Work Under Review

Abstract: Existing political science research on the impact of globalization has overlooked cultural globalization. To fill this gap, we investigate whether imported political protest movies encourage anti-government demonstrations in autocracies. We argue that protest movies from democratic nations showcase democratic rights and values, demonstrate how to fight for those values, and enhance the social network- protest nexus. Our study uses a unique dataset of political protest movies imported from democracies into autocratic countries between 2000 and 2018. We find that widely-watched protest movies have a significant positive impact, and a battery of placebo tests provides further empirical support. Neither little-watched protest movies nor widely-watched family romance movies affect protests, and widely- watched imported protest movies do not impact prior political protests in autocracies or subsequent political protests in democracies. Our research contributes to the scholarship on the effects of globalization, international service trade, and mass political mobilization, highlighting the role of foreign culture in shaping political outcomes.

Keywords: Globalization of culture and ideas, Motion Picture Import, Political Protest, Regime Type

Abstract: We study whether trade motivations play an important role in the allocation of bureaucrats across countries, using data on the home cities and post- ings of Chinese ambassadors. We find that the Chinese bureaucracy is more likely to match a country with an ambassador whose hometown imports a significant amount from that host country. Moreover, the effect only exists for “non-partner” countries, where diplomatic work is challenging. Our results are most easily rec- onciled with a network channel: given the strong economic ties between home city and country of posting, an ambassador with such a background would be better positioned to build a strong local network, a particularly valuable feature in non-partner countries.

Keywords: Trade, the allocation of ambassadors, China    

Work in Progress: