University of Pittsburgh

GSPIA Hosts Symposium on Political Violence

Publish Date/Time: 
September 3, 2013
Symposium on Political Violence - Fall schedule


On behalf of the Dean, the Ridgway Center, and the Department of Political Science, I invite you to join us for any of the upcoming talks in the Symposium on Political Violence series. We likely will add more talks this fall and spring, but this link will provide a continually updated schedule, so if you are interested, please check it regularly for any changes.

This Friday, September 6, at noon in Posvar 3610, Professor Stephen Chaudoin (Dept of Political Science) will give a talk based on his paper entitled, “Two Sides to Every Story: A Theory of Political Contestation and International Institutions.” The paper is available and linked to the schedule via the link above.


A broad class of theories, applied to a wide array of substantive issues, argues that international institutions affect the  behavior of sovereign nations and facilitate compliance by mobilizing pro-compliance domestic groups. I develop a model of political contestation over compliance policy in which international institutions can mobilize both pro- and anti-compliance groups. The theory is applicable to a wide variety of issue areas in international cooperation, types of political mobilization, and domestic political institutions. The model predicts that the effects of institutions on compliance is non-monotonically related to the relative strengths of pro- and anti-compliance groups. Institutions have the greatest effects on compliance when pro- and anti-compliance groups are balanced, ex ante. I test this prediction using public opinion data from the Kenyan experience with International Criminal Court indictments. The ICC had the greatest impact in regions of Kenya where pro- and anti-indictment forces are balanced. The ICC also cemented the political alliance of two indicted candidates and helped them mobilize supporters.


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