Workshop: Women’s Political Inequality in Poland and Ukraine

We announce the workshop, “Women’s Political Inequality in Poland and Ukraine: Theory Statements and Empirical Research,” on April 23, 2019 at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN), Warsaw, Poland (Pałac Staszica, Nowy Świat 72, Warsaw, Room 154).

This one-day workshop brings together scholars of Poland and Ukraine on women’s political inequality. Scholars will present and discuss studies on women’s political participation and the representation of women in government, including women’s presence in parliament and the representation of their interests.

The workshop will focus on (a) theory, methods, and results of original research on women’s political inequality in Poland and Ukraine; (b) challenges of conducting empirical research on the subject; and (c) networking and discussing possibilities of international co-operation. Presentations will be in English.

This workshop is funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (2017/25/N/HS6/01174), “Impact of Party Ideology and Parliamentarian Biography on Legislative Action on War, Corruption and Inequality in Ukraine.” The Principle Investigator of the grant and the workshop organizer is Nika Palaguta, PhD candidate at the Graduate School for Social  Research,  IFiS PAN.

Workshop on Women’s Political Inequality in Poland and Ukraine PROGRAM

Workshop on Women’s Political Inequality in Poland and Ukraine TITLES AND ABSTRACTS

 

 

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Interview with Gwangeun Choi on Economic and Political Inequality in Cross-national Perspective

Gwangeun Choi presented the paper, “The Link between Economic and Political Inequality in Cross-National Perspective” at the Politics and Inequality conference held in Warsaw, Poland in December 2018.

Dr. Choi recently received a PhD in Government at the University of Essex in the UK. His research interests are in the areas of democracy, quality of democracy, political inequality, economic inequality, perceived inequality, redistributive preferences, redistribution, and universal basic income. His latest article, “Revisiting the Redistribution Hypothesis with Perceived Inequality and Redistributive Preferences” appeared at the European Journal of Political Economy (2019).

We asked Gwangeun Choi for an extended abstract of his Politics and Inequality conference paper and, via email, some questions about his research. We are thankful for his positive and detailed response.

Extended Abstract by Gwangeun Choi

It is widely believed that there exists a debilitating feedback cycle linking economic and political inequality. However, there has been a lack of empirical evidence about this association, particularly, in cross-national comparative research. It is largely because cross-national measures of political inequality are underdeveloped. To fill this gap, this study introduces the Political Inequality Index (PII) and the Political Power Inequality Index (PPII). The PII is composed of the two dimensions: participation and representation, which are based on the reconceptualization of political inequality from the perspective of a middle-range conception. The PPII comes from the indicators that measure the distribution of political power across socioeconomic position, social group, and gender, which the Varieties of Democracy provides. This inquiry then investigates the two-way causal relationship between economic and political inequality. In the first causal direction, net income inequality is used as a proxy for economic inequality, while in the reverse causal linkage political inequality is supposed to influence market income inequality and redistribution separately, as income inequality is considered as an outcome of the two different distributive stages. In doing so, both causal directions between economic and political inequality are integrated into a unified framework. With respect to estimation techniques, a system GMM estimator for a dynamic panel data model, which is an increasingly popular estimation method, is mainly used to address the issue of endogeneity. The findings show that net income inequality does not significantly affect political inequality and that political inequality appears to have little impact on market income inequality, while political inequality seems to contribute to economic inequality by influencing redistribution in a negative direction.

Interview

The research you presented at the Politics and Inequality conference was on the relationship between political inequality and economic inequality in cross-national perspective. How did you get interested in this topic? And how is this topic connected to other research that you are doing?

I first became interested in a concept ‘political equality’ while I was doing research on the quality of democracy. In my framework designed to conceptualize and measure the level of democracy, political equality was one of the three core principles of democracy. Thus, it was easy for me to construct a new measure of political inequality, building on this framework. The next step was to investigate the reciprocal relationship between economic inequality and political inequality, as I realized that there is a lack of empirical evidence on this linkage although no one seems to doubt the widespread belief of the vicious cycle between economic and political inequality.

What is most challenging about measuring political inequality, and why?

