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  1. Toward an Affirmative Biopolitics

    This essay responds to German theorist Thomas Lemke’s call for a conversation between two distinct lines of reception of Foucault’s concept of biopolitics. The first line is comprised of sweeping historical perspectives on biopolitics, such as those of Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri, and the second is comprised of the more temporally focused perspectives of theorists such as Paul Rabinow, Nikolas Rose, and Catherine Waldby, whose biopolitical analyses concentrate on recent biotechnologies such as genetic techniques and the biobanking of human tissues.

  2. The Social Determinants of Conspiratorial Ideation

    Scholars have recently become increasingly interested in understanding the prevalence and persistence of conspiratorial beliefs among the public as recent research has shown such beliefs to be both widespread and to have deleterious effects on the political process. This article seeks to develop a sociological understanding of the structural conditions that are associated with conspiratorial belief.

  3. Socius Special Issue Call for Papers

    Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World invites papers for a special issue on gender in the 2016 elections. We invite contributions on all topics relevant to gender and politics. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): gender and the executive; women, social policy, and state legislative elections; intersectionality and the media; gender and public opinion; and women in changing political institutions. Informative papers on trends or cross-national comparisons are welcome as long as they are framed in relation to the 2016 U.S. election.

  4. The Micropolitics of Legitimacy: Political Positioning and Journalistic Scrutiny at the Boundary of the Mainstream

    When journalists elicit opinion and policy pronouncements from politicians, this engages a two-dimensional struggle over (1) where the politician stands on the issue in question and (2) the legitimacy of that position. Using data drawn from broadcast news interviews and news conferences, this paper anatomizes the key features of political positioning questions and their responses, and documents a tension surrounding relatively marginal or extreme views that tend to be treated cautiously by politicians but are pursued vigorously by journalists.

  5. The Social Determinants of Conspiratorial Ideation

    The Social Determinants of Conspiratorial Ideation
  6. A Fiscal Sociological Theory of Authoritarian Resilience: Developing Theory through China Case Studies

    The “institutional turn” of comparative authoritarianism enriches our understanding of authoritarian politics, but its lack of institutional theory, tendency to focus on epiphenomena or exogenous force, and failure to address autocrats’ dilemmas constitute weaknesses. Focusing on the taxation institution, this article builds an endogenous institutional explanation of authoritarian resilience. The author argues that while the taxation infrastructural power matters, it causes autocrats two dilemmas: the representation dilemma and the growth dilemma.
  7. Symbols of Nations and Nationalism: Celebrating Nationhood

    In Symbols of Nations and Nationalism, Gabriella Elgenius investigates how flags and holidays represent and reinforce national collective identities and mark national boundaries

  8. Winter 2017 Contexts Online Free until April 21

    Letter from the Editors

    Trumped Again

  9. Portland Oregon, Music Scenes, and Change: A Cultural Approach to Collective Strategies of Empowerment

    This article highlights the role of the independent music culture of Portland, Oregon, in establishing a productive culture of consumption and spaces that contribute to the place character of the city. Derived from an ethnographic research project of urban culture and social change in Portland, Oregon, guided interviews and extended participant observation helped to bring to light the cultural economy that artists and musicians make for the city.

  10. Protests with Many Participants and Unified Message Most Likely to Influence Politicians, Study Suggests

    Protests that bring many people to the streets who agree among themselves and have a single message are most likely to influence elected officials, suggests a new study.

    “We found that features of a protest can alter the calculations of politicians and how they view an issue,” said Ruud Wouters, an assistant professor of political communication and journalism at the University of Amsterdam and the lead author of the study. “More specifically, the number of participants and unity are the characteristics of a protest that have the greatest ability to change politicians’ opinions.”