Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Aram Hur ─ A Communal Duty Model of Citizen Compliance

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

4 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

Why do citizens choose to comply with the state? Democracies rely on a great deal of this voluntary compliance to govern effectively. While existing answers focus almost exclusively on payoffs, I introduce a different framework based on the ethical power of communities. Special communities such as the nation often instill a sense of responsibility to contribute to their welfare – a communal duty. When the state is seen as representing “my” nation, this communal duty provides an ethical motivation to comply with the state. Using voting, a form of citizen compliance that all democracies share, I test the model across paired surveys and experiments in South Korea and Taiwan, two places with contrasting degrees of nation-state alignment. The findings offer new theoretical and policy insight on how nationalism can help, not hinder, democratic governance.

Download the paper here.

Aram Hur is a PhD candidate in Comparative Politics at Princeton University. For the 2014-2015 academic year, she is a graduate fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

She studies comparative political behavior in advanced and transitioning democracies, with additional expertise in East Asia. Her research is committed to uncovering the non-obvious and sometimes contradictory roles that identity plays in democratic governance. She is also interested in research methods, particularly survey measurement and integrating experimental logic into multimethod strategies to identify the causal effects of identity.

She earned her BA from Stanford University and MPP from Harvard University.

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