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2020 News


Dan McAdams | Reckoning with Trump: A Conversation with Psychologist Dan McAdams

March 30, 2021 – from The Global Lunchbox Podcast
This episode of the Global Lunchbox features a conversation with Dan McAdams about his book The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump: A Psychological Reckoning (2020). McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern. A key figure in the recent emergence within the social sciences of narrative approaches to studying human lives, his previous books include The Art and Science of Personality Development (2015) and The Redemptive Self (2006). The Global Lunchbox series, hosted by the Center for International & Area Studies at Northwestern University, features conversations with scholars in the social sciences and humanities about their current research on a range of critical global issues.

Jennifer Forestal | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 7 – Social Media as/and Politics

March 16, 2021 – from Oxy Poli-cast
Professor Forestal is a political theorist who draws on the history of political thought to investigate the politics of social media, studying the effects of site design, governance structures, and software development on the potential for democratic engagement with and through digital media. We spoke about the politics of social media, their role in American democracy, and ways to design platforms in a more just manner.

James Druckman | New Survey Shows Wide Gaps in Who Is Getting Vaccinated

March 12, 2021 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
A new national survey of more than 21,000 Americans underscores that wide disparities still exist in terms of who has been able to get a vaccine so far. It also pinpoints how a complex system of vaccine distribution cuts off the people best placed to convince more vulnerable Americans to get one. “The complex distribution process of the vaccine has privileged more educated individuals with better healthcare, and communication efforts have not succeeded in closing these gaps,” Druckman said. “This goes back to the importance of engaging with the medical community,” Druckman said. “But a challenge here is that those with lower incomes often do not have regular doctors and so that cuts off a potentially key communicator.”

Alvin B. Tillery Jr | Reparations In Evanston And Across America

March 11, 2021 – from The 21st Show
"City leaders in Evanston will soon vote on a $10 million plan to use marijuana tax money for a reparations program intended to make amends for past racist housing practices. If the bill passes, Evanston would become the first U.S. city to use marijuana revenues to fund reparations for Black residents. As Evanston city council officials prepare to vote on this bill, some residents are voicing objections to the plan and are saying that it doesn’t go far enough. To talk more about the plan for reparations in Evanston, The 21st was joined by a co-sponsor of the bill and the Alderwoman of Evanston’s 5th Ward, the director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University and a historian who wrote a 70-page report documenting racist & discriminatory practices in Evanston dating to the late 1800s."

Barnor Hesse | NU in Living Color: Black and Brown Faculty Discuss Racism on Campus

March 8, 2021 – from Northwestern University
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, universities have begun to confront the painful reality that their organizations perpetuate inequality. Why does Northwestern University, an elite and predominantly White institution, routinely find itself in turmoil on topics related to racism, diversity, and inclusion? Join Black and Brown faculty from around Northwestern University for a candid conversation about their experiences navigating Northwestern-and racism- as faculty members of color.

Tabitha Bonilla & Alvin B. Tillery Jr | An International Women's Day collection from APSR

March 8, 2021 – from APSR
The final article in this section extends beyond the issue of underrepresentation in formal politics to also assess women’s participation in activism. Tabitha Bonilla and Alvin B. Tillery Jr (2020) employ a survey experiment to study participation in the Black Lives Matter movement. Through this study of the effect of identity frames (Black nationalist, feminist, and LGBTQ+) on potential supporters of the movement, the authors find among other things find that intersectional identities can have a demobilizing effect on some segments of the African American population.

Moses Khisa | Travesty of persecuting Nicholas Opiyo

March 6, 2021 – from Daily Monitor
"Many of us were riled when State agents violently kidnapped our compatriot Nicholas Opiyo last December. The manner of his arrest was nefarious, the goal of arresting him was even more diabolic. Picking from an old trick of repressive use of the law, the rulers kept him away from his family and stripped him of his freedom at the most celebrated time of the year – Christmas. This was deliberate and calculated. It was intended to inflict maximum psychological and emotional pain at the most important time of the year. It was to break his back and dampen his spirit."

Barnor Hesse | We Need to Talk about Whiteness: Ep 21: Whiteness and Culture Wars

March 1, 2021 – from We Need to Talk about Whiteness Podcast
Prof Barnor Hesse is Associate Professor of African American Studies, Political Science, and Sociology at Northwestern University (USA) and a man who has found himself at the centre of the “culture wars” after a list of 8 white identities he’d devised became headline news, leading to a campaign of intimidation and hate, which has included threats against his life. So what are the 'culture wars' really about, why are they so virulent, and what can we learn from his list of white identities?

Will Reno | Honorable Mention Distinction for the Ver Steeg Award

March 1, 2021 – from Northwestern TGS
Named for Clarence Ver Steeg, PhD, former Northwestern University Professor in History and Dean of The Graduate School from 1975 to 1986, this award annually recognizes one outstanding graduate faculty member and one non-faculty staff member for excellence in working with students of The Graduate School.

Salih Emre Gercek | 2020 Graduate Placements

March 1, 2021 – from UCONN
Salih Emre Gercek joined the University of Connecticut in Fall 2020 as a Visiting Assistant Professor after completing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University. His research and teaching interests are in the history of political thought and democratic theory, with a particular attention to themes of equality, participation, and political economy. His other line of research engages with efforts to rethink democracy and collectivity in continental political thought. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in European Journal of Political Theory and The Review of Politics.

Brian Harrison (TGS PhD) | How to be an Ally for Transgender Rights

March 31, 2020 – from Oxford University Press's Blog
"How do we push back against this fear and help others treat transgender people with equality and respect? Remind us all that we have a superpower. When we speak up, we can change people’s perspectives, change public opinion, and change public policy. Every one of us can play a part in improving the lives and treatment of transgender people. The key is to appeal to people’s existing values and feelings, boosting their existing identities and reassuring folks who feel uncomfortable that they are good people. Here is our actionable, evidence-based advice—grounded in empirical data—on how to help folks be more comfortable with transgender people and more supportive of their rights."

Kumar Ramanathan (PhD Candidate/Student) | Breaking Down Kim Foxx’s Win in the 2020 Primary

March 25, 2020 – from Chicago Democracy Project at NU
"Kim Foxx rose to prominence when she challenged incumbent State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in the 2016 election. During that election, progressive activist groups mobilized against Alvarez, who was embroiled in controversy over her handling of the murder of Lacquan McDonald, memorably creating the slogan #ByeAnita. Along with ousting a dissatisfying incumbent, these groups also sought to advance a broad criminal justice agenda through changing the policies of the county prosecutor’s office."

Mara Suttmann-Lea (TGS PhD) | Connecticut College: Classes resume remotely

March 25, 2020 – from Connecticut College News
For Suttmann-Lea, that meant recording a podcast timed to lecture slides for her “Introduction to American Politics” course. “This week’s episodes focus on the powers of the presidency. Next week we will be transitioning to Congress, and from there we’ll cover other components of the American political system like the bureaucracy, the courts, political parties, public opinion and elections,” she said, adding that she is doing her best to keep things consistent while also being attuned to the different positions her students are in.

Wendy Pearlman | Mobilizing From Scratch: Large-Scale Collective Action Without Preexisting Organization in the Syrian Uprising

March 23, 2020 – from Comparative Political Studies
"How do dissenters mobilize masses in repressive settings where, given curtailment of civil society, autonomous associations scarcely exist and norms discourage trust more than encourage it? Testimonials from the Syrian uprising illustrate how protest can become widespread under such conditions, yet occurs through processes different from what dominant theory expects."

Mary McGrath | Female Politicians are Struggling, but Could Succeed with More Faith from Voters

March 22, 2020 – from Medill Reports
McGrath’s experiments revealed a distinct, self-fulling prophecy among voters, fueled in part by the hesitation around voting for something they’ve never seen before, in this case a female holding executive office. “We don’t see women in office and then voters may take that as a sign that other voters aren’t willing to put women in office. So, it’s the same sort of unfortunate feedback loop,” McGrath said.

Jaime Dominguez | 5 Questions Heading into Tuesday’s Democratic Primaries

March 17, 2020 – from Chicago Tonight
"Four states had been scheduled to hold Democratic presidential primaries on Tuesday amid a global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, but leaders in Ohio called off their election, citing public health concerns. Arizona, Illinois and Florida say they’re going ahead with plans to vote."

Jesse Savage (TGS PhD) | Political Survival and Sovereignty in International Relations

March 15, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
Why do political actors willingly give up sovereignty to another state, or choose to resist, sometimes to the point of violence? Jesse Dillon Savage demonstrates the role that domestic politics plays in the formation of international hierarchies, and shows that when there are high levels of rent-seeking and political competition within the subordinate state, elites within this state become more prepared to accept hierarchy.

Jahara Matisek (TGS PhD) | The "Goldilocks Zone" of War and Peace

March 12, 2020 – from The Journal of Character & Leadership Development
“In this article, we contend that educators should strive toward an educational ‘Goldilocks Zone’ approach, where students are forced to grapple with counterfactuals and case studies to understand the implications of the human condition, cultures, and societies within conflict. We further argue that weak states breed persistent civil wars, and that overcoming this ‘conflict trap’ requires war-making and the teaching of such to resolve contextualized political disputes. Moreover, we discuss the utility and limits of military force to include the precarious nature of militarily intervening in civil wars – past and present – in order to illustrate how future leaders should engage in constructive classroom engagements about humanitarianism in such scenarios.”

Mara Suttmann-Lea (TGS PhD) | Bloomberg Bets Old Rules of Politics No Longer Apply. He May Be Right.

March 12, 2020 – from The Christian Science Monitor
Just a few wealthy super PAC donors were able to boost Republican candidates in 2012 and 2016 who wouldn’t have made it off the ground in previous cycles, he says. And while most Democratic candidates have spoken out against Citizens United and eschewed the use of super PACs, “instead we get people like [Tom] Steyer and Bloomberg, who are financing themselves,” Professor Boatright says. Others note that Mr. Bloomberg has committed to keeping his resources on the ground, even if he’s not the nominee. “So regardless of where he ends up in the nominating process, he’s going to have an impact,” says Mara Suttmann-Lea, professor of government at Connecticut College.

Erin Lockwood (TGS PhD) | The Trump administration considers ways to help the travel industry

March 11, 2020 – from Marketplace
When the financial system was in turmoil in 2008, it was pretty easy to see which industries caused the problems and which were suffering. “And this, of course, was concentrated last time to the financial industry, the housing industry, ultimately, the automakers were also involved,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. And so they got federal government bailouts, or loans, regulatory relief — whatever you want to call it. “The assistance that was given to the banking and automobile industries during the 2008 financial crisis came under the heading of the Troubled Asset Relief Program,” said Erin Lockwood, assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine.

Marina Henke | A tale of three French interventions: Intervention entrepreneurs and institutional intervention choices

March 11, 2020 – from Journal of Strategic Studies
"What factors explain the institutional shape of military interventions spearheaded by France? This article suggests that Intervention Entrepreneurs are the deciding agents. To secure the viability of their intervention proposal, they select an intervention venue based on pragmatic grounds. Most importantly, they carefully study possible domestic and international opposition to their intervention plans and conceive institutional intervention choices accordingly."

Samara Klar (TGS PHD) | Civics 101: A Podcast — Independents

March 11, 2020 – from CIvics 101: A Podcast
What prevents someone from affiliating with a political party? What is the ideology of an independent? And how can these voters exist in a two party system? Walking us through the world of the party outsiders is political scientist Samara Klar, head of, Jacqueline Salit and president of New Hampshire Independent Voters, Tiani Coleman.

Chloe Thurston | From Personal to Partisan: Abortion, Party, and Religion Among California State Legislators

March 10, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"The parties’ polarization on abortion is a signal development. Yet while the issue has been much discussed, scholars have said less about how it reveals the unstable relationship between legislators’ personal backgrounds and their issue positions. We argue that the importance of personal characteristics may wane as links between parties and interest groups develop. We focus on the case of abortion in the California State Assembly—one of the first legislative bodies to wrestle with the issue in modern times."

Samuel Gubitz (PhD Candidate/Student) & Denzel Avant (TGS PhDs) | Racializing Captain America: How Racial Attitudes Affect Perceptions of Affirmative Action and Diversity Initiatives in Media

March 9, 2020 – from Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
"Is announcing a commitment to diversity enough to activate attitudes toward diversity initiatives? And what are the spillover effects of these programs? To address these questions, we conduct an experiment imbedded in a nationally representative survey of non-Hispanic White Americans (n = 1,519). We inform respondents that the White actor who plays Captain America will be replaced, while varying whether there is a reference to a diversity initiative and whether the replacement is White or Black. We find that reference to diversity initiatives on its own has no effect but the action of displaying diversity affects marketplace preferences and attitudes toward diversity initiatives."

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | Memo: Why Workers Need Physical Spaces for Workplace Discussions—and What Labor Law Can Do

March 6, 2020 – from Data For Progress
"American labor and employment law is broken. Compared to their counterparts in other rich democracies, U.S. workers have far fewer rights on the job. And federal and state governments all too often fail to enforce the patchy set of protections that American workers do have. Violations of basic workplace rights, like failing to pay workers the minimum wage or overtime and breaking health and safety laws, are surprisingly common in many segments of the economy. Labor unions, the most natural source of worker protections and voice, only reach about 12% of workers, and just 7% of workers in the private sector. Workers need reforms to American labor law that will guarantee better working standards and more opportunities for representation."

Horia Dijmarescu (TGS PhD) | Book Review of Anatomies of Revolution

March 5, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"Anatomies of revolution advances a relational, inter-social and historicist view of revolution. George Lawson convincingly rejects a generalizing approach to revolutionary processes, which completely detaches them from the contexts in which they arise and from interactions among social forces across levels of analysis. Instead, Lawson argues that revolutions are ‘formed by the interaction of entities-in-motion—they are confluences of events that are embedded within fields of action that are, in turn, derived from historically specific conditions’ (p. 249). The book adopts an analyticist framework, which moves between abstract ideal-types that highlight causal configurations seen across revolutionary cases and historical narratives, which are sensitive to how the abstract interacts with singular, context-specific events, processes, personalities, institutions and meanings."

Alvin Tillery | Illinois Democratic Presidential Primary Will Be Critical As Biden, Sanders Run Neck-And-Neck

March 4, 2020 – from CBS Chicago
The primary is on March 17, and Northwestern University political scientist Alvin Tillery Jr. said Illinois voters’ ballots will matter. “Absolutely – this is going to be a very critical stretch – the rest of the month’s primaries – because you do have the ability to decide it for Joe Biden, or keep Bernie Sanders in it,” Tillery said. Tillery said the 10 upcoming primaries and caucuses prior to Illinois’ March 17 primary day will further clarify a frontrunner. After Super Tuesday, that is not always the case.

James Mahoney | The Production of Knowledge Enhancing Progress in Social Science

March 3, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"This volume considers the challenges facing the social sciences, as well as possible solutions. In doing so, we adopt a systemic view of the subject matter. What are the rules and norms governing behavior in the social sciences? What kinds of research, and which sorts of researcher, succeed and fail under the current system? In what ways does this incentive structure serve, or subvert, the goal of scientific progress?"

Andrew Kelly (TGS PhD) | State Politics And The Uneven Fate Of Medicaid Expansion

March 3, 2020 – from Health Affairs
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), state governments play a central role in deciding whether millions of low-income Americans have access to Medicaid. During the early years of ACA implementation, conservative opposition stalled the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid in many Republican-controlled states, even in the face of strong fiscal incentives. Can any forces overcome this partisan divide? In this article we consider the role of several key mechanisms that have affected Medicaid expansion over the past decade, including electoral competition, ballot-box initiatives, interest-group coalitions, and entrepreneurial administrators.

Jean Clipperton | Northwestern Digital Learning Podcast: Episode 14, Open Textbooks

March 2, 2020 – from Northwestern Digital Learning
March 2 kicks off Open Education Week, a global awareness campaign about the impact of open education on teaching and learning. This episode focuses on open textbooks, a type of open educational resource (OER) commonly used at colleges and universities as free alternatives to expensive textbooks.


Jason Seawright & Rodrigo Barrenechea | Shaping the People

January 13, 2021 – from Cambridge University Press
Can populism be a source of long-lasting changes in citizens' beliefs, behaviors, and political identities? This chapter follows recent literature in treating populism as identity-shaping. Populist movements mobilize constituencies based on anti-establishment appeals that draw a wedge between a "corrupt elite" and a "victimized people" of the nation. It is electorally advantageous to define the "people" in a broad but bounded way, such that there is simultaneously a large, heterogeneous coalition of voters and a clearly defined enemy. We show through observational and experimental evidence that populism's emphasis on a broad but bounded concept of the people can shape the distribution of citizens' identities by reducing the cost and increasing the benefit of assuming non-elite social identities.

Lida Maxwell (TGS PhD) | Against Terrestrial Political Theory: The Politics of Water and a Liveable Future

January 31, 2020 – from Johns Hopkins University Press
"When we code terrestrial covenanting as the work of politics, aquatic passage, consumption, and labor appear immaterial to politics, as sites of natural risk or uncertainty that simply must be overcome to have the futural politics of either Arendt or Locke. Coded as a "natural," prepolitical site of uncertainty and risk, the aquatic appears linked to femininity, the private realm, and maternity—experiences which also threaten the dissolution of self-ownership and sovereignty."

Michael Bosia (TGS PhD) | The Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics

January 31, 2020 – from Oxford Handbooks
This Handbook contains chapters on the struggles for LGBT rights and the security of sexual and gender minorities around the world, with a substantial number of contributions from the Global South. It contextualizes the regional case studies within relevant theoretical frameworks from the sociology of sexualities, critical race studies, postcolonialism, indigenous theories, social movement theory, and international relations theory.

Mauro Gilli (TGS PhD) | A Mercenary Army of the Poor? Technological Change and the Demographic Composition of the Post-9/11 U.S. Military

January 30, 2020 – from Journal of Strategic Studies
"Is the American military a mercenary army of the poor, as some critics of U.S. foreign policy suggest? In this article, we analyse individual-level data of two national representative samples covering the period 1979–2008. We find that, in contrast to the accepted wisdom, the U.S. military no longer primarily recruits individuals from the most disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Technological, tactical, operational and doctrinal changes have led to a change in the demand for personnel. As a result, on different metrics such as family income and family wealth as well as cognitive abilities, military personnel performs, on average, like or slightly better than the civilian population."

Will Reno | Professor Will Reno discusses the significance of Iran-U.S. relations

January 30, 2020 – from North by Northwestern
The recent development in the U.S.’ relationship with Iran, according to Northwestern political science professor Will Reno, is largely a reflection of the U.S. government and how its strategic goals in the Middle East have shifted over various administrations. On Wednesday night, Reno, the political science department chair at Northwestern and an expert on armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, joined about 10 students to discuss the current situation in Iran. Earlier this month, a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, heightening regional tensions in the Middle East.

Laurel Harbridge-Yong et al. | Rejecting Compromise: Legislators’ Fear of Primary Voters

January 28, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
Legislative solutions to pressing problems like balancing the budget, climate change, and poverty usually require compromise. Yet national, state, and local legislators often reject compromise proposals that would move policy in their preferred direction. Why do legislators reject such agreements? This engaging and relevant investigation into how politicians think reveals that legislators refuse compromise - and exacerbate gridlock - because they fear punishment from voters in primary elections. Prioritizing these electoral interests can lead lawmakers to act in ways that hurt their policy interests and also overlook the broader electorate's preferences by representing only a subset of voters with rigid positions.

William Hurst | Winter CE Course, Uneasy Partners: US-China Relations, 1900-2019

January 7, 2020 – from Northwestern Alumnae Continuing Education
The United States and China are arguably the two most powerful and important countries in the world today. Their bilateral relationship is clearly among the most important between any two states. Yet, comparatively little attention is paid by the media, and even some policy actors, to the underlying dynamics and historical trends in this relationship. This course aims to introduce students to the basic dynamics of strategic thinking and policy-making on both sides, to give an overview of the history of US-China relations, and to discuss a number of key contemporary issues in the relationship in some detail. It also aims to introduce a conceptual and theoretical template for making sense of the complex dynamics of the world’s most important bilateral relationship.

James Druckman, John Bullock, et al. | College sports show interactions with people from other backgrounds affects policy attitudes, professor suggests

January 6, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
The study — which collected about 32,000 email contacts — surveyed NCAA athletes, coaches and school administrators. Respondents’ own identities and level of interaction with black and female athletes were compared with their approval of policies supporting those two groups. “The idea here is that the more somebody who’s not a member of that group interacts with members of that group, the more they’re going to learn their perspective and possibly come to support those policies views,” Druckman said.


Mara Suttmann-Lea|These Were Our 10 Most Popular Posts of 2020

December 31, 2020 – from The Washington Post
Meanwhile, in the United States, a highly significant and hotly contested presidential election coincided with the deadliest and most contagious virus in a century. How were Americans to vote safely? In a post that kept drawing readers from its publication in May until the election, Enrijeta Shino, Mara Suttmann-Lea and Daniel A. Smith explained that while voting by mail might be safer for Americans’ health, such ballots were more likely to get lost or be rejected — especially for younger, minority and first-time voters.

Sally Nuamah & Ben Page | New IPR Research: December 2020

December 31, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
This month's new research from IPR faculty covers the connection between mortality effects and health insurance choice, monitoring children's internet use, the punishment of Black girls in school, the influence of the economy on President Trump's 2016 victory, opportunities in local news networks, and racial discrimination in hiring across the globe.

Jacqueline Stevens|Hey, Northwestern Students, Choose Your Own Grade Point Average!

December 30, 2020 – from Chicago Sun Times
As faculty members at Northwestern, and as officers in the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors, we worry that a surprise grade change policy announced earlier this fall shamelessly eviscerates Northwestern’s educational mission. In doing so, we believe, it bolsters the claim by the retired lecturer, Joseph Epstein, that the university lacks standards. This fall, Northwestern University Provost Kathleen Hagerty announced that students now can choose “Credit” instead of a letter grade — after those letter grades have been awarded and seen by the students — for up to one third of their courses in the current school year. This is true even for courses currently not eligible for “Pass/No Pass” options.

Yoes Kenawas|Dynastic Politics and the Future of Democracy

December 28, 2020 – from Kompas
"Seeing the political reality in the country lately, it is actively debated in the media world. One of them is dynastic politics. Because the 2020 Pilkada continued, a family of politically active officials emerged to run as a candidate for regional head. Among them, Jokowi's first son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Jokowi's son-in-law Bobby Afif Nasution and the son of Vice President Siti Nur Azizah. This is a new phenomenon in the variant of dynastic politics in Indonesia. Hence, what is dynastic politics. Dynastic politics is a political power that is exercised by a group of people who are still related in family relationships. The definition of a political dynasty has explained the same as the thoughts of the most recent political scientists and social scientists, namely Pablo Querubin (2010), Mark R. Thompson (2012), Yasushi Asako (2012), Amich Alhumami (2016), regarding dynastic politic

Ana Arjona|Book Review Essays: Civil Wars and Their Aftermath

December 22, 2020 – from Latin American Research Review
"Ana Arjona’s masterful Rebelocracy... highlights that combatants do more than just threaten violence, they also govern and sometimes prefer to allow communities to govern themselves. “Armed actors,” she highlights, “do not only kill, but also create institutions, endorse ideologies, form alliances with local actors, provide public goods, recruit, and, in so doing, transform the societies in which they operate” (2). Whereas Kaplan focuses on the capacity of civilians to deter combatants, Arjona emphasizes the strategic incentives of combatants in choosing how to govern."

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Religious Freedom, Public Health, and the Limits of Law

December 21, 2020 – from Canopy Forum on the Interactions of Law & Religion
"The U.S. government designates certain entities as 'religious' and enforces different rules on them than on 'secular' entities. The two categories find differential treatment in taxes, employment law, and other domains. Americans call this religious freedom. Certain religious organizations have used this privileged legal status to opt out of various burdens imposed by collective life, including, in a recent case in New York, government restrictions on religious gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Laurel Harbridge Yong | Biden Wants to Bring Democrats and Republicans Together. Here’s Why That’s So Challenging.

December 21, 2020 – from The Washington Post
"When President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20, he’ll face very narrow majorities in both chambers of Congress. Depending on who wins the runoff elections for Georgia’s Senate seats, Democrats will either have slim majorities in both houses of Congress or the parties will split control of the House and Senate. Either way, lawmakers will have to compromise to pass legislation on pressing issues such as the pandemic and the associated economic crisis, climate change, racial justice and immigration. Many argue that partisan disagreements between Democrats and Republicans limit the prospects for bipartisan dealmaking. But there’s another possible roadblock. As our new research shows, legislators often reject compromise because they believe it puts their reelection at risk."

James Druckman & Jennifer Lin (PhD Candidate/Student) | As Latest Relief Package Passes, 1 in 5 Americans Confronts Severe Economic Hardships

December 21, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
Between November 3 and 30, the researchers asked roughly 20,000 individuals across the United States and Washington, D.C. about five key economic hardships: unemployment, pay cuts, evictions, making rent or a house payment, and stopping or cutting work to take care of children. The two biggest hardships reported nationally were losing a job (18%) and taking a pay cut (18%). While only 3% of those surveyed reported they had been evicted, 13% said they had missed a rent or mortgage payment. Nearly 10% said they had stopped working, or cut back their hours, to stay at home and take care of their children. “These results highlight the economic pain that COVID-19 has caused—a consequence that could reverberate long after the pandemic itself is under control,” said IPR political scientist James Druckman.

Sally Nuamah | Faculty Spotlight: IPR Social Policy Expert Advocates for Feminist Schools and Studies School Closures

December 21, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
“My mother, like most of our parents, really emphasized the power and the value of school and education as a mechanism for trying to improve our life chances,” said IPR social policy expert Sally Nuamah. Nuamah, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Ghana in the 1980s, would go on to take her mother’s advice and use education as an avenue for changing her life’s trajectory. She went from growing up in a low-income Chicago neighborhood in a household eventually led by her single mother after her parents’ divorce to earning a PhD from Northwestern University, landing on Forbes’ “30 under 30” in education, and becoming an advocate for girls’ education. “What I didn't realize until I got into high school and then returning to the homeland of my parents was that education is a really important mechanism for young Black girls who are from poor backgrounds all over the world."

