The (Non) Religion of Mechanical Turk Workers (with Andrew Lewis, Paul Djupe, and Stephen Mockabee)
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 54(2), 2015

Social science researchers have increasingly come to utilize Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to obtain adult, opt-in samples for use with experiments. Based on the demographic characteristics of MTurk samples, studies have provided some support for the representativeness of MTurk. Others have warranted caution based on demographic characteristics and comparisons of reliability. Yet, what is missing is an examination of the most glaring demographic difference in MTurk—religion. We compare five MTurk samples with a student convenience sample and the 2012 General Social Survey, finding that MTurk samples have a consistent bias toward nonreligion. MTurk surveys significantly overrepresent seculars and underrepresent Catholics and evangelical Protestants. We then compare the religiosity of religious identifiers across samples as well as relationships between religiosity and partisanship, finding many similarities and a few important differences from the general population.

The state of China’s environmental governance after the 17th Party Congress
East Asia: An International Quarterly, 26(4), 2009
(DOI: 10.1007/s12140-009-9089-9)

To redress its deteriorating environment, Chinese leaders have elevated the environmental agenda in its political discourse, especially at the recent 17th Party Congress. In this article, I answer whether the changes and reforms enacted at the 17th Party Congress and codified in the National Eleventh Five-year Plan for Environmental Protection (PEP) address the flaws of the Chinese environmental governance regime. First I identify the critical shortcomings of China’s environmental governance. Then I examine the PEP, focusing on the reforms that correspond with each of these shortcomings. I find that the PEP reforms are insufficient in addressing the shortcomings of the Chinese environmental governance regime. However, in examining empirical evidence, I find that despite almost non-existent institutional reforms, China’s environmental performance has improved. Finally, in the conclusion, I summarize my findings, examine the implications of the paradoxical increase in environmental performance without corresponding governance reform, and suggest areas of future research.

Economics, Lobbying, and US Congressional Support for Taiwan: Buying American Support, 2002-2006
Asian Survey, 49(2), 2009

As Taiwan-US trade has increased, I hypothesize that there is a relationship between increased Taiwan importation of US exports and greater American congressional support for Taiwan. The analysis, however, finds no such empirical correlation. Instead, support for Taiwan seems to be based more on shared norms of democracy and human rights.


The Taiwanese Business Community: A Catalyst or Virus for Chinese Development?
Chapter 10, China in An Era of Transition: Understanding Contemporary State and Society Actors (Hasmath and Hsu, ed), Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

In analyzing the Taiwanese business community (TBC) and its impact on China, existing research has focused on economic effects, and how the TBC has facilitated Chinese economic modernization and development. However, a paradigm that only focuses on the economic realm cannot capture the full extent to which the TBC is emerging as a legitimate Chinese actor. As a growingly important actor in China, the TBC affects not only the economy, but also society and politics. In analyzing the transformative effects of the TBC’s dynamic interactions with local Chinese communities, a constructivist paradigm must be adopted. Based on the central axiom that an actor’s norms, identities, and cultures are only expressed through interaction, and that it is through interaction that they are changed, this paper will demonstrate how the TBC is transforming the culture of state-business relations, changing social norms, and reinforcing the dichotomy of state and society roles in the Chinese identity.


Toward a Model of International Environmental Action: A Case Study of Japan’s Environmental Conversion and Participation in the Climate Change Environmental Regime
Review of Policy Research, 26(2), 2009

This article explains the empirical puzzle of Japan’s green conversion from an environmental pariah to a leading player in the climate change environmental regime. My argument is that Japan pursued environmental action to reconstruct its international image and demonstrate itself to be a responsible global actor. Claiming that existing explanations fall short, I delineate an international environmental action model that incorporates a more comprehensive cost–benefit framework examining both real and ideational factors. To test the model, I examine four key episodes of Japan’s participation in the climate change environmental regime. The empirical analysis reveals the relevancy of the environmental action model, as all four episodes are either fully or partially explained by the model’s mechanisms. Finally, I provide some conclusions, suggest that this model fills in the gap in the literature on environmental foreign policy, and provide topics for future research