Tuesday 5 October 2021
- Speaker: Kate Precious, Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, University of Bath
- Time: 13.15-14.05
Title: The Underdog Empowered? A Strategy for Lobbying Influence
Abstract: The underdog theory challenges the characterisation of marginalised groups as politically disempowered. While acknowledging the very real nature of their social and cultural marginalisation, it argues that dominant frames, the actions of governments and researchers, and the actions of marginalised groups themselves conspire to mean that the policy influence of marginalised groups is systematically underestimated and undermeasured. This in turn impacts how others perceive marginalised groups and how marginalised groups perceive themselves, with a corresponding effect on how marginalised groups behave. Through a case study of the adult autistic community in England, I build my ‘underdog theory’ about the hidden potential of marginalised groups and conditions and, crucially, behaviours associated with higher levels of influence.
The underdog theory states firstly that marginalised groups have a potential for a greater level of influence than is usually assumed; and secondly, that marginalised groups can maximise their policy influence to reach that potential through three main behaviours: adopting a positive framing, learning about their policy environment (and using that knowledge strategically) and actively collaborating with others. The term ‘underdog’ is chosen to reflect the disconnect between expectations of marginalised groups and their potential: what they can actually achieve.
This theory has implications for researchers and governments, who should consider changes to the way they measure influence and design institutions and policy, but most importantly for underdogs.
Tuesday 12 October 2021
- Speaker: Dr Amélie Godefroidt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- Time: 13.15-14.05
Title: Jihadist Terrorism Continues to Affect Public Opinion
Abstract: How do recent Jihadist attacks--often more limited in nature--affect citizens' political attitudes? While some authors argue that citizens have become less susceptible or even `numb' to attacks, others argue that attacks continue to significantly affect attitudes. Drawing on mass online surveys, we estimate the causal effects of two recent Jihadist terrorist attacks which have transpired at almost exactly the same location: the 2017 and 2019 London Bridge attacks. Our vast sample sizes and causal identification strategy allow us to detect even small changes in public opinion. We find that both attacks increased public support for tough security measures and restrictive immigration policies, but we find no evidence that these effects were moderated by individuals' political leaning or their proximity to the attacks. These findings are robust to a series of falsification test and suggest that Jihadist terrorism continues to affect public opinion, even if the attacks are relatively minor.