I think that the most challenging part is to provide convincing theoretical arguments on the conceptualization of political inequality. Measuring the quality of democracy is also faced with the same issue. My study on democracy and political inequality and several other studies attempting to measure them with relatively thick concepts reached a consensus in excluding both minimalist and maximalist approaches. However, this does not guarantee that the majority of scholars agree with a specific middle-range concept of democracy or political inequality. This is therefore a more pressing issue than a range of measurement problems.

Continue reading “Interview with Gwangeun Choi on Economic and Political Inequality in Cross-national Perspective”

Interview with Constantin Manuel Bosancianu on Party–Voter Ideological Congruence and Socioeconomic Biases in Representation

Constantin Manuel Bosancianu, of WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany, presented the paper, “Party–Voter Ideological Congruence and Socio-Economic Biases in Representation: OECD over the Past 5 Decades” at the Politics and Inequality conference held in Warsaw, Poland in December 2018.

Constantin Manuel Bosancianu is a postdoctoral researcher in the “Institutions and Political Inequality” unit at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). He focuses on the intersection of political economy and electoral behavior: how to measure political inequalities between citizens of both developed and developing countries, and what the linkages between political and economic inequalities are. Dr. Bosancianu received his PhD in 2007 from the Central European University, Budapest, with a dissertation on how the dynamics of party ideological shifts, economic inequality, and individual political participation unfold over time. He is interested in statistics, data visualization, and the history of Leftist parties. In the past, Dr. Bosancianu taught or assisted with teaching methods courses at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Winter and Summer Methods Schools, University of Heidelberg or University of Gießen, with a focus on regression analysis, R, Bayesian analysis, and multilevel modelling.

We asked Constantin Manuel Bosancianu for an extended abstract of his Politics and Inequality conference paper and, via email, some questions about his research. We are thankful for his positive and detailed response.

Extended Abstract

Disparities in political representation between socio-economic groups, if perpetuated over time, can lead to growing disenchantment with the political process, dropout from political life, and even the appearance of new political movements that challenge representative institutions (Taggart, 2002). Starting with the early investigations of Gilens (2005, 2009, 2012) for the US context, a series of analyses have found disparities in political representation across a larger number of consolidated democracies (Elsässer, Hense, & Schäfer, 2018; Giger, Rosset, & Bernauer, 2012; Peters & Ensink, 2015; Rosset, Giger, & Bernauer, 2013; Rosset, 2013). Despite the consistent results, we continue to have very limited knowledge about the causes and mechanisms for these disparities.

This analysis probes into this issue. By relying on an original data set of merged voter studies in 30 OECD countries, going as far back in time as the 1960s and 70s, I compute a measure of ideological congruence between voters and political parties. Called the Earth Mover’s Distance (Lupu, Selios, & Warner, 2017), it is based on citizens’ self-placement on a standard Left-Right axis, as well as their placement of parties on the same scale (Powell Jr., 2009). By relying on voters’ perceptions of parties rather than legislator self-placements (Lupu & Warner, 2018), my data overcomes the potential flaw of different understandings of “Left” and “Right” between people and political elites. This measure of congruence is then used to ascertain: (1) if representation gaps between voters at the opposite end of the socio-economic spectrum are found in my sample, and (2) whether the gaps in representation are associated with a demand-side characteristic (disparities in political participation between the same socio-economic groups) or a supply-side factor (party ideological changes over time).

Preliminary findings do little to dispel the mystery surrounding the causes of unequal representation for poorer citizens, though they conclusively establish that such a gap exists. They furthermore establish that overall quality of representation is associated with disparities in participation: contexts where turnout between income groups is more unequal have worse overall representation of income groups. However, even when relying on a measure of participation disparities generated from individual-level data, no clear association exists between disparities in political voice and gaps in representation between income groups. Neither do party-system dynamics appear to explain the disparity in ideological convergence between income groups. Though inconclusive, the findings confirm those of Lupu and Warner (2018) and will hopefully spur the focus on additional mechanisms to explain the relative disadvantage in representation that poorer citizens are faced with.

Interview

The research you presented at the Politics and Inequality conference was on party–voter congruence. How did you get interested in this topic? And is this topic connected to other research that you are doing?

