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Pamela S. Karlan

Bio: Pamela S. Karlan is an academic researcher from Stanford University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Supreme court & Voting. The author has an hindex of 13, co-authored 81 publications receiving 610 citations. Previous affiliations of Pamela S. Karlan include Loyola Marymount University & University of California, Berkeley.


Papers
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Book
01 Jan 1998
TL;DR: The authors provides a systematic description of the legal construction of American democracy, including the individual right to vote, the relationship of the state to political parties, the constitutional and policy issues surrounding campaign-finance reform, and the tension between majority rule and fair representation of minorities in democratic bodies.
Abstract: This text provides a systematic description of the legal construction of American democracy. Much of this edition's revision consists of making note material more concise and reducing the coverage of issues that have become less important as the frontiers of the field moved in new directions. This edition covers the historical development of the individual right to vote; current struggles over racial gerrymandering; the relationship of the state to political parties; the constitutional and policy issues surrounding campaign-finance reform; and the tension between majority rule and fair representation of minorities in democratic bodies.

71 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: For example, the authors argues that the current reform effort may exacerbate the very political pathologies they are designed to combat, by making politics more accountable to democratic control, they may make it less so.
Abstract: Electoral reform is a graveyard of well-intentioned plans gone awry. It doesn't take an Einstein to discern a First Law of Political Thermodynamics-the desire for political power cannot be destroyed, but at most, channeled into different forms-nor a Newton to identify a Third Law of Political Motion-every reform effort to constrain political actors produces a corresponding series of reactions by those with power to hold onto it. Consider a few simple examples. The Supreme Court finally broke the lockhold of the self-interested refusal to redistrict in the landmark Baker and Reynolds decisions.' Three decades later, however, the political gerrymander is not only alive and well; it has assumed the role of an institutionalized industry that seems largely immune from substantive review.2 Similarly, the Court's jurisprudence under the Equal Protection Clause3 and the Voting Rights Act of 19654 was intended to dampen the effect of racial polarization and to allow for a more inclusive system of representation. But the combined effect of searching judicial review for race-based claims and muted standards of review for claims of partisan exclusion has led to the recasting of essentially political challenges born of electoral frustration as racial ones.5 Far from diminishing the role of race in politics, current doctrine may exacerbate it. No area, however, can top the aborted reform agenda of the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974,6 as truncated by Buckley v. Valeo,' for their paradoxical ability to bring about perverse consequences. A quarter-century after FECA, the conventional view is that American politics is more vacuous, more money driven, more locked up than ever.8 Campaign finance reform is now its own cottage industry with innumerable proposals for statutory and constitutional change and corresponding debates about how some immaculate vision of politics can be forged.9 Most of the legal-academic debate about campaign finance begins with Buckley and its progeny and focuses on whether and to what extent additional regulation comports with the First Amendment.'o Unfortunately, the debate often stops there as well. Because many of the participants in the campaign finance debate are relatively unfamiliar with the more general history of electoral reform or are largely uninterested in the practical details of political regulation, their proposals offer only a static analysis of a dynamic process. They ignore the central lesson of the post-Watergate experience: political money-that is, the money that individuals and groups wish to spend on persuading voters, candidates, or public officials to support their interests-is a moving target. This article takes a sharply different tack, heeding Deep Throat's advice to "follow the money"' rather than grand constitutional principles. On a pragmatic level, such advice leads us to ask where political money will go if the reformers succeed. Both logic and past experience provide reason to worry that, once the dust settles, the current proposals may increase, rather than dampen, the role of money in politics.'2 Even worse, because the reforms may further undermine the capacity of candidates and political parties to shape the electoral agenda, they could exacerbate the very political pathologies they are designed to combat.'3 Far from making politics more accountable to democratic control, they may make it less so. On a more fundamental level, Deep Throat's admonition bids us to trace far more precisely how political money works its way through the system. The calls for reform all stem from the assertion that money corrupts the electoral process. But when we press on the concept of "corruption," we are faced with two additional paradoxes. First, for all the rhetorical focus on money's role in corrupting candidates and elected officials, the critical problem turns out to be that political money corrupts voters.4 The consequence of this thicker account of corruption is to prevent the case for reform from being made along purely egalitarian lines. …

70 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
15 Sep 2004-JAMA
TL;DR: This article addresses an emerging policy problem in the United States participation in the electoral process by citizens with dementia: health care professionals, family caregivers, and long-term care staff lack adequate guidance to decide whether individuals with dementia should be precluded from or assisted in casting a ballot.
Abstract: This article addresses an emerging policy problem in the United States participation in the electoral process by citizens with dementia. At present, health care professionals, family caregivers, and long-term care staff lack adequate guidance to decide whether individuals with dementia should be precluded from or assisted in casting a ballot. Voting by persons with dementia raises a series of important questions about the autonomy of individuals with dementia, the integrity of the electoral process, and the prevention of fraud. Three subsidiary issues warrant special attention: development of a method to assess capacity to vote; identification of appropriate kinds of assistance to enable persons with cognitive impairment to vote; and formulation of uniform and workable policies for voting in long-term care settings. In some instances, extrapolation from existing policies and research permits reasonable recommendations to guide policy and practice. However, in other instances, additional research is necessary.

