Political Studies Review (PSR) provides a unique intellectual space for rigorous high-quality peer-reviewed original research across political science and the study of politics in related fields that aims at stimulating wide-ranging debate and cutting edge discussion of current disputes and issues in the discipline within the UK and internationally.
“In some cases, don’t know can be considered as valid responses rather than missing values. For example, in the case of measuring political knowledge, the conventional approach is categorizing don’t know into incorrect responses. However, more and more research suspects whether it is appropriate to treat don’t know as an absence-of-knowledge category. This research pays attention to partial knowledge hidden within don’t know.” – says Dr Tsung-han Tsai.
In survey research, researchers usually design a battery of questions to measure some concepts such as democratic values and political knowledge. Owing to the limitations of the questionnaire length, three to five questions are used to measure a defined concept. Since there are only limited questions for a concept, responses to these questions matter. However, respondents sometimes provide nonresponses to these questions such as don’t know. One widely used approach to deal with nonresponses is to treat them as missing values. Treating nonresponses as missing values indicates that there is no information extracted from these questions.
In some cases, don’t know can be considered valid responses rather than missing values. For example, in the case of measuring political knowledge, the conventional approach is categorizing don’t know into incorrect responses. However, more and more research suspects whether it is appropriate to treat don’t know as an absence-of-knowledge category. This research pays attention to partial knowledge hidden within don’t know.
In this paper, I propose a model to extract the information from don’t know responses, on the one hand, and to formally test partial knowledge within DK. In specific, I combine item response theory and the shared-parameter approach which is presented in the literature on missing data mechanisms. Unlike the conventional approach, I treat DK as missing values and assume that they are missing not at random. The logic is that whether a response to political knowledge questions is correct or not and whether a don’t know the response is provided is determined by knowledge levels.
I applied the proposed model to analyze survey data from Taiwan’s Election and Democratization Study project. In specific, I study the gender gap in political knowledge. It has been argued that men appear to know more about politics than women. Even though some studies recognize the gender gap in knowledge, others argue that the higher percentage of DK responses from women exaggerates the gap in political knowledge.
That is if there is knowledge hidden within DK responses, treating DKs as incorrect responses would make women appear less knowledgeable than they actually are. According to the results of the analysis in this article, we do find hidden knowledge within nonresponses for women. This phenomenon, however, occurs only in one of the three political knowledge questions. These results suggest that the gender gap in political knowledge is not seriously exaggerated by women’s higher percentages of nonresponses because most of the time these nonresponses indicate the absence of knowledge.
Tsai, T.-H. (2023). When “Don’t Know” Indicates Nonignorable Missingness: Using the Estimation of Political Knowledge as an Example. Political Studies Review, 21(1), 99–126. https://doi.org/10.1177/14789299211058543
Tsung-Han Tsai is an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica and jointly appointed associate research fellow in the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taipei, Taiwan
“Studies have shown that 0ne in four Americans received their election news from late-night comedy shows. And yet the literature on news parody still has significant limitations” – says Caroline V. Leicht.
Caroline V Leicht received her MA from the University of Liverpool and is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on political satire as a form of political communication in electoral contexts in the United States.
“There is a certain inconsistency between theoretical expectations about the behaviour of political parties under democracy, and recent developments concerning the rise of protest politics, the appeal of populist parties and the overall crisis of liberal democratic institutions” – says dr Alejandro M. Peña.
Alejandro M. Peña is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of York. He is the author of Transnational Governance and South American Politics: The Political Economy of Norms (2016, with Palgrave) and publishes on issues of state-society relations and contentious politics, Latin American political economy, transnational governance, and the sociology of international relations.
In the era of widespread and often unverified information, science can start to be considered as just another voice in the room. Given that our mission is to provide high-quality scientific analysis for a wider audience in an easy to understand manner, podcasts can be an invaluable way of getting the key findings from your article across to the broader public.
A great example of how engaging and professional talks raised a topic’s or person’s profile is professor Brene Brown’s TED talk has been viewed over 41 million times and made her a global superstar. Or writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “We Should All Be Feminists” has become a worldwide bestseller after her talk.1
Our idea is much more humble. We aim to start a series of short podcasts with a duration of up to 140s (however, due to technical reasons your recording should be no longer than 135 sec). The key point is to explain the major idea of the PSR publication by its author. You can create a podcast that is a short digital audio recording of your talk, or a video podcast.
You can also include any interesting visual content connected with your article (video, pictures, graphs, charts, etc).