Galya Ben-Arieh & Volker M Heins | Criminalisation of Kindness: Narratives of Legality in the European Politics of Migration Containment

December 18, 2020 – from Third World Quarterly
"This article explores the emergence of the crime of migrant smuggling and its legitimising narratives as tools of global migration management. We examine the ways in which the language of ‘migrant smuggling’ was introduced into and then lifted out of the context of international law and recontextualised to serve the purposes of migration management. The main consequence of this fusion of law, narrative and policy is the redefinition of the legality of actors and actions along the migration routes across the Sahara, the Mediterranean and Europe. We examine the conflict between two dominant narratives of legality: the smuggler narrative vs the rescue narrative. Laws designed to protect people are being turned against the people they were ostensibly designed to protect."

Lida Maxwell | A Discussion of Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum’s A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy

December 17, 2020 – from Perspectives on Politics
"In A Lot of People Are Saying, Russell Muirhead and Nancy Rosenblum negotiate a similar problem in their indictment of what they call the “new conspiracism.” They argue that the “new conspiracism” is dangerous to democracy because it’s the wrong kind of skepticism about truth: 'Its fabulations sever the connection between assertions and beliefs on the one hand and anything verifiable in the world on the other. This immunizes conspiracist claims from scrutiny and doubt. What follows is that the new conspiracists undercut not only knowledge but also skepticism' (p. 116). The new conspiracism pretends to be a form of democratic skepticism, but it is actually, on their account, a kind of tribalism, in which people affirm their identity through affirming conspiracist claims."

Cristina Lafont | Review of Rethinking Party Reform by Fabio Wolkenstein

December 17, 2020 – from Perspectives on Politics
"In Rethinking Party Reform Fabio Wolkenstein addresses a difficult question: How can political parties be reformed and lifted out of their current state of crisis? His answer is that parties should be organized in a more democratic way. In particular, he articulates and defends a deliberative theory of party democracy in which internally democratic and participatory parties play a crucial role in mediating between citizens and the state. Wolkenstein develops this view by applying the insights and innovations of recent research on deliberative democracy to the analysis of political parties in a way that I find both creative and compelling. His book fills a lacuna in deliberative democracy scholarship, which has been insufficiently attentive to political parties, even though they are (and will likely remain) very powerful democratic actors."

Rosella Cappella Zielinski | Review of Constructing Allied Cooperation: Diplomacy, Payments, and Power in Multilateral Military Coalitions by Marina E. Henke

December 17, 2020 – from Perspectives on Politics
"Military coalitions—officer, troop, and materiel amalgamations provided by multiple sovereign actors brought together to wage joint warfare—are more often than not ad hoc relationships. In other words, they are not drawn from preexisting institutions with prewar agreements on strategic aims, strong checks on cheating and free-riding, or well-integrated systems for sharing command responsibilities and resource management. They must be formed, but how? Marina Henke, in her groundbreaking book Constructing Allied Cooperation: Diplomacy, Payments, and Power in Multilateral Military Coalitions, illuminates this critical process. She asks these important questions: How are multilateral military coalitions built? Which states are able to build them? And how do they do so?"

David Steinberg | Review of The Perils of International Capital by Faisal Z. Ahmed

December 17, 2020 – from Perspectives on Politics
"Cross-border flows of capital are an integral component of contemporary globalization, and scholarship on the economic effects of international capital movements is extensive. But the question of whether and how international capital flows influence national politics has received much less attention. Faisal Z. Ahmed’s new book, The Perils of International Capital, goes a long way to filling in this gap. Ahmed convincingly shows that inflows of international capital have an important impact on a range of political outcomes, from the tenure of national leaders to the degree of political freedom."

James Druckman, Laurel Harbridge-Yong, Anthony Chen | Policy Forward: IPR Experts Offer Evidence-Based Recommendations

December 17, 2020 – from Northwestern: Institute for Policy Research
Even though the Supreme Court has not prohibited the limited consideration of race in college and university admissions, recent actions by the Trump administration have sowed needless uncertainty about its status, according to IPR sociologist Anthony S. Chen. He urges the Biden administration to issue clear guidance on how to take voluntary affirmative action in order to reap the educational benefits of diversity. In particular, he would encourage the civil rights units of the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to jointly reinstate and update the Obama administration’s 2011 guidance. Chen’s research reveals that university and college leaders have believed in the educational value of a diverse student body since the 1960s.

Anthony Chen | The History of Diversity as an Educational Value

December 16, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
In November, an appellate court ruled on the latest challenge to the use of race in college admissions, agreeing with the lower court that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that Harvard intentionally discriminated against Asian American students. With the Supreme Court likely to hear an appeal, new research sheds new light on the origins of affirmative action and underscores how its being overturned could drastically set back diversity on college campuses. This idea that diversity is educationally valuable—or the “diversity rationale”—is often seen as coming out of the seminal 1978 Regents of California v. Bakke Supreme Court case. But IPR sociologist Anthony S. Chen and co-author Lisa Stulberg of New York University find it started much earlier. In Bakke, the court struck down racial quotas in the admissions process, but held that race could still be used to foster racial diversity.

Sasha Klyachkina | An Assessment for Learning Specialist at Chicago Public Schools

December 16, 2020 – from LinkedIn
"I wanted to share that I'm moving into a full time role with Chicago Public Schools as an Assessment for Learning Specialist. This also means a step out of higher ed. I have been beyond lucky to do this work & learn from brilliant & generous people. For my committee members, mentors, colleagues & friends and of course the people and friends in the North Caucasus that let me share in their lives for years, I hope to stay in touch and continue learning from you all. This next phase will focus on using qualitative & quantitative research to support CPS teachers in their classrooms assessment practices. I cannot think of a more important time to help teachers understand what our students know with authentic & no/low-stakes assessments. I'm thrilled for this new opportunity and role but it is bittersweet to step away from higher ed."

Sally Nuamah | Coverage of The Cost of Participating while Poor and Black: Toward a Theory of Collective Participatory Debt

December 16, 2020 – from Perspectives on Politics
"How do resource-poor Black populations participate in the policy process? And what are the interpretive impacts of their participation? Using multiyear qualitative data on mass school closures in two large U.S. cities—in which nearly 90% of the population targeted were Black and low-income—I investigate how 1) the school district and local organizations provide resources for those affected to participate in the policy process; 2) affected participants interpret their engagement as contributing positively to the development of civic skills and perceptions of internal efficacy but negatively to their perceptions of politics, policy, and future participation; and that 3) these negative attitudes persist even among those who secure success in fighting the policy. I conceptualize this last phenomenon as indicative of 'collective participatory debt'."

Catherine Paden | Catherine Paden Named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Franklin Pierce University

December 16, 2020 – from Simmons University
Simmons University is proud to share that Deputy Provost Catherine Paden has been selected to serve as the next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire as of July 1, 2021. Catherine will lead the innovation of strategic institutional initiatives at Franklin Pierce in program development and teaching and learning. In addition, Catherine’s new workplace is right in her neighborhood as she has lived in New Hampshire since 2018. Over the course of her 14 years at Simmons, Catherine’s accomplishments have been numerous. Perhaps most importantly, Catherine led the implementation of our general education curriculum, the Simmons PLAN, which has transformed the Simmons experience for our students. She revamped and redesigned Simmons’s undergraduate advising model and process.

Maya Novak-Herzog (PhD Candidate/Student) | A Household of One

December 15, 2020 – from Curious - Medium
"I never learned how to be alone. Before COVID-19 burst onto the scene, the prospect terrified me. Who was I to spend time with myself? What could possibly be so interesting about me that I would want to prolong the lifetime I was already forced to entertain my own body? In the before times, I tried to be out the door by 9 am; return home close to midnight. I stayed occupied between classes by spending hours at the gym, at the library, at coffee shops. I joined unnecessary meetings and always volunteered to stay late… anything to avoid running into myself. I biked home when even Starbucks had kicked me out, only to fall into bed completely exhausted. Not a moment of my day was left unoccupied. But that was before. Before the word “social distancing” crept into common discourse, and the pit in my stomach began to grow."

Marco Bocchese | El Coco Does Not Frighten Anymore: ICC Scrutiny and State Cooperation in Colombia

December 11, 2020 – from Journal of Conflict & Security Law
The preliminary examination of Colombia is widely regarded as a successful instance of positive complementarity. Under the watchful eye of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), Colombian authorities have implemented comprehensive reforms and negotiated peace with the country’s main rebellion. That said, how much credit can the International Criminal Court (ICC) claim for these outcomes? And how did ICC–state relations develop over time? Drawing on in-person interviews carried out during a research trip to Bogotá, this article conducts a within-case analysis of the situation of Colombia over fourteen years (2004–18), seeking to explore the motives underlying state compliance with ICC treaty obligations and trace the evolution of ICC–state relations throughout two consecutive administrations of opposite political color.

Yoes Kenawas (PhD Candidate/Student) | COVID-19, Political Dynasties Weigh as Indonesia Heads to Polls

December 8, 2020 – from Aljazeera
Indonesia’s elections are closely watched because local and regional leaders often emerge onto the national stage, including President Joko Widodo who began his political career as the mayor of Solo in 2005 before becoming the governor of Jakarta in 2012. There has been added interest this year because several candidates come from families of current political leaders. Kenawas, who has also studied political dynasties in Indonesia, said the increase was made possible because many politicians, who were elected in 2010 and 2015, had already served two terms and were no longer able to run for office. “This is the first in Indonesia’s history where the active president’s children and in-laws, the children of the vice president and even the children of ministers participate directly in the regional elections when their parents or relatives are still in office,” he said.

Kim Suiseeya | Doing Feminist Collaborative Event Ethnography

December 8, 2020 – from The University of Arizona: Journal of Political Ecology
Feminist political ecologists have made important theoretical interventions in the interdisciplinary community of political ecologists, but the use of feminist methodologies and 'team-based environmental science' can be expanded. We argue that revisiting feminist methodological commitments is critical for furthering how feminist political ecology examines how, and in what way, power and privilege operate in the contexts where environmental knowledge is produced.

Florencia Guerzovich | Guest Post: Making the Most of “Windows of Opportunity” for Anticorruption Reform

December 7, 2020 – from The Global Anticorruption Blog
With respect to what reformers need from outside supporters during these crucial periods, discussions often center on funding and technical assistance. While that’s not incorrect, we found that the nature of the support needed in these areas differs somewhat from what’s typically emphasized. With respect to funding, for example, though one might expect reformers to need a large surge of funding to mobilize new capacity during an open window, it seems that funding consistency (from the pre-window-of-opportunity status quo through until the opening) and flexibility were more critical than funding amounts.

Alvin B. Tillery Jr | Race, Ethnicity, & Politics Speaker Series: Performance of Power: Putting the Black Lives Matter Movement in Context

December 4, 2020 – from USD New Center
The Department of Political Science and International Relations, would like to invite you to participate in the 2020-2021 USD Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Speaker Series. This is the inaugural year of the series as it aims to examine the power of race and ethnicity to shape society and politics at the local level, at the international level, and comparatively. Our third and final speaker of Fall 2020, Dr. Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. will discuss, Performance of Power: Putting the Black Lives Matter Movement in Context. Dr. Tillery's research is in the fields of American politics and political theory. His research in American politics focuses on American political development, racial and ethnic politics and media and politics

Yoes Kenawas (PhD Candidate/Student) | Indonesian Politics Is Becoming a Family Affair

December 3, 2020 – from The Economist
Since the advent of democracy in 1998, and the devolution of power from central to local governments shortly after that, politicians have sought to establish dynasties. A growing number are doing so at the local level. In elections held in 2015, 52 candidates, or 3% of the total, were related to politicians who currently or previously led a regency (county), city or province, according to Yoes Kenawas, who studies dynasticism in Indonesian politics.

Marina Henke | Challenges in International Security: Why Biden Can’t Restore US Global Hegemony

December 3, 2020 – from Hertie School
Join us for a presentation by Daniel Nexon and Alexander Cooley based on their recent book Exit from Hegemony: The Unravelling of American Global Order. The guest speakers will be Daniel Nexon, Alexander Cooley, and Marina Henke. This event is part of the speaker series "Challenges in international security" hosted by the Centre for International Security. The series invites senior scholars, decision-makers and policy experts to discuss critical global security challenges and their potential solutions.

Ian Hurd | The Pitfalls and Potential of International Cooperation

December 2, 2020 – from Northwestern Buffett
Many observers are excited that Joe Biden’s presidency promises to bring international cooperation back into American foreign policy, but whose interests are advanced and whose are harmed by international agreements? While international cooperation is often presented as a smart, pragmatic and progressive approach, a closer look reveals some reasons to worry.

Marina Henke & Yunkyo Kim | International Coalition-Building and its Place Within the Trump Administration

December 2, 2020 – from NU Department of Political Science
Marina Henke, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, and Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for International Security at the Hertie School, is the joint-recipient of the 2019 Lepgold Book Prize at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center for International Studies. Her award-winning book, Constructing Allied Cooperation, argues that pivotal states deliberately build multinational coalitions through bilateral and multilateral diplomatic connections. In this interview, given prior to the 2020 presidential election, Henke spoke about formulating allied cooperation, and how this applies to President Trump’s impact on the global reputation of the United States. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Romain Malejacq|GLOCAL Book Launch

December 1, 2020 – from Twitter
"Our interdisciplinary research group, ‘Global-Local Divides and Connections’ is hosting a virtual GLOCAL Book Launch on 1 December from 12:30-14:00 CET. We will discuss three awesome books by Radboud University faculty."

Salih Emre Gercek | Alexis de Tocqueville's Reluctant “Democratic Language”

December 1, 2020 – from The Review of Politics
Many readers of Alexis de Tocqueville have noted the ambiguity in his formulation of the term “democracy.” This essay suggests that this ambiguity can be clarified by considering what Tocqueville calls “democratic language”—i.e., the use of generalizations, abstractions, and personifications in writing and speech. Tocqueville investigates these novel linguistic devices to understand the transformation of language in democratic times. More importantly, he employs them to appropriate the Doctrinaires’ formulation of democracy and to criticize their legitimation of the July Monarchy's exclusive government.


Megan Lebowitz (Medill '22) | Reporting the First Social Media War

November 30, 2020 – from Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal
Syria’s civil war was one of the first wars that took place after the founding of major online platforms: Facebook launched in 2004 and YouTube launched in 2005. Social media played a role in other Arab Spring countries, particularly in activists’ communication and mobilization. But the inaccessibility of Syria combined with the scale of the conflict and immense quantity of civilian-produced video created one of the first wars in which major Western news organizations relied heavily on citizen journalism. This reliance led to verification, moral, and ethical dilemmas that arise specifically from an increased reliance on citizen journalism during a war.

Samara Klar | A Detailed Map of Where Americans Are Staying Home for Thanksgiving

November 24, 2020 – from The New York Times
Early in the pandemic, there was a minimal partisan split on public health advice, said Samara Klar, an associate professor of political science at the University of Arizona. But she noted that diverging messages from Republican and Democratic leaders have been mirrored by splits in support for public health measures and self-reported mask wearing. Thanksgiving plans seem to fit that broader pattern. “There’s nothing inherent about Republicans that make them less concerned or inherent about Democrats that make them more panicky,” she said. “But when you have an issue people don’t know a lot about, people will reasonably look to their leaders for cues, and that’s why we see a gap.”

D.J. Flynn | More Accurate, But No Less Polarized: Comparing the Factual Beliefs of Government Officials and the Public

November 24, 2020 – from British Journal of Political Science
The results indicate that political elites are consistently more accurately informed than the public across a wide range of politically contentious facts. However, this increase in accuracy does not translate into reduced factual belief polarization. These findings demonstrate that a more informed political elite does not necessarily mitigate partisan factual disagreement in policy making.

Alvin B. Tillery | Don’t Give In to ‘Election Stress Disorder’

November 23, 2020 – from The New York Times
From the droves of people voting by mail to the widespread protests for racial justice to the pandemic and worries about the electoral process itself, the 2020 election cycle provides “a recipe for a lot of angst” on Election Day, according to Alvin Bernard Tillery Jr., a professor of political science at Northwestern University. “Chip, chip, chip, chip, chip away over conversations based in fact,” Dr. Tillery said, “and asking them what they think is morally right.”

William Reno|Unmasking Boko Haram: Exploring Global Jihad in Nigeria

November 23, 2020 – from Taylor & Francis
“Jacob Zenn’s Unmasking Boko Haram is an important contribution to the study of this significant West African insurgency that in the mid-2010s controlled an area about the size of Belgium … In this new book, Zenn extends this analysis to locate Book Haram’s origins and the driver of its development in these global jihadist networks. In eleven densely footnoted chapters, he explores this integral role of global jihadism on the political development of Boko Haram and its leaders’ strategic and tactical choices.”

Erin Lockwood | The Antisemitic Backlash to Financial Power: Conspiracy Theory as a Response to Financial Complexity and Crisis

November 23, 2020 – from New Political Economy
"This article argues that the role of antisemitism in the populist backlash to financial power represents an empirical blind spot in IPE. I argue that the uncertainty and complexity of finance is such that attributing responsibility for financial crises and disruption is difficult within the conventional narratives people use to make sense of power. When people struggle to gain traction over the scale and workings of a system that is opaque, complex, entrenched, and seemingly unassailable, their reactions to the economic dislocation that financial power brings about find targets among already marginalized groups. This has, in turn, fueled opposition to financial power from both the right and left that draws upon – sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly – antisemitic tropes and narratives. A longer historical lens on populist reactions to financial innovation reveals the longstanding

Ian Hurd | COVID, Governance & Society—Beth Redbird & Helen Tilley in Conversation

November 20, 2020 – from YouTube: Center for International and Area Studies
This was the second dialogue in the Global Governance in the Age of COVID series hosted by the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University. This installment featured sociologist Beth Redbird and historian Helen Tilley in conversation with political scientist Ian Hurd.

Michael Loriaux | Dr. Strangelove, Coal and Steel, and Vatican II: The Last Time the World Came to an End

November 19, 2020 – from Buffet Institute for Global Affairs
"The world is coming to an end. A viral pandemic has struck the financial core of the capitalist world, bringing everyday commerce to a halt and gouging whole percentage points out of gross domestic products. We rich westerners have lost our presumption of immunity. Our expectations of eternal growth have been destabilized. Because we have seen and lived the swiftness with which a virus moves and strikes, because we have seen the disorientation and confusion of the scientific community as it avows “there is so much about this virus that we don’t know,” and because of the gnawing, irrepressible awareness that other existential threats, like climate change, are lined up to follow, our rich western presumption that “we’ll be ready next time” begins to ring hollow."

Michael Loriaux | Living With Plagues: New Narratives for a World in Distress

November 19, 2020 – from Buffet Institute for Global Affairs
Michael Loriaux is co-directing a project with Samuel Weber, Avalon Professor of the Humanities, and Marc Crépon, former Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure entitled Living With Plagues: New Narratives for a World in Distress. It is sponsored by the Buffett Institute, the French Interdisciplinary Group, and the École Normnale Supérieure. Day by day it becomes increasingly clear that COVID-19 will have wrought lasting changes in our common sense understandings of “how the world works” and “our place in it.” All attempts to project how society, politics, and economic life might evolve must begin with our efforts, as singularities, embedded in linguistic and social-political communities, to formulate in words our experiences – plural – of the pandemic, and of the hopes and fears those experiences have generated.

Tulia Falleti | Invisible to Political Science: Indigenous Politics in a World in Flux

November 18, 2020 – from The Journal of Politics
"'No Justice on Stolen Land' is the opening phrase of Robert Nichols’s fascinating book Theft Is Property. I read the book in the wake of the inhumane killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and Rayshard Brooks, as the chant 'no justice, no peace' reverberates in the streets of cities and towns across the United States and the world. These are two related and unresolved demands for justice. In the United States, the only group more exposed to police violence than Black Americans is Native Americans.1 To study Indigenous politics in the current political context—in the midst of a pandemic that because of systemic inequalities disproportionately kills Blacks, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color and where human-produced climate change threatens our collective—means to peel back another layer of the system of white supremacy and exploitation."

Daniel Encinas (PhD Candidate/Student) | Peru 2019: Political Crisis and Institutional Outcome

November 18, 2020 – from Revista de Ciencia Política
This article reports on the events of 2019 focusing on the serious political crisis that broke out between the Peruvian government and congress, and its institutional exit. The article explains how this crisis escalated in 2019, together with the scandalous revelations of corruption that involve most of the country's political class.?

Marina Henke | For Us or Against Us?

November 16, 2020 – from Der Hauptstadtbrief
"The chances are good that Germany now has a reliable and, above all, trustworthy negotiating partner in the White House again. Already during the election campaign, Biden announced that he wanted to reverse the United States' withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Whether it's the corona pandemic or climate change, unlike Donald Trump, Biden relies on cooperation instead of going it alone when facing global challenges. The coming era therefore gives hope for changes that are entirely in the interests of Germany and Europe."

Jeffrey Winters | How Policy Failures On The Left And Right Led To The Trump Presidency

November 16, 2020 – from WBEZ
Joe Biden won the White House, but 73 million people voted for President Trump — 10 million more than voted for him in 2016. Reset examines why and what they have in common with a plurality of Democratic voters. GUEST: Jeffrey Winters, former chair of political science, director of the Equality Development and Globalization Studies Program at Northwestern University; author of the book Oligarchy.

James Druckman & James Pollard | As Congress Returns For the Year’s Final Session, Laid-off Staff Seek Relief Package

November 15, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
Eighty percent of Americans support the passage of new relief legislation, according to a recent survey from political science Prof. James Druckman and several researchers from other universities. That support includes 75 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of Independents. “The cross-partisan support is interesting given the political divisiveness of the times,” Druckman said in a news release. “It suggests a strong need for relief.”

Chloe Thurston | Paying It Forward and Building Up Others at Work

November 13, 2020 – from The Indispensables
In this episode, I talk with Professor of Political Science, Chloe Thurston. We didn’t talk about politics! We talked about paying it forward and building up relationships with your colleagues at work. Get your copy of Prof. Thurston's book--At the Boundaries of Homeownership:

Daniel J. Galvin | Democrats Are Already at Odds Over How to Win in 2022

November 13, 2020 – from Vox
Political science research backs up what O’Rourke and Ocasio-Cortez have said: The Democratic Party has traditionally been lackluster in year-round organizing efforts compared with Republicans. “The Democratic Party has historically always lagged behind the Republican Party in terms of building up its organizational capacities,” Northwestern University political science professor Daniel Galvin told Vox. “This is a recurring problem for the Democratic Party, and as everyone’s trying to figure out a way forward, we’re trying to point out the importance of building the base.”

Muhammad Ridha (PhD Candidate/Student) | What Is New in the Old Pattern of Indonesia’s Student Movement?

November 13, 2020 – from New Mandala
"Nevertheless, this new development should be treated cautiously. Personally, I believe that the changing nature of the student movement, in which students have started to see themselves as part of the broader popular movement, is good news for the student movement itself. But this is still not really how the student movement will realise their political demands. Without an exact political resolution, there is still a chance for the movement to be co-opted by other societal forces. The most potent force for co-opting the aspiration of the student movement comes from the conservative Islamic group. Not to mention the response from the state, in which the excessive use of force has become the dominant way of suppressing the movement itself. Multiple trajectories might result from this new development."

James Druckman & Mary McGrath | Political Sectarianism: A Dangerous Cocktail of Othering, Aversion, and Moralization

November 12, 2020 – from Dartmouth University
"A dominant feature of American politics today is acrimony. For decades, researchers have studied political polarization as an ideological matter—how strongly Democrats and Republicans diverge vis-à-vis political ideals and policy goals. More recently, however, researchers have identified a second type of polarization, one focusing less on triumphs in the marketplace of political ideas than on dominating the contemptible supporters of the opposing party. This literature has produced a remarkable proliferation of insights and constructs, but few interdisciplinary efforts to integrate them. We offer such an integration, pinpointing the superordinate construct of political sectarianism and identifying its tripartite structure. We then consider its causes and its harmful consequences for American society—especially the threat it poses to democracy."

James Druckman | Depression Among Young Adults Soars During Pandemic

November 12, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
A new survey of over 8,900 young adults, aged 18–24, across the U.S. finds that they showed higher levels of depression amid the pandemic, no matter their gender, racial or ethnic group, or geographic location. Yet during the campaign, neither candidate fully detailed how he would address the growing crisis. “In terms of long-term consequences of COVID-19, the mental health of young people may be one of the most important,” IPR political James Druckman said. “It is thus quite concerning that it has received so little government attention.”

Sally Nuamah | Thanking Black Women for Being the 'Backbone' of American Democracy Isn't Enough. There Must be Policies Created With Us in Mind

November 12, 2020 – from The Root
Sen. Kamala Harris made headlines when she pronounced and acknowledged the important role of Black women in both casting their ballots for Joe Biden—thus earning him the title “president-elect”—and also serving as “the backbone of our democracy” during her first speech as vice president-elect. Yes, Black women’s seemingly unwavering support for Democrats favors the political party time and again. But it’s important to acknowledge where much of this support stems from. “Black women aren’t just voting to save the party for the party’s sake,” said Sally Nuamah, Ph.D., a professor at Northwestern. “They actually don’t have a lot of other choices. We are in a two-party system and we have a Republican Party that, for example, will put the Voting Rights Act on the table. And we know that Black women, unlike white women, weren’t able to vote until the Voting Rights Act was passed."

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | At Home and Abroad

November 12, 2020 – from The Politics of American Religion
"At Home and Abroad" bridges the divide in the study of American religion, law, and politics between domestic and international, bringing together diverse and distinguished authors from religious studies, law, American studies, sociology, history, and political science to explore interrelations across conceptual and political boundaries. They bring into sharp focus the ideas, people, and institutions that provide links between domestic and foreign religious politics and policies. Contributors break down the categories of domestic and foreign and inquire into how these taxonomies are related to other axes of discrimination, asking questions such as: What and who counts as “home” or “abroad,” how and by whom are these determinations made, and with what consequences?

James Druckman | People of Black and Asian Descent Up to Twice as Likely to Get COVID as White People: Meta-Analysis

November 12, 2020 – from Market Watch
People from minority groups who do seek to get tested for COVID-19 have longer wait times to get their results compared with white people. Black and Hispanic respondents waited 4.4 days and 4.1 days on average for their test results, respectively, compared with white respondents’ 3.5 days and Asian Americans’ 3.6 days, according to a survey by researchers at Northeastern University, Harvard University, Rutgers University and Northwestern University.

Daniel Encinas (PhD Candidate/Student) | Protests in Peru: "This Country Has Managed to Maintain Democracy as a Surprise, From Stumbles to Stumbles"

November 11, 2020 – from BBC News
Peruvian politics has suffered a series of turbulences since 2016: Congress presented two presidential impeachment motions (vacancy), the president resigned, the new president dissolved Congress, another two presidential vacancy motions were presented and the last one ended up dismissing the president. In an article published in September in The New York Times, the political scientist Daniel Encinas recalled these events and quoted a phrase attributed to the Peruvian writer Martín Adán in the face of the 1948 coup: "We have returned to normality."

Daniel J. Galvin | What Happened to That ‘Blue Wave’?

November 10, 2020 – from The Washington Post
"If any individual can bring order to these unwieldy components, it is the president. Yet paradoxically, the Democratic Party has suffered the most under Democratic presidents. Republican presidents going back to Eisenhower have systematically invested in their party’s organizational capacities at the national, state and local levels: funding local party-building initiatives, assiduously recruiting activists, volunteers, and candidates, teaching campaign techniques, and launching fundraising systems. Democratic presidents, in contrast, have repeatedly emphasized enacting policies over party-building."

Justin Zimmerman (PhD Candidate/Student) | Meet Justin Zimmerman: 2020 First Generation Scholar in the Profession

November 10, 2020 – from American Political Science Association
Justin Zimmerman is a fourth-year Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, studying institutional trust in race-class subjugated communities in Chicago. In 2015, the APSA Executive Council approved a new standing Committee on First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession, parallel to the existing APSA status committees. The goal is to bring focused attention to the ways in which class, economic inequality, and mobility can affect political scientists’ ability to thrive educationally and professionally, perhaps throughout their careers.

Sally Nuamah | Herstory Girls and Education Trailer

November 10, 2020 – from Youtube
Sally Nuamah, a researcher, returns to the homeland of her parents, Ghana, to document the experiences of low-income girls striving to become the first females in their families to go to college.

Sally Nuamah | Herstory Girls and Education Trailer

November 10, 2020 – from Youtube
Sally Nuamah, a researcher, returns to the homeland of her parents, Ghana, to document the experiences of low-income girls striving to become the first females in their families to go to college.

Sarah Bouchat|Incorporation: Assessing Corpus Selection for Social Science Applications

November 9, 2020 – from Northwestern Events
The Applied Quantitative Methods Workshop is a joint effort by the Sociology and Political Science Departments aimed at promoting student engagement with quantitative methods. The workshop includes a mix of student presentations of work in progress and faculty didactic presentations on selected topic. Students at all skill levels are encouraged to attend.

James Druckman, Daniel Galvin, Laurel Harbridge-Yong & Chloe Thurston | Professors Talk Polarization, Misinformation at Post-Election Panel

November 9, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research hosted a post-election panel Monday where professors discussed how polarization, misinformation, the economy and social movements impacted the election and will continue to influence politics. IPR has hosted a follow-up after every presidential election, inviting faculty with expertise on topics related to presidential campaigns and elections. The event was part of an interdisciplinary colloquium series organized by IPR associate director and political science Prof. James Druckman. Druckman began the session by discussing the rise of negative partisanship, or voters’ animosity for the opposing party. He said the positive outcomes of the election included the lack of mass violence, effective vote counting, social media monitoring and record-setting voter turnout.

Swati Srivastava | Letters Respond to Peter Schjeldahl’s Essay on Philip Guston and Anna Wiener’s Profile of Moxie Marlinspike

November 9, 2020 – from The New Yorker
"Anna Wiener’s Profile of Moxie Marlinspike, who founded Signal, the end-to-end encrypted messaging service, presents a rare example of ethical technology in the age of surveillance capitalism (“Privacy Settings,” October 26th). I research and teach on the power and responsibility of Big Tech, and I struggle to find model companies to show my students. Wiener compellingly illustrates how Marlinspike’s pro-privacy efforts have grown out of anarchist and punk cultures. Situated in the context of those fringe movements, Marlinspike’s vision is intriguing as a potential paradigm for mainstream privacy norms online. When accepting an award in 2017, Marlinspike said that we should celebrate technological progress, and not the individuals who brought it about."

Kim Suiseeya | Virtual Panel on Voting and the Environment

November 9, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Sustainability and Energy
This election is essential in combating the effects of climate change. So will all those that succeed it as we move closer to the point of irreversible effects on the environment. This urgency permeated the tone of a panel discussion on making the connection between voting and climate change. Kim Suiseeya emphasized that the potential for change increases as gerrymandering decreases, which means voting in local and state elections in addition to national races. Because of this, the actions one takes on a local level in terms of advocacy and policy are just as important.?

Karen Alter | Transplanting International Courts: The Law and Politics of the Andean Tribunal of Justice

November 9, 2020 – from International Courts and Tribunals Series
In the best tradition of a case study, one learns a lot from it about the law and politics of an international organization, the Andean Community, and its court, the Andean Tribunal of Justice (Tribunal). The monograph also generates a range of significant, more widely generalizable insights that, for this reviewer at least, provoke reflection and doubt about the prospects of international courts. Before engaging with these, a few tributes are necessary. The book is a beautifully written account of the Tribunal. It achieves significant resonance through weaving together a story of judicial biographies, litigant stories, and analyses of particular judgements. It eschews the simple narrative of reducing the story of the Tribunal to a single independent variable, capturing, instead, the variety of factors that affect the court’s authority and case law.

Hendrik Spruyt | Theory Section Award Winners for 2021

November 6, 2020 – from ISA Theory Section
Spruyt’s book "exemplifies an approach to theory that emphasizes patterns on a much larger scale, and tackles questions of order at the level of whole political systems. Spruyt investigates the ways that collective beliefs about international order shaped politics outside of the European world, and refutes the claim that “international society” was a European imposition or invention. Instead, we are presented with a world of multiple interacting international societies, none of which can be reduced to simplistic cultural formulas."

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd & Ely Orrego Torres | Global Challenges of Secularization and Religious Freedom

November 6, 2020 – from Ely Orrego Torres Professional Profile
"In a new Gemrip/Otros Cruces interview, I was pleased to talk with Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd from Northwestern University. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Professor of Political Science and the Crown Chair in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University. She studies religion and global politics. Hurd co-directs Talking Religion: Publics, Politics and the Media and the Global Politics and Religion Research Group at Northwestern. Her most recent public pieces are Three Myths about Religion & Politics and Dangerous Logic at the Border: Religion and the Travel Ban. Hurd is currently writing a book about the American border and/as political theology. An interesting chatting about secularism and religious freedom in a global context. Also, we discussed about the role of the United States in the international order and how the debate on religion affects their policies."

Reuel Rogers & Julie Lee Merseth | Panelists Discuss Impact of 2020 Presidential Election on BIPOC Communities

November 6, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
“Racial polarization is so pronounced in our two-party system,” Rogers said. “I think that tends to obscure the level of political diversity among African Americans.” “It’s deeply painful for those of us who care about the communities that are the targets of his ideologies,” Merseth said. “No matter what the final election results are, whether he wins or loses, we are going to have to put one foot forward in front of the next to deal with the context that we’re in.”

Moses Khisa | Uganda's 2021 "Scientific General Elections"

November 5, 2020 – from Talking Africa
“The idea of a scientific election is meaningless…I do not know what is scientific about holding an election in an environment where people are not free to do what they are supposed to do, which is what an open and free election is supposed to be about. So the idea the election is going to be scientific is an empty concept…with or without the pandemic there will not be a free, credible, transparent election in Uganda next year...the electoral commission lacks independence, credibility and competence,” Khisa said.

Alvin B. Tillery | Backlash to Racial Progress': For Some, Trump's Strong Showing Is a Sign That Bigotry Prevails

November 5, 2020 – from Wickedlocal
Alvin Tillery, director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, said he didn’t expect the widespread calls for an end to systemic racism that reverberated through summer demonstrations would carry over to the ballot box. “I’ve always been somewhat skeptical about the translation of Millennial activism and Gen Z activism into votes,’’ Tillery said. “For them, protesting and voting and posting online, it’s all pretty much in the same realm. So you may have people who went out and protested for 30, 40, 50 days, but didn’t vote.’’

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What to Expect on Election Day in Connecticut

November 3, 2020 – from The Day
“As registrars process much larger volumes of mail ballots, we may expect, though this is not guaranteed, that some of these closer races won’t be known on election night,” Suttmann-Lea said. “Whatever numbers are being reported in these races on election night may not be indicative of the final results if there are large swaths of mail-in ballots.”

Monique Newton (PhD Candidate/Student) | Meet Monique Newton

November 3, 2020 – from The Northwestern Graduate School
“In the aftermath of George Floyd and the ongoing protests around Black Lives Matter, my research has the potential to shed light on what we can expect to happen next regarding Black political participation in U.S. cities.”

Jaime Dominguez | Election 2020: States To Watch Closely on Election Night

November 3, 2020 – from WTTV
“There’s a lot of moving parts so we’ll see what happens…For me, even if Florida does go to Trump, he still has a super narrow pathway because unless he picks up Georgia and North Carolina, even then he would still have to pick up Pennsylvania. To me, we’ll have a good sense of where he stands based on how those three states go.”

Amanda D'Urso (PhD Candidate/Student) | Race Politics Research and the American Presidency: Thinking About White Attitudes, Identities and Vote Choice in the Trump Era and Beyond

November 3, 2020 – from Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
"Heeding the call of the special issue, we look at the past decade's advances in public opinion studies of our understanding of the relationship between white racial identities, attitudes, and presidential voting preferences. Following a short review of developments in the literature during the Obama years, we critically evaluated four theories explaining whites' support for Trump: racial resentment, xenophobia, sexism, and white identity. Using data from three ANES studies, we test the relative explanatory power of all four approaches in predicting a vote for Trump during the 2016 Republican primary, the 2016 election, and intent to vote for him in 2020. The results suggest that xenophobia had the most consistent effect across all models, followed by racial resentment and sexism."

Jamie Dominguez, Laurel Harbridge Yong & Alvin B. Tillery | Northwestern Faculty Speaking on Election Night

November 3, 2020 – from Northwestern University
Many Northwestern faculty appeared on national and international news broadcasts on Election Night, offering insights and analysis on the political future of the U.S. In the Political Science Department, Prof. Jaime Dominguez appeared on Telemundo Chicago. Dominguez's areas of study include urban politics, race, ethnic and Latino and Chicago politics, as well as the politics of immigrant integration. Dominguez also appeared on WTTW to discuss Election 2020 results. Prof. Alvin B. Tillery appeared on News Nation Now. Tillery's research and expertise focus on presidential leadership, racial and ethnic politics and social movements. Laurel Harbridge Yong discussed key wins for the Democrats.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 10. Election Day Special- Genya Coulter

November 3, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
In this special Election Day episode, Genya Coulter shares how she came to work elections in the perennial battleground state of Florida as an election worker, which is what poll workers are called in the Sunshine State. She shares the serendipitous journey of how she went from wanting to be a political scientist who attended Georgetown University to one of the most effective and efficient election workers in her jurisdiction. Now a well known elections advocate on Twitter and the founder of #electiontwitter, Genya shares her perspective on the act of voting both as a voter and as an arbiter of democracy working the polls. She talks about the amazing experience of helping a newly naturalized citizen and his daughter during their first time voting, and tells us what happened when Gary Johnson’s campaign manager came into her polling place.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | If We Don’t Know Who Wins the Election, What’s Next?

November 2, 2020 – from Shondaland
“(Pennsylvania) also happens to be a state that does not allow for election officials to begin tabulating mail ballots until Election Day,” Suttmann-Lea explains. “A closer margin combined with a large wave of mail ballots may lead to delays in projections and possible court challenges. Election law experts and election scientists often talk about the ‘margin of litigation,’ when a race is close enough where there are incentives for legal challenges levied by both sides to try to swing the outcome of an election on technicalities.”

Traci Burch | How Does Exposure to Police Force Affect Political Engagement

November 2, 2020 – from Researching Law
As Burch noted during the Fireside Chat, her findings indicate that not all officer-involved killings motivate an interest in politics. Instead, she identifies two key factors surrounding an incident necessary to shape political interest: visibility and framing. "First, you have to know about an event," says Burch. "Then you have to think it’s a problem. Only then can we think about how resources and mobilization can come together to show up as political activity."

Monique Newton (PhD Candidate/Student) | Episode 9

November 2, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me: A Podcast About Democracy
In recent years, public schools across the United States have closed their doors. In addition to student and teacher performance challenges, funding concerns loom large for municipalities that are grappling with revenue losses and budget shortfalls, pushing local governments to make decisions that emphasize the imperative of economic growth over and above an investment in neighborhood schools. In many places, these decisions disproportionately harm black and brown communities. Such was the experience of Monique Newton, who watched first hand as a high schooler while her home city of Sacramento, California, made the decision to close several neighborhood schools to build a new sports stadium for the Sacramento Kings, the city’s professional NBA team. In this episode, Monique recalls this development as her first exposure to the idea that politics—specifically local politics—matters.?

James Druckman & Samara Klar | The Illusion of Affective Polarization

November 2, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
Deep levels of affective polarization—the tendency of ordinary partisans to dislike and distrust those from the other party—is a defining feature of contemporary American politics. Or is it? The researchers argue that it may in fact be more of an illusion, both in the minds of citizens and scholars. Specifically, canonical measures of affective polarization dramatically overstate its extent. When asked to rate their feelings toward “Democrats” or “Republicans,” respondents draw on stereotypes and media exemplars that suggest citizens are ideologically extreme and politically engaged.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 8. Holly Garnett

November 2, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
This is the question that Dr. Holly Garnett asks her electoral management course at the beginning of every semester. The best way to rig an election, she says, is not to do so illegally, somehow coordinating the impersonation or double voting of enough voters to change an election outcome. Rather, the best way to rig an election is to make it perfectly legal to do so. A professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada, Holly has in-depth expertise in understanding how political actors manipulate election laws to give them advantages. In her research, she studies how electoral integrity can be improved throughout the lifecycle of an election. Holly recalls the precise moment when she understood she lived in a democracy. She tells us how she went from being actively engaged in party politics in Canada, to becoming a professor interested in the “behind the scenes” work

James Druckman | Patience in Pennsylvania

November 2, 2020 – from The Covid States Project
The 2020 general election has been underway for quite some time now. According to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project, nearly 100 million ballots have already been cast prior to election day. However, the timelines for accepting, processing, and counting mail-in ballots vary by state, and some have been contested in the court system, creating circumstances under which confusion regarding the volume and partisan distribution of remaining votes left to be counted could lead to premature and erroneous declarations of victory.


James Druckman | Affective Polarization Did Not Increase During the Coronavirus Pandemic

October 31, 2020 – from Stanford University
"We document trends in affective polarization during the coronavirus pandemic. In our main measure, affective polarization is relatively flat between July 2019 and February 2020, then falls significantly around the onset of the pandemic. Two other data sources show no evidence of an increase in polarization around the onset of the pandemic. Finally, we show in an experiment that priming respondents to think about the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduces affective polarization."

Amanda D'Urso (PhD Candidate/Student) | Why Iranian Americans Often Vote Along Generational Lines

October 31, 2020 – from Bustle
In Evanston, Illinois, Amanda D’Urso is a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University, where she studies the historical shifts of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) people. “The Iranian regime has not been subtle in their disdain for Trump,” says D’Urso, who’s Iranian American. “There are some Iranians, who have lived here for most of their lives, who are really stuck. Do I vote [for Trump and thus] against the Iranian regime, or do I vote for something that's better for domestic America, where I live today?” she says. “I'm not sure that the second-generation Iranians feel as stuck between those two choices.”

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Are Bipartisan Lawmakers More Effective?

October 31, 2020 – from Center for Effective Lawmaking
"We find that such bipartisanship increases members’ legislative effectiveness overall, and especially helps in moving legislation through committee and on the floor. We show these patterns to be robust to both majority-party and minority-party lawmakers and across congressional eras. We also demonstrate the value of reciprocity, in that members of Congress who offer cosponsorships across party lines are more likely to also attract such bipartisan cosponsors to their own bills. Collectively, these results imply that engaging in bipartisan behaviors contributes to a virtuous cycle: those who cosponsor across party lines attract cross-party cosponsors to their own bills, which translates into greater legislative success for their agendas."

Tony Chen | Before Bakke: The Hidden History of the Diversity Rationale

October 30, 2020 – from Affirmative Action at a Crossroads
"There is nearly universal agreement in scholarly and popular circles about when the diversity rationale first appeared and began to take root in the context of college admissions. A wide-ranging cast of actors is given credit for devising and propagating the basic idea that diversity is educationally beneficial, but there is little difference of opinion about the timing of its emergence. Based on our research in the historical record, we argue that it is high time to revise the conventional wisdom. Arguments about affirmative action will go on, but we hope they will unfold on a sounder foundation of evidence and facts."

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Why These Northwestern Students Are Voting for Trump

October 30, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
While Trump has not greatly impacted policy polarization, Harbridge-Yong says that his rhetoric has impacted “affective polarization,” which refers to the impressions members of groups have on the opposing side. She sees his name-calling — “low-energy Jeb” or “crazy Nancy Pelosi” — as increasing the prevalence of the us-versus-them mentality.

Michael Loriaux | Promoted to Officier of the French Ordre des Palmes Académiques

October 29, 2020 – from French Interdisciplinary Group
The French Ministry of Education has promoted Michael Loriaux to the rank of Officier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, created by Napoleon I to honor scholarship and service to universities, education and science. Michael was named chevalier in 2007. He co-founded the French Interdisciplinary Group in 1997, co-directed it till 2014, and assumed its direction again in 2018. Michael created or co-created the student, doctoral, and faculty exchanges with Sciences Po, the École Normale Supérieure de Paris and the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. He also created dual PhD programs with these and other French universities, in which about thirty NU and French doctoral students in a half dozen or more departments have participated. He helped found Northwestern’s Program in European Union Studies, which is co-administered with Sciences Po.

James Druckman & Mary McGrath | Americans Hate Political Opponents More Than They Love Their Own Party, Study Finds

October 29, 2020 – from CNN
Americans have long felt affection for people who share their political views. On a "feeling thermometer" scale, where 0 degrees is cold, 50 degrees is neutral and 100 degrees is warm, feelings toward fellow Democrats or Republicans over the decades have consistently hovered in the 70-degree range. Feelings toward people in the opposing party, however, plummeted from 48 degrees in the 1970s to 20 degrees today, the authors said. "Things have gotten much more severe in the past decade, and there is no sign we've hit bottom," said coauthor James Druckman, a political science professor at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, in a statement.

Isabel Castillo (PhD Candidate/Student), Sally Nuamah & Nadia Brown | Funding Political Science Research: Recipients of Centennial Center Research Grants and Small Research Grants Announced

October 29, 2020 – from American Political Science Association
The grants awarded support projects focusing on a wide variety of topics, including research across all political science subfields, efforts to advance political science impact through public engagement, professional development opportunities, and scholarly collaboration around civically engaged research.

Owen Brown (PhD Candidate/Student) | SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship

October 29, 2020 – from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
One of our grads, Owen Brown, has received a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Much like the Fulbright, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awards funding to high-caliber students to support their research. This award allows scholars to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards. Owen will be working on his dissertation entitled, "Ordering Through Race/Racialising Through Order: Race and the Production of International Order".

Thomas Ogorzalek | “Uncharted Territory”: While COVID-19 May Halt Momentum, Insurgent Campaigns Could Gain From Increased Scrutiny on Incumbents

October 28, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
"This scrutiny makes the government’s coronavirus response increasingly politicized, Ogorzalek said. So while many traditional campaign methods are put on hold, the actions of officials currently holding office may be more determinant of election outcomes than campaign activities. Research shows that the party in power tends to suffer in times of crisis," Ogorzalek said. As people look for someone to blame, they turn to their elected officials. On the flip side, there is a renewed opportunity for acclaim, if officials respond correctly. “(President Franklin Roosevelt) is a classic example of this,” Ogorzalek said. “Half of his presidency was the Great Depression, and he didn’t really solve it. We didn’t get out of the Depression until World War II. But people give him a lot of credit for trying heroically to do something, take action and restart the economy.”

Mara Suttmann-Lea | Poll Worker Decision Making at the American Ballot Box

October 28, 2020 – from American Politics Research
"Street-level bureaucrats set the terms for policy implementation and often operate under limited oversight. In American elections, poll workers are the street-level bureaucrats tasked with implementing a jurisdiction’s laws for verifying voter eligibility. Using in-depth interviews with 24 poll workers from the city of Chicago, this article assesses how poll workers make decisions about voter eligibility under Illinois’ signature-matching law. Respondents discussed a range of considerations used when they examine voter eligibility. The evidence I present suggests they rely on personal perspectives and experiences in their evaluations. Respondents also offered a range of responses for how they would proceed in the instance of a mismatching signature—including requesting voters provide identification even though it is not a requirement in Illinois unless a voter is challenged."

Mara Suttman-Lea (TGS PhD) | Anxiety 2020: Voters worry about safety at the polls

October 28, 2020 – from The Associated Press
“Human beings don’t do well with uncertainty, and there’s been a lot of uncertainty this year,” said Mara Suttmann-Lea, an assistant professor of government at Connecticut College conducting research on voting. ”Absolutely I’m seeing heightened levels of anxiety ... and it’s a more general, existential anxiety — ‘What is the state of our democracy?’”

Mara Suttmann-Lea|Voter Suppression, Past and Present

October 28, 2020 – from eventbrite
RECENT ELECTION CONTROVERSIES HAVE INTENSIFIED Americans’ attention to the threat of voter suppression to the conduct and legitimacy of our elections. Yet, increasingly innovative techniques to suppress and disrupt the vote have long been a part of American elections and those in other nations. It is impossible to tell the story of the expansion of the suffrage without also grappling with the ways that otherwise qualified voters have been barred from the polls. This panel is focused on exploring how voter suppression operates, when, why, and against whom it has been most widespread and effective, and what the state of voter suppression is in the US and the world today. We will also discuss ways to combat voter suppression and what we can do individually to create a more representative democracy.?

Sally Nuamah | The Cost of Participating while Poor and Black: Toward a Theory of Collective Participatory Debt

October 27, 2020 – from Perspectives on Politics
"How do resource-poor Black populations participate in the policy process? And what are the interpretive impacts of their participation? Using multiyear qualitative data on mass school closures in two large U.S. cities—in which nearly 90% of the population targeted were Black and low-income—I investigate how 1) the school district and local organizations provide resources for those affected to participate in the policy process; 2) affected participants interpret their engagement as contributing positively to the development of civic skills and perceptions of internal efficacy but negatively to their perceptions of politics, policy, and future participation; and that 3) these negative attitudes persist even among those who secure success in fighting the policy."

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Trump vs. Obama in Closing Days of Election | Pritzker Tightens Restrictions on Chicago Amid COVID-19 Surge

October 27, 2020 – from Chicago Tribune
Yet another Downstate race is on the radar: incumbent U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, the Democrat from Moline and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s House campaign arm, who is being challenged by Republican Esther Joy King, a lawyer and Army Reserve officer from East Moline. Bustos is favored to win in the 17th Congressional District, but the race could be tight, Tillery said.

Laurel Harbridge-Yong & James Pollard | Impeachment, Relief Packages and the Supreme Court

October 26, 2020 – from Northwestern University Department of Political Science
"Laurel Harbridge-Yong, Associate Professor of political science and author of “Rejecting Compromise: Legislators’ Fear of Primary Voters” focuses her research on partisan conflicts in the United States and the difficulties reaching bipartisan agreements. In this interview, Prof. Harbridge-Yong discusses partisanship itself — why it occurs, if it’s always been prevalent, and how to decrease it. This interview has been edited for clarity."

Jordan Gans-Morse|Self-Selection into Public Service When Corruption is Widespread: The Anomalous Russian Case

October 26, 2020 – from Sage Journals
Contrary to similar studies conducted in other high-corruption contexts, such as India, we find evidence that students who prefer a public sector career display less willingness to cheat or bribe in experimental games as well as higher levels of altruism. However, disaggregating public sector career paths reveals distinctions between the federal civil service and other types of public sector employment, with federal government positions attracting students who exhibit some similarities with their peers aspiring to private sector careers.

Isabel Castillo (PhD Candidate/Student) | She Dared to Run: The Unlikely Story of Prudencia Ayala

October 22, 2020 – from Americas Quarterly
"It is hard to exaggerate how much Ayala, a writer and one of the most innovative early feminists, was ahead of her time. Her bid for the presidency?—?which was eventually blocked by the Supreme Court?—?took place two decades before women were even allowed to vote in El Salvador. Ninety years later, only one other woman has ever run for the highest office in the country."

Claudia Lopez | Villas del Progreso Early Childhood Center

October 22, 2020 – from Facebook Live
"A city that thinks about education is a more caring, inclusive and sustainable city. Today with @Educacionbogota and @integracionbta we inaugurated the Villas del Progreso Early Childhood Center in Bosa."

Kim Suiseeya | Making the Connection Between Voting and Climate Change

October 21, 2020 – from sustainNU
“In terms of thinking about why we might vote for the environment and vote for climate change, I think its sort of a keystone issue that relates to all of the various problems that society is facing: the threats to democracy, not just in the U.S. but around the world, poverty, our health, water availability and access. Climate change intimiately impacts all of these issues.”

Jahara Matisek | International Competition to Provide Security Force Assistance in Africa: Civil-Military Relations Matter

October 21, 2020 – from Air Force Office of Scientific Research
"Western states increasingly tackle the problem of state fragility in Africa through the delivery of security force assistance (SFA). What is SFA and why does it matter? Broadly speaking, SFA is a term used to describe the provision of military aid, advisors, and resources to a fragile state, so that the armed forces of that state can provide security in support of stability. SFA typically consists of the deployment of small numbers of military advisors and resources to a fragile or weak state to build effective armed forces. However, such efforts are often overly technical and rarely address the political and institutional problems that create insecurity and the fragmented security organizations of that state (e.g. police, military, intelligence, etc.). Worse, in some cases, such SFA has only created the veneer of military effectiveness, known as the Fabergé Egg army problem."

