Congratulations to Chris Farris for receiving the award for the best article in the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS) this past year. His article, written with Tara Slough titled, "Misgovernance and Human Rights: The Case of Illegal Detention without Intent” can be read here


The American Journal of Political Science is committed to significant advances in knowledge and understanding of citizenship, governance, and politics, and to the public value of political science research. AJPS is the official journal of the Midwest Political Science Association and is published by Wiley. The Journal has been published since May, 1957 and is published in January, April, July, and October each year.


Here is the abstract to the article:


Existing explanations of human rights abuses emphasize a strategic logic of repression. Yet certain classes of abuses may arise absent the intent to repress because of the misaligned bureaucratic incentives of state agents. To separate accounts of strategic repression from bureaucratic incentives, we study the responses of state agents working within the Haitian criminal justice system to a randomized, free legal assistance intervention for detainees held in illegal pretrial detention. Legal assistance addresses moral hazard problems of the bureaucrats responsible for processing cases. We demonstrate that legal assistance accelerates case advancement and liberation, in line with the view that large-scale human rights abuses in the justice system can result from poor governance and not repressive intent.