CSUS Publishing Grants
School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, TAU
Before the Party Hijacks: The Limited Role of Party Cues in Appraisal of Low-Salience Policies—Experimental Evidence
What shapes Americans’ policy preferences: partisanship or policy content? While previous studies have addressed this question, many of them focused on high-salience policies. This raises an identification challenge because the content of such policies contains party cues. The current study employs a diverse set of low-salience policies to discern the unique effects of party cues and policy content, before the issues are “hijacked” by the parties. These policies are embedded in an original conjoint experiment administered among a national US sample. The design enables me to assess the effects of policy content and partisan sponsorship orthogonally. Contrary to previous studies, I find that respondents are attentive to policy content on low-salience issues, and it influences their policy preferences similarly or even more than party cues, across policy domains. Moreover, the support patterns and levels of Democrats and Republicans for many low-salience policies are similar. Party cues, by contrast, polarize partisans’ preferences across domains.
The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, TAU
To Regain Black Dignity: Sports, Politics and Protest in the Mexico City Olympic Boycott Campaign*
In October of 1967, a group of top African-American student-athletes from San Jose State University, along with their sociology Professor, Harry Edwards, established the “Olympic Project for Human Rights” (OPHR(, a movement that aspired to use the sporting arena to protest racial injustices and the mistreatment of African Americans in the United States, while promoting social change. Tracing the movement’s year-long campaign to orchestrate an African American boycott of the upcoming 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, this article examines the movement’s primary attempt to galvanize African American student-athletes into a cohesive collective working together to create social change thru sports, the different strategies it used to execute its plans, and the fierce public backlash it faced during its year-long existence. Eventually failing to execute its boycott plan, the OPHR is mostly remembered by the powerful image of two of its members, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raising their fists in the air while on the winners’ podium as the national anthem played during the Mexico City Olympics. Although a powerful demonstration of racial pride, the “black power salute” and its fallout represent a transition from a centralized, collective form of action before the Olympics, to an individualistic, symbolic form of protest during it. It easily diverted public attention away from the OPHR’s goal to highlight the plight of African Americans, towards a futile discussion over Smith and Carlos’ explosion from the games. Furthermore, the popular historical narrative which overstatesthe protest’s historical importance, vastly ignores its damaging effects that led to the OPHR’s quick demise right after the Olympics, leaving activism out of the sporting arena for decades, while maintaining the existing power structure in American sports intact.
* The article has yet to be published
* The full article will be published in Hebrew
Department of English, School of Cultural Studies, TAU
'The Wall Within the Wall: 'Mary Antin's The Promised Land*
Much ink has been spilled over Mary Antin's autobiography The Promised Land. Usually, scholars have labeled Antin as either a Jewish traitor (for eagerly willing to assimilate and erase her Jewish past) or representative model of assimilation. In this article I would like to suggest that a new answer to the much discussed question of Antin's assimilation and/or rejection of her Jewishness may emerge from a psychoanalytical reading that takes into account the role Hebrew, Yiddish and English play in Antin's work and life. However, the Hebrew and Yiddish I investigate are not necessarily overtly referred to in Antin's book (via transliteration or transcription, for instance). Instead, they are 'hidden' behind the English lines in the form of cross-multilingual homophones (words similar in sound) and homographs (words similar in writing). Attentive to such multilingual connections of signifiers, I would like to show that through her writing in English, Antin attempts to create a psychic barrier between her and her (Jewish) father. Yet paradoxically, this barrier separating her from her Jewishness is exactly what enables Antin to remain Jewish (without falling apart). This essay may pave the way for the development of a new research field exposing and examining the role of other (covert) Hebrew and Yiddish signifiers in the works and lives of additional Jewish American writers, from a psychoanalytical perspective.
* The article has yet to be published
Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Buchmann Faculty of Law, TAU
The modern patent system is conceived of as an information platform; it is evident in the common description of the patent system as a quid-pro-quo bargain: Society grants exclusive rights in exchange for information published by a patentee. But is there more to the patent system than merely informing others? Does the patent system also serve as a communication (and not only information) platform, namely, as a medium? Based on an interdisciplinary analysis of the patent system's structure and features through the lenses of communication studies, this Article suggests that it does. I demonstrate how the patent system—as a medium—enables players to fulfill various communicative ends, much beyond the obvious goal of disseminating legal-technological knowledge. The Article strives to characterize the patent medium, as well as to examine the implications of portraying the patent space as a medium.
