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This Month's Centennial Center Visiting Scholars

This month, the Centennial Center Visiting Scholar Program is pleased to support the following scholars as they pursue their research in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. This program has hosted a diverse array of APSA members from every field of study, and from the United States and abroad. Check back each month to learn more about what our current Visiting Scholars are researching and teaching during their stay with the Centennial Center.

The Centennial Center, its facilities, and research support programs have been made possible since 2003 by the generous donations of APSA friends and members. 

Interested in becoming a Visiting Scholar? Learn more about the Visiting Scholar Program here.

Gabrielle Bardall, University of Montreal
Congressional Fellow, 2016

During this time, I will be participating in the “Congress and Foreign Policy” course at Johns Hopkins University. I intend to use the office space for work relating to this course and for the general preparation (background reading and research) of the further fellowship program. Coming from a unique position within the fellowship program (having worked and studied outside the US for most of my career to date), I seek to use these first months for meaningful preparation for the program. I believe the office space in the Centennial Center will best enable this as well as providing an initial contact with related researchers.

Mary Breeding, World Bank

During the month of October, I will explore avenues building the foundation for a new project entitled: “Vote Banks and Kannadiga Pride: How Subnational Identity is Shaping Economic and Political Opportunity in One Indian State.” This project builds on earlier research I completed as Visiting Scholar at the Centennial Center in 2007. Ten years ago I conducted field work in Bangalore, India to better understand vote banks, a form of clientelism peculiar to Indian elections, in which political parties work through different groups to distribute clientelistic benefits to constituents in order to gain political support. Political parties rely on their vote banks through various groups that help them distribute clientelistic benefits. The distributing groups act as middlemen between the political parties and their constituents often calling themselves party workers. But who are these middlemen? Who are the groups behind today’s vote banks?

Carolina Ferrerosa-Young, Columbia University

My dissertation is the inaugural attempt of a research agenda aimed at mapping governmental response to interest group advocacy through the lens of representational inequality. At the first stage of the project, I will be focusing on national-level response. This dissertation will focus on the U.S. Congress, with the intention of studying other levels of government in future projects. For this project, I will partner with a non-governmental organization and conduct a fi eld experiment on the e ffects of lobbying eff orts on behalf of constituent preferences from di fferent levels of resources and expertise. This research will shed light on how and under what conditions lobbying e fforts for diff ering constituencies can aff ect representation in government. I begin with a broad question: Under what conditions are public advocacy groups' voices heard and represented in American government? I follow with a narrow question: If we randomly assign U.S. politicians to receive lobbying contacts on behalf of a constituent versus an expert, who gets heard and responded to?

Hector Perla, University of California, Santa Cruz
Congressional Fellow & William A. Steiger Fellow, 2016

My research is a book-length project tentatively entitled “Salvadoran Political Transnationalism: Mobilization & Participation in U.S., Salvadoran, and Global Politics.” The research is driven by the following questions: What are the contextual and individual factors that drive migrants to politically engage in their country of residence and of origin?  How does engagement in one political system impact participation in the other?  I explore these questions in the context of Salvadoran migration to and from the United States. To date the question of migrant transnationalism and political engagement has triggered national debates on both sides of the border. At one end of the spectrum U.S. political commentators have denounced Latin American migrants’ crossborder identifications and mobilization arguing that their activities undermine national unity and loyalty to the United States. Similarly, some political observers in El Salvador contend that enfranchising such a large percentage of voters residing outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Salvadoran state represents a threat to national sovereignty. They argue that extending political rights to Salvadoran migrants residing in the U.S. is tantamount to the infiltration of foreign interests among a constituency large enough to decide electoral outcomes. This research will draw on a mixed methods transnational research design to bring new quantitative and qualitative evidence to this ongoing academic and policy debate in both countries. My immediate goals will be to prepare the four core chapters of the book, several of which I plan to spin off as articles for publication.        

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