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Under Review

"How Shaming Human Rights Violators Abroad Shapes Attitudes at Home." R&R British Journal of Political Science.

Does shaming human rights violators shape attitudes at home? A growing literature studies the effect of shaming on public attitudes in the target state, but far less isknown about its effect in countries initiating the criticism, i.e. the shamers. In this article, I theorize that when governments shame human rights violators they shape both government approval and human rights attitudes at home. I provide evidence for my theory in three studies – two survey experiments in the U.S. and a cross-national observational analysis. My research reveals several findings. First, citizens are more likely to approve of their government when it shames human rights violators. Second,citizens perceive their country as more respectful of human rights when their governments shames other countries. At the same time, however, building on moral licensing theory,I show that in cases where shaming shapes perceptions of government morality, it can increases tolerance of domestic violations of human rights.

"How Racial Rhetoric Shapes Human Rights Shaming and Counter-shaming." (with Zoltan Buzas) R&R American Journal of Political Science

Can Human Rights Organizations (HROs) shame governments without fueling racism or appearing racist? When and to what extent can shamed governments recover public support lost to shaming by accusing their critics of racism? Employing two US survey experiments involving 6,739 respondents, we offer three novel findings. First, shaming decreased support for the shamed countries (Israel and China) but did not fuel racist sentiment (antisemitism and anti-Asianism). To the extent that shamers face a racial dilemma, it is less about how to shame without fueling racism, and more about how to shame without appearing racist. Our second finding points toward a solution: when shaming included an anti-racist cue denouncing racism, respondents perceived it as less racist. Finally, shamed governments can employ racial countershaming to recover some, but not all, of the public support lost to shaming. We contribute to the International Relations shaming literature and offer recommendations to HROs about racially responsible shaming.

"The Generalizability of IR Experiments Beyond the United States." (with Jessica Weeks, Jonathan Renshon and Chagai Weis).  R&R American Political Science Review

Theories of international relations (IR) typically make predictions intended to hold across many countries. Nonetheless, existing experimental evidence testing the micro-foundations of IR theories relies overwhelmingly on studies fielded in the U.S. We argue that the nature of what constitutes a theory of IR makes it especially important to know whether particular findings hold across countries. To examine the generalizability of IR experimental findings beyond the U.S., we implemented a pre-registered and harmonized multi-site replication study, fielding four prominent IR experiments in seven countries: Brazil, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, and the U.S. We find that all four experiments replicate in nearly all of the countries, a pattern likely due to treatment effect homogeneity. Our study reveals that findings from the U.S. are similar to findings from a wide range of countries, offering important theoretical and empirical implications to inform the design and interpretation of future experimental research in IR.

"Champions and Pariahs: Image Effects of Naming and Shaming."

Does international criticism shape attitudes of foreign publics? Existing theories of shaming often make assumptions about the reputational effects of shaming. Nonetheless, past work has focused, for the most part, on the effects of shaming on target states. In this research, I propose a theory of shaming and third-party audiences and argue that by criticizing human rights transgressors, state actors can simultaneously improvet heir own image abroad while damaging the target’s reputation. Evidence from a U.S.-based survey experiment indicates that information about shaming increases foreign public support for cooperation with thes hamer, while decreasing support for cooperation with the target. However, shaming does not appear to reinforce beliefs about international norms or deter third-party observers. Overall, these findings shed new light on governments’ incentives to shame and the broader consequences of public criticism.

"Praise from Peers Promotes Empathetic Behavior." (with Adeline Lo and Jonathan Renshon).

Outgroup bias is a well-documented and pernicious phenomenon, manifesting in negative attitudes and behavior towards outgroups. Empathy—taking the perspective and understanding the experiences of others—holds considerable promise for attenuating outgroup bias. Yet, engaging in empathy is costly and existing interventions to encourage it are expensive and difficult to scale. Through six pilots, we develop a non-invasive, low-cost, peer praise intervention that encourages empathetic behavior towards generalized “others” by stimulating positive emotions. This research tests the hypothesis that our peer praise intervention promotes empathetic behavior among white respondents in the U.S. towards black and Latino/a Americans, a context where racial/ethnic outgroup bias is particularly durable and pernicious. We (1) measure real choices to engage in empathy with outgroups (2) test whether effects of peer praise are durable using a panel design (3) explore downstream effects on attitudinal/behavioural support for historical civil rights and advocacy groups (UnidosUS, BLM).


In Preparation

Lotem Bassan-Nygate. "Illuminating Criticism: The Backlash to Foreign Scrutiny."

Lotem Bassan-Nygate. "Global Reactions to Domestic Criticism: Evidence from Israel's Judicial Overhaul."

Lotem Bassan-Nygate. "The External Validity of Naming and Shaming."

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