Utilizing the power of communication analysis, the Article uncovers an existing, somewhat implicit communication paradigm of the patent system as a medium. Although tacit and unofficial, this paradigm is evident through a critical reading of patent scholarship and case law. This unspoken communication paradigm resembles that of a bulletin board: it is linear, straightforward, and focuses on the informative value of communication. However, this bulletin-board paradigm does not reflect in full the actual nature of the communication that transpires within the patent medium. After reexamining the patent space—the rules, structure, participants, and practices within the patent system—the Article offers an alternative, more comprehensive paradigm of the patent medium—the network paradigm. A network, as opposed to a bulletin board, is a connected, multi-directional, and multi-player platform, which allows communication for various ends (including, but not limited to, informing). Instead of a static view of the patent medium as a whereabouts of informative announcements, the network paradigm suggests a dynamic perspective, considering the patent medium to be enabling a discourse.
Beyond its theoretical contribution, the network paradigm serves as a powerful explanatory tool, offering profound implications for patent law. Specifically, the network paradigm resolves current oddities in the patent system; for instance, the network paradigm provides new understandings regarding phenomena in patent law such as patent pledging, early publication, and the first-to-file rule—incidents commonly considered enigmatic or only partially understood. As a tool with theoretical and practical-analytical value, the network paradigm benefits both courts and commentators in theorizing and rationalizing patent law.
Published By Our Fellows
Pandemic Politics in the United States: COVID-19 as a New Type of Political Emergency
By Or Rappel-Kroyzer & Prof. Udi Sommer
Does a state of emergency necessarily contract human behavior? In times of security crises, for instance, citizens overcome their divides. Our analysis explores the relationship between county-level partisanship in the United States during COVID-19 and mobility. We provide an original theoretical analysis to distinguish pandemic politics from politics in times of emergency as we had known them. Our framework helps reconcile previous contradictory findings about this type of emergency politics. Such a frame is needed as it has been a century since the last major global pandemic and COVID-19 may not be the last. There are five reasons to distinguish COVID-19 from previously familiar types of emergency politics: psychological, national sentiments, policy related, elite related, and time related. Our extensive mobility big data (462,115 county*days from March–August 2020) are uniquely informative about pandemic politics. In times of pandemic, people literally vote with their feet on government actions. The data are highly representative of the U.S. population. At the pandemic outbreak, our exploratory innovative analysis suggests political divides are exacerbated. Later, with mixed messages about the plague from party leadership, such exceedingly partisan patterns dissipate. They make way to less politically infused and more educationally, demographically, and economically driven behavior.
A Hidden Technological Assumption in Patent Law: The Case of Gene Patents and the Disclosure Requirement
By Or Cohen-Sasson
The disclosure requirement in patent law is designed to reveal knowledge regarding a patented invention to allow proper understanding and utilization of that invention. The contention offered here is the presence of an inherent incompatibility between the disclosure requirement and genetic inventions. Genetic inventions are highly contingent on big genetic statistical data (GSD), which is gathered during the commercial phase of a genetic invention. GSD are essential for various purposes, which at least some should be satisfied by the disclosure. However, since GSD can be gathered only at the postapplication period, GSD are not disclosed through the disclosure requirement. Therefore, there is a disclosure-genetics incompatibility. This incompatibility prevents patent law from fully accomplishing its intended purpose. he origins of this incompatibility can be traced to the structure of the disclosure requirement, a consequence of a hidden technological assumption in patent law regarding the very perception of what is an invention.
With the COVID pandemic threatening to bring many individuals to the verge of bankruptcy, and with the introduction of a new consumer bankruptcy reform bill in Congress, now is a good time to consider the drawbacks of the current consumer bankruptcy regime. The Article argues that the principal failing of the current legal regime– the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA)– emanates from the underlying narrative of the legislation, which insulates consumer bankruptcy from the larger context of consumer indebtedness and consumer credit markets. This (mis)conception of the problem, I argue, has originated with the consumer creditor industry, which holds a strong interest in separating the regulation of consumer bankruptcy from that of consumer lending. The Article demonstrates that historically, the push by consumer creditors toward insulating consumer bankruptcy policy was facilitated by Congressional rules of committee jurisdiction, which assign consumer bankruptcy legislation and consumer credit legislation to different House and Senate committees.