Jesse Humpal (PhD Candidate/Student) & William Reno | As the US Slumps Away, China Subsumes African Security Arrangements

October 21, 2020 – from Defense One
"Recent developments in Africa show how this works. After the 9/11 attacks, the United States created an array of security arrangements intended to help African governments monitor flows of people and cargo. These fostered the growth of institutions focused on state and commercial-enterprise security, and allowed U.S. officials to track the inner workings of these governments’ security agencies and their economies’ global commercial links. But increasingly, the United States is not the only outside power with access to this sensitive information. As Chinese firms build out the continent’s new data networks and surveillance systems, and acquire ownership stakes in ports and other facilities, they obtain not just information and data, but the use of these systems and facilities as instruments of potential attack."

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Introducing Season 2: “What Voting Means to Me”

October 21, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
In Season 2 of “What Voting Means to Me” we hear from subjects grappling with the many ways in which the act of voting is ultimately realized (and not realized) in election outcomes, policies passed, and representation. From discussions of the mechanics of voting and a comparative conversation about Canadian and U.S. elections, to a narrative illustrating how systemic inequities in local politics shape engagement in democracies, this season combines beautifully told and deeply personal stories about living in a democracy, with a 30,000 foot view of what it actually takes for democracies to function.

Yanna Krupnikov | The Real Divide in America Is Between Political Junkies and Everyone Else

October 20, 2020 – from The New York Times
"The common view of American politics today is of a clamorous divide between Democrats and Republicans, an unyielding, inevitable clash of harsh partisan polarization. But that focus obscures another, enormous gulf — the gap between those who follow politics closely and those who don’t. Call it the “attention divide.” What we found is that most Americans — upward of 80 percent to 85 percent — follow politics casually or not at all. "

Ian Hurd | A U.N. Agency Lauded for Its Work Faces a Funding Shortage Quote

October 20, 2020 – from Foreign Policy
Officials at the U.N. agency that won the Nobel Peace Prize this month, the World Food Program (WFP), are worried that dwindling resources and rising needs are making it increasingly difficult for the group to meet its targets this year for feeding millions of people around the world. The agency has said the number of people on the verge of starvation worldwide could nearly double from 135 to 265 million in 2020—mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing wars in Yemen and elsewhere.

Emily Sakai | President Schapiro Stands by Controversial Email Condemning Protestors in Community Dialogue

October 20, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
"After a week of abolitionist organizing on campus, University President Morton Schapiro’s email condemning student protests and the hashtag #ResignMorty trending on social media, Schapiro declared in a virtual dialogue Tuesday he '(doesn’t) walk back a single word.' 'It’s disgusting, it’s disgraceful,' Schapiro said about student demonstrations outside his house. 'I absolutely stand by exactly what I said.' Associated Student Government leadership discussed recent actions led by Northwestern Community Not Cops with central administration Tuesday in a Community Dialogue. The moderators, ASG President Juan Zuniga and ASG Executive Officer of Justice and Inclusion Daniel Rodriguez, asked the administration for specific answers on the University Police budgetary release and Schapiro’s recent email."

James Druckman | COVID-19 Testing Speeds Increase

October 19, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
“This suggests that contact tracing is not as ideal as it could be, and the lack of tracing is surely contributing to the spread,” report co-author James Druckman, a political scientist at Northwestern, said in a news release. “The hope is these barriers to testing decline and wait times go down — crucial steps especially as we head into winter.”

Ian Hurd & Alvin Tillery | How Life Has Changed

October 19, 2020 – from Northwestern Magazine
“Once the coronavirus crisis has ebbed, we may find a world that is poorer, more fragmented and harder to navigate. Local conditions will matter a great deal. Disparities between poor and rich are likely to be even starker, among countries but even more so among regions and classes within countries," Ian Hurd said. “African Americans continue to have unequal life chances more than 50 years after the Kerner Commission proclaimed, ‘Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, one white — separate and unequal.’ The sad thing is that we are fully capable of fixing these inequalities, but we lack the political will to do it," Alvin Tillery said.

Swati Srivastava | Taking Back Our Privacy

October 19, 2020 – from The New Yorker
“Anna Wiener’s Profile of Moxie Marlinspike, who founded Signal, the end-to-end encrypted messaging service, presents a rare example of ethical technology in the age of surveillance capitalism (“Privacy Settings,” October 26th). I research and teach on the power and responsibility of Big Tech, and I struggle to find model companies to show my students. Winer compellingly illustrates how Marlinspike’s pro-privacy efforts have grown out of anarchist and punk cultures…Winer’s piece explains why, when it comes to subverting surveillance practices and making the internet a more ethical place, the two cannot be separated.”

Brandon Rottinghaus | Landslide or Presidential Upset? Political Science Experts Analyze the Top of Ticket and Down Ballot Impact

October 17, 2020 – from Click2Houston
If you believe the polls, the race for the president of the United States is all but over with Joe Biden holding a healthy national lead. Not so fast says Brandon Rottinghaus, Ph.D. and professor of political science at the University of Houston. He says there is a certain element about polling regarding President Trump that can’t be trusted. “You may have some of what we call non-response bias people who are effectively hiding their opinions of Donald Trump because they think its unpopular to back a President who does and says the kinds of things that Donald Trump does.”

Jahara Matisek | The Paradox of Security Force Assistance after the Rise and Fall of the Islamic State in Syria–Iraq

October 17, 2020 – from Special Operations Journal
"This article focuses on innovative conceptual definitions to capture the various terms and ideas that abound concerning the delivery of military assistance, aid, and training in fragile states, often subsumed under the term security force assistance (SFA). It highlights different Kurdish militias and units within the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to demonstrate inherent problems with any SFA program. We conduct a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical analysis to evaluate variations, concluding that in these contexts the definition of success and military effectiveness is contextual, often deviating from what the providers, such as the U.S. and other nations, may desire."

Isabel Castillo (PhD Candidate/Student) | Constitution and Pandemic Times in Chile

October 16, 2020 – from Latinoamérica 21
"On October 25, Chile will face its most important election since 1988, when a plebiscite began the transition to democracy. In 2020, again through a plebiscite, the citizenry will be able to decide whether to initiate a process to replace the constitution inherited from the Pinochet regime ('approval' or 'rejection' options) and the type of convention that will have to draft it ('mixed convention' composed of half of practicing parliamentarians and half newly elected officials, or the 'constitutional convention' with 100% elected members for that purpose). This process, the result of a cross-cutting political agreement, seeks to institutionally channel the crisis that broke out in October 2019, in which the bases of the development model were called into question in a context of extensive, prolonged and heavily repressed protests."

Pierre Martin | Forecasters' Verdict: Biden Advantage

October 16, 2020 – from The Journal of Montreal
"Of those who predict the Electoral College, five see a victory for Biden and two give the palm to Trump. By popular vote, eight models predict a majority for Biden and two for Trump. On average, the models give Trump 47.8% of the vote from both major parties, a difference of 4.4 percentage points in favor of Biden (52.2%)."

Tabitha Bonilla | MIT Forum for Equity: Identity Framing and Black Lives Matter

October 16, 2020 – from Slice of MIT
A faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, Bonilla focuses her work on how messaging about important topics in American politics can polarize attitudes or bridge attitudinal divides. In this interactive forum recorded in September, Bonilla shared her research on racial and ethnic politics and issues of retrospective justice, and discussed how that research connects with the Black Lives Matter movement. She also took live questions during the webcast. “This spring and summer…particularly with the pandemic in full swing in the United States, we saw social media being able to highlight a lot of the violence that occurs for unnamed people and the disproportionate harms that have been inflicted on the Black community,” Bonilla says. “Social media has been a form to draw particular attention to these pockets of the community."

Samara Klar | Why Would a Republican Vote Biden? Ask Arizonans

October 15, 2020 – from The New York Times
"What partisans want is no longer necessarily reflected in what their parties have to offer — Arizonans, often moderate Democrats and Republicans, have been left up for grabs in the middle while major-party candidates have often moved to opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. And that is an overlooked but essential factor to explain our swinging state: The Arizona Democratic Party is more effectively targeting its messages to align with the moderate voters of the state."

Rebecca Kolins Givan (TGS PhD) | Strike for the Common Good

October 15, 2020 – from University of Michigan Press
"Strike for the Common Good" gathers together original essays, written by teachers involved in strikes nationwide, by students and parents who have supported them, and by outside analysts (academic and otherwise). Together, the essays consider the place of these strikes in the broader landscape of recent labor organizing and battles over public education, and attend to the largely female workforce and, often, largely non-white student population of America’s schools.

Alvin B. Tillery | What the Rush to Confirm Amy Coney Barrett Is Really About

October 15, 2020 – from The Atlantic
It’s not hard to see a collision ahead between a conservative Supreme Court majority and the priorities of those younger Americans, including climate change, racial equity, voting rights, gun control, and protections for same-sex couples. “This focus on judgeships that [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell has put in place is really the only way” that conservatives can see of “guaranteeing their ideological priorities,” Alvin Tillery, the director of Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, told me.

Loubna El Amine | Classical Confucian Political Thought: A New Interpretation

October 14, 2020 – from Journal of Chinese Philosophy
El Amine analyzes key aspects of the Confucian political vision, including the relationship between the ruler and the people, the typology of rulers, and the role of ministers and government officials. She also looks at Confucianism’s account of the mechanisms through which society is to be regulated, from welfare policies to rituals. She explains that the Confucian conception of the political leaves space open for the rule of those who are not virtuous if these rulers establish and maintain political order. She also contends that Confucians defend the duty to take part in government based on the benefits that such participation can bring to society.

Marina Henke | Marina Henke Wins Lepgold Book Prize

October 14, 2020 – from Hertie School
In Constructing Allied Cooperation, Henke shows how states organise collective action in the face of human atrocities, terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

Scott Greer | Termites of Solidarity in the House of Austerity: Undermining Fiscal Governance in the European Union

October 14, 2020 – from Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law
Using two waves of interviews and documentary analysis, and health as a policy case study, the authors document three key techniques that opponents use to undermine the semester's governance architecture: broadening goals, expanding the scope of conflict, and disputing and nuancing indicators. The result is that opponents of a narrow fiscal governance agenda are again successfully undermining the narrow focus of the semester.

Jahara Matisek | A Developmental Role for Militaries in Africa: The Peace Engineering Corps Solution

October 13, 2020 – from S&F Sicherheit und Frieden
"In many African states, the military is one of very few technically capable large institutions. Based on interviews with pan-Africanist intellectuals and security experts, this article shows how a “Peace Engineering Corps” concept could be operationalized by putting suitably trained professional military units to good use for civil-military cooperation and domestic development work."

Julieta Suárez-Cao | Elections in Pandemic: The Historical Opportunity to Improve Participation in Chile

October 13, 2020 – from Agenda Pública
"The most controversial decision of all was, without a doubt, that of prohibiting the electoral participation of people with positive PCRs . In the same way that was done in Spain in the autonomous elections of the Basque Country and Galicia, the Chilean Executive Power has restricted their right to vote. The refusal to consider other options and the curtailment of this political right (a human right) for a foundational election such as the constitutional plebiscite has given the impression that, if the study of alternatives had been started earlier, this limitation could have been avoided. The Government and the Electoral Service have indicated that if an infected person arrives at the polling place, they should be allowed to exercise their right, but later they can be punished and even arrested."

Wendy Pearlman | Boaz Atzili, Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States that Host Nonstate Actors

October 12, 2020 – from Columbia University Press
"The project began when we both had post-docs at Harvard in 2007 to 2008. The 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah was still fresh, and we had many hallway conversations about it. We were both deeply alarmed by Israel’s severe bombardment of Lebanon on the demand that Lebanon “take responsibility” and stop Hizballah. We wondered, why would Israel expect that pounding a famously weak state would somehow get it to stop a notably strong nonstate actor? We began to research the topic and noted that many states try to combat nonstate actors by punishing the states that host them. We eventually came to call this strategy triadic coercion."

Kenny Allen (WCAS '21) | Ultimate’s Cultural Appropriation Problem

October 12, 2020 – from Medium: Kenny Allen's Page
"Being a white person and listening to rap or other music by black artists isn’t inherently bad; the issue in the ultimate community is that the consumption is not paired with enough thinking about the implications of that consumption."

Isabella Alcaniz | Es el Racísmo, Estúpido

October 11, 2020 – from Agenda Pública
Isabella Alcaniz, a professor at the University of Maryland, explains the place of racism in the US election campaign. Follow all the coverage of the elections in the United States on the exclusive website of Agenda Pública:

Aditi Malik | Elite Strategies, Emphasis Frames, and Mass Perspectives on Electoral Violence in Kenya

October 10, 2020 – from Journal of Contemporary African Studies
"Existing research on electoral violence has largely proposed either top-down (elite) or bottom-up (mass) explanations for such conflict. Consequently, scholars have scarcely considered how elites’ tactics interact with the interests of citizens on the ground. This article proposes an issue-framing approach to fill the above gap. Drawing on over 140 original interviews conducted with elites and vernacular radio listeners in Kenya, we identify three emphasis frames – political marginalisation, victimisation, and foreign occupation – that found resonance with certain groups of Kenyan voters in 2007–2008. Specifically, we show that divisive messages – disseminated through ethnic radios – resonated among those communities for whom institutional or material factors had already provided reasons to fight."

James Druckman | Why These Cursed Debates Made You Feel So Upset

October 9, 2020 – from Wired
“I think it was so upsetting because it violated political social norms,” writes James Druckman, a political scientist at Northwestern University, in an email to WIRED. “While those norms have been evolving, there is still presumably an expectation to follow the dictates of the debate structure. That that did not happen generates anxiety in people (violation of norms stimulates anxiety), and hence they are upset and worried, probably on both sides of the aisle.”

Matthew Lacombe | Goss & Lacombe on Heller & Policy Feedback Effects

October 9, 2020 – from Duke Center for Firearms Law
“I was not shocked that the discourse around gun politics didn’t change much. I was not shocked that public opinion around gun politics didn’t change much It’s an issue that was already polarizing. People already have positions, there are reestablished interest groups that already have particular ways of framing the issue. I was surprised at the lack of change in the policy agenda, the lack of changes in the courts… It did surprise me that it seemed to have mostly null legal effects.”

Ernesto Calvo | ¿Sólo Se Trata de Donald Trump?

October 9, 2020 – from Agenda Pública
President Trump manages so that the campaign revolves around his person and does not talk about the failure of his management of the pandemic. Trump's contagion of COVID19 is being used by the president as a tool to deflect the debate on the failure of his administration. So much so that a few days after being hospitalized, he already returned to the White House with an optimistic speech promising the population the drug that he himself consumed. In the middle of this, the discussion continues about his intentions not to accept defeat, while he continues to fall in the measurements of the prediction market (Predi), exclusive of Agenda Pública.

Marina Henke | 2019 Lepgold Prize Winning Author

October 9, 2020 – from Mortara Center for International Studies
Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of 80 multilateral military coalitions, Henke demonstrates that coalitions do not emerge naturally. Rather, pivotal states deliberately build them. They develop operational plans and bargain suitable third parties into the coalition, purposefully using their bilateral and multilateral diplomatic connections—what Henke terms diplomatic embeddedness—as a resource. As Constructing Allied Cooperation shows, these ties constitute an invaluable state capability to engage others in collective action: they are tools to construct cooperation.

Brandon Rottinghaus | Could Texas Go Blue? And More Election 2020 Questions

October 7, 2020 – from Houston Public Media
Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day’s most important and pressing issues. In this episode, we talk politics. Guests Jeronimo Cortina and Brandon Rottinghaus, University of Houston political science professors and co-hosts of Party Politics, offer their explanations and takes on recent headlines, lawsuits and developments, plus a look ahead at tonight's Vice Presidential debate. Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie to break the news of Governor Abbott's order to allow Texas bars to reopen at 50% capacity beginning Oct. 14, if counties opt in.

Lida Maxwell | Contemporary Political Theory's Best Paper 2019 Award

October 6, 2020 – from Springer Link
Lida Maxwell has won the Contemporary Political Theory Annual Prize for 2020 for her article, “The politics and gender of truth-telling in Foucault’s lectures on parrhesia,” in Contemporary Political Theory, Volume 18, Number 1 (2019), pp. 22-42. "This essay challenges dominant interpretations of Foucault’s lectures on parrhesia as affirming an ethical, non-political conception of truth-telling. I read the lectures instead as depicting truth-telling as an always political predicament: of having to appear distant from power (to achieve credibility), while also having to partake in some sense of political power (to render one’s truth significant)."

Alvin B. Tillery | Webinar Recap: How to Lead on Racial Equity

October 6, 2020 – from 2U
GetSmarter, a 2U, Inc. brand, hosted a LinkedIn live event titled “How to Lead on Racial Equity: Turn dialogue into action.” Ellen McGirt, senior editor at Fortune Magazine and the brilliant mind behind Fortune’s RaceAhead newsletter, was joined by Dr. Alvin Tillery, founding director of Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy and associate professor of political science, to discuss what it means to promote racial equity and achieve statistical parity in organizations. “Racial equity is an ideology that affirms that all people, regardless of their racial-ethnic group identifications, skin color, or physical traits, deserve an equal opportunity to experience wellbeing in a just society...Racial equity requires both a transformation of systems and racial healing," Professor Alvin Tillery said.

Ian Hurd | Law Is Not Cooperation

October 6, 2020 – from Cambridge Journal of Political Affairs
“The cooperation thesis builds a version of society where there are only winners from the rules, there are no losers. It ignores all of the distributive and coercive parts of international law and governance by which some people win and some people lose—some interests are advanced and others are impeded,” Hurd said.

Romain Malejacq | Sahelistan? Military Intervention and Patronage Politics in Afghanistan and Mali

October 6, 2020 – from Civil Wars
"The ‘Sahelistan’ discourse that conflates conflict dynamics in Afghanistan and Mali is widespread in Western media and policy circles. We argue that such representations contribute to the adoption of one-size-fits-all conflict management policies. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in both places, we also argue that these standard templates of intervention shape responses from local non-state armed actors, who manipulate foreign interveners for their own (violent) purposes in similar ways. Yet, we show that this convergence in armed group behaviour still manifests itself in important variations in widely different contexts, furthering strongmen autonomy in Afghanistan, while fostering armed group fragmentation in Mali."

Tabitha Bonilla | Trump’s Strict Immigration Laws Exacerbate Human Trafficking in the US

October 6, 2020 – from Truthout
Policy needs to shift the temporary visa process to create greater clarity and oversight in the recruitment process and remove control over visa status from employers. Barriers to accessing T-visas need to be minimized, including decreasing fees and wait times and increasing access to certifications. Rhetoric, policy and practice around immigration generally should foster an environment wherein migrants suffering any type of abuse are not afraid to access protection.

Sally Nuamah | Public Perceptions of Black Women and Girls and its Punitive Consequences

October 6, 2020 – from Institute for Policy Research
The analysis reveals that Black girls are seen as older, more dangerous, and more knowledgeable about sex. Further, they are viewed as deserving of harsher punishments, in this case, suspension, more than any other student. These findings have serious implications for the study of race, gender, criminal justice, and public opinion in American politics.

Lena Trabucco (PhD Candidate/Student) | AI Partnership for Defense is a Step in the Right Direction – But Will Face Challenges

October 5, 2020 – from OpinioJuris
"In essence, the AI partnership is a necessary and welcome development in the US AI strategy, but significant legal and policy challenges are on the horizon. The three outlined here – legal interoperability, trans-Atlantic cooperation, and an uncertain coherent strategy – are certainly not exhaustive. But they represent a span of legal and policy issues the partnership are sure to encounter as it moves forward."


Matt Lacombe | Firepower: How the NRA Turned Gun Owners into a Political Force

September 30, 2020 – from Princeton University Press
Taking readers from the 1930s to the age of Donald Trump, Matthew Lacombe traces how the NRA’s immense influence on national politics arises from its ability to shape the political outlooks and actions of its supporters. He draws on nearly a century of archival records and surveys to show how the organization has fashioned a distinct worldview around gun ownership and used it to mobilize its supporters. Lacombe reveals how the NRA’s cultivation of a large, unified, and active base has enabled it to build a resilient alliance with the Republican Party, and examines why the NRA and its members formed an important base that helped fuel the unlikely political rise of Donald Trump.

Alvin B. Tillery | Academic Panel on Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Verdict

September 29, 2020 – from Northwestern Now
A panel of experts from Northwestern discussed the ramifications of the grand jury decision on Breonna Taylor. The panel, moderated by TiShaunda McPherson, associate vice president for equity and a former civil rights attorney, covered the themes of gender, race, law, political movements and policing. We followed up with three of the panelists — Professors Sheila Bedi, Sekile Nzinga and Alvin Tillery, Jr — to hear more about the topics that were raised during the discussion “Where Do We Go From Here After the Breonna Taylor Verdict: Gender, Race, and the Future of Social Movements.”

Yoes Kenawas (PhD Candidate/Student) | Dynastic Politics: Indonesia’s New Normal

September 29, 2020 – from Indonesia at Melbourne
"Dynastic politics is a new normal in Indonesia’s democracy. Power transfer from elected officeholders to their own family members has grown dramatically over the past 15 years. Despite the ephemeral nature of many Indonesian political dynasties, this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, unless significant electoral reform happens quickly. In fact, Indonesia has never seen so many family members of political elites compete in subnational elections. From 2015 to 2018, 117 dynastic politicians won direct elections for regional leadership positions (pilkada), while 85 others lost. This was a sharp increase on the 39 dynastic politicians who occupied subnational executive offices at the end of 2013."

Kim Suiseeya | Pandemic Imperils Promotions for Women in Academia

September 29, 2020 – from The New York Times
“This year was critical for me to finalize my tenure packet,” she said. “I stare at my computer and try to be productive. And every five minutes my daughter comes in and says, ‘My Zoom link doesn’t work.’” The pandemic has been brutal on many working mothers, especially those with little leverage on the job. Experts say it may be uniquely unforgiving for mothers in so-called up-or-out fields, where workers face a single high-stakes promotion decision. The loss of months or more of productivity to additional child care responsibilities, which fall more heavily on women, can reverberate throughout their careers.

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | The Spin: Preview of Biden, Trump’s First Debate

September 28, 2020 – from The Chicago Tribune
"We’re little more than 24 hours before Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden square off in the first debate of the 2020 general election season, and political junkies are waiting to see the display. Trump should expect tax questions, as Lightfoot eases COVID-19 restrictions on bars, salons starting Thursday."

Mara Suttmann-Lea | How Can Researchers and Election Administrators Work Together?

September 28, 2020 – from MIT Election Lab
"Even if we’re not talking about conducting new research or obtaining new data, there is value in researchers who have looked at the literature, have studied the literature, and who have done the research, who can communicate to state and local election officials, “here’s what works, here’s what seems like it has an effect.”

Samara Klar | Samara Klar on Campaign 2020 and Arizona

September 26, 2020 – from Washington Journal
"Biden and Trump are polling at a dead even. It’s really anyone’s guess as to who’s going to win. I dont know if its necessarily due to the registration numbers alone because, as I’ve said, the registration numbers haven’t changed that much. But what we have seen is Republican voters in Arizona who feel more out of step with their national party than what we’re seeing with the democrats.”

Mauro Gilli | Why Chinese Military Technology Is Lagging Behind

September 25, 2020 – from Le Point
From 5G to hypersonic vehicles, via artificial intelligence and aircraft carriers: China is regularly presented as a technological power, including in the military field. It would have managed in a few decades to catch up with the United States , with which it now competes. However, this is not the case, according to researchers Andrea and Mauro Gilli, specialists in military innovation issues, for whom the Americans are keeping a good head start.

Aili Mari Tripp | Seeking Legitimacy: Why Arab Autocracies Adopt Women's Rights

September 24, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
Aili Mari Tripp explains why autocratic leaders in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria embraced more extensive legal reforms of women's rights than their Middle Eastern counterparts. The study challenges existing accounts that rely primarily on religiosity to explain the adoption of women's rights in Muslim-majority countries.

Aili Mari Tripp | Seeking Legitimacy: A Conversation with Aili Tripp

September 24, 2020 – from POMEPS Middle East Podcasts
"Why are autocrats adopting women’s rights legislation and making constitutional provisions and promoting women as leaders? In a nutshell, my argument has to do with some of the strategic interaction that goes on between the ruling parties, which in the case of Tunisia and Morocco for the time period I’m looking at are Islamist parties. Between the regime and these Islamist parties and the various Islamist movements in these countries and the interaction with women’s movements this interaction between these various actors has resulted in an unprecedented advancement in women’s rights.”

Toby Bolsen | Framing the Origins of Covid-19

September 24, 2020 – from Science Communication
"The spread of the COVID-19 virus has been an accompanying epidemic of misinformation, eroding trust in science and misleading individuals about the most effective precautions to take to quell the virus and ensure safety. It is urgent that as we seek to control the spread of this virus and anticipate ways to control and suppress future similar viruses, we come up with ways to combat misleading and damaging conspiracy rhetoric."

Alvin B. Tillery | “A Badly Broken System”: Northwestern Professors Respond to Breonna Taylor Ruling

September 24, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
Protesters held signs saying “Justice for Breonna Taylor” and petitions to “arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor” circulated online, garnering millions of signatures. Yet the grand jury ruled no indictments directly related to her death against the officers who shot her. In the news release, Tillery reflected on this decision, calling it a “watershed moment for the Black Lives Matter movement.” “For more than three months we have seen activists organizing mostly peaceful, disciplined protests demanding charges against the officers in the case,” he said. “What today showed is that protests are not going to be enough to generate accountability in such a badly broken system.”

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr | Northwestern Professors Remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 23, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
As the second female Supreme Court justice, Ginsburg was famous for both her decisions and dissents which notoriously defended gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights, including voting in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015. In a news release, political science Prof. Alvin Tillery reflected on her legacy. “Justice RBG was an American icon,” Tillery said. “As a young lawyer, she did more than perhaps any other figure to advance women’s equality through her landmark victories as a member of the Supreme Court Bar. She continued to be a champion for gender and racial equality during her tenure on the nation’s highest court.”

