Peer-Reviewed Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Framing Parkland: A Social Media Approach To Studying Issue Frames And Their Impact

(Co-authored with Nora Webb Williams, Andreu Casas, John Wilkerson, and Wesley Zuidema)

Forthcoming at Policy Studies Journal

Agenda setting and issue framing research broadly investigates how problem framing impacts public attention, policy decisions, and political outcomes. Social media sites, such as Twitter, provide unique opportunities to study such dynamics in an increasingly important area of political discourse. We present a method for identifying frames in tweets and measuring their effectiveness using tweet interaction data. We use topic modeling combined with manual validation to identify recurrent problem frames and topics in thousands of tweets by gun rights and gun control groups following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. We find that each side used Twitter to advance competing policy narratives about the problem in Parkland. Gun rights groups’ narratives implied that more gun restrictions were not the solution. Their most effective frame focused on officials’ failures to enforce existing laws (implying that new gun regulations were unnecessary). In contrast, gun control groups most effectively portrayed easy access to guns as the problem (not mental illness), and emphasized the importance of mobilizing politically to force change. Computational methods, such as topic modeling with careful validation, offer new research opportunities for policy scholars in the increasingly important yet challenging domain of social media.

Cracking Open The News Feed: Exploring What U.S. Facebook Users See and Share with Large-Scale Platform Data

(Co-authored with Andrew Guess, Joshua Tucker, Richard Bonneau, and Jonathan Nagler)

Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media. 2021, 1.

In this study, we analyze for the first time newly available engagement data covering millions of web links shared on Facebook to describe how and by which categories of U.S. users different types of news are seen and shared on the platform. We focus on articles from low-credibility news publishers, credible news sources, purveyors of clickbait, and news specifically about politics, which we identify through a combination of curated lists and supervised classifiers. Our results support recent findings that more fake news is shared by older users and conservatives and that both viewing and sharing patterns suggest a preference for ideologically congenial misinformation. We also find that fake news articles related to politics are more popular among older Americans than other types, while the youngest users share relatively more articles with clickbait headlines. Across the platform, however, articles from credible news sources are shared over 5 times more often and viewed over 7 times more often than articles from low-credibility sources. These findings offer important context for researchers studying the spread and consumption of information – including misinformation – on social media.

Principal-Agent Problems in EU Funds: A Case Study of Patronage In Hungary

(Co-authored with Beatrice Magistro)

Forthcoming at Europe-Asia Studies

EU Funds have been linked to high levels of corruption even given substantial levels of administrative and regulatory requirements and extensive domestic monitoring. We posit that this divergence in actual outcomes and preferred policies can be attributed to the co-optation of the auditing and monitoring processes by member state governments. We outline the importance of the auditing process and flow of information to the European Commission using a delegation model and then test what occurs when this process is co-opted in Hungary. We find that the co-optation of the auditing process results in high levels of patronage/corruption.

The Question of German Imbalances within the Eurozone: Competitiveness versus Savings Explanations?”

(Co-authored with James Caporaso)

International Trade, Politics, and Development.  2017, 1(1), 4-31.

This article uses trade data from Eurozone countries to test two popular explanations of trade imbalance (competitiveness and savings). We find that both explanations partially explain trade imbalances within the Eurozone and political-institutional differences between core and periphery Eurozone countries are the main culprits. We argue that although trade balances in GIIPS countries have on the whole recovered since the Euro crisis, institutional differences between core and periphery countries continue to inhibit trade re-balancing and the economic recovery in GIIPS countries.

“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Why The Eurozone Will Survive.”

(Co-authored with James Caporaso)

Economies. 2016, 4(4): 21.

This article, published directly after Brexit in a period of heightened euro-skepticism, attempts to answer the question: “Will the euro survive?” We answer this question in the affirmative and in doing so argue that the continuation of the Eurozone is different from the question of whether the Eurozone should have been created in the first place.  We summarize the main criticisms of the Eurozone and argue there are reasons for the Eurozone’s current existence beyond its effectiveness as a currency union (economic costs, path-dependent achievements that are costly to reverse, and political benefits). This explains why the Eurozone weathered the euro crisis despite heavy criticism and why it is likely to stay intact moving forward.