The PRE Lab is currently working on a number of projects locally in Texas, nationally across the United States, and internationally – from Europe to Asia. Check out some of our exciting projects below:

Studies in Comparative Anti-Racism

Variance in minority discrimination across countries can provide clues as to when we see more racism (and when we see less). This allows us to identify which structural and behavioral conditions are associated with racism generally, and which ones need to be addressed for racial justice specifically. Our working theory is that there are at least two paths to ending racial discrimination. 

  • The first is a top-down institutional path where the state government accommodates a minority with modification of the existing institutional framework.
  • Second is a bottom-up socially-driven path by way of contentious politics. 
  • Third, both mechanisms and the outcomes they engender are also set against their context specific inter-sectional vectors of discrimination. 

In turn, the methodological merit of our approach centers on a novel application of semi-automated machine coding of data on cross-national racism. This data collection is embedded in four multi-faceted sub-national level data collections from across the globe that include machine coding of data in local languages, survey experiments, interviews and qualitative narratives for in-depth contextualization of the cases.

Amy Liu; Co-PI: Roman Hlatky, Eric McDaniel, and Katy Smith.

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Spring 2022: Karyme Alejos, Ariana Hernandez, Ezinne Iwuanyanwu, Asha Kalapatapu, Vivian Macias, Bhargav Nallathinghal, Alisha Patel, Mitchell Perez, Raymundo Rodriguez, Jose Serna, Kavya Sethi, and Mae Zeitouni.

Fall 2021: Ezinne Iwuanyanwu, Asha L Kalapatapu, Amara Kwiatkowski, Kendall Madden, Evan McMullin, Brianna Prado, Ally Raven, Shahjahan Salim, and Dulce Silva.

Summer 2021: Lucas Coleman, Chloe Colvin, Ray Gregory, Jack Grunden, Lucy Hirschenberger, Riya Kale, Nicholas Logan, Alexander Morris, Scott Morton, Omar Nasir, Evan Szilagyi, and Olivia Tijeirna.

Policing in the United States

Policing has come under increased scrutiny as citizens have mobilized in response to ongoing violence in and exploitation of communities of color in the United States. A suite of projects examines the tradeoffs between policing practices that purport to promote public safety, and harm those same practices produce for marginalized people. Large, administrative records of police behavior across several cities affords the opportunity to examine in granular detail enforcement behaviors like shirking, practices associated with order maintenance, and the implications for racial inequality in criminal justice outcomes. These projects are a collaborative effort that unite a practical emphasis on policy (evaluation and reform) and a critical emphasis on the importance of equality under the law to American Democracy.

PI: Marcel Roman and Hannah Walker; Co-PI: Derek Epp, Mike Findley, Amy Liu, and Allison Verrilli.

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Spring 2022: Ashley Abaragu, Sergio Casas, Emily Clark, Diego Cura, Andrea Findley, Treasure Ibe, Claire Jimerson, Clarisse Manuel, Nathan Maphet, Penn McCormack, Echo Nattinger, Magoli Osowski, Misha Rafiq, Brandon Robert, and Evan Shimek.

Fall 2021: Emily Clark, Jenna Cortez, Andrea Findley, Treasure Ibe, Jamie Kim, Zoe Lansbury, Clarisse Manuel, Evan McMullin, Echo Nattinger, Jazmine Necessary, Ally Raven, Evan Shimek, Amy Shreeve, and Leif Thomas.

Religion and COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Minorities

Numerous reports have shown minority communities – whether of color or immigrants – have been bombarded by false accounts regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. We are interested in how religious beliefs – possibly exacerbated by linguistic barriers – factor in misinformation spread about the COVID vaccine. Religious messages that emphasize spiritual fidelity for health and wealth can affect how individuals assess risk. Our project focuses on the Dallas-Houston corridor – with its unrivaled access to the Black, Latinx, and AAPI communities and set against a backdrop of megachurches. We will scrape social media, field a survey, and conduct interviews.

PI: Eric McDaniel; Co-PI: Amy Liu and Hannah Walker.

Ethnicity, Religion & Minority Mobilization in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian countries are home to immense ethnic diversity and some of the longest ethnic conflicts in the world today. How did ethnic cleavages emerge in these countries? What are the implications of ethnic politics in Southeast Asian nations? A set of collaborative projects address these questions drawing on historical and contemporary data. Using geocoded data from Myanmar, we examine the role of identity in pro-democracy protests. In another project, we geocode records of Christian missionary activities across Southeast Asia to better understand the colonial origins of identity formation. Using contemporary cross-national survey data, we also study the intersection of religious and ethnic identities and its role in minority-state relations in Southeast Asia and beyond. These projects combine historical research and deep regional knowledge with statistical analysis of public opinion and administrative data.

PI: Jangai Jap; Co-PI:  Amy Liu and Sam Selsky.

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Spring 2022: Majdi Ammuri and Isabell Maturino.

Fall 2021: Ashley Joo.

Afro-Latino Political Attitudes and Behavior

Latinos are often described in broad strokes, that paint a picture of a monolithic group. But there is a great deal of diversity among Latinos, by national origin group, generation, and race.  We examine how differences in racial identification among Latinos can lead to differences in group identity and perceived closeness to other racial and ethnic groups. We also explore how these racial differences impact political attitudes and behavior of Latinos living in the United States.

Danielle Pilar Clealand; Co-PI: Angela Gutierrez 

Disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe

Disinformation – the deliberate provision of false or misleading narratives with the intention of doing harm – has become a common tool of foreign policy. In Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), disinformation exploits existing societal divisions, thereby undermining trust and increasing polarization. Much of this disinformation focuses on the propagation of so-called “liberal” identity values that stand at odds with “traditional” Central and Eastern European societies. Common refrains induce sentiments of threat by focusing on migration, LGBTQIA+ and gender “ideology”, and the advancement of ethnic and racial minority rights. Often these themes are linked directly to the European Union and other Western institutions.

This project has four aims:
(1) identify the disinformation audience – who reads and trusts disinformation in CEE?
(2) determine reactions – how do individuals react to specific disinformation headlines?
(3) evaluate effects – what are the effects of disinformation exposure on political attitudes?
& (4) gather data – what does the population of disinformation news articles look like, and how can we identify new disinformation when it appears?

PI: Roman Hlatky; Co-PI:  Amy Liu 

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Spring 2022: Oleskandra Price

Fall 2021: Katherine Birch and Annirudh Thakur.

Chinese American Scientist Survey

Spearheaded by Committee 100 and University of Arizona

This joint research project is designed to understand how research and academics have been affected by the limitations that the U.S. government has placed on international exchange with China, with special focus over the impact on professors and researchers who are of Chinese descent.

Central Texas Asian Landscape Report

In collaboration with Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce

This report highlights the activities of Asian-owned businesses in the Greater Austin area.