James Druckman | National Survey: Misinformation About COVID-19 and Vaccine Acceptance

September 23, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
If you get your news from social media, you are more likely to fall for misinformation about coronavirus conspiracies, risk factors, and preventative treatments, according to the latest survey results looking at Americans’ attitudes and behaviors around COVID-19. "The results confirm the initial fears that social media would contribute to misinformation about COVID-19. This misinformation may in turn have dire consequences when it comes to individual behaviors and group attributions.”?

Dan Galvin | Stiffing Workers on Wages Grows Worse With Recession

September 22, 2020 – from The New York Times
According to a paper released Thursday by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a liberal think tank, the rate at which workers suffered violations of minimum-wage law increased almost in lock step with the unemployment rate during the last recession. On average, the workers on the receiving end of these violations lost about one-fifth of their hourly wage. The paper’s numbers show that more than 20 percent of low-wage workers were probably paid less than what the law requires in April, when the unemployment rate peaked, up from just over 10 percent before the pandemic.

Sally Nuamah | AESA Critics' Choice Book Awards

September 21, 2020 – from American Educational Studies Association
Each year, a committee of AESA members selects a number of titles it regards as outstanding books that may be of interest to those in educational studies. These books are designated as AESA Critics’ Choice Award winners and are displayed prominently at the annual meeting.

Dan Galvin | A Roadmap for Strategic Enforcement: Complaints and Compliance with San Francisco's Minimum Wage

September 20, 2020 – from Center for Innovation in Worker Organization
The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) was established in 2001 as the first municipal labor standards enforcement agency in the country. Initially responsible for prevailing wage enforcement, OLSE has since expanded to include enforcement authority for over 25 laws. San Francisco has been at the forefront of passing innovative legislation to better protect workers, including four ordinances that were a first for any American municipality: the minimum wage, paid sick leave, formula retail, and paid parental leave ordinances.?

Alvin B. Tillery | Northwestern Professor Discusses Open Supreme Court Seat

September 19, 2020 – from WGN News
“Traditionally Republican voters pay a lot of attention to Supreme Court vacancies so I think that it could shore up his support. The problem for Mr. Trump is that when you look at independents and other categories of voters, there are not really a lot of persuadable voters left out there. So what this might do for him is bring his base, which was already going to vote for him, to the polls. But the idea oaf putting another conservative judge on the court is not going to win over people he doesn’t already have.”

Wendy Pearlman | Where Next for the Syrian Struggle

September 19, 2020 – from Syrian Revolution: A History from Below
The last webinar of "The Syrian Revolution: a History from Below" will explore grassroots struggles, creative resistance, and the pitfalls of the Syrian revolt. Remarkable panelists with in-depth knowledge of the geography of revolution will reflect on nine years of extraordinary struggle, political machinations, and the tragic price Syrians are still paying for standing up to Assad's regime. The panel will also discuss the lessons of the revolution and where next for the Syrian struggle.

Ian Hurd | The case against international cooperation

September 16, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
The idea that international law and institutions represent cooperative means for resolving inter-state disputes is so common as to be almost taken for granted in International Relations scholarship. Global-governance scholars often use the terms international law and cooperation interchangeably and treat legalization as a subset of the broader category of inter-governmental cooperation. This paper highlights the methodological and substantive problems that follow from equating ‘global governance’ with ‘international cooperation’ and suggests an alternative.

Kumar Ramanathan (PhD Candidate/Student) | ABF Presents its 2020 Doctoral/Post-Doctoral Fellows

September 16, 2020 – from The American Bar Foundation
My dissertation project investigates the construction of the mid-20th century legislative agenda on civil rights by northern Democratic Party politicians. I examine the broad scope of possibilities for what could have been included on this agenda, and identify which issues and proposals became central to the agenda and which remained marginal or excluded. I argue that liberals in the Democratic Party faced conflicting pressures on the "race problem" from constituents, interest groups, and social movements during the 1930s-60s, and strategically included or excluded issues in order to preserve their party coalition. Through this analysis, I aim to more accurately characterize the content of racial liberalism as it emerged among white Democratic Party elites.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | Voter Education in the Digital Age: State and Local Election Official Use of Social Media

September 16, 2020 – from SSRC
"I expect that larger, better resourced, socioeconomically advantaged jurisdictions, and jurisdictions where the majority of the voter population is white, are more likely to have election officials consistently using social media for voter education. Tangible products of this research will be a novel dataset of state and local election official social media usage during the 2020 general election cycle, scholarly publications, and a foundation for over-time data collection during future elections. With the ability to quickly convey information on platforms that are widely available and consistent in form from user to user, social media accounts of state and local election officials stand to be a potentially vital place for the public to seek accurate information about how to properly vote, especially during an election cycle disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic."

James Druckman | Public Trust and Americans’ Willingness to Vaccinate for COVID-19; Survey shows that a desire to vaccinate depends on trust in leaders and institutions

September 15, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
"The results show that public trust for 15 government institutions and leaders’ ability to manage the pandemic gradually eroded between late April and August. Four institutions—state government (68%), Congress (42%), the White House (46%), and police (65%)—have seen double-digit declines of between 12 and 13 points in trust since the spring."

Daniel Krcmaric | The Justice Dilemma: Leaders and Exile in an Era of Accountability

September 15, 2020 – from Cornell University Press
Abusive leaders are now held accountable for their crimes in a way that was unimaginable just a few decades ago. What are the consequences of this recent push for international justice? In The Justice Dilemma, Daniel Krcmaric explains why the "golden parachute" of exile is no longer an attractive retirement option for oppressive rulers. He argues that this is both a blessing and a curse: leaders culpable for atrocity crimes fight longer civil wars because they lack good exit options, but the threat of international prosecution deters some leaders from committing atrocities in the first place. The Justice Dilemma therefore diagnoses an inherent tension between conflict resolution and atrocity prevention, two of the signature goals of the international community.

Sam McChesney | The Meaning of Courage in Montaigne’s Essays

September 15, 2020 – from Taylor Francis
The self is an inescapably finite, horizonal being embedded in a world of flux and plurality. Courage, for Montaigne, therefore relates to an awareness, as opposed to a denial, of human limitations. This is, I argue, a valuable contribution to our understanding of the virtue of courage, but it is not the last word. Montaigne’s concern to embrace our status as finite creatures often manifested in a problematic praise of poverty, suffering, and death.

M. Christopher Sardo (TGS PhD) | Responsibility for climate justice: Political not moral

September 14, 2020 – from European Journal of Political Theory
This article argues that climate change is a structural injustice demanding a theory of political responsibility. Agents bear responsibility not in virtue of their individual causal contribution or capacity, but because they participate in and benefit from the carbon-intensive structures, practices, and institutions that constitute the global political and economic system. Agents take responsibility by engaging in collective political action to transform these structures that generate both climate hazards and unjust relationships of power.

Marina Henke | Germany has never once assumed the role of a key state

September 11, 2020 – from Zur-Lage
"I looked at over 80 coalitions since 1945 for the book, and Germany has never taken on the role of key state. In the Balkan Wars, for example, Germany was involved, but always subordinate to the USA, France and Great Britain. As far as the initiative to form a coalition is concerned, Germany came closest to the police mission for Afghanistan (NTM-A, EUPOL, GPPT). Germany always thinks that there has to be a normative consensus in the world, that it is important, for example, to build up the police force in Afghanistan. Then an attempt is made to recruit countries in this normative way. But countries have priorities that are ranked. Other countries are much more pragmatic, they simply realize that these priorities exist and that one cannot insist on basic moral principles.“What for whom?” This pragmatism is missing.?"

Wes Skogan | What Happens When Chicago Cops Speak Up About Police Misconduct? Their Lives Are Ruined, Whistleblowers Say

September 10, 2020 – from Block Club Chicago
"Wesley Skogan, a Northwestern University criminologist, said that if Chicago is really ready for police reform, those in charge need to take whistleblowers like Spalding and Davis seriously. "We should pay special attention to the reports of the people who have actual experience in the organization. We should pay extra attention to that kind of expertise. It's experience and expertise," Skogan said."

Traci Burch | Online Originals: N.C. court finds felon disenfranchisement rule “unconstitutional”

September 10, 2020 – from WNCT9
"In an expert report written by Dr. Traci Burch for the case states that “many of the people currently under supervision for felony convictions in the community in North Carolina would register and vote if they were not currently disenfranchised”. The report also states that North Carolina’s felony disenfranchisement law prevents a significant number of people who had voted in the past (before their felony convictions) from participating in elections."

Mneesha Gellman | Higher Education Access and Parity: The Emerson Prison Initiative's Bachelor of Arts Program

September 9, 2020 – from IGI Global
This chapter presents the educational intervention of the Emerson Prison Initiative, which offers a pathway to a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Literature, and Culture to incarcerated students at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Concord. A program of Emerson College, the Emerson Prison Initiative serves Emerson's mission to increase educational access for historically marginalized students, including those in prison, and maintains rigorous standards for academic excellence for students and faculty comparable to those at Emerson's Boston-based campus. The Emerson Prison Initiative is rooted in the notion that access to a college education can help transform how people engage in the world.

Joshua Freedman | Back of the queue: Brexit, status loss, and the politics of backlash

September 9, 2020 – from The British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Status anxiety is not a necessary condition for backlash movements, and yet, both are highly complementary. Across political levels, from the community and state to the international system, status anxiety is often cited as a principal grievance and motivator of backlash politics. This article challenges the basic premise behind this framing by arguing that status loss – as a subset of status anxiety – and backlash politics, are essentially co-constitutive phenomena.

Karen Alter | Conceptualising backlash politics: Introduction to a special issue on backlash politics in comparison

September 9, 2020 – from British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Despite the widespread sense that backlash is an important feature of contemporary national and world politics, there is remarkably little scholarly work on the politics of backlash. This special issue conceptualises backlash politics as a distinct form of contentious politics. Backlash politics includes the following three necessary elements: (1) a retrograde objective of returning to a prior social condition, (2) extraordinary goals and tactics that challenge dominant scripts, and (3) a threshold condition of entering mainstream public discourse.

Joshua Freedman (TGS PhD) | Back of the queue: Brexit, status loss, and the politics of backlash

September 9, 2020 – from Sage Journals
Across political levels, from the community and state to the international system, status anxiety is often cited as a principal grievance and motivator of backlash politics. This article challenges the basic premise behind this framing by arguing that status loss – as a subset of status anxiety – and backlash politics, are essentially co-constitutive phenomena. Status loss can certainly propel backlash movements to form, but claims of status loss and decline are also uniquely exploitable mechanisms for bringing backlash movements into existence.

Jonathan Schulman (PhD Candidate/Student) | Americans’ support for trade and intervention abroad depends on which country is involved.

September 7, 2020 – from LSE US Centre
President Trump’s administration has been marked by his skepticism for trade agreements and seeming lack of interest in intervening overseas. In new research Jonathan Schulman finds that while Americans say that they are in favor of international trade and intervening overseas in the general sense, when asked about these policies in terms of specific countries in practice, this support can significantly diminish.

James Druckman | Could LeBron James Defeat Donald Trump?

September 6, 2020 – from Politico
James Druckman, a political scientist at Northwestern University who has studied voter behavior and psychology extensively, pointed to “Rock the Vote” as the closest comparison to the NBA’s current efforts. He cautioned, however, that like so many other aspects of politics, the hyperpartisan nature of today’s media climate could blunt those efforts’ cumulative effect. “I suspect that if people still perceive there to be nonpartisan actors who engage in mobilization, that these methods would work during this election cycle,” Druckman said. “The question is the extent to which people believe anyone involved in politics is not politicized these days.”

Dan Galvin | Maintaining effective U.S. labor standards enforcement through the coronavirus recession

September 3, 2020 – from Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Workers in the United States are experiencing record unemployment at the same time that governments across the country are facing extraordinary budget deficits. Evidence from the Great Recession of 2007—2009 indicates that high levels of unemployment weaken the labor market power of those low-wage workers who remain employed. Minimum wage violations increased dramatically during the Great Recession, disproportionately impacting Latinx, Black, and female workers.

Alex Hertel-Fernandez | State Capture: Alex Hertel-Fernandez

September 3, 2020 – from Future Hindsight
Alex Hertel-Fernandez is Associate Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and the author of State Capture: How Conservative Activists, Big Businesses, and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States – and the Nation. We discuss the efficacy of controlling state legislatures and implementing public policies to reshape the political terrain.

Daniel J. Galvin | Stiffing Workers on Wages Grows Worse With Recession

September 3, 2020 – from The New York Times
According to a paper released Thursday by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a liberal think tank, the rate at which workers suffered violations of minimum-wage law increased almost in lock step with the unemployment rate during the last recession. On average, the workers on the receiving end of these violations lost about one-fifth of their hourly wage. The paper’s numbers show that more than 20 percent of low-wage workers were probably paid less than what the law requires in April, when the unemployment rate peaked, up from just over 10 percent before the pandemic.

Daniel J. Galvin | SF council proposed to help cleaners, nannies, home aides

September 2, 2020 – from San Francisco Chronicle
The Rutgers report shows that "assuming that vulnerable workers will complain is problematic," said Janice Fine, director of research and strategy at Rutgers' Center for Innovation in Worker Organization, who co-authored the report with Daniel Galvin and Jenn Round.


Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 10 – Protest and Activism in a Comparative Perspective with Dr. Kelly Bauer

August 4, 2021 – from OwlTail
How can the study of comparative politics – of the different forms of political organization and behavior around the world – help us make sense of the US’s challenging and contentious politics in this moment? My guest today is Dr. Kelly Bauer is joining the Politics Department at Occidental College this year to teach courses in comparative politics Latinx politics, and research methods. We talked about her research on activist movements in Chile, the importance of methodological debates, and her approach to teaching in the brave new world of Covid-19.

Maya Novak-Herzog (PhD Candidate/Student) | The Price of Male Shame

August 31, 2020 – from Human Parts
"The language I have to discuss my experiences feels like a very gender essentialist view of human beings in many ways. Because this is my blog, I do not have language outside of my own experiences to express them otherwise. In no way does this encapsulate the range, depth, and complexity of human experience, particularly in regard to gender."

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | The Flight 93 Convention

August 27, 2020 – from The Atlantic
Alvin Tillery Jr., the director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, says such anxieties are likely to only intensify through the 2020s as white Americans continue to decline as a share of the overall population. “They are a minority party whose base is shrinking considerably when you project forward in the generations,” he told me. “If you dig deeper and look at the political psychology of their base, it’s driven to a large extent by this narrative of loss. It means that they are going to have a playbook that is cast narrower and narrower toward that white male base.”

Megan Lebowitz (Medill '22)| The Risks of Relying on Citizen Journalists to Cover the War in Syria

August 27, 2020 – from Nieman Reports
Foreign reporters faced a unique set of dilemmas when reporting on the war in Syria. The country’s inaccessibility — due to government control and danger — led Western media outlets to rely more heavily on Syrian citizen journalists and media activists who documented protests and violence, often by uploading videos to social media. This reliance led to verification challenges as well as moral and ethical dilemmas.

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Trans­parency Drives Partisan­ship and Polarization

August 25, 2020 – from The Congressional Research Institute
"Nearly two centuries ago, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton suggested that transparent proceedings led to increases in hard-lining, anger and likely even partisanship. Others have suggested the same. And after declining for decades, partisanship shot upwards precisely as both federal and state legislatures began to open up their deliberations and committee votes. We collect data and citations on this topic and present them on this page. “One way to increase legislators' willingness to accept compromise is to insulate the process of negotiation from the public."

Romain Malejacq | Bertrand Badie, Thinker of International Relations. A Typically French Approach?

August 25, 2020 – from Études Internationales
Bertrand Badie is undoubtedly the greatest figure in International Relations (IR) of the last thirty years in France. “Converted” to IR after the fall of the Berlin Wall (Paquin and Hatto 2018: 39), he taught them at Sciences Po Paris, in one form or another, until his retirement in May 2018, half a century after entering it as a student himself (Poupart and Vittot 2018). He has also devoted a plentiful work to them with, on average, the publication of a book by RI every two years, between the publication of Reversal of the world (Badie and Smouts 1992) at the beginning of the 1990s and that of his last book, Inter-Socialities (Badie 2020). It is now time to take stock (necessarily provisional, as his passion for IR and his productivity seem unalterable) on the work of the most influential French internationalist of his generation.

Dan Krcmaric | The Justice Dilemma: Exile in an Era of Accountability

August 25, 2020 – from Cornell University Press
Leaders who refuse to step down after wearing out their welcome represent a thorny problem. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is the latest example. Maduro refuses to give up power even as Venezuelans take to the streets to protest against his rule and the international community increasingly recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate president.

Jennifer Forestal and Abe Singer | Forestal and Singer on Social Media and Disinformation

August 25, 2020 – from Business Ethics Journal Review
Johnson (2017) conceptualizes the social responsibilities of digital media platforms by describing two ethical approaches: one emphasizing the discursive freedom of platform-users, the other emphasizing protecting users from harmful posts. These competing concerns are on full display in the current debate over platforms’ obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Johnson argues both approaches are grounded in democracy, we argue that democratic commitments transcend the freedom/ harm dichotomy. Instead, a commitment to democracy points toward social media companies’ responsibilities to structure their platforms in ways that facilitate perspectival diversity and collective deliberation.

Andrew Roberts | A Political Scientist's Progress

August 24, 2020 – from Substack
"My aim in this blog is to write about the field of political science (one I’ve been working in for a couple of decades) and particularly my worries about whether the field is making progress. In 2013, Senator Tom Coburn proposed that the government zero out NSF funding for political science because it hadn’t done enough to save lives, create jobs, and promote economic growth. While I wouldn’t agree that these are the main standards by which political science should be judged, I think it would be a good if political science had better answers about how it has both progressed and contributed to progress."

Sally Nuamah | Americans overwhelmingly oppose school reopenings, data finds

August 19, 2020 – from The Washington Post
For perhaps the first time in recent history, every school district across the nation is seriously considering the question of whether their institutions should physically reopen in the fall, given the risk of spreading the coronavirus. President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have called for schools to physically reopen. These public declarations have brought mass resistance from K-12 teachers, with many threatening to strike if forced to enter the classroom.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | Vote By Mail in the 2020 Election: How to Do It and Why

August 17, 2020 – from Teen Vogue
According to Suttmann-Lea, two thirds of states allow any eligible voter to request mail ballots without an excuse. She pointed Teen Vogue readers to a recent report from the Brookings Institute as “a great resource for identifying how well states do in making mail voting accessible and available in the context of the pandemic,” and a separate report from the National Conference of State Legislatures for more information on “some of the legislative and executive actions that have been taken in response to the pandemic.”

Ian Hurd | Legal Games — Political Goals

August 17, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
Governments’ goals may differ, both within and across regime types, but the instrumental use of law in the service of political ends does not. Because the methodological difficulties in correlating regime type with attitude toward international law are insuperable, Ginsburg's contribution is that he directs attention to the substantive goals that governments pursue through law and to the tradeoffs that follow as one goal wins over others. The normative valence of international law depends on how one feels about these practical tradeoffs; those whose interests are harmed by international law have good reason to feel disadvantaged.

Mneesha Gellman | “Mother Tongue Won’t Help You Eat”: Language Politics in Sierra Leone

August 16, 2020 – from African Journal of Political Science and International Relations
This article addresses the question, how does Sierra Leone’s language regime, moderated through formal and informal education, contribute to post-war globalization dynamics? Since Sierra Leonean independence from Britain in 1961, Krio, a type of Creole, has gone from being the mother tongue of a small ethnic minority to the lingua franca, particularly in Freetown, the state capital. English has been Sierra Leone’s elite language since colonial times and remains the only official language of government. Yet many other languages are spoken in Sierra Leone in different communities and contexts. Drawing on interviews and political ethnographic work in Freetown and the districts, the study argues that language and identity shift connected to post-war globalization reflects tensions between upward socio-economic mobility and cultural survival.

Nathan Dial (PhD Candidate/Student) | Institutional racism is boring

August 16, 2020 – from AirforceTimes
In the 21st century, institutional racism is boring and easy to miss. Our combined 18 years of experience as Air Force pilots has led us to conclude that racism, in an Air Force flying squadron, revolves around our inability to fully possess what we would call the “good dude factor” (GDF).

Chloe N. Thurston | HIDDEN FEES? The Hidden State Framework and the Reform Prospects for Systems of Monetary Sanctions

August 15, 2020 – from UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review
The purpose of this Essay is to consider how the “hidden state frame-work” prevalent in scholarship on the politics of public policy might be fruitfully applied to our understanding of the political development and politics of monetary sanctions1, with an eye towards their reform. After briefly summarizing the context and evolution of the hidden state frame-work and the features of monetary sanctions systems that bear family resemblance to hidden policy arrangements, this Essay then discusses how the framework might be used to illuminate both the challenges and prospects for monetary sanctions reform. ?

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Black Female Leaders In Illinois Celebrate The Historic Choice Of Kamala Harris

August 14, 2020 – from Illinois Newsroom
Alvin Tillery, director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, believes this historic choice could mean more enthusiasm among Black women, and that could translate to higher voter turnout in Black communities. “Black women are the ones organizing the sort of ‘souls to the polls’ and other [get out the vote] efforts in the Black community,” he said. “And so boosting their enthusiasm will likely boost the overall enthusiasm of the community and boost turnout.”

Daniel J. Galvin | Examining President Trump’s Unusual Style of Party Leadership

August 13, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
“Rather than fan out horizontally in search of new groups to join the party coalition,” Galvin writes, “Trump’s strategy drills down vertically to penetrate and deepen his base in the hopes of swelling the number of like-minded supporters who are active in electoral and party politics.”?

Maya Novak-Herzog (PhD Candidate/Student) | Why do all of my friends want to die?

August 12, 2020 – from Medium
"In therapy, I learned that it’s really uncommon to want to die basically your entire childhood, or maybe it’s not so uncommon, it’s just not healthy. I say perhaps it’s not so uncommon because I posted that quote on my Instagram, and suddenly all these people I love are telling me how they’ve wanted to die sometimes too."

Wesley Skogan | Lack of body cameras fuels suspicion in Chicago shooting

August 11, 2020 – from AP News
"Questions about the lack of body cameras extend beyond activist groups. One law enforcement expert found it baffling that the department did not equip with cameras officers whose job it is to wade into violent situations in a city where there remains widespread suspicion of police. “It is really shocking, actually,” said Wesley Skogan, who studies crime and law enforcement at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. “Without body camera footage, it (the shooting) will be disputed until the end of time.”

Jaime Dominguez | Biden Selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as Running Mate

August 11, 2020 – from WTTW
“Chicago Tonight” analyzes Joe Biden’s choice with Felicia Davis, president and CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women; Delmarie Cobb, political consultant and founder of Ida's Legacy; and Jaime Dominguez, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University.

Al Tillery | Poll: Black Woman Running Mate Favored for Vice President Biden

August 11, 2020 – from Northwestern Now
"While it is true that the margins between the overall enthusiasm for Biden and the enthusiasm for him when a hypothetical African-American woman is added to his ticket are small, they are precisely the kinds of margins that can cost Vice President Biden an election in a highly polarized partisan environment,” Tillery said. “The reality for Biden is that he needs to do everything that he can to maximize African-American turnout and selecting an African-American woman as his running mate looks like a big step in that direction."

Dr. Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 11 – Political Responsibility, Climate Change, and Police Violence

August 11, 2020 – from Oxy Poli-cast
Even if you don’t read comic books, you’ve probably heard the adage from Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” But what does it mean to be responsible or take responsibility, especially when it’s not clear that you’ve done something illegal, immoral, or wrong? Who should bear responsibility for climate change, global justice, or police violence? Today we’re switching things up, with Junko Anderson, Oxy class of ’21, interviewing our usual host, Dr. Christopher Sardo from Occidental College to talk about his work on political responsibility. We talk about what it means to be politically, as opposed to morally, responsible, and how this idea can change the way we think about challenges like climate change and police reform.

Alvin B. Tillery | Kamala Harris Likely Will Boost Enthusiasm For Joe Biden Among Black Voters

August 8, 2020 – from ScienceBlog
Joe Biden’s pick of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) as his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 11 will likely boost enthusiasm for him among Black voters, said Alvin Tillery, associate professor of political science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “Joe Biden’s decision to select Kamala Harris as his running mate means that for the first time in American history a Black woman will be on the presidential ticket of one of the two major parties. Sen. Harris has also proved in recent weeks that she is an ardent campaigner and fundraiser for Biden,” Tillery said.

Loubna El-Amine | Clearing the Rubble

August 7, 2020 – from London Review of Books
"It was unimaginable that things could get worse in Lebanon. But they did. Weeks into the country’s worst economic crisis, compounded by the pandemic, 2570 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, stored in Beirut’s port, exploded on Tuesday. Because the blast was preceded by a fire, phone cameras were already trained on the port when the mushroom cloud went up. Most of the video footage lasts only a couple of seconds before the people taking it are knocked to the ground. Blurry upside-down images follow, to the sound of cries, screams, prayers, metal and glass shattering, walls collapsing. One video I have seen was apparently taken by a man who died from the explosion. The blast has so far killed 137 people, injured 5000, and made 300,000 homeless."

James Druckman | The Role of Race, Religion, and Partisanship in Misinformation About COVID-19

August 6, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
Concerns about misinformation among the public abound. While this is not new, the rise of social media has stimulated scholars, across the social sciences, to explore the spread of misinformation and tactics for correcting misperceptions. Surprisingly, little work explores the correlates of misinformation in varying contexts – that is, how do factors such as group affiliations, media exposure, and lived experiences influence levels of misinformation?