The interest in political representation, for which party-voter ideological congruence is one proxy, came about through my focus on understanding how to measure the facets of political inequality between individuals and groups. For the past few years I have been interested in disparities in political voice between individuals and groups—aspects such as turnout, non-electoral participation, or political efficacy. These are shaped by individual resource endowments, which naturally generate inequalities in voice. This is only part of the story, though. Another part is how disparities in voice and political influence are shaped by systemic features pertaining to, say, the electoral system or party system configurations. Some of Orit Kedar’s work is an excellent example of this, as is that of Karen L. Jusko. My own attempts refer to another feature of the system: the distribution of parties along a Left–Right ideological dimension.

Continue reading “Interview with Constantin Manuel Bosancianu on Party–Voter Ideological Congruence and Socioeconomic Biases in Representation”

Interview with Jan Falkowski on Political Power and Land Inequality in Poland

Jan Falkowski, of the University of Warsaw, Poland, recently presented a paper, “Do Political and Economic Inequalities Go Together? Mayors’ Turnover, Elite Families and the Distribution of Agricultural Land” at the Politics and Inequality conference held in Warsaw, Poland.

Jan Falkowski is an Assistant Professor with the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Chair of Political Economy. His primary research interests are in the impact of institutions and politics on economic processes, and the reciprocal influence of economic conditions on institutional environment and political life. His paper, “Promoting Change or Preserving the Status Quo? The Consequences of Dominating Local Politics By Agricultural Interests” was published in Land Use Policy (2017), and his paper with Grażyna Bukowska  and Piotr Wójcik, “The Political Power of Large‐Scale Farmers and Land Inequality: Some Evidence from Poland,” was just published by Sociologia Ruralis (2018).

We asked Jan Falkowski some questions about his research.

The research you presented at the Politics and Inequality conference was on the economic impact of the distribution of political power. How did you get interested in this topic? And how is this topic connected to other research that you are doing?

The interlinkage between  political and economic power has always been of interest to me. Looking at the connection between political and economic inequalities seemed to me as a natural consequence of studying the former relationship since the distribution of power and the distribution of resources (be it political or economic) are closely related.

In this paper, you use an original dataset. Please briefly describe these data and why they are well-suited for your research.

Measuring economic inequality poses some difficulties as people are typically not so willing to share with others detailed information on how much wealth they have. We needed therefore to overcome this problem or, at least, to try to do so. We discovered that it should be possible to achieve this goal by looking at a specific, but coherent, part of the population, namely farmers. What we do in the paper is we take advantage of the fact that in Poland the information on those who received agricultural subsidies is public. So it is possible to gather, at the individual level, the information on how much money a given person received in the form of the so-called direct payments. In the system that Poland uses to subsidize farmers, direct payments are granted to farmers based on a national flat rate per eligible hectare, and – contrary to what we observe in many other EU Member States – they do not depend on the historical reference period. Thus, the distribution of direct payments at the municipality level can serve as a good approximation of land use distribution. This, in turn, can be used to measure the distribution of wealth.  Obviously, the shortcoming is that it can serve as a good approximation of wealth distribution only in rural areas, in which the dependence on agriculture as a source of living is high. In the paper we collate these data with the data on mayors’ turnover which we use as an approximation of political inequality.

Continue reading “Interview with Jan Falkowski on Political Power and Land Inequality in Poland”

Report on the Politics and Inequality Conference in Warsaw December 2018

Download a PDF of the report here: Politics and Inequality Conference in Warsaw, Poland Report December 2018

The international conference, “Politics and Inequality across Nations and Time: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches,” was held at IFiS PAN, December 12 – 14, 2018 in Warsaw, Poland. The event is part of the research project, “Political Voice and Economic Inequality across Nations and Time,” funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (2016/23/B/HS6/03916) from 2017 to 2020. The PI of that grant is Joshua K. Dubrow. The purpose of the grant project is to advance the theory, methods, and empirical base for studying the relationship between political inequality and economic inequality.

The conference brought together young and established scholars of the social sciences from the Europe, USA, and Latin America. Presentations were on substantive and methodological issues related to political voice and economic inequality.

Conference Program and Titles and Abstracts

The conference featured two keynote speakers, five sessions, and a roundtable discussion. Professor Andrzej Rychard, Director of IFiS PAN, officially opened the conference.

