Vol. 12, No. 3


Patrick Sawyer Populist Conspiracy Theories and Candidate Preference in the U.S.

The onset of the “post-truth” era, characterized by the accretion of conspiracy theories and “fake news”, has generally coincided with a rise in populist radical right politicians and groups who are often the receptors and propagators of such conspiracy theories. This study focuses on the consequences of conspiracism in populist candidates, arguing that conspiratorial ideation is not simply a tendency of populism but also holds instrumental value which can result in electoral benefits. Given the lack of detailed data concerning adherence to certain conspiracy theories, I incorporate data from Google Trends concerning interest in certain conspiratorial topics to overcome this lacuna. Taking the case of the 2016 presidential election in the United States, the results demonstrate a significantly positive relationship between certain conspiracy theories mentioned by Donald Trump and votes for him on the state level, testifying to the significant role that conspiracy theories played in the election.

Fernanda Vidal-Correa Transitioning from Descriptive to Substantive Representation: a Study of the Mexican Congress

The increasing number of women in the Mexican Congress could lead us to expect that women’s interests are being better represented. However, there is no sufficient recent evidence on a correlation between a more robust descriptive representation and women’s substantive representation in Mexico. Has the increase in the number of women led to greater focus on women’s issues? Are the contents of bills sponsored in fact representing women? The objective of this paper is to address the links between women´s increasing descriptive representation and the substantive representation of this group.
To this end, a sample of legislative bills of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, authored between 2015 and 2019, are assessed. Evidence points towards a change in the legislative work, embracing women´s issues, as more women are elected. Issues raised include those related to gender violence, including various forms of classification of crimes. They also highlight the reforms that push parity in the composition of various governing bodies, including the Supreme Court of Justice. Legislation is pushing to close the gender pay gap, and to mandate government institutions to include a gender perspective in all of their processes. But even if the substantive representation of some types of women has improved, major breakthroughs through legislation are seldom achieved due to conservative conceptualizations of women’s roles.

Sergio A. Bárcena Juárez Reinterpreting Theories of Legislative Organization. Committee chair selection in the non-majoritarian stage of the Mexican Cámara de Diputados (1997-2018)

How are committee chairs appointed in congresses with null reelection rates and no seniority norms? In this article, I propose an analytical model that draws on informational and distributive theories of legislative organization to explain the logic behind chair appointments during the 21 years of non-majoritarian congresses in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. Since Mexican legislators are term-limited, and caucus coordinators must select committee chairs among a pool of mostly unknown and inexperienced legislators, this assembly represents an interesting case for challenging the postulates of traditional legislative organization theories. After analyzing chair appointment procedures in the Mexican Chamber through an original database comprising biographical, institutional, partisan and electoral information of 3,470 legislators across seven legislative periods (1997-2018), I have found evidence to sustain that – as long as certain internal and external conditions are met (formal decision-making authority of committees, the absence of a partisan cartel and electoral competitiveness) – merit-based appointments expected by the informative theory, as well as constituent-oriented chair selection proposed by the distributive theory, can be met in congresses lacking reelection incentives and seniority norms.

Lorenzo Terrière, Nicolas Bouteca With respect for the core business: the impact of party ideology on the odds of government participation among regionalist parties

An increasing number of regionalist parties have participated in regional or national executive office. This article examines the specific conditions under which this party type increases its odds of successful cabinet entry – with a focus on ideological party change. Their programmatic profile is mapped before and after government entry by applying quantitative content analysis on coded electoral manifestos. The binary logistic regression analyses provide empirical evidence that regionalist parties that compromise on their territorial core business are more likely to enter (regional) government. Regionalist parties are also more likely to cross the threshold of (regional) governance when they operate in more decentralized countries and when they are a larger electoral factor in the regional political arena. Other relevant control variables, such as economic growth, national electoral score and party age, do not generate a significant effect on the odds of government participation.