James Druckman | Most Americans Willing to Vaccinate for COVID-19, While Testing Speeds Lag

August 6, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
“This is an unfortunate reflection of the system being overloaded, since after a certain number of days, receiving the test result becomes less useful,” said IPR political scientist James Druckman, a researcher in the consortium of four universities conducting the surveys that comprises Northwestern, Harvard, Northeastern, and Rutgers. More than 19,000 Americans participated in each wave of the nationally representative survey that is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Tabitha Bonilla & Alvin B. Tillery Jr. | Which Identity Frames Boost Support for and Mobilization in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement? An Experimental Test

August 6, 2020 – from
"The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has organized hundreds of disruptive protests in American cities since 2013 (Garza 2014; Harris 2015; Taylor 2016). The movement has garnered considerable attention from the U.S. media and is well recognized by the U.S. public (Horowitz and Livingston 2016; Neal 2017). Social movement scholars suggest that such robust mobilizations are typically predicated on clear social movement frames (Benford and Snow 2000; Snow et al. 1986). Tillery (2019b) has identified several distinct message frames within the social media communications of BLM activists. In this paper, we use a survey experiment to test the effect of three of these frames—Black Nationalist, Feminist, and LGBTQ+ Rights—on the mobilization of African Americans. We find that exposure to these frames generates differential effects on respondents’ willingness to support, trust, canvass, and..."

Daniel J. Galvin | Labor’s Legacy: The Construction of Subnational Work Regulation

August 5, 2020 – from ILR Review
In recent decades, much of the authority to regulate the workplace has shifted from national-level labor law to state-level employment law. What contributions, if any, did labor unions make to this historic shift in workplace governance? The author uses quantitative and qualitative analyses to test hypotheses and move incrementally closer toward drawing causal inferences.

Jennifer Cyr, Marissa Brooke | Diversifying and Expanding Participation in the Southwest Workshop on Mixed Methods Research (SWMMR)

August 4, 2020 – from Political Science Now
"The grants awarded support projects focusing on a wide variety of topics, including advancing the impact of political science research through public engagement, expanding professional development opportunities and scholarly collaboration around civically engaged research, mixed-methods research, and world politics research, and advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession."

Al Tillery | Northwestern University Launches "Leading Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion" Online Short Course with GetSmarter

August 4, 2020 – from 2U
EVANSTON, Illinois — July 30, 2020 — Northwestern University today announced it will offer an online short course to help professionals across private industry, government, and civil society learn to lead in more inclusive and equitable ways. The six-week short course, "Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion," will be offered in partnership with GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU). Enrollment opens today and the first class will begin in October.

Claudia López | Claudia López: “It is a miracle that she is mayor. I am the daughter of a teacher, a woman and a lesbian ”

August 3, 2020 – from El País
"Claudia López (Bogotá, 1970) took office as mayor of Bogotá in January when the saucepans were still echoing as part of the wave of protests against the Iván Duque government that shook Colombia in late 2019. Her victory as the first woman elected at the polls to govern the capital, it aims at a change of cycle in Colombian politics, after half a century of armed conflict, and move towards a more friendly, inclusive and sustainable city. The pandemic has disrupted its political agenda but has become the protagonist of the unprecedented health crisisthe combative ex-senator of the progressive party Green Alliance. Coronavirus management has been the scene of a clash of styles and leadership between López and Duque. The capital, with more than seven million inhabitants, accumulates a third of the more than 300,000 cases detected in Colombia ."

Kenny Allen (WCAS '21) | Black Lives Matter Is Political — Because Black Identity Is Too

August 2, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
"When people say that race is a social construction, the concept can be a bit abstract. The racial categories that we’re familiar with have boundaries and definitions that are not based in biology, which means that our understanding of those categories is dependent on the context in which we exist. I’ve grown up in America as a Black person, but would think of myself differently if I grew up in almost any other place. This isn’t to say that the categories have no meaning just because they aren’t natural. The racial disparities in outcomes and experiences are very real. As we look to change those disparities, we have to understand that the idea of Blackness — along with its boundaries — has been created and changed in order to serve certain aims. The existence of the category itself is political."

Mara Suttmann-Lea | How absentee voting expansion will present challenges for local officials

August 1, 2020 – from The Storyline Podcast
"As the state expands provisions for absentee voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, city and town clerks are dealing with an unprecedented amount of ballots and ballot applications during this election cycle. Reporter Sten Spinella talked to a town clerk and registrar, and a college professor who has studied the use of mail-in ballots to get a sense of what can be expected during the primary and general election in Connecticut."

Al Tillery | The hashtag, the movement and the groups: Understanding Black Lives Matter

August 1, 2020 – from Deseret News
But according to Alvin Tillery, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, none of these ideas are foundational to the movement as a whole. With hundreds of locally organized groups, the movement does not have a singular identity, and there are no solutions to discrimination and policing that everyone agrees on, he said.

Aili Tripp | Northwestern Political Science PhD appointed Editor of APSR

August 23, 2019 – from American Political Science Association
Aili Mari Tripp is Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on African politics (including North Africa), gender and politics in Africa, women’s movements, and the informal economy in Africa. She recently has won awards from the American Academy in Berlin and the Fulbright Program.

Brandon Rottinghaus | Constituent Approval and Presidential Support: The Mediating Effect of Party and Chamber

August 16, 2019 – from Sage Journals
Approval affects congressional support for the president, with a reelection motivation the main linkage mechanism. Yet, the literature has not fully explored this linkage due to theoretical barriers and serious data limitations. Using a new theory and novel data, we argue that the impact of the reelection motivation should vary with contextual factors. This paper identifies two such factors rarely explored together: member party and chamber. We hypothesize that opposition party legislators will be more responsive to constituent approval than co-partisans, but this partisan differential will hold only for the Senate, not the House.


Traci Burch | Police Reform and Systemic Racism

July 31, 2020 – from CSPAN
"I do have hope…there are lots of people who are working on these problems. The political will needs to be there. But most importantly, we’re starting to think about and harmonize across the country what it is we want and expect from our police and how we want police to treat others. Part of that is to think about what kind of policing we all want. When we call the police for help, what is it we expect from that? If we go to a community policing meeting…how do we want the police to treat our neighbors? How do we want the police to treat our neighbor’s kids? I think that the fact that we all are starting to consider (that) now, even if we are not the people most likely to have a bad outcome from police contact, that we now care about and are interested in what happens to other people. That’s probably one of the biggest changes going forward.”

Wes Skogan | Police shootings in suburbs seldom scrutinized or punished

July 30, 2020 – from Crain's Chicago Business
""The dangerous places are not the big places," says Wesley Skogan, professor emeritus at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. "The dangerous places are the mid- to small-sized places. They get into more trouble, relative to the number of people they police." Skogan, a pre-eminent police researcher, says small departments have fewer resources than larger counterparts and therefore have less training, supervision and pay."

Samara Klar | Broadening the Impact of Women Also Know Stuff Team

July 30, 2020 – from American Political Science Association
The grants awarded support projects focusing on a wide variety of topics, including advancing the impact of political science research through public engagement, expanding professional development opportunities and scholarly collaboration around civically engaged research, mixed-methods research, and world politics research, and advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession.

James Farr | “Absolute Power and Authority”:John Locke and the Revisions of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina

July 30, 2020 – from Locke Studies
This essay offers a detailed textual study of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina in light of its history of extensive revisions. In due course, it considers Locke’s considerable secretarial presence and, more guardedly, his authorial presence in these revisions. The Fundamental Constitutions imagined an aristocratic republic in a colonial setting; and its fundamental ideology was one of proprietary absolutism. Its ever-changing articles on absolute power, slavery, and religion are of greatest interest. Important in themselves, they also invite inquiry into their points of contact with Locke’s political theory.

Benjamin Page | The Roots of Right-Wing Populism: Donald Trump in 2016

July 30, 2020 – from International Journal of Political Economy
"Using survey data from the American National Election Study (ANES) and aggregate data on Congressional districts, this article assesses the roles that economic and social factors played in Donald J. Trump’s 2016 “populist” presidential candidacy. It shows the hollowness of claims that economic issues played little or no role. While agreeing that racial resentment and sexism were important factors, the article shows how various economic considerations helped Trump win the Republican nomination and then led significant blocs of voters to shift from supporting Democrats or abstaining in 2012 to vote for him. It also presents striking evidence of the importance of political money and Senators’ “reverse coattails” in the final result."

Diego Rosello | Marxism, Origin, and Fundamental Concepts

July 29, 2020 – from Pensando En Política
In today's episode, we talked with Diego Rosello, PhD in political science from Northwestern University, about one of the most important philosophers in history, Karl Marx. In this first part, we give a review of the origins of Marxism and touch on certain key concepts.

Diego Rosello | Marxism, Origin, and Fundamental Concepts

July 29, 2020 – from Pensando En Política
In today's episode, we talked with Diego Rosello, PhD in political science from Northwestern University, about one of the most important philosophers in history, Karl Marx. In this first part, we give a review of the origins of Marxism and touch on certain key concepts.

Robin Bayes (PhD Candidate/Student), Toby Bolsen, & James Druckman | A Research Agenda for Climate Change Communication and Public Opinion: The Role of Scientific Consensus Messaging and Beyond

July 29, 2020 – from Taylor & Francis Online
That climate change has been accelerated by human activity is supported by a near-universal consensus of climate scientists. In this paper, we review many of the studies that have been done on the impact of communicating the scientific consensus to the general public. We discuss ongoing debates about these studies, but more importantly, we highlight complementary areas that we believe should define future research. We emphasize how a focus on processing motivations, context, and message variations may help resolve some of the debates about when scientific consensus messaging works.

Rebecca Kolins Givan | Acquiescent No More

July 28, 2020 – from The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Too often, complacency is the assumed natural state of the tenured professor. Solidarity, on the other hand, is an elusive and foreign concept. Even before higher education was plunged into a full-blown public health and economic crisis, the “widespread inaction” of tenured faculty has been, for some, an embarrassing and persistent reality. Even as universities risked becoming pared-down sites of work-force preparedness, resting on exploited, contingent academic labor and funded by exorbitant costs pushed onto students, many in the secure professoriate sat idly on the sidelines. Entrenched acquiescence, coupled with a lack of institutionalized bargaining rights, has helped to normalize a lack of direct political engagement from the most comfortable and well-protected academic workers."

Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 9 – Politics, Humor, and Socrates with Dr. John Lombardini

July 28, 2020 – from OwlTail
What role does comedy, satire, and humor play in a democracy? Is it good that one of our primary modes of engaging with political authority is through the mode of irony and comedy? What happens when the target of comedy moves from those in power, to those who are most vulnerable. My guest today, Dr. John Lombardini of the College of William and Mary, studies humor and irony in ancient political thought. We talked about Socrates, the politics of comedy, and the value of reading ancient thinkers two millennia after they wrote.

Michelle Bueno Vasquez (PhD Candidate/Student) | Meet MFP Spring Fellow, Michelle Bueno Vasquez, Northwestern University

July 28, 2020 – from American Political Science Association
The APSA Minority Fellows Program, established in 1969, aims to increase diversity in the discipline of political science. The Spring MFP supports students from underrepresented backgrounds who are currently enrolled in the first or second year of a political science PhD program. Awards will range between $500 and $1500, depending on availability funds.

Tom Ogorzalek | In Portland and beyond, city and national leaders respond very differently to protests. This explains why.

July 27, 2020 – from The Washington Post
"What factors influence citizens’ perceptions of local government services? To answer this question, we examine citizens’ perceptions of public education in post-Katrina New Orleans. Following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans began to transform most of its traditional public schools into charters. Although studies show that test scores have improved since the mass adoption of charters post-Katrina, surveys show that most Black citizens in New Orleans do not perceive that the New Orleans schools have improved post-Katrina. A majority of White residents, however, perceive that the schools are better post-Katrina."

Yoes Kenawas (PhD Candidate/Student) | When Money Politics Becomes "New Normal"

July 26, 2020 – from Kompas
"Massive money politics has become a 'new normal' in Indonesian democracy. Money politics has indeed taken place since the New Order came to power. However, the change in electoral institutions seemed to open the tap for increasingly epidemic practices of buying and selling votes in the democratic system in Indonesia."

Ernesto Calvo | “Down to the Wire: Argentina’s 2015 Campaign.” in Campaigns and Voters in Developing Democracies: Argentina in Comparative Perspective

July 25, 2020 – from Democracy Paradox
"There is a necessary divide between political philosophy and political science. Politics as a philosophy examines political concepts as pure abstractions detached from the actual practice of politics. It helps to understand democracy, populism, and liberalism as concepts. But politics as a science examines its practice in the real world. Political science relies on data, anecdotes, and history. It becomes difficult to distinguish the two because they are interrelated. Abstract concepts need real world examples to demonstrate their authenticity. Political science, on the other hand, depends on theories and big picture ideas to test or examine."

Mauro Gilli | Winner of an AWC Article Prize

July 24, 2020 – from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Winners of the Best Research Article on U.S. Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy are Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli for their paper, “Why China Has not Caught Up Yet: Military-Technological Superiority and the Limits of Limitation, Reverse Engineering, and Cyber Espionage,” which appeared in International Security.

Wendy Pearlman | We Crossed A Bridge and it Trembled

July 24, 2020 – from TRT World
‘We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled’, written by political science professor Wendy Pearlman, is a candid and often heartbreaking account of Syrian interviewees who have had to flee their homeland because of the turmoil and ensuing war. The multitude and diversity of Syrian voices, and their deeply affecting stories make the book a must-read. Pearlman, who's based in the American city Chicago, conducted the interviews over a few years in Arabic, which she is fluent in, and compiled the book to reflect Syrian experiences from all walks of life. She spoke to TRT World on the occasion of the first Turkish printing of her book, called ‘Bir Kopruden Gectik’.

Michael Loriaux | The 2020 Translation Prize Winners

July 22, 2020 – from French-American Foundation
The French-American Foundation, thanks to the generous support of the Florence Gould Foundation, is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Translation Prize competition. The goal of the Translation Prize, in existence since 1986, is to honor translators and celebrate excellence in translation from French into English in the categories of fiction and nonfiction. The prize also serves the purpose of promoting French literature in the United States and increasing the visibility of publishers who bring notable French works to American readers. The 2020 awards honor works published in the 2019 calendar year.

Will Reno, Chris Day, Moses Khisa | Revisiting the Civil-Military Conundrum in Africa

July 21, 2020 – from Civil Wars
"The military is a central component of the state and society with implications for statehood and social stability. Since independence, Africa has grappled with contentious and contradictory roles of armed forces whether they be part of or against the state. Much of the early scholarship on the role of the military tended to paint a positive picture, presenting it as a critical pillar and an agent of modernisation for the newly independent states. This was to change drastically in the era of routine and rampant coups d’états and proliferation of organised rebel activities."

Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 8 – Campaign Semester with Dr. Regina Freer and Natalie Martinez ’21

July 21, 2020 – from OwlTail
Every two years Occidental students leave campus for competitive elections across the country to work full time as campaign staff, bringing what they’ve learned in the classroom to bear on the real world work of politics and bringing their experiences on the campaign trail back to the classroom. I sat down with Dr. Regina Freer, Professor in the Politics department and one of the faculty coordinators of the Campaign Semester program, and Natalie Martinez, a rising senior who participated in the program in 2018. Professor Freer has been overseeing this program since it’s inception, and Natalie worked for Mikie Sherril’s successful election in the New Jersey 11th. We talked about the unique experiences that students can gain from the program, how it translates to both academic studies and work beyond politics, and advice for students considering the program.

Jordan Gans-Morse | The Politics of Corruption in Russia and Ukraine

July 20, 2020 – from Kennan Institute
Protests in Russia’s Far East over the arrest of a popular governor have once more brought persistent official corruption into the national spotlight--even as Vladimir Putin takes a victory lap following his nationwide vote to support extension of his presidency to 2036. Meanwhile in Ukraine, where President Zelensky was elected on the promise of cleaning up corruption and has announced his intent to seek another term, public sentiment has turned negative as progress on reforms appears stymied by familiar political, economic, and social forces. Why is official corruption such a persistent challenge in these two very different systems? What impact has Western pressure and support had on reform efforts? Do sanctions targeting individuals for corrupt activities make a difference?

Brian Harrison | New Books Network Podcast: A Change is Gonna Come

July 16, 2020 – from New Books Network
The United States takes pride in its democratic model and the idea that citizens deliberate in a process to form political opinions. However, in recent years, division and partisanship have increased while deliberation and the actual discussion of competing ideas have decreased. More and more, citizens are siloed, interacting only with those with whom they agree, and there is more negative animus directed at the opposition. In his new book, A Change is Gonna Come: How to Have Effective Political Conversations in a Divided America (Oxford University Press, 2020), Political Scientist Brian F. Harrison critiques many of the current methods of communicating and explores the growing divide within political discourse.

Karen Alter | The ICJ In Comparison: Understanding the ICJ’s Limited Influence

July 16, 2020 – from Melbourne Journal of International Law
"The potential for the ICJ to hear cases involving so many countries, treaties and issues means that the relatively paucity of cases adjudicated across the ICJ’s nearly 75 years in operation is noteworthy. The simple explanation for this paucity is that ICJ lacks compulsory jurisdiction and only states can initiate binding litigation. This paper argues instead that the greatest limitation of the ICJ is its inter-state nature. Part I empirically compares the ICJ’s docket to other international courts, explaining why the dearth of ICJ litigation is consequential."

James Druckman | How a Public Health Crisis Becomes a Public Trust Crisis

July 15, 2020 – from RealClearPolitics
""Americans are beginning to pass judgment on their leaders for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their judgment appears increasingly harsh, especially for governors who rushed to reopen early and for the president who encouraged them to do so. The latest wave of our ongoing 50-state survey, conducted June 12-28 by the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, finds an average decline of almost 10 percentage points since April in public approval of their governors’ handling of the COVID outbreak. Only in five states -- Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, South Dakota and Vermont -- have governors’ approval ratings increased over this period."

Romain Malejacq | Shortlisted for the Central Eurasian Studies 2020 Book Award in the Social Sciences

July 15, 2020 – from Central Eurasian Studies Society
Congratulations to Romain Malejacq who has been shortlisted! The winners will be announced during the Online Week of Central Eurasian Studies which is being held between October 13-16, 2020. CESS gives two Book Awards annually, one for work in History and the Humanities and another for work in the Social Sciences. The CESS Book Award and a monetary prize of $500 is presented to the author of the book or monograph that represents the most important contribution to Central Eurasian studies during the award period. An interdisciplinary panel of scholars of Central Eurasia, appointed annually by the CESS Board, consider scholarly merit, argumentative scope, and felicity of style in their deliberations.

Issrar Chamekh (PhD Candidate/Student) | Morris Goodman Award

July 15, 2020 – from Northwestern Program of African Studies
"These awards, in honor of Linguistics Professor Emeritus Morris Goodman, provide up to $3,000 for graduate students in their second year of study or beyond to study an African language outside of Northwestern University. Many students find a qualified African tutor in the Chicago area, but others have taken these grants to Africa for individual study; on one of the Fulbright-Hays Language Group Projects Abroad (GPAs); to the Summer Cooperative African Language Institute (SCALI); on one of the Title VI NRC campuses; or even to Europe (e.g. study of African Portuguese in an institution in Lisbon for fieldwork in Cape Verde). In the Chicago area, the grant normally supports 20 weeks of language study, three hours a week ($25/hour)."

Sally Nuamah and Dr. Christina Gessler | New Books Network: New Books in Gender Studies, How Girls Achieve

July 14, 2020 – from New Books Network
If we want girls to succeed, we need to teach them the audacity to transgress. Through the lives of students at three very different schools, Sally Nuamah, an award-winning scholar-activist, makes the case for “feminist schools” that orient girls toward a lifetime of achievement in How Girls Achieve (Harvard University Press, 2019). This bold and necessary book points out a simple and overlooked truth: most schools never had girls in mind to begin with.

Maya Novak-Herzog (PhD Candidate/Student) | Me Too PoliSci Mini Grant

July 13, 2020 – from MeTooPoliSci
In summer 2019, the #MeTooPoliSci research team was awarded a $1million (USD) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the U.S. federal government for a project designed to address the problem of sexual harassment in the academic discipline of political science. The funding comes from the NSF ADVANCE project—a long-standing funding stream for projects addressing gender equity issues in STEM fields.  Our work extends the swell of #MeToo activism emerging from Tarana Burke’s 2007 campaign to stand with survivors of sexual assault, and the work of the #MeTooPoliSci collective.  This project pursues a recommendation from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that scholarly professional associations fight back against academic cultures that breed sexual harassment.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Defund the Border Police: Racial Justice and the American Border

July 13, 2020 – from Canopy Forum
"Americans looking for a way forward in this national crisis are calling for prioritizing anti-racism, demilitarizing American society, and democratizing the political and legal system. To do so will require understanding which institutions are most in need of reform. My research on the American border suggests that border policy should be at the top of the list. As protestors challenge long-standing racialized and militarized institutions of American governance, they would do well to learn from and collaborate with border scholars and activists who have spent decades documenting and challenging these practices."

M. Christopher Sardo & Mara Suttman-Lea | Election Administration and Election-Day Poll Workers

July 13, 2020 – from Oxy Poli-Cast
Every election day, thousands of poll-workers, or election judges, give their time to ensure that people are able to vote throughout this country. Yet despite how necessary their work is for American democracy to function, their work is understudied by political scientist. My guest today, Dr. Mara Suttman-Lea is working to rectify that. We spoke about election administration, the reasons why poll-workers give their time, and how covid-19 may affect the administration of the fall presidential election.

Nathan Dial (PhD Candidate/Student) | The consequences of implicit bias at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training

July 12, 2020 – from AirforceTimes
"I struggled through the first two phases of pilot training. My struggles never made me doubt my desire to serve the country nor my goal of obtaining pilot wings. But they did make me question my childhood dream of being a fighter pilot. In phase three, during my first solo in the T-38C I did a loop in a supersonic jet and a light bulb went off. I went from barely passing my flight evaluations to tying for the second-best flight evaluation. At that point, I did some soul searching and realized I did not want to fly fighters for reasons other than my initial flying difficulties."

Brandon Rottinghaus | Presidential Greatness in a Polarized Era: Results from the Latest Presidential Greatness Survey

July 10, 2020 – from PS: Political Science and Politics
"For generations, scholars have used surveys to examine presidential greatness. However, the rising tide of politicization calls these ratings into question. Can those who study the presidency offer fair judgments regardless of their political affiliation? Does their affiliation alter judgments of presidential greatness in historical or contemporary terms? Using a 2018 expert survey of political scientists who study the presidency, we find that party affiliation and ideological differences do alter—albeit slightly—perceptions of presidential greatness for both past and present presidents up to and including Donald Trump. Our results call into question such ratings insofar as they exist absent the political and ideological context of the reviewer."

Joshua Robison | Does class-based campaigning work? How working class appeals attract and polarize voters

July 10, 2020 – from Oxford University Research Archive
"Recent elections have featured various politicians directly appealing to the working class, yet we know little about how citizens react to class appeals from candidates. We investigate this question using survey experiments conducted in the United States and Denmark. We show that symbolic class rhetoric substantially influences candidate evaluations and ultimately polarizes these evaluations across class lines. We also unpack how class appeals work and find that while they increase perceptions of representation among working class voters, they have a more limited effect on perceptions of candidates’ ideological position. Our results help explain how class affects voter decision-making and contribute to broader discussions about the role of political elites in activating social cleavages."

James Druckman | Americans Are Losing Confidence in Government Executives’ Ability to Handle COVID-19

July 9, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
"Just five governors saw increases in approval, in Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Vermont. Approval for Republican governors is highly polarized: Only four governors overall have approval ratings at 70% or above, and all are Republicans in Democratic-leaning states. Out of the 10 governors with approval ratings below 45%, eight are Republicans in Republican-leaning states. Druckman said “It is fascinating, the extent to which Americans are in fact responding to the pandemic itself not entirely through the lens of partisanship – if your state is doing better handling cases, approval is more stable.”

Jonathan Schulman (PhD Candidate/Student) | Schulman: We must be loud and clear in our support for international students

July 8, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that international students on F-1 and M-1 visas at United States institutions that are holding online-only courses this fall will be refused entry or forced to leave the U.S. It is unclear the precise effect that this announcement will have at Northwestern, and I have no doubt that the staff at the Office of International Student and Scholar Services is working to discuss solutions to protect international students. However, even if the administration at NU is able to effectively navigate loopholes to leave things unchanged, this policy announcement should enrage all of us at Northwestern."

Mariana Borges | Who are the 30%? As scandals, pandemic and emergency aid may be changing Bolsonaro's support base

July 8, 2020 – from BBC News Brasil
Political scientist Mariana Borges Martins da Silva, a postdoctoral fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University, who has been researching the electoral behavior of low-income Brazilians for years, agrees that it is not yet possible to make a categorical assessment. She points out that the voting decision of this group is a more complex process than many people think and that, at the end of the day, a benefit will not be the only factor taken into account before the ballot box.

Laura García Montoya | Critical Event Analysis in Case Study Research

July 8, 2020 – from Sage Journals
"This article develops a framework for the causal analysis of critical events in case study research. A critical event is defined as a contingent event that is causally important for an outcome in a specific case. Using set-theoretic analysis, this article offers definitions and measurement tools for the study of contingency and causal importance in case study research. One set of tools consists of guidelines for using theoretical expectations to arrive at conclusions about the level of contingency of events. Another set of tools are guidelines for using counterfactual cases to determine the extent to which a given event is necessary and sufficient for a particular outcome in an individual case. Examples from comparative and international studies are used to illustrate the framework."

Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 6 – A Middle Ground between Radical Skepticism and Unthinking Deference with Dr. Alec Arellano

July 7, 2020 – from OwlTail
“Think for yourself;” “Question authority;” “Critique those in power” – these are the hallmarks of democratic citizenry. But how do we draw the line between healthy skepticism that is necessary for democracy, and the forms of skepticism that animate climate denialist and conspiracy theorists? How should democratic citizens navigate between the twin pitfalls of unthinking obedience and nihilistic skepticism? My guest today, Dr. Alec Arellano of Occidental College, turns to Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous study, Democracy in America, to chart a middle ground between these two constitutive dangers of democratic politics. Professor Arellano teaches in the Politics Department at Occidental College, and we spoke about Tocqueville, democratic citizenship, and crafting research projects.

Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya | Environmental Justice: Key Issues

July 6, 2020 – from Routledge
The rapidly growing body of research in this area has brought about a proliferation of approaches; as such, the breadth and depth of the field can sometimes be a barrier for aspiring environmental justice students and scholars. This book therefore is unique for its accessible style and innovative approach to exploring environmental justice. Written by leading international experts from a variety of professional, geographic, ethnic, and disciplinary backgrounds, its chapters combine authoritative commentary with real-life cases.

M. Christopher Sardo | Race, Anger, Protest, and Politics with Dr. Davin Phoenix

July 6, 2020 – from Oxy Poli-Cast
Conventional political wisdom states that getting people angry is a good way to get them to vote. My guest today, Professor Davin Phoenix, argues in his recent book, The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics, that for African-Americans, and other communities of color, anger functions differently. Because their grievances are not taken seriously by the political establishment, anger inhibits rather than encourages formal political participation – like voting – but encourages system-challenging behavior like protests and boycotts. Professor Phoenix and I talk about the role of race and emotions in politics, how we should understand the present political moment, and what all of this means for politics moving forward.

Mneesha Gellman | Covid-Closures: When School Cancellation Means Return to a War Zone

July 6, 2020 – from Revista: Harvard Review of Latin America
"Going to school can be dangerous for some students. Classrooms and campuses, as well as transit to and from them, can be spaces of physical violence including gang violence and harassment. Silences or misrepresentation of minority identities in school curricula act as more subtle, but no less nefarious, forms of violence. For students at one high school in Oaxaca, Mexico though, school was a safe harbor that let them get away from the violent politics that constitute a form of civil war in their hometowns, until Covid-19 sent them home."

Chloe Thurston | "At the Boundaries of Homeownership" featured on Cambridge Core's "Protests, Policing, and Race" Book list

July 6, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"The current protest and unrest in the United States has highlighted the corrosive effects of racism, discrimination and injustice. These things have no place in societies and by standing together we can be part of the solution. One of the most important things that we can do as a publisher is not just voice outrage, but provide research and data to inform progress. That’s why we are providing access to this collection featuring complimentary journal articles, book chapters and for a limited time, complete books. "

Romain Malejacq | "Warlord Survival", by Romain Malejacq

July 6, 2020 – from Radio France Internationale
Afghanistan has experienced many outside interventions over the past 40 years, from Soviet troops in 1979 to the United States in 2001. But despite this turbulent history, the Afghan warlords have survived and remain key players. At the moment, they are repositioning themselves in anticipation of the withdrawal of American troops induced by the signing of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban which will open a new page for Afghanistan. How to explain such longevity? Romain Malejacq, professor at the University of Radboud in the Netherlands devotes a book to them: Warlord Survival, The delusion of State Building in Afghanistan , published by Presses editions of the University of Cornell.

Nathan Dial (PhD Candidate/Student) | Three generations of Black military members show the progress that’s been made, and the path forward

July 5, 2020 – from AirforceTimes
"Over three generations of military service, my grandfather, father and I show the progress and institutional inconsistencies of the United States when it comes to race. The evolution of “The Talk” between Papa Dial, Cortez Dial and I show that Black Americans have more opportunities but still do not have equal opportunity.

Wesley Skogan | Chicago Gun Violence Spikes and Increasingly Finds the Youngest Victims

July 3, 2020 – from The New York Times
The Chicago Police Department let its community policing program wither about two decades ago, said Wesley G. Skogan, of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Now, young police officers canvassing unfamiliar blocks have found that residents do not open their doors out of fear of being seen talking to a police officer, he said.

Isabella Alcaniz | The Earth is Round and Viruses are Contagious

July 2, 2020 – from The Graduate Institute Geneva
In her contribution to the Democracy Centre’s commentary series on democratic experiences in the coronavirus pandemic, Isabella Alcañiz explores the connection between anti-science protesters and governments, focusing on Brasil, the United States and Argentina. These protesters – says Alcañiz – represent a minority of the population, with the exception perhaps of the United States, where they have become an integral part of the Republican Party.

Al Tillery | America Has A History Of Inequality When It Comes To Protests

July 2, 2020 – from The 21st Show
"Sunshine Clemons, president of the Springfield chapter of Black Lives Matter, discusses the weekend's solidarity procession in honor of George Floyd and against police violence. And Northwestern University professor Alvin Tillery talks about how protests dismantling power structures, how political leaders are framing the protests this week, and how he has been handling his emotions regarding another police murder of a black man."

Al Tillery | Who voters want to be Joe Biden’s vice president, according to the polls

July 2, 2020 – from Vox
"Across key battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin, for example, turnout rates dipped among Black voters between 2012 and 2016. Former President Barack Obama’s groundbreaking candidacies in 2008 and 2012 were viewed as a significant reason for higher turnout from Black voters in both elections, and the historic choice of a Black woman as vice president could possibly lead to a similar uptick. A Northwestern University survey conducted in late May indicated as much: 57 percent of African American voters polled said they’d be more excited about voting for Biden if he selected a Black woman for his running mate."

Karen Alter | Comprehending global governance: International regime complexity vs. global constitutionalism

July 1, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"The After Fragmentation special issue unites political science conversations about regime complexity with legal/normative conversations about global constitutionalism through a focus on the generation and resolution of interface conflicts, defined as moments when overlapping elements or rule incompatibilities generate actual conflicts. Yet scholars choosing among these two perspectives actually have different objectives. After reviewing the two literatures, I argue that this special issue is closer to the global constitutionalism perspective, which generally seeks legitimated order."

James N. Druckman and Elizabeth A. Sharrow | Public Opinion, Crisis, and Vulnerable Populations: The Case of Title IX and COVID-19

July 1, 2020 – from APSA Politics and Gender
Times of crisis can introduce novel dynamics that alter popular support for protective institutions, particularly among those who do not benefit from those protections. We explore this possibility in the context of Title IX’s gender equality requirements and infrastructure to address sexual harassment in college sports. "

M. Christopher Sardo & Matt Lacombe | Gun Ownership, Political Identity, and the NRA

July 1, 2020 – from Oxy Poli-Cast
Why have gun control advocates been unable to effectively pass legislation on stricter gun restrictions, despite high profile mass shootings at schools, places of worship, night clubs, and concerts as well as significant public support many proposed measures? Many have suggested that the National Rifle Association has bought off members of congress to prevent any reform from passing. My guest today, Dr. Matthew Lacombe of Barnard College, argues that this is only partially correct. The most important way that the NRA exerts its power is by cultivating a sense of political identity around gun ownership and framing any gun control as a threat to that identity in order to motivate its members. We spoke about the NRA, gun-ownership as an identity, and what this means for gun control and the 2020 election.

Wendy Pearlman | Syrian Views on Obama's Red Line: The Ethical Case for Strikes against Assad

July 1, 2020 – from Ethics and International Affairs
"Much ink has been spilled on the pros and cons of U.S. president Barack Obama's decision not to strike the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad after that regime launched a deadly chemical weapons attack in 2013. Often missing from those debates, however, are the perspectives of Syrians themselves. While not all Syrians oppose Assad, and not all opponents endorsed intervention, many Syrian oppositionists resolutely called for Obama to uphold his “red line” militarily. As part of the roundtable “The Ethics of Limited Strikes,” this essay analyzes diverse expressions of such opinion and finds that they highlight three dimensions of the ethical case for limited strikes against Assad."

Andrew Kelly | An Engine of Change? The Affordable Care Act and the Shifting Politics of Demonstration Projects

July 1, 2020 – from The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) made a number of institutional investments intended to expand the federal government’s ability to scale successful demonstration projects into national policy. This article considers how the ACA has reshaped the politics of programmatic innovation in Medicare and Medicaid. A qualitative synthesis of demonstration results suggests that, although the ACA has removed several important veto points to the expansion of successful demonstration projects, numerous barriers to the scaling of reforms remain. These barriers include procedures and techniques that make it difficult to certify the “success” of demonstrations yet make their limitations highly legible. From the analysis, this article draws several lessons for future efforts at delivery-system and payment reform, as well as understandings of policy learning and innovation."

Isabella Alcañiz | All Roads Lead to Tulsa

July 1, 2020 – from El Estadista
"President Donald Trump's first campaign act under Covid-19 revealed, once again, how public policy and racism go hand in hand in the United States. On Saturday, June 20, the president returned to his first love: the direct encounter with his most fanatical supporters in the first act of the post-quarantine presidential campaign. The event took place at an indoor sports stadium in Tulsa, a city in the state of Oklahoma, where thousands of Republican voters gathered to celebrate President Trump. Despite the fact that Oklahoma currently has a significant growth rate of coronavirus infections, with Tulsa leading the way, a majority of the public did not wear a mask or respect social distancing."


Ana Arjona | The Development of Socio-Emotional Skills in Children and Adolescents: An Urgent Priority of the Educational System in the Pandemic

June 30, 2020 – from Foco Económico
"Education policies often focus their attention on the development of cognitive skills. However, different disciplines have found that the development of socio-emotional skills and citizen competencies, that is, those related to emotional health, integrity, resilience, non-violent conflict resolution, social cooperation and political participation, are equally important because they affect many of the results that are considered desirable in life."

Dan Krcmaric | Empirical Analysis of the Tradeoff between Conflict Termination and Atrocity Deterrence

June 29, 2020 – from Brill Publishing
"There are two diverging schools of thought that discuss how the ICC, and the pursuit of international justice in general, might influence violence. On the one hand, optiminists argue that the threat of prosecution deters atrocities. Consistent with the claim of Human Rights Watch's Kennith Roth that 'behind much of the savagery of modern history lies impunity,' the assumption is that the promise of legal accountability can prevent the next Holocaust or Rwandan Genocide. On the other hand, pessimists worry that if the warring parties are vulnerable to international criminal prosecution, they may decide to keep fighting when they would otherwise make peace."

Menaka Philips | APSA 2020 Okin-Young Award for Best Article in Feminist Political Theory

June 29, 2020 – from Politics and Gender Journal
The Okin-Young Award in Feminist Political Theory, co-sponsored by Women and Politics, Foundations of Political Theory, and the Women’s Caucus for Political Science, commemorates the scholarly, mentoring, and professional contributions of Susan Moller Okin and Iris Marion Young to the development of the field of feminist political theory. This annual award recognizes the best paper on feminist political theory published in an English language academic journal during the previous calendar year.

Nathan Dial (PhD Candidate/Student) | ‘I am confused, scared and afraid'

June 27, 2020 – from AirforceTimes
"For many of us, learning how to be the only black face in the room was tough because our socialization took decades. The recent barrage of requests for conversation leaves us confused, scared and afraid. I want to use my experiences in the Air Force to provide insight into why some Black military members are skeptical of our colleagues’ recent intrigue with racial injustice."

Matt Nelsen | The Attitude With Arnie Arnesen

June 25, 2020 – from WNHN
"America’s classrooms shut down this spring. Civics lessons shifted to the streets, and now protests are teaching about political engagement. Matthew Nelson has done research on what effects the textbooks used in grade schools and high schools have had on the willingness of students to later participate inpolitical engagement. He has also examined how local newspaper coverage slants news to present a version of reality according to the ethos of the community. For example, Texas and California teach civics, but the approach and philosophy is very different in each state. This presents a problem when trying to solve a the issues that present. It also affects how and whether citizens will participate in the conversation."

Rana Khoury (PhD Candidate/Student) | ASPA 2020 Honorable Mention for the Alexander L. George Article Award

June 25, 2020 – from Syracuse University
This award honors Alexander George's contributions to the comparative case-study method, including his work linking that method to a systematic concern with research design, and his contribution of developing the idea and the practice of process tracing. This award may be granted to a journal article or to a chapter in an edited volume that stands on its own as an article. Rana was given an honorable mention for her Perspectives on Politics article "Hard-to-Survey Populations and Respondent-Driven Sampling".

Jahara "Franky" Matisek | Limited Wars in the Periphery The Dilemma of American Military Assistance

June 25, 2020 – from Marine Corps University
"The United States is struggling in an era of tripolar competition. After nearly two decades spent providing military assistance in the Middle East and Africa, the United States is now trying to pivot its military resources and personnel toward conventional warfare capabilities to counter China and Russia. However, these rebalancing efforts are difficult when waning American influence is filled by China and/or Russia. Despite shifting American aims in Africa and the Middle East, reducing engagement has strategic and contextual ramifications. To mitigate China and Russia, U.S. military assistance missions must be properly resourced and maintained."

Alex Hertel-Fernandez | How Policymakers Can Craft Measures That Endure and Build Political Power

June 25, 2020 – from Roosevelt Institute
"As the United States grapples with ongoing social, health, and economic crises, policymakers are considering—and enacting—major changes to all levels of government. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this includes bolstering existing programs, like unemployment insurance, and creating new initiatives, like grants and loans for small businesses and a new paid sick leave benefit. And in the wake of mass protests around police violence, policymakers are considering reforms to public safety funding and practices. If these programs work as hoped, they may have profound economic and social consequences."

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Activists Call for Woodrow Wilson's Name to be Removed from NJ Elementary School

June 24, 2020 – from NBC New York
Fellow academic Alvin Tillery Jr., of Northwestern University, researched how conventional surveys of presidential greatness have ranked Wilson among the best presidents – while editors of Black-owned newspapers have given him low marks. “He was a good president in some ways, in general terms. But he was also vehemently racist and he was terrible for race relations,” Tillery said.

Chloe N. Thurston | Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy How Black Lives Matter Relates to Earlier Movements for Racial Equality in the U.S.

June 24, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
How does the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement relate to earlier movements for social and racial equality in the United States? In a study published in Politics, Groups, and Identities, IPR political scientist Chloe Thurston examines how the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) revealed racial inequality in the housing market. She explored activism efforts such as exposure of racial segregation in African American newspaper, The Chicago Defender, followed by letter writing by the NAACP to the Federal Housing Authority.

Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 4 – Gender, Politics, and Leadership with Dr. Jennifer Piscopo

June 23, 2020 – from OwlTail
"Jennifer M. Piscopo / Occidental College Do women “naturally” make better leaders than men? While this has been a theme in political philosophy and science fiction for centuries, many point to the coronavirus pandemic as a natural experiment to test this question. My guest today, Professor Jennifer Piscopo, studies gender and politics, and we talk about female political leadership, why the “right to be elected” is as important for gender equality as the right to vote, and who Vice President Biden might pick to be his running mate."

Alvin B. Tillery | Bill of Rights: On civic action

June 23, 2020 – from Civics 101 Podcast
"The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. In our episode about the Bill of Rights, the final seven minutes of the episode, featuring Alvin Tillery and Linda Monk, is about the actions it took to make these rights actually apply to our lives."

Al Tillery | Bill of Rights: On civic action

June 22, 2020 – from Civics 101
"The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. In our episode about the Bill of Rights, the final seven minutes of the episode, featuring Alvin Tillery and Linda Monk, is about the actions it took to make these rights actually apply to our lives."

Kumar Ramanathan (PhD Candidate/Student), Matthew Nelsen, & Tom Ogorzalek | The Racial Divide in Chicagoland’s Experiences of Policing

June 22, 2020 – from Chicago Democracy
"As protests against racism and police brutality continue across the United States, issues of policing have come to dominate the local political agenda across the country, including in Chicago. Activists have proposed defunding the police, removing police officers from schools, civilian accountability of police, and numerous other policies. In light of ongoing public discussion on these proposals, this blog post shares findings from recent surveys that highlight stark differences in experiences and views of policing across racial groups in Chicagoland. Underscoring the voices of activists and protestors, we find that Black residents disproportionately experience negative encounters with police, sharply disapprove of their performance, and express more concern about crime."

Michelle Bueno Vasquez (PhD Candidate/Student) | APSA 2020-2021 Minority Fellow

June 22, 2020 – from American Political Science Association
Michelle is a recipient of the APSA Spring Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). The MFP is a fellowship competition for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds applying to or in the early stages of doctoral programs in political science. Michelle's current research investigates how transnational information flows can mutate ideas of race throughout the Dominican diaspora, particularly between the United States and Dominican Republic.

Matt Nelsen | America's Classroom Shuts Down This Spring

June 22, 2020 – from Washington Post
"In March, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders called out young people for failing to vote on Super Tuesday. Social commentators are quick to note that less than half of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the 2016 presidential election. But young Americans, particularly young black Americans, are driving the recent wave of protests in response to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Educators have struggled to ensure access to high-quality civic learning opportunities across America — and the protests of May and June demonstrate that empowering civics lessons often take place outside the classroom."

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | New article on potential tensions between competitiveness and communities of interest in redistricting

June 22, 2020 – from Election Law Journal
In 2019 Laurel Harbridge-Yong was one of the Northwestern representatives at the Big 10 SPARK conference on redistricting. This article, with James Gimpel, came out of the conference. It examines the potential tension between requirements for competitive districts and traditional criteria of respecting communities of interest in the redistricting process.

Zekeria Ould Ahmed Salem | Rethinking the weak state paradigm in light of the war on terror: Evidence from the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

June 22, 2020 – from The Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
"External observers puzzled for quite some time over this “Mauritanian paradox”. One tantalizing theory emerged from an unlikely place: Osama Bin Laden personal archives. According to documents seized by U.S. Navy Seals when they raided Bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout in 2011, Al Qaeda leaders seemed to have discussed a plan in 2010 to arrange a truce with the government of Mauritania[i]. This theory was vehemently denied by local authorities, and few foreign commentators lent it credibility. More significantly, this narrative provides an insufficient explanation as to why a weak country such as Mauritania has been able to stabilize its government, break the jihadist cycle and address its security concerns."

Sean Lee (TGD PhD) | The Tragedies and Dilemmas of US Intervention in Northeast Syria

June 22, 2020 – from Middle East Research and Information Project
"At the very beginning of the Syrian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Asad in 2011, and during the early stages of the slide into civil war, Washington made the serious miscalculation that the Asad regime would fall quickly. When the regime failed to collapse, it appeared that President Barack Obama’s administration took the advice of Edward Luttwak, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, who publicly argued in favor of “an indefinite draw” in Syria on the assumption that a “victory by either side would be equally undesirable for the United States.”"

Sasha Klyachkina | Chicago Public Schools' Curriculum Equity Initiative

June 19, 2020 – from Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools today announced a first-of-its-kind Curriculum Equity Initiative to ensure that students in every part of Chicago can benefit from high-quality curriculum and instructional resources. While some teachers currently have access to instructional materials, quality and access vary greatly among district schools, with nearly half of surveyed CPS educators reporting their school does not have curriculum available in the subject they teach. The Curriculum Equity Initiative will create a standards-aligned, culturally relevant library of teacher resources that educators across all grade levels and subjects will be able to utilize to supplement their instruction and ensure the needs of all students are met, especially English learners and students receiving specialized services.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | SPSA 2021 Election Sciences Conference-within-a-Conference (CwC)

June 18, 2020 – from Southern Political Science Association
Our theme for this CwC is: "looking back on a challenging year." We encourage abstract submissions that look into institutional, administrative and citizen-led initiatives to increase or restrict access to the ballot box, broadly speaking. We also encourage submissions on institutional and administrative responses to COVID-19, as well as how those responses performed.

Kumar Ramanathan (PhD Candidate/Student) | APSA 2020 Public Scholarship Fellow

June 18, 2020 – from American Political Science Association
APSA is pleased to announce the 2020 class of the new Public Scholarship Program. The Public Scholarship Program is a remote, part-time fellowship that introduces political science graduate students to the intellectual and practical aspects of presenting academic scholarship to the public. During the fellowship period, the scholars will focus on producing public-facing overviews of new research published in the American Political Science Review.

Jacqueline Stevens | Buffett Global Connections grant

June 18, 2020 – from Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
The Global Connections project for which Prof. Stevens has secured this grant funding is the creation of a global working group that will instantiate a Declaration of Citizenship for the purpose of adoption by local and national legislative bodies, as well as international institutions, with the ultimate goal being debate if not passage by the United Nations.

Sasha Klyachkina | Center for Governance and Markets Post-Doctoral Research Associate 2020-2021

June 18, 2020 – from University of Pittsburgh Center for Governance and Markets
Sasha Klyachkina analyzes how individuals and communities respond to crises, ranging from state collapse to different forms of armed conflict. She studies how these processes impact the intersection of non-state governance and state-building, as well as citizen strategies of autonomy and engagement. Her work is empirically grounded in fieldwork in Russia’s North Caucasus, specifically Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia where she conducted interviews, collected oral histories, designed original public opinion surveys, and analyzed local newspapers to understand these processes. Her research has been supported by the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the ZEIT-Stiftung’s Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Kellogg Dispute Resolution Research Center (DRRC), and the Harriman Institute of Columbia University.

David Steinberg (TGS PhD) | Inside looking out

June 18, 2020 – from The Pacific Review
"This paper examines the political-economy of capital controls in China. We argue that the global policy context influences domestic political debates over capital controls, which, in turn, can shape public attitudes toward the subject. Policy entrepreneurs on each side of the capital controls debate can point to capital account policies in other countries as evidence for the desirability of their position."

Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 3 – Election Administration and Election-Day Poll Workers with Dr. Mara Suttman-Lea

June 17, 2020 – from OwlTail
Every election day, thousands of poll-workers, or election judges, give their time to ensure that people are able to vote throughout this country. Yet despite how necessary their work is for American democracy to function, their work is understudied by political scientist. My guest today, Dr. Mara Suttman-Lea is working to rectify that. We spoke about election administration, the reasons why poll-workers give their time, and how covid-19 may affect the administration of the fall presidential election.

Kevin Mazur | Networks, Informal Governance, and Ethnic Violence in a Syrian City

June 16, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"Mobilization within an excluded ethnic group is most likely among local communities where members are densely linked to one another and lack network access to state-controlled resources. Drawing on a case study of the Syrian city of Homs in the 2011 uprising, this article demonstrates how the Syrian regime’s strategies of managing the Sunni population of Homs shaped patterns of challenge"

Erin Lockwood | The international political economy of global inequality

June 12, 2020 – from Review of International Political Economy
While national inequality has made headlines in recent years, income is far more unequally distributed globally than it is within any state. It is striking that global economic inequality has garnered so little attention in International Political Economy (IPE), given the field’s longstanding interest in the distribution of resources and the structure of the global economy. This paper argues that IPE should regard the unequal global distribution of wealth and income as a central research concern and outlines a research agenda for doing so."

Jacqueline Stevens | The problem with Pritzker's pandemic immunity orders

June 12, 2020 – from Chicago Reader
On the afternoon of the April 1 pandemic press conference, Governor J.B. Pritzker said, "We're doing our best to take care of our seniors, our children, people who are in our care. Our number one concern is the welfare of the people who are in our care." Later that same day, Pritzker quietly issued an emergency order granting Illinois nursing homes and hospitals a broad swath of legal immunities for injuries or deaths from negligence. The AARP-IL, disability rights activists, attorneys, experts, and a Department on Aging official believe the immunities from litigation will harm Illinoisans, especially those in long-term care."

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 7. Jason Amos

June 12, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
In this episode we hear from Jason Amos, a gifted violist, who tells us a beautifully complex story of how his own musicianship, upbringing, and living as a black gay man in America has shaped his perception of what it means to engage in a democracy. Jason and Mara discuss how the act of making music in collaboration with others can be deeply reflective of what it feels like to engage in deliberative democracy. They muse over whether Barack Obama is a better viola player than Jason, and bond over their shared love of Mara’s Congressional Representative in Connecticut, Jahana Hayes, and Jason’s in Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley. Jason talks about how, despite growing up in a middle-class black neighborhood, he still felt the sting of racism as a child, constantly on alert for how his presence made white community members feel.

Al Tillery | Civics 101 Podcast: Protest

June 11, 2020 – from Civics 101
Both Alvin Tillery and Bakari Sellers, our guests for the show, pointed out that there is always resistance to protest, even when it is nonviolent. Today, we’ll look at the response to protest through the lens of letters to the editor, past and present.

Marina Henke | Podcast: How does security policy work?

June 10, 2020 – from Hertie School
Are there more armed conflicts in our world? How does the geopolitical power structure change with the end of the American age? And is Europe moving closer to China? Marina Henke, Professor of International Relations at the Hertie School and Director of the Centre for International Security, discussed the current state of international security on a podcast episode of the Hertie Foundation's interview series.

Christopher Sardo | Oxy Poli-Cast: Episode 2 – Race, Anger, Protest, and Politics with Dr. Davin Phoenix

June 10, 2020 – from OwlTail
Conventional political wisdom states that getting people angry is a good way to get them to vote. My guest today, Professor Davin Phoenix, argues in his recent book, The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics, that for African-Americans, and other communities of color, anger functions differently. Because their grievances are not taken seriously by the political establishment, anger inhibits rather than encourages formal political participation – like voting – but encourages system-challenging behavior like protests and boycotts. Professor Phoenix and I talk about the role of race and emotions in politics, how we should understand the present political moment, and what all of this means for politics moving forward.

Traci Burch | Toward Transformative Justice: A Community Roundtable on Race, Racism, and Policing

June 9, 2020 – from Northwestern Alumni
The Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP) is committed to promoting conversation surrounding issues of race and police violence both within and beyond the classroom. These efforts are of even more importance given the historic and ongoing protests responding to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others. In light of these events, NPEP is announcing Toward Transformative Justice: A Community Roundtable Series on Race, Racism, and Policing that aims to open space for conversation on these topics.

Wesley Skogan | How cities can reimagine their police forces and still fight crime

June 9, 2020 – from Quartz
As a call to action, defund the police can have a variety of meanings.”Dismantle, disinvest, defund, redirect, abolish—there may be some subtle differences between these… [but] there are some themes underneath them,” says Wesley Skogan, professor emeritus of political science at Northwestern University. “You’d be hard pressed to find an abolitionist position,” Skogan says. (Camden, New Jersey is one of very few locales that has disbanded and restarted its police force from scratch.) “So it’s all really a question of the adjustments that need to be made.”

