacks influence political tolerance, a willingness to extend basic liberties to one’s enemies? Studies in the U.S. and elsewhere have produced a number of valuable insights into how citizens respond to singular, massive attacks like 9/11. But they are less useful for evaluating how chronic and persistent terrorist attacks influence support for democratic values over the long haul, when political, economic and security conditions are fluctuating. Our study focuses on political tolerance levels in Israel across a turbulent thirty-year period, from 1980 to 2011, which allows us to distinguish the short-term impact of hundreds of terrorist attacks from the long-term influence of democratic longevity on political tolerance. We find that while chronic terrorism dampens political tolerance in the short-term, the long-term response in Israel is one of resilience and continued support for civil liberties in the face of ongoing threat.
Marc L. Hutchison and Kristin Johnson. Political Reach, Violence, and Individual Political Participation in Africa, 2000-2008.
Abstract: New attention has been focused on the influence of the government reach and violence on political participation in Africa following the 2011 “African Spring” occurring in a number of Northern African countries. Studies of political reach, described as the relevance of government in daily life, often focus on country or populations. However, reach of a government is difficult to operationalize and historically struggles from a lack of comparability across populations. We utilize a new non-normative and comparative measure of government influence (Johnson, Arbetman and Swaminathan 2011), Relative Political Reach, to examine the influence of political reach and violence on individual-level political participation. While some tests of this relationship exist in the literature, much of the work fails to integrate micro- and macro-level factors. By drawing from 64 Afrobarometer surveys collected from 16 different countries from 2000 to 2008 and using Hierarchical Linear Modeling to estimate the effects of temporal-specific, state-level variables on levels of individual political participation, our approach avoids many of these deficiencies. We find that high levels of political reach are associated with increased levels of individual political participation across African countries. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this effect of political reach exists independent of political violence.
Marc L. Hutchison and Kristin Johnson. Not In My Backyard: The Negative Influence of Neighboring Conflict on Democratic Attitudes and Behavior.
Abstract: Civil conflict studies often point out the externalities imposed upon neighboring countries and societies, such as refugees, transnational insurgencies, repression, and increased interstate conflict. While much of this research concentrates on how this spillover influences subsequent state behavior, less attention is given to how it may contribute to shifts in individual behavior and attitudes. Concurrently, the struggles of democracies in Africa are well documented but with insufficient explanations as to the micro-level factors influencing democratic decline. We believe the externalities of neighboring conflict and democratic instability are linked. Here we argue that the threat and externalities resulting from neighboring conflict adversely affects key democratic behavior and attitudes, particularly those related to social capital. Drawing on 44 Afrobarometer surveys from 1999 to 2006, we examine the influence of neighboring conflict and refugees on individual non-voting political participation and social trust using multilevel statistical techniques. Our results indicate that neighboring conflict and refugees have varied effects on domestic societies. We observe that conflict and refugees are associated with lower levels of participation and social trust when evaluated independently. However, we find that refugees moderate the effect of neighboring conflict on individual participation and trust in different ways.
Marc L. Hutchison and Jenifer Whitten-Woodring. The Fourth Estate vs. the Fifth Column: The Effect of Media Freedom and Social Tolerance on Domestic Conflict.
Abstract: Media freedom is typically viewed as crucial to both democracy and development. The idea is that independent news media will facilitate free and fair elections as well as shine a spotlight on corruption, thereby, improving both political competition and the business environment. Yet, political leaders often justify restricting media freedom on the grounds that irresponsible news coverage will incite political violence. Similar claims have echoed in Rwanda, Egypt, Venezuela, India and, more recently, in Hungary. So is media freedom a force for democracy or a source of domestic conflict? We hypothesize that the effect of media freedom on the likelihood of domestic conflict is conditioned in part by a country’s level of social tolerance. Specifically, we predict when social tolerance is high, media freedom will discourage domestic conflict because the tone of news coverage will tend to mirror the level of tolerance in society and ameliorate any inflammatory coverage. In contrast, we predict that low levels of social tolerance will fuel and be fueled by inflammatory news coverage if the media are free, and that this combination will promote domestic conflict. We test our hypotheses across countries and over time drawing from World Values Survey, Afrobarometer, and Global Media Freedom data.
Robynn Butler, Marc L. Hutchison, and Brian S. Krueger. The New American Non-Voter.
Abstract: For decades studies have consistently demonstrated that nonvoters and voters in the United States hold similar political preferences. Our work shows that the contemporary U.S. electorate diverges sharply from this longstanding pattern. Using a variety of opinion surveys, we show that since 2008 nonvoters’ and voters’ political preferences differ considerably, with nonvoters much more Democratic than voters. We also test the extent to which three contemporary trends or circumstances help explain this large nonvoter-voter political preference gap. The evidence suggests that the behavior and preferences of young adults and Latinos cannot account for this new political preference gap. Instead, white voters are found to be the overwhelming source of the new preference gap, with racial threat mobilization playing a key factor.
2013. Douglas M. Gibler and Marc L. Hutchison. Territorial Issues, Audience Costs, and the Democratic Peace: The Importance of Issue Salience. Journal of Politics 75(4): 879-893. Paper.
2012. Douglas M. Gibler, Marc L. Hutchison, and Steve M. Miller. Individual Identity Attachments and International Conflict: The Importance of Territorial Threat. Comparative Political Studies 45(12): 1655-1683. Paper.
2012. Kristin Johnson and Marc L. Hutchison. Hybridity, Political Order, and Legitimacy: Examples from Nigeria. Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. Paper.
2011. Marc L. Hutchison and Kristin Johnson. Capacity to Trust? Political Capacity, Conflict, and Political Trust in Africa, 2000-2005. Journal of Peace Research. 48(6): 737-752. Paper.
2011. Marc L. Hutchison. Territorial Threat and the Decline of Political Trust in Africa: A Multilevel Analysis. Polity 43(4): 432-461. Paper.
2011. Marc L. Hutchison. Territorial Threat, Mobilization, and Political Participation in Africa. Conflict Management and Peace Science 28(3): 183-208. Paper.
2007. Marc L. Hutchison and Douglas M. Gibler. Political Tolerance and Territorial Threat: A Cross-National Study. Journal of Politics 69(1): 128-142. Paper.
2005. Douglas M. Gibler, Toby J. Rider, and Marc L. Hutchison. Taking Arms Against a Sea of Troubles: Conventional Arms Races During Periods of Rivalry. Journal of Peace Research 42(2): 131-147. Paper.