VIRTUAL Comparative Politics Workshop - State Presence and Democratic Culture: A Spatial Investigation
State Presence and Democratic Culture: A Spatial Investigation
Jake Turner (political science), Kellogg Institute Doctoral Student Affiliate and Research Affiliate for the Kellogg Institute's Notre Dame Violence and Transitional Justice Lab
Andrea Peña-Vasquez (political science), Kellogg Institute Doctoral Student Affiliate
Abstract: The uneasy balance between democratic rule of law and the continuity of authoritarian-era state institutions presents certain conflicting expectations regarding interaction with agents of the state and individual-level democratic attitudes. While more frequent contact implies stronger integration into the state’s legality, greater contact with violent state agents can have a toxic effect on notions of citizenship. To evaluate the relationship between daily contact with state organizations such as the police, firefighters, and public healthcare workers, I use the geocoded locations of each survey respondent in the Índice de Democracia Local de São Paulo (IDL) to measure the exact distance between the respondent’s domicile and the nearest state offices in order to produce an index of perceived state presence that varies even within neighborhoods. Estimates of several different models suggest that this measure of distance negatively correlates with general support for democracy and the probability of engaging in political dialogue with neighbors. Other dimensions such as trust in state institutions and knowledge of government find only mixed support, however. These results suggest that more frequent interactions with state agents correlate with certain dimensions of democratic citizenship, though the relationship can be negated when those interactions are mostly violent in nature.
The Comparative Politics Workshop is a graduate student-led forum geared towards presenting and discussing papers and research projects. During the academic semester, regular sessions are held at the Hesburgh Center. These meetings are open to everyone, particularly students, faculty and Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellows. Participants have the chance to present their work and receive valuable, constructive feedback from their colleagues.
More information: Contact Comparative Politics Field Representative Jake Turner