Run From Your Parent's House: Transfeminism and Abraham's Blessing
By Slava Greenberg
In this essay, Greenberg explores trans and gender-nonconforming ways of being in contemporary Judaism, through a televised version of Abraham, as portrayed in the award-winning Amazon series Transparent. Transparent's challenge to the gender divide is made by citing, referencing, and reimagining the mythological call to the biblical figure of Abraham: "Go forth from your land, your birthplace, your father's house, to the land that I will show you" (Gen 12:1). The interconnection between the text's temporal and spatial gaps allows for a polysemic reading. It not only gives way to a renewed exploration of the two parts of the verse (the divine call to Abraham "Go forth," and "from your father's house") but also adds another possible transfeminist reading of the conclusion to Abraham's story: "Return to your parent's house, to care for your community," urging action and spiritual leadership.
Financialization and rising income inequality are two of the most pronounced economic developments of recent decades, and there is increasing evidence that these trends are somehow related. However, explanations of this link are still limited, and pay little attention to workers themselves. As a result, the impact of financialization on income inequality appears at most as an unfortunate side-effect. This article takes a different approach by investigating both financialization and income inequality from within the historical development of the class struggle in the United States economy. It shows that the economic problems of the 1970s that provided the impetus for financialization were closely related to the escalating conflicts between labor and capital, in which the state served as an increasingly important terrain of struggle. Viewed from this perspective, rising income inequality appears less as an unexpected outcome of financialization and more as its very raison d’etre.
Policy Diffusion in Federal Systems During a State of Emergency: Diffusion of COVID- 19 Statewide Lockdown Policies Across the United States
By Sharon Elhadad & Prof. Udi Sommer
This paper develops a unified model of policy diffusion to analyze the speed of adoption of statewide lockdown policies within a federal system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The modified unified model was built to improve our understanding of policy diffusion in contexts where existing models fall short. The authors highlight three main policy diffusion channels: regional, vertical, and internal. The paper shows the empirical test of the model across US states and finds that vertical effects, such as higher approval ratings for President Donald Trump, as well as a comparatively high proportion of COVID-19 federal funding support, bear a strong positive association with the speed of statewide lockdown adoption policies. In addition, certain internal effects are also important – higher governor approval ratings are positively associated with the speed of statewide lockdown adoption policies, as are state and local spending, democratic state governments, and population awareness of the virus. However, other internal factors, such as the stringency of statewide lockdown policies and the relative proportion of COVID-19 deaths in a state, were minimally associated with the speed of lockdown policy adoption. Surprisingly, unlike past studies, horizontal regional effects did not play a significant role in the presented analysis – the speed of adoption of lockdown policies by neighboring states bears no association with the speed of policy adoption of statewide lockdowns. Overall, the results suggest a strong influence of political factors on the speed of statewide lockdown adoption policies in the US.
Online coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Anglo-American democracies: internet news coverage and pandemic politics in the USA, Canada, and New Zealand
By Or Rappel-Kroyzer & Prof. Udi Sommer
We examine how internet media outlets in key Anglo-American democracies differed under a similar external shock: the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. COVID-19 posed a special challenge to democracy, juxtaposing it with alternative forms of government, which may be better positioned to deal with such a crisis. The online media, as the watchdog of democracy, played a key role. As the pandemic started to spread worldwide, three democracies – the USA, Canada, and New Zealand – were of particular interest. The USA had the highest number of cases and deaths, considerably more than its neighbor to the north. NZ was the democracy that most effectively dealt with the pandemic. We comprehensively study the coverage of the outbreak on the internet website of a newspaper of record in each. Data were harvested for the universe of 27,089 articles published online between mid-February and early May on the websites of the New York Times, New Zealand Herald, and the Globe and Mail. Natural learning processing and dependency parsing are the methods used to analyze the data. We find meaningful differences between the outlets in timing, structure, and content. Compared with their US counterpart, the online watchdogs of democracy in Canada and NZ – where COVID-19 politics were far more effective – barked louder, clearer and 2 weeks earlier.