Frederick Solt, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa, USA, whose interests are in comparative political behavior and political economy from a cross-national perspective, delivered the first keynote speech. Professor Solt created and maintains the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIID). His research appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Behavior, and Social Science Quarterly, among others. Professor Solt’s keynote was: “Economic Inequality, Demand for Redistribution, and Redistributive Outcomes: Building the Empirical Foundations for Dynamic Comparative Research.” In this speech, Professor Solt described SWIID, which he continually refines and updates, as a source of data on income inequality and redistribution. He then discussed his recent project, the Dynamic Comparative Public Opinion (DCPO) that is designed “to overcome the sparsity and incomparability of available survey data and provide comparable estimates of public opinion regarding redistribution for many countries over many years” (Conference abstract).

Catherine Bolzendahl, an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California-Irvine, USA, whose interests are in gender and political change cross-nationally and over time, delivered the second keynote speech. Professor Bolzendahl’s research has appeared in Social Forces, European Sociological Review, and Politics & Gender, among other outlets.  Professor Bolzendahl’s keynote was: “Women’s Political Empowerment: A Path toward Progress in Uncertain Times.” In this keynote, Professor Bolzendahl presented an overview of her long-running cross-national research on women’s unequal political voice, including her recent co-edited book Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment Across the Globe: Strategies, Challenges and Future Research (2017, Palgrave). Her research “highlights the continued urgency to understand gender inequality through social and political research and data collection” (Conference abstract).

Sessions in the conference included the topics of economic redistribution and the elite; political protest; the association of economic inequality, political power, and political participation; gender and politics; and voting behavior. Most papers featured quantitative methods and many papers in these sessions included Professor Solt’s SWIID data and his theories of the association between economic inequality and political participation. Professor Bolzendahl was the discussant on the gender and politics session that featured presentations by Professor Renata Siemienska, who has produced influential research in the field of women and politics over the last four decades, and by GSSR PhD candidate Nika Palaguta, who co-edited the methodology book, Towards Electoral Control in Central and Eastern Europe (2016, IFiS Publishers). The topic of ex-post harmonization of cross-national surveys was presented by IFiS PAN assistant professor Irina Tomescu-Dubrow (affiliated with The Ohio State University OSU) and IFiS PAN and OSU professor Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, who are co-PIs (with J. Craig Jenkins) on the National Science Foundation grant, “Survey Data Recycling: New Analytic Framework, Integrated Database, and Tools for Cross-national Social, Behavioral and Economic Research.”

The roundtable discussion, “Aggregating Survey Data: Problems and Solutions,” was led by Fred Solt, Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, Catherine Bolzendahl, and WZB Berlin Social Science Center post-doctoral scholar Constantin Manuel Bosancianu.  Aggregate measures of political behavior and attitudes are part of the project “Political Voice and Economic Inequality across Nations and Time,” including the production of a publicly available database of country-year level indicators of political voice inequality, constructed on the basis of cross-national survey data and information from non-survey sources. Roundtable participants discussed the topic and potential measures of political voice.  This roundtable provided new knowledge and a basis for research publications on this popular methodological issue.

Funding for this event came from the National Science Centre, Poland (“Political Voice and Economic Inequality across Nations and Time” 2016/23/B/HS6/03916), from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, and a conference grant from the Polish Academy of Sciences, with organizational support from IFiS PAN and CONSIRT – Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program of The Ohio State University and PAN 

Participants

There were 34 attendees from Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Of the fifteen conference presenters, eight were from institutions outside of Poland. Students from the Graduate School for Social Research and the University of Warsaw attended. Participants hailed from across the social sciences, including sociology, political science, and economics.

The conference participants were: Frederick Solt, University of Iowa, USA; Catherine Bolzendahl, University of California-Irvine, USA; Renira Angeles, Central European University, Hungary; Jan Falkowski, University of Warsaw, Poland; Matias Lopez, Catholic University of Chile, Chile; Katerina Vrablikova, University of Bath, UK; Viktoriia Muliavka, Graduate School for Social Research, Poland; Olga Zelinska, Graduate School for Social Research, Poland; Gwangeun Choi, University of Essex, UK; Matthew Polacko, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; Irina Tomescu-Dubrow and Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, IFiS PAN, CONSIRT, and The Ohio State University; Renata Siemienska, University of Warsaw, Poland; Nika Palaguta, Graduate School for Social Research, Poland; Constantin Manuel Bosancianu, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany; Piotr Zagorski, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain; Michal Kotnarowski, Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences; Marta Kolczynska, post-doctoral scholar of the grant at IFiS PAN; and Joshua K. Dubrow, IFiS PAN, who was lead organizer of the conference.