Once you decide to participate, here’s what we recommend:
#1 TRY TO INSPIRE
Get your audience interested. Show them the topic in the wider context and why it’s important in the first couple of sentences. Try to connect major points of your podcast with key political or social challenges. Don’t make your talk too abstract. Show the importance of your research and why are you so passionate about it. Be aware that some of your viewers/ listeners may need some description to help them understand why the topic matters.
#2 BE PRECISE
Try and keep your podcast brief – no more than 135 seconds or even shorter. Ensure that your talk gets straight to the point, keep things simple and tie every element in your presentation to the theme. Remember about a clear structure.
#3 AVOID USING UNNECESSARILY COMPLICATED LANGUAGE
You are probably going to communicate with people who don’t know the topic on which you are an expert. Avoid academic jargon and if it’s necessary to do so, try to explain complex terms. Using words no one understands will confuse listeners. The real challenge is to talk about complex concepts in an easy to understand way, not the other way round.
#4 SOUND LIKE YOU
What you want to say needs to be you. Although you might choose to prepare a written script, do use words you would normally use, in regular conversations.
#5 FINISH STRONGLY
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Leave your listeners with a sparkling thought – something to be remembered by.
CHECK YOUR SCRIPT ONCE AGAIN CONSIDERING tHE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
• Have you decided on words that express your meaning correctly? • Could you be less abstract? • Have you got things in the best order? • Is your argument coherent? • Are your facts right? • Is the tone of voice right?
A FEW TECHNICAL TIPS
Choose a comfortable place.
Minimize distractions: choose a quiet place, and – in the case of a video recording – a calm background with good light).
When you start recording wait about 3s before you start speaking.
Similarly, when you finish speaking wait before switching off the camera.
Send us your script – it will help us to prepare subtitles.
If you prefer to speak in your native language – do so.
Just prepare a precise translation to be transformed into subtitles.
You can also attach any interesting visual content you want to use to explain your point (videos, pictures, graphs, charts, etc) – we’ll use it in your podcast.
“Democratic innovations such as citizens’ assemblies are commonly conceptualized from a deliberative democratic perspective. Here, citizens come together to deliberate political issues and jointly develop solutions. While this perspective is important, the wide range of democratic theories has much more to offer” – says dr Hans Asenbahm.
Hans Asenbaum is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. His work focuses on new forms of democratic engagement and radical democratic politics.
Daniel Bertram holds an LLB in Global Law and a BSc in Public Governance from Tilburg University, where he also worked as a research assistant at the Department for Public Law and Governance. He is currently affiliated with the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
His research interests lie at the intersection between law and governance, with a particular focus on the influence of globalization on international and domestic institutions
“We find that Democrats are significantly less likely to support a candidate that faces such allegations. Republicans do not strongly penalize candidates facing allegations of sexual assault or harassment, especially if the candidate is identified as a Republican” – Stephanie Stark speaks about a study, she conducted with Sofía Collignon, analysing the effect that allegations of sexual assault or harassment have on the electoral success of American politicians.
This short podcast is based on a PSR article: Sexual Predators in Contest for Public Office: How the American Electorate Responds to News of Allegations of Candidates Committing Sexual Assault and Harassmentby Stephanie Stark and Sofía Collignon.
Stephanie Stark obtained her Master’s in Media, Power and Public Affairs from the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London (2018). She is a digital communications strategist who has been advising on and creating digital media campaigns for non-profit organizations, political campaigns and elected officials in New York and London for a decade.
Dr Sofia Collignonis a Lecturer in Political Communication at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is Co Investigator in the ESCR-funded Representative Audit of Britain project, part of Parliamentary Candidates UK and Principal Investigator in the Survey of Local Candidates in England. Her main research focuses on include the study of candidates, elections and parties, in particular on the harassment and intimidation of political elites and violence against women in politics.
“Proponents of realist theories of legitimacy genuinely think that legitimacy is a normative concept. They also hold that their judgments about legitimacy are not instances of applied morality. But if so, how do their judgments about legitimacy, acquire normative force?” – asks Ben Cross. In this episode, the author discusses applied morality and political legitimacy: listen about ‘concessive realism’ and ‘naturalist realism’ in the light of political practice.
“What are you to do when your values align from the outside, but your instinct tells you this environment is toxic?” – Stephanie Stark’s comment on New York voters’ response to the confirmed allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo. Stark is a former Cuomo’s staffer, and she based her commentary on the PSR article co-authored with Dr Sofia Collignon (University of London).
The part on Governor Cuomo’s case starts at 19m10s.