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Non-Policy Politics: Richer Voters, Poorer Voters, and the Diversification of Electoral Strategies

April 15, 2019


The Heyman Center, 2nd Floor Common Room

Event Type: 

New Books in the Arts & Sciences

Celebrating Recent Work by Maria Victoria Murillo and Ernesto Calvo

Monday, April 15, 2019  6:15pm

The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated


The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy

Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science

Institute of Latin American Studies

Non-Policy Politics: Richer Voters, Poorer Voters, and the Diversification of Electoral Strategies
By: Maria Victoria Murillo and Ernesto Calvo

Calvo and Murillo consider the non-policy benefits that voters consider when deciding their vote. While parties advertise policies, they also deliver non-policy benefits in the form of competent economic management, constituency service, and patronage jobs. Different from much of the existing research, which focuses on the implementation of policy or on the delivery of clientelistic benefits, this book provides a unified view of how politicians deliver broad portfolios of policy and non-policy benefits to their constituency. The authors' theory shows how these non-policy resources also shape parties' ideological positions and which type of electoral offers they target to poorer or richer voters. With exhaustive empirical work, both qualitative and quantitative, the research documents how linkages between parties and voters shape the delivery of non-policy benefits in Argentina and Chile.

About the Author:

María Victoria Murillo is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Columbia University. Her work focuses on distributive politics, electoral behavior, and institutional weakness in Latin America. She is the author Labor Unions, Partisan Coalitions, and Market Reforms in Latin America (Cambridge University Press 2001), Political Competition, Partisanship, and Policymaking in the Reform of Latin American Public Utilities (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and with Ernesto Calvo of Non-Policy Politics: Richer Voter, Poorer Voter and the Diversification of Parties Electoral Strategies (Cambridge University Press, 2019), and with Daniel Brinks and Steven Levitsky of Understanding Institutional Weakness: Power and Design in Latin American Institutions (Cambridge University Press, Elements in Latin American Politics and Society, forthcoming 2019). She is the co-editor of Argentine Democracy: the Politics of Institutional Weakness (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005), and Discutir Alfonsin (Siglo XXI Editores, 2010), and the editor of Carreras Magisteriales, Desempeno Educativo y Sindicatos de Maestros en America Latina (Flacso, 2003). Murillo received her BA from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and her MA and PhD from Harvard University. Murillo has taught at Yale University, was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, a Fulbright scholar and a Russell Sage Visiting Fellow. Prior articles related to the book we are celebrating have received the Luebbert Award of the American Political Science Association and the Best Paper Award of Comparative Political Studies.

Ernesto Calvo (PhD, Northwestern University 2001) is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Government and Politics (GVPT), University of Maryland-College Park. His research on political representation, elections, and Congresses, has received the Lawrence Longley Award, the Leubbert Award, and the Michael Wallerstein award from the Representation Section,  the Comparative Politics section, and the Political Economy section of the American Political Science Association. He is the author of Legislator Success in Fragmented Congresses in Argentina (Cambridge U.P: 2014) and La nueva poltica de Partidos (Prometeo: 2005). His work has been published in US, European, and Latin American journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, World Politics, The British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Poltica y Gobierno (Mexico), Desarrollo Econmico (Argentina), Opiniao Publica (Brazil), and the Revista de Ciencia Politica (Chile).

About the Speakers:

John Huber teaches and conducts research with a focus on the comparative study of democratic processes. He recently published Exclusion by Elections: Inequality, Ethnic Identity and Democracy, which develops a theory about how inequality can foster identity politics, which can then limit the propensity of a democracy to respond to inequality. In addition to numerous articles, he previously published Rationalizing Parliament: Legislative Institutions and Party Politics in France, and Deliberate Discretion? Institutional Foundations of Bureaucratic Autonomy (with Charles Shipan). His current projects focus on bureaucracy, civil war and inter-generational solidarity. Huber served as chair of the political science department from 2006-09 and 2010-13, and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.

Sheri Berman is a professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.  Her research interests include European history and politics; the development of democracy; populism and fascism; and the history of the left.  She has written about these topics for a wide variety of scholarly and non-scholarly publications, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and VOX.  She currently serves on the boards of the Journal of Democracy, Dissent and Political Science Quarterly.  Her most recent book, Democracy and Dictatorship: From the Ancien Regime to the Present Day, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. Her research examines the quality of representation and government accountability in Latin America. Her current projects include a field experiment on bureaucratic performance and public opinion studies of political sophistication and citizen attitudes towards corruption. Her book, "Curbing Clientelism in Argentina: Politics, Poverty, and Social Policy," was published with Cambridge University Press (2014) and received the Donna Lee Van Cott Award from the Political Institutions Section of the Latin American Studies Association.  She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics in Latin America, Latin American Research Review, and Latin American Politics and Society.


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