Outcomes 

There were several outcomes of this conference. First, the conference highlighted the fact that IFiS PAN continues to be a major research center in the social sciences in Poland. Second, the conference built and strengthened a network of scholars who work on the topic of politics and inequality in cross-national and comparative perspective. Third, participants will use the conference and the networks as a springboard for publishing their research in high-quality publications. On that score, Joshua K. Dubrow and Matias Lopez intend to produce a guest edited issue of a peer-reviewed social science journal on the topic of democracy, politics, and inequality, featuring work from scholars at this conference and others in the field. Two of the conference participants, Professor Bolzendahl and Professor Dubrow, are co-editors of the Political Sociology section of Sociology Compass (Wiley Publishers), and invited participants to contribute an article. Fourth, there has been popularization of the event held at IFiS PAN, as conference participants “live Tweeted” the event on Twitter. The conference program and titles and abstracts are published on this website, where there will follow popular articles about conference participants’ presentations and research.

polinq twitter

Politics and Inequality Conference: Program and Abstracts

We are pleased to present the final program and the titles and abstracts for the conference, “Politics and Inequality across Nations and Time: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches,” December 12 – 14, 2018, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 72 Nowy Swiat, Warsaw, Poland

Politics and Inequality Conference in Warsaw December 2018: PROGRAM

Politics and Inequality Conference in Warsaw December 2018: Abstracts

The conference also features a roundtable on “Aggregating Survey Data: Problems and Solutions.” Here is the description of the conference Roundtable on Aggregating Survey Data 

Political Voice and Economic Inequality across Nations and Time proposal from 2016

Funding for this event comes from the National Science Centre, Poland (“Political Voice and Economic Inequality across Nations and Time” 2016/23/B/HS6/03916), from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, and a conference grant from the Polish Academy of Sciences, with organizational support from IFiS PAN and CONSIRT – Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program at The Ohio State University and PAN.

IFiS LogoPAN logo

 

Catherine Bolzendahl to Deliver a Keynote Speech at Politics and Inequality Conference in Warsaw

Catherine Bolzendahl ( @C_Bolzendahl ) of the University of California – Irvine will deliver a keynote speech at the conference, “Politics and Inequality across Nations and Time: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches,” at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, December 12 – 14, 2018 in Warsaw, Poland.

Professor Bolzendahl’s keynote title:

“Women’s Political Empowerment: A Path Toward Progress in Uncertain Times”

Abstract:

“Few social changes have been as dramatic and rapid as the increased political representation of women worldwide. Scholars and public figures rightfully tout these gains as remarkable evidence of greater gender equality, yet nowhere do women hold equal power to men in influencing and exercising political authority worldwide and efforts to increase women’s political agency are often actively and violently repressed. Addressing these issues means the comprehensive inclusion of women’s political empowerment as cornerstone of global research. I discuss how this is defined in my co-authored scholarship and using findings from my own current research I illustrate three axioms in this approach. First, women’s political empowerment is not a zero-sum game, and gender equality opens, rather than closes, the political domain to all members of society. Second, sex and gender are used simultaneously to create status inequalities that disadvantage women, thus, women’s political empowerment requires special attention given that women are the largest categorical group today experiencing long-term, ongoing barriers to political incorporation worldwide. Third, inequalities in political empowerment cut across multiple statuses and other sources of inequality. In sum, my work highlights the continued urgency to understand gender inequality through social and political research and data collection.”

catherine bolzendahlCatherine Bolzendahl is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California-Irvine, USA. Professor Bolzendahl’s interests are in political change cross-nationally and over time, gender and politics, and of the meaning of family and gender in the political culture of the U.S. and in Western industrialized democracies. Professor Bolzendahl’s research has appeared in Social Forces, European Sociological Review, and British Journal of Sociology, among others. For information about her research, please visit: https://faculty.sites.uci.edu/catherinebolzendahl/

The conference is funded by Poland’s National Science Centre and a grant from the Polish Academy of Sciences, with organizational support from IFiS PAN, and CONSIRT – Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program of The Ohio State University and PAN (CONSIRT.osu.edu).

The conference is free and open to the public. Click here for more information about the conference.