44 citations

Book
01 Apr 1998

28 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
Susan C. Stokes1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors analyze the strategic interaction between machines and voters as an iterated prisoners' dilemma game with one-sided uncertainty and generate hypotheses about the impact of the machine's capacity to monitor voters, and of voters' incomes and ideological stances, on the effectiveness of machine politics.
Abstract: Political machines (or clientelist parties) mobilize electoral support by trading particularistic benefits to voters in exchange for their votes. But if the secret ballot hides voters' actions from the machine, voters are able to renege, accepting benefits and then voting as they choose. To explain how machine politics works, I observe that machines use their deep insertion into voters' social networks to try to circumvent the secret ballot and infer individuals' votes. When parties influence how people vote by threatening to punish them for voting for another party, I call this accountability. I analyze the strategic interaction between machines and voters as an iterated prisoners' dilemma game with one-sided uncertainty. The game generates hypotheses about the impact of the machine's capacity to monitor voters, and of voters' incomes and ideological stances, on the effectiveness of machine politics. I test these hypotheses with data from Argentina.

1,174 citations

Book
Pippa Norris1
01 Jan 2004
TL;DR: In this paper, the impact of electoral engineering on voting behavior is discussed. But the authors focus on the role of electoral rules and do not consider the effect of the rules on the behavior of voters.
Abstract: Part I. Introduction: 1. Do rules matter? 2. Classifying electoral systems 3. Evaluating electoral systems Part II. The Consequences for Voting Behavior: 4. Party systems 5. Social cleavages 6. Party loyalties 7. Turnout Part III. The Consequences for Political Representation: 8. Women 9. Ethnic minorities 10. Constituency service Part IV. Conclusions: 11. The impact of electoral engineering.

832 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Turnout buying as mentioned in this paper suggests why parties might offer rewards even if they cannot monitor vote choices, by rewarding unmobilized supporters for showing up at the polls, parties can activate their passive constituency.
Abstract: Scholars typically understand vote buying as offering particularistic benefits in exchange for vote choices. This depiction of vote buying presents a puzzle: with the secret ballot, what prevents individuals from accepting rewards and then voting as they wish? An alternative explanation, which I term “turnout buying,” suggests why parties might offer rewards even if they cannot monitor vote choices. By rewarding unmobilized supporters for showing up at the polls, parties can activate their passive constituencies. Because turnout buying targets supporters, it only requires monitoring whether individuals vote. Much of what scholars interpret as vote buying may actually be turnout buying. Reward targeting helps to distinguish between these strategies. Whereas Stokes's vote-buying model predicts that parties target moderate opposers, a model of turnout buying predicts that they target strong supporters. Although the two strategies coexist, empirical tests suggest that Argentine survey data in Stokes 2005 are more consistent with turnout buying.

699 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of the literature on electoral fraud can be found in this article, concluding that electoral fraud takes on a panoply of forms; it ranges from procedural violations of electoral law (that may or may not intend to distort results) to the outright use of violence against voters.
Abstract: ▪ Abstract This article reviews research on electoral fraud—clandestine and illegal efforts to shape election results. Only a handful of works classify reports on electoral fraud to identify its nature, magnitude, and causes. This review therefore looks at the larger number of historical works (as well as some ethnographies and surveys) that discuss ballot rigging. Its conclusions are threefold. First, fraud takes on a panoply of forms; it ranges from procedural violations of electoral law (that may or may not intend to distort results) to the outright use of violence against voters. Second, even when ballot rigging is an integral part of electoral competition, it is infrequently decisive. Fraud, nevertheless, undermines political stability because, in close races, it can be crucial. Third, political competition shapes the rhythm and nature of electoral fraud. Efforts to steal elections increase with inequality, but competitiveness—which institutions help to shape—determines the ballot-rigging strategies ...

389 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 May 2017
TL;DR: This article conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the science comprehension thesis (SCT), which identifies defects in the public's knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the identity-protective cognition thesis (ICT), which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science.
Abstract: Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the ‘science comprehension thesis’ (SCT), which identifies defects in the public's knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the ‘identity-protective cognition thesis’ (ICT), which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. In our experiment, we presented subjects with a difficult problem that turned on their ability to draw valid causal inferences from empirical data. As expected, subjects highest in numeracy – a measure of the ability and disposition to make use of quantitative information – did substantially better than less numerate ones when the data were presented as results from a study of a new skin rash treatment. Also as expected, subjects’ responses became politically polarized – and even less accurate – when the same data were presented as results from the study of a gun control ban. But contrary to the prediction of SCT, such polarization did not abate among subjects highest in numeracy; instead, it increased. This outcome supported ICT, which predicted that more numerate subjects would use their quantitative-reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data to the result most consistent with their political outlooks. We discuss the theoretical and practical significance of these findings.

323 citations