Anonymizing Microdata

In the age of datalinkage, protecting microdata is as relevant as ever. Fortunately, there are R packages available to help:

That’s another excuse for not sharing data busted.

How to blind your manuscript

I come across this ever so often when doing a review, and there are even journal guidelines giving bad advice on how to blind a manuscript for double-blind peer review.

A good guide can be found here at Oxford Univeristiy Press.

What gets me every time is violations of this:

Do not employ (Author 2016) and similar devices.

While it may look like a good way to anonymize, it actually encourages guessing who the author may be more than anything I know. Often it provides good clues, especially if we can read the titles in the reference list. The funny thing is that as a reviewer, typically I do not want to know who you are (at least not until I have completed the review).

The guidelines cited above are pretty clear:

  • do cite yourself if it is relevant
  • use appendices/supplements to describe methodology
  • do not use (Author 2019)
  • do not cite unpublished work

Come and join us: PhD position at the Swiss Forum for Migration Studies

Come and join us! The SFM is currently recruiting a PhD student (50% FTE, starting 1 January 2020, 4 years). You’ll be writing a doctoral thesis on citizenship or political mobilization related to human migration or human rights. You should have knowledge of Swiss and European migration policies and speak French, German, and English.

Deadine: 1 December 2019.


What is the claim to representation for immigrants?

When we discuss the claim to political representation, we normally do not differentiate between the executive and the legislative (and the judicative). Looking at the claim to representation for immigrants, I believe that perhaps we should. There’s some tension between citizenship as an exclusive right and ‘no taxation without representation’. Interestingly, in many places immigrants can now vote at the local level, and the literature seems to focus on this extension of rights rather than the ability to access full political rights via citizenship.

Here is a possible approach. We could argue that the claim to representation in the executive may be restricted to citizens, while the legislative should be opened to the entire resident population (irrespective of citizenship). Opening the legislative could be defended by deliberation in the chamber(s) and the aforementioned principle of ‘no taxation without representation’. Neither of these requires access to the decision-making in the executive, which could be retained as an exclusive right. Put differently, we would focus on the legislative as law-makers, and then argue that everyone affected should have a possibility in shaping the rules that affect them (i.e. the entire resident population). Citizens, with a stronger claim to the in-group will then decide how to put these rules into place. Not fogetting the judicative, is it the judicative that should be restricted to citizens?

Irrespective of these, I never understood giving access at the local level, though. If non-citizens should have a right to participate because they are affected by the rules of the game, then shouldn’t they be allowed to participate (and be represented) at any level? Let’s throw in trustees and delegates to the mix, and the impossibility of future generations to represent themselves, and nothing seems that clear anymore…

Ruedin, Didier. 2013. Why Aren’t They There? The Political Representation of Women, Ethnic Groups and Issue Positions in Legislatures. Colchester: ECPR Press.

Ruedin, Didier. 2018. ‘Participation in Local Elections: “Why Don’t Immigrants Vote More?”’ Parliamentary Affairs 71 (2): 243–262.