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  • Author: Marcus Noland, Eva (Yiwen) Zhang
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: By Election Day 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had killed 234,244 Americans and caused the sharpest macroeconomic downturn in US history. Hypothetical calculations using county-level electoral data show that in a “no pandemic” scenario or a scenario in which the severity of the pandemic was mitigated by 30 percent, Donald Trump would have lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote. In the 20 percent mitigation scenario, the electoral vote would have been tied, giving Trump a presumptive victory in the House of Representatives. For the second time in a row (and the third time since 2000), the candidate who lost the popular vote would have been elected president of the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Elections, Donald Trump, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ryan C. Berg
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: urbulent politics and a deep shakeup in Brasilia have many concerned for the stability of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration. The stampede of ministerial exits started early this week with the resignation of foreign minister Ernesto Araújo. The defense minister followed suit shortly thereafter. By day’s end, six ministers had either resigned or moved to new posts — about one-third of Bolsonaro’s cabinet. Perhaps more concerning than the political overhaul was what transpired one day after the ministerial shakeup: the leadership restructuring within Brazil’s armed forces — occurring, no less, one day before the 57th anniversary of the military coup. The heads of all three major branches — the army, the navy, and the air force — resigned en masse, purportedly over concerns for their independence, handing Bolsonaro the opportunity to handpick their successors. Brazil witnessed something analogous only once before — in 1977, under the turbulent rule of military dictator Ernesto Geisel. This has left some Brazil watchers fretting that an insecure Bolsonaro could be laying the foundations “for his own January 6.”
  • Topic: Politics, Military Affairs, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Populism, Jair Bolsonaro
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Elizabeth Sperber, Gwyneth McClendon, O'Brien Kaaba
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: A significant literature suggests that religious conviction can drive political participation, perhaps because religious people internalize a moral obligation to act toward the common good and/or because religious conviction gives people a sense that their actions will make a difference. This paper presents findings from a community-collaborative pilot study in Zambia that examines these ideas. Zambia is an overwhelmingly Christian state experiencing dramatic democratic backsliding. Zambian churches are among the major providers of civic engagement education and programming. Together with our community partners, we randomly assigned Zambian youth (aged 18-35) volunteers into one-time civic engagement workshops. Identical basic civic educational material was presented in each workshop. Yet, we ended this curriculum with two different sets of pre-recorded Christian motivational messages: In 50% of the workshops, these messages emphasized a religious obligation to sacrifice for the common good. In the other 50%, the messages emphasized the power of faith to make change in the world. We found that the latter message (emphasizing the power of faith) moved workshop participants to be more willing to participate in peaceful protest, to disavow political violence, and to critically evaluate other people who choose not to participate in electoral politics. By contrast, the message focused on sacrifice for the common good did not affect political participation relative to baseline. We discuss how the study advances research on religion and political participation as well as knowledge about Christian civic education programs, which are prevalent but understudied throughout.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, Religion, Democracy, Youth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zambia
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Togo
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Djibouti
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Zimbabwe
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Cameroon
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Paraguay
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Tonga
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Guyana