Degrees of Freedom: Electoral Manipulation in Imperial Germany

“Stop the steal!” The 2020 US election illustrated that concerns about electoral fraud – real or imagined – can impact even the world’s oldest democracies. The Trump campaign exhausted all legal avenues to contest the vote count in six states. The campaign lost virtually all its legal challenges, but the myth of a stolen election … Continue reading Degrees of Freedom: Electoral Manipulation in Imperial Germany

What Explains Cultural Transmission across Generations?

Research in historical political economy has demonstrated that cultural norms and values often outlive the events, institutions, and policies that generated them. The very definition of culture emphasizes persistence and intergenerational transmission (see this related post by Jared Rubin).[1] Socialization by parents, peers, and opinion leaders is one of the key mechanisms invoked in studies … Continue reading What Explains Cultural Transmission across Generations?

A look back at the forgotten refugee crisis in Europe

“Your name and possibly your date of birth were recorded, and suddenly you became someone – a refugee with an identity card “A”, and you could apply for a certain level of support. Registering here in Friedland was the chance to start a new life, a real life in peace.” This is how Annelie Keil, … Continue reading A look back at the forgotten refugee crisis in Europe

Count me if you can: Religious minorities and legibility in Imperial Russia

Illustration from Rubakin 1912

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is for states to have information about the societies they govern. In a scramble to contain a public health crisis, governments across the world – from the United States to India – are influencing how often we wash our hands and how many friends we meet. Public … Continue reading Count me if you can: Religious minorities and legibility in Imperial Russia

Quantitative Social Science and the Holocaust

History is replete with violence, which casts a long shadow on contemporary attitudes, behavior, and institutions, as covered in our earlier posts. The Holocaust is the largest single episode of mass violence in the 20th century. It is also one of the most “data-rich” genocides, and the number of books, articles, and films that deal … Continue reading Quantitative Social Science and the Holocaust