Juan Cruz Olmeda | Ortega's Strategy Against Covid-19 in Nicaragua

June 9, 2020 – from Noticiarios Pulso
Dr. Juan Cruz Olmeda, professor and researcher at El Colmex and Director of the Foro Internacional magazine, analyzes Daniel Ortega's strategy against Covid-19 in Nicaragua. Pulse Newscasts 96.5 FM and 1060 AM Radio Education.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Racialising Security: from Post-9/11 to Post-Corona

June 9, 2020 – from The Graduate Institute Geneva
This unique panel discussion will examine to what extent security discourse and public policy about ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’ re-enact, reinforce, transform or relocate dynamics of racialisation that have contributed to othering, excluding and demeaning specific groups. Over the past two decades, as talk of ‘terrorism’, ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ has proliferated spectacularly and public policies using these conceptual referentials have multiplied internationally, racialising dynamics have accompanied a global history-in-the-making. These trends appear to persist as the world moves into the post-corona moment. For all its urgency, the question of racism and security has not been addressed sufficiently. It remains peripheral to the dominant mainstream international security agenda, political narrative and academic curriculum.

Julie Lee Merseth, Chloe N. Thurston, and Al Tillery | PGI/WPSA BlackLivesMatter reading list

June 8, 2020 – from Politics, Groups, and Identities
This micro-syllabus brings together a broad collection of readings about the Black Lives Matter Movement, police violence, and subsequent Black political responses. The syllabus includes discussions about the origins of Black Lives Matter and how this movement fits in the story of American Political Development. It also covers how the media and elected officials respond to protests around police violence. Additionally, this collection provides insight into how the public has responded to the shootings of unarmed African Americans and Black Lives Matter protests.

Isabella Alcañiz | The Earth is Round and Viruses Spread

June 8, 2020 – from Agenda Pública
"What do scientists in the public sector want? In different countries of the world, small groups of anti-science protesters are protesting against the quarantine instituted by the pandemic and against the experts who designed it. They represent a minority of the population, with the exception perhaps of the United States, where they are an integral part of the Republican Party. Despite their small number, these protests receive excessive media attention, especially in the days of Covid-19. Undoubtedly, it is striking that in the year 2020 there are people who deny the existence and human origin of climate change, the immunization effect of vaccines, and the spherical property of planet Earth. It is also surprising how the anti-science claim was politicized during the pandemic."

Al Tillery | Protesting in America: A history of rebellion and change

June 7, 2020 – from Today
Mass protests took place in hundreds of cities across the United States for the second week following the death of George Floyd. The demonstrations drew comparisons to those in 1968. The times may be different, but the long-standing tradition of protesting in this country continues. NBC’s Harry Smith has this week’s Sunday Spotlight.

Al Tillery | Trump’s False Claim That ‘Nobody Has Ever Done’ More for the Black Community Than He Has

June 5, 2020 – from The New York Times
Overall, Mr. Trump can claim some credit for these accomplishments, said Alvin Bernard Tillery Jr., a professor of political science and African-American studies at Northwestern University. “He has one or two nice policy accomplishments where his signature is on the legislation,” Mr. Tillery said. “That’s a record that’s going to place him in the bottom third of modern presidents.” In a 2017 study co-authored by Mr. Tillery that assessed modern presidents based on the analysis of editorials published in black newspapers, Mr. Johnson ranked at the top. While Mr. Trump was not yet included, as he had yet to complete his term, Mr. Tillery said the president “is not faring well” currently, with black editorial pages ranking him “at the bottom, just below Nixon,” at No. 15 out of 20 presidents.

Sally A. Nuamah | How Closing Schools Impacts Democracy

June 4, 2020 – from Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy
Chicago closed a record-high 50 public schools in 2013. But more will likely be permanently shuttered in the wake of a COVID-19 pandemic-related budget crisis, Northwestern University political scientist Sally Nuamah predicted in an interview with Citylab. Additional school closures could cause “mobilization fatigue” for black and Latino families and ultimately influence the upcoming 2020 presidential election, says Nuamah, who explores these theories in her forthcoming book Closed for Democracy, which she recently completed.

Scott Greer | The Comparative Politics of COVID-19: The Need to Understand Government Responses

June 4, 2020 – from Global Public Health
"COVID-19 has created a ramifying public health, economic, and political crisis throughout many countries in the world. While globally the pandemic is at different stages and far from under control in some countries, now is the time for public health researchers and political scientists to start understanding how and why governments responded the way they have, explore how effective these responses appear to be, and what lessons we can draw about effective public health policymaking in preparation of the next wave of COVID-19 or the next infectious disease pandemic. We argue that there will be no way to understand the different responses to COVID-19 and their effects without understanding policy and politics."

Al Tillery | Perspective: The state of our country

June 3, 2020 – from Northwestern Now
“As a scholar of protests, I would also like to highlight that we are in a very interesting phase in the life cycle of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The hyper-democratic, decentralized nature of the movement has worked brilliantly in generating protest activities on the ground and giving Americans a vocabulary for articulating their emotions about the anti-racist struggle in America."

Warren Snead (PhD Candidate/Student) | Political Science Searle Teaching Fellow for AY21

June 2, 2020 – from Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching
Throughout the 2020-21 school year, Warren seeks to maintain and expand the Political Science Teaching Committee. The Teaching Committee sponsors department-wide programming, holds pedagogical discussions for its members, and provides an environment in which participants prepare job-market materials related to their teaching practices. This year, Warren hopes to expand upon the Teaching Committee’s existing mentorship program for new TAs by providing more structured opportunities for mentor-mentee check-ins and by developing department programming designed to specifically meet the needs of our new TAs.

Loubna El Amine | Political Liberalism, Western History, and the Conjectural Non-West

June 1, 2020 – from Political Theory
"Taking its distance from classical liberalism, political liberalism seeks to avoid controversial metaphysical assumptions by starting from institutional features of modern polities. Political liberalism also extends the limits of liberal toleration by envisioning societies that it considers nonliberal but decent. This article is concerned with the relationship between these two dimensions of political liberalism, specifically as they are instantiated in the work of John Rawls. I show that these two dimensions are in tension with each other. Put simply, if political liberalism is institutional, then decent societies are impossible. "


Steve Nelson | Argentina is on the verge of defaulting on its debt again. Here’s what you need to know

May 29, 2020 – from The Washington Post
"The Argentine government is locked in contentious negotiations with foreign bondholders, led by the U.S. investment firm BlackRock, over the terms of nearly $65 billion in payments it owes on its debt. This is familiar — and risky — territory for Argentina. Should negotiations fail before the June 2 deadline and the government of President Alberto Fernández misses another debt payment, the country will formally slip into default for the third time this century and ninth time in its history."

James Druckman | Most Americans Support Vote by Mail During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 29, 2020 – from Institute for Policy Research
The survey, conducted by IPR political scientist James Druckman as part of a consortium of four universities that includes Northwestern, Harvard, Northeastern, and Rutgers, found widespread support for such measures directly linked to fears of getting COVID-19. Druckman said that “It seems that the majority of Americans support allowing vote by mail and that support stems in part from concerns about COVID-19 preventing them from otherwise voting.”

Al Tillery | National protests over George Floyd's death was 'conflagration waiting to happen'

May 29, 2020 – from NBC News
""Big cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Newark, New Jersey, were once convulsed by rioting, or as Tillery prefers to call them, "uprisings," that left black and brown communities disadvantaged socially and economically to this day. The millennials and Gen Z who are protesting now are "much less willing to take the law and order obfuscations that come from the white power structure," Tillery said."

Alvin B. Tillery | Trump Gambles on Splitting Biden's Base With Riot Rhetoric

May 29, 2020 – from NBC News
While Trump's campaign strategy includes limiting enthusiasm for Biden among black voters, his remarks on the Minneapolis situation mostly reflect a need to persuade swing-voting whites. "Trump won by flipping suburban white voters in 200 counties that Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012," said Alvin Tillery, director of Northwestern University's Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. "Although these voters display less racial resentment that Trump’s hardcore Southern base, it is still a part of their ideological makeup. It is also true that these voters are less likely to see the police as being at fault in cases of brutality."

Jamie Druckman | Karl Rosengren Faculty Mentoring Award

May 28, 2020 – from Northwestern Office of Undergraduate Research
Alexandria Fredendall has been announced as the winner of this year’s Academic Year Fletcher Award, for her project “Sports, Politics, and Weather: A Quantitative Analysis of Irrelevant Events and Public Opinion.” Her advisor Jamie Druckman, Professor of Political Science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, was presented with the Karl Rosengren Faculty Mentoring Award.

Rana Khoury (PhD Candidate/Student) | Postindustrial Podcast, Episode 7

May 28, 2020 – from The Postindustrial Podcast
In this week's episode of the Postindustrial Podcast, host Carmen Gentile talks with scholar Rana Khoury, who wrote As Ohio Goes: Life in the Post-Recession Nation, about her home state. Khoury's insights into the effect of the Great Recession on some of her fellow Ohians are particularly valuable considering the even greater economic challenge we all face in these trying times.

Jennifer Forestal | Beyond Gatekeeping: Propaganda, Democracy, and the Organization of Digital Publics

May 28, 2020 – from The Journal of Politics
"While there is disagreement as to the severity of the digital disinformation problem, scholars and practitioners have largely coalesced around the idea that ‘a new system of safeguards is needed’ to prevent its spread. By minimizing the role of citizens in managing their own communities, however, I argue these gatekeeping approaches are undemocratic. To develop a more democratic alternative, I draw from the work of Harold D. Lasswell and John Dewey to argue that we should study the organization of digital publics. For citizens to engage in democratic inquiry, publics must be organized so that they can 1) easily identify their common interests and 2) regularly encounter variety. I then analyze Facebook, showing how the News Feed and Facebook Groups together create a platform on which propagandists can effectively target and manipulate specific publics."

Steve Nelson | Crisis, what crisis? uncertainty, risk, and financial markets

May 27, 2020 – from The Politics and Science of Prevision
"The outbreak of the crisis of 2008 reminds us that financial markets are domains characterized by measurable risks as well as by unquantifiable uncertainties – a point that was often elided in the run-up to the crisis. How do sophisticated financial market players and regulators cope in environments rife with risks and uncertainties? In this chapter we emphasize the centrality of ‘Knightian’ uncertainty for the analysis of financial markets, and, further, we illustrate how the social ordering of finance is shaped by social conventions employed by agents to (contingently) stabilize an unstable and uncertain domain. The chapter begins by providing a brief conceptual clarification of risk and uncertainty, before turning to the role of conventions for minimizing future uncertainty. "

Ernesto Calvo | Presentation of "Fake News, Trolls and Other Charms"

May 26, 2020 – from YouTube
In the framework of the UNLZ Strategic Communication Conference, Natalia Aruguete and Ernesto Calvo, Argentine researchers, presented “Fake News, Trolls and other charms”, their latest book. Through Zoom and live on YouTube, they conducted an analysis of fake news in the current context and answered listeners' queries.

Jacqueline Stevens | Administrators Discuss Endowment, fall at Faculty Assembly Meeting

May 26, 2020 – from The Daily Northwestern
After the event, political science Prof. Jacqueline Stevens told The Daily she was hoping the University would provide specific information faculty have been requesting for weeks. Stevens added she was frustrated by administrators’ inability to give a complete response. She added the University hasn’t been transparent with its handling of the endowment. "There’s a big conflict of interest when the decisions being made about how much to go into the endowment are made by people who are benefitting directly from the size of the endowment, because it’s going into their own pet projects," Stevens told The Daily.

Daniel Galvin | The Political Effects of Policy Drift: Policy Stalemate and American Political Development

May 26, 2020 – from Studies in American Political Development
"In recent years, scholars have made major progress in understanding the dynamics of “policy drift”—the transformation of a policy's outcomes due to the failure to update its rules or structures to reflect changing circumstances. Drift is a ubiquitous mode of policy change in America's gridlock-prone polity, and its causes are now well understood. Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to the political consequences of drift—to the ways in which drift, like the adoption of new policies, may generate its own feedback effects. In this article, we seek to fill this gap. We first outline a set of theoretical expectations about how drift should affect downstream politics. We then examine these dynamics in the context of four policy domains: labor law, health care, welfare, and disability insurance."

Isabella Alcañiz | WHO’s to Blame? Coronavirus and the Politics of Blame Shifting

May 26, 2020 – from Duck of Minerva
"Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut US funding to the World Health Organization and eventually leave the institution. The opening salvo of Trump’s war against the United Nations agency in charge of global public health came a month ago, when the American president first stopped paying US dues. To many, Trump’s escalating threats to the very organization tasked with monitoring, evaluating, and communicating global health risks during the coronavirus pandemic is equivalent to dismissing the generals on the way into battle. The move has left the United States further isolated in the international arena, with key European allies declaring their support of the UN agency."

Wesley Skogan | A Pandemic Bright Spot: In Many Places, Less Crime

May 26, 2020 – from New York Times
Chief David Todd of the Fargo, North Dakota, Police Department periodically abandons his desk to walk the beat downtown. In recent weeks, he found the streets utterly deserted. “The quiet and sadness is something that we have never experienced before,” said Todd, a 32-year veteran of the police force. The absence of people during the coronavirus pandemic has produced a rare payoff in Fargo and most U.S. cities — a steep drop in major crimes.

Jennifer Forestal | Constructing Digital Democracies: Facebook, Arendt, and the Politics of Design

May 22, 2020 – from Political Studies
"Deliberative democracy requires both equality and difference, with structures that organize a cohesive public while still accommodating the unique perspectives of each participant. While institutions like laws and norms can help to provide this balance, the built environment also plays a role supporting democratic politics—both on- and off-line. In this article, I use the work of Hannah Arendt to articulate two characteristics the built environment needs to support democratic politics: it must (1) serves as a common world, drawing users together and emphasizing their common interests and must also (2) preserve spaces of appearance, accommodating diverse perspectives and inviting disagreement."

Mneesha Gellman | Narratives, Contention, and the Politics of Memory

May 22, 2020 – from Political Psychology
Mneesha Gellman's well-written and ambitious ethnographic study contends that narratives of past violence influence the extent to which ethnic minority groups mobilize to “shame and claim” greater rights and accommodations from the state. Encompassing six distinct case studies in three countries and two different regions of the world, the book employs vivid, evocative language to sketch pictures of activists, communities, and protests. In so doing, the book contributes to scholarship on social movements, human rights, and Latin America.

Ian Hurd | Weinberg COVID-19 Research Seed Fund Awards 2020

May 22, 2020 – from Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
"The Covid-19 pandemic reveals the fragility of international organizations and an urgent need for new global institutions. Life in a world with pervasive SARS-CoV2 and future unforeseen pathogens requires new institutional arrangements at the local, national, and global levels. This project addresses the need for new forms of governance in post-pandemic public international affairs. Past international crises have driven changes in authority and governance among governments. The Covid crisis may do the same for international public health: it is becoming clear that mechanisms for diagnostics, information sharing, and research are urgently needed on a global scale and that neither governments nor traditional inter-state organizations are well suited to meet them."

Safa Al-Saeedi (PhD Candidate/Student) | DRRC Grant for "Communication as Power: Effects of the Internet on Authoritarian Politics"

May 21, 2020 – from Northwestern Grants Program
"In a context where media access is not open to all key political players, what effects does a significant change in the communication landscape have on their political power? I address this question by exploring the effects of the Internet on the power balance of ideological elites in Saudi Arabia. I conduct three studies, complementing an already completed work mapping Saudi Arabia’s key political actors. The first study explores the change in media access for Saudi ideological elites caused by the advent of the Internet. The second study links changes in media access to changes in these elites’ abilities in framing public debates around key policy issues. The third study examines if the Internet gave marginalized elite voices a higher ability for self-expression by measuring preference falsification online."

Safa Al-Saeedi (PhD Candidate/Student) | DRRC Grant for "Communication as Power: Effects of the Internet on Authoritarian Politics"

May 21, 2020 – from Northwestern Grants Program
"In a context where media access is not open to all key political players, what effects does a significant change in the communication landscape have on their political power? I address this question by exploring the effects of the Internet on the power balance of ideological elites in Saudi Arabia. I conduct three studies, complementing an already completed work mapping Saudi Arabia’s key political actors. The first study explores the change in media access for Saudi ideological elites caused by the advent of the Internet. The second study links changes in media access to changes in these elites’ abilities in framing public debates around key policy issues. The third study examines if the Internet gave marginalized elite voices a higher ability for self-expression by measuring preference falsification online."

Mara Suttman-Lea | The Laura Coates Show

May 21, 2020 – from The Washington Post
State and local officials across the country are making difficult decisions about how to enable citizens to vote without jeopardizing their health. One widely discussed approach involves allowing more people to vote by mail, lowering the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | Here’s the Problem With Mail-in Ballots: They Might Not Be Counted

May 21, 2020 – from The Washington Post
"State and local officials across the country are making difficult decisions about how to enable citizens to vote without jeopardizing their health. One widely discussed approach involves allowing more people to vote by mail, lowering the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus. Most Americans support that option for this November’s election. And for good reason: Those of us who study mail voting agree that it has little effect on election results because it has a marginal impact on turnout and doesn’t give either party an advantage. But voting by mail increases the number of ballots that are rejected — and not counted in the final tally. And ballots from younger, minority and first-time voters are most likely to be thrown out. Here’s how we know."

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | How Do Partisans Navigate Elite Intra-group Dissent? Leadership, Partisanship, and the Limits of Democratic Accountability

May 20, 2020 – from Institute for Policy Research: Working Papers
Democratic erosion has led scholars to query how voters respond to leaders who violate norms. Given polarization and the centrality of identity in partisan affiliations, criticism by co-partisan elites may be crucial to checking party leaders. The researchers draw on theories of partisanship as a social identity as well as perspectives on leadership and dissent to theorize how partisans respond to misbehavior by an ingroup leader, and to criticism of the leader by a co-partisan. They test their expectations through multiple survey experiments. They find evidence of ingroup bias in evaluations of the misbehaving leader and little evidence that ingroup dissent is an effective constraint on leaders. Except in the most serious leadership transgressions of ‘hard’ norms, people rally around leaders when confronted with dissent by co-partisan elites.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 6. Brian Harrison

May 20, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
What accounts for this sharp reversal in public opinion? This is a question—among many —that this episode’s prolific guest has taken up in his research. Dr. Brian Harrison is a political scientist specializing in American politics and public opinion. Much of Brian’s research focuses on understanding attitude and opinion change, including three of his books: Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights (with Melissa Michelson), Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights (with Melissa Michelson), and A Change is Gonna Come: How to Have Productive Political Conversations in a Divided America.

Jahara Matisek | The Illogical Logic of American Entanglement in the Middle East

May 19, 2020 – from Journal of Strategic Security
"In short, the American approach to the Global War on Terror (GWOT) of the 21st century—in both policy and practice—bears striking resemblance to the United States approach to Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s. These policies of minimal involvement have proven difficult—as described in this article—to stop the inertia of war, be it against Communism or terrorism."

Daniel Galvin | 2020 Mary Parker Follett Prize for Best Article, By the APSA Politics and History Section

May 19, 2020 – from Studies in American Political Development
The Mary Parker Follett Prize recognizes the best article on politics and history published in the previous year. Galvin received this award for his article, "From Labor Law to Employment Law: The Changing Politics of Workers’ Rights". "Over the past several decades, a new kind of labor politics has emerged in new venues (state and local levels), focusing on new governing institutions (employment laws), involving new strategies by labor unions, and featuring new organizational forms (“alt-labor”). The timing, form, and content of these developments have been powerfully shaped by the persistence of the increasingly outmoded but still authoritative national labor law, which has constrained and channeled the efforts of workers and their advocates to respond to growing problems."

Daniel Krcmaric, Stephen C. Nelson & Andrew Roberts | Studying Leaders and Elites: The Personal Biography Approach

May 18, 2020 – from Annual Review of Political Science
"The last two decades have seen a revival in work that takes the role of individual leaders and elites seriously. This article surveys new research that explores how biographical factors influence their behavior. We call this literature the personal biography approach to political leadership. Our survey first lays out four mechanisms through which biographical characteristics might affect leader behavior. We then discuss the main findings, grouping them according to socializing experiences (e.g., education, military service, and prior occupation) and ascriptive traits (e.g., gender, race, and ethnicity). We also consider the methodological problems, especially endogeneity and selection effects, that pose challenges to this style of research. We conclude with an assessment of gaps in the literature and provide suggestions for future work in the biographical vein."

Michael Bosia | Placement Update

May 14, 2020 – from St. Michael's College Directory
Michael Bosia was promoted to a full professor position at St. Michael's College. Congratulations!

Karen Alter | "Is it a Dance or is it Chicken? The German Constitutional Court's European Central Bank Ruling"

May 13, 2020 – from Verfassungsblog: On Matters Constitutional
"The GCC needs to figure out when national constitutional checks are an appropriate and helpful part of an international system of democratic checks and balances. As far as I know, no judicial body has been foolish enough to insert itself into the monetary policy-making process, for good reason. The GCC should not be putting a hand on the German scale of price stability."

Moses Khisa & Christopher Day | Reconceptualising Civil-Military Relations in Africa

May 13, 2020 – from Civil Wars: Vol. 22, No. 2-3
"Relations between African militaries, civilian authority and the public have undergone significant transformation over the past decades. Much of previous scholarship on civil-military relations tended to approach the subject through the idiom of the coup. Analysts in the 1960s initially presented the military in positive terms as a modernising agent, a representation cast aside in the throes of coups d’état, instability and rights violations at the behest of armed forces. This article revisits the conceptual and theoretical terrain in light of recent socio-political changes and in the wake of the peak of military coups on the continent."

Jahara Matisek | Is Human Rights Training Working With Foreign Militaries? No One Knows and That's O.K.

May 12, 2020 – from War on the Rocks
"Training a foreign army is not like training your own military. This seems obvious, but the differences are often not accepted in practice. For example, there’s time constraints. Donors want instantaneous improvements in combat lethality and compliance with international laws. The tactical, operational, and professional skills that take a soldier years to learn in a Western military are expected to be mastered by local forces in months. Then there is the scale of the challenge. While Western militaries have strong institutions steeped in traditions and rule of law, partner forces are trying to create soldiers and institutions in a weak state while under fire. Training your own military in the West is a matter of routine, but training a foreign army in a corrupt state may feel like building a plane while dogfighting."

Hendrik Spruyt | The World Imagined: Collective Beliefs and Political Order in the Sinocentric, Islamic and Southeast Asian International Societies

May 11, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
Taking an inter-disciplinary approach, Spruyt explains the political organization of three non-European international societies from early modernity to the late nineteenth century. The Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires; the Sinocentric tributary system; and the Southeast Asian galactic empires, all which differed in key respects from the modern Westphalian state system. In each of these societies, collective beliefs were critical in structuring domestic orders and relations with other polities. These multi-ethnic empires allowed for greater accommodation and heterogeneity in comparison to the homogeneity that is demanded by the modern nation-state. Furthermore, Spruyt examines the encounter between these non-European systems and the West.

Educating Communists: Eugene Bechtold and the Chicago Workers School | Jim Farr

May 11, 2020 – from American Communist History
“Workers’ Education Is Workers’ Power.” This slogan—emblazoned atop the brochure announcing the courses for the Fall term of 1936—captured the political convictions of the Chicago Workers School. Amidst the Great Depression and located in America’s definitive working city, the School proclaimed its “main task,” to equip students with the knowledge “to understand and participate in the class struggle,” based on “the scientific teachings of Marxism-Leninism.”

Jamie Druckman | Social Science Take-Aways for Policymakers Managing COVID-19

May 9, 2020 – from Institute for Policy Research
IPR political scientist James Druckman and social psychologist and IPR associate Eli Finkel were among the co-authors. From their research, the international team of social scientists came up with a list of research-driven insights for public health experts, community leaders, and policymakers.

William Hurst | Does China pose a moral hazard in the international society?

May 8, 2020 – from Centre for Geopolitics
"Treating China as a '“black knight', pariah, or moral hazard can be self-fulfilling. Marginalized, excluded, and encircled states have a tendency to misbehave. But how should status quo powers like the UK, US, or EU engage constructively with China without merely appeasing its ambitions?"

Ana Arjona | LACS (Virtual) Faculty Colloquium: The Violent Bias in the Study of Civil War

May 6, 2020 – from PlanItPurple
The study of civil war has focused, for obvious reasons, on violence. Yet, civil war is about much more than violence. Ana Arjona argues that the focus on violence hinders our understanding of the most common type of armed conflict in the world today. In particular, equating civil war and violence leads to (i) a theoretical bias, whereby scholars overlook other aspects of war that could shape the outcome of interest; and (ii) an empirical bias that assumes, mistakenly, that when we measure violence we are measuring civil war. Professor Arjona illustrates her claim with studies on the Colombian conflict, a case that has been studied by many political scientists and economists. She concludes with ideas on how to move this research program forward.

Hannah Arendt | Hannah Arendt's Final Exam for On Revolution, Taught at Northwestern in 1961

May 5, 2020 – from Open Culture
What are those realities? “War and revolution,” she argues, “have outlived all their ideological justifications… no cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.” This sounds like pamphleteering, but Arendt did not use such abstractions lightly. As one of the foremost scholars of ancient Greek and modern European philosophy, she was eminently qualified to define her terms. In 1961, she taught a Northwestern seminar called “On Revolution.”

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 5. Mark Stickney

May 5, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
In this episode we hear from a remarkably complex and fascinating voter who also happens to be an avowed atheist. Mark Stickney is an HVAC / plumbing sales engineer, musician, and actor from Chicago, Illinois. He tells us his story about growing up in a conservative southern town and his transition from this socialization to his now active role in progressive politics. Triggered at a young age to “question everything,” as he puts it, Mark explains how his journey to progressive politics and voting is inextricably tied with his embrace of atheism. While he began his time as an active voter feeling more or less apathetic during the 2004 elections, his passion for learning and epistemology brought him to the political activism he engages in today. He and I muse about the impossibility of religious freedom, and Mark clarifies that being an atheist does not mean one hates religion.

Romain Malejacq | The Need to Decentralize Afghanistan's Political and Administrative System

May 3, 2020 – from Etilaatroz
Romain Malejacq, a professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands, in his recent book "The Survival of Warlords: The Illusion of State-Building in Afghanistan", carefully examines the relationship between power in and around Afghanistan and shows how the centralization of the political and administrative system undermines government corruption Afghanistan has become.

Sally Nuamah | What Happens to Democracy When Schools Close

May 1, 2020 – from Bloomberg CityLab
What happens to families in the aftermath of these closings? For her forthcoming book, “Closed for Democracy,” Northwestern University urban politics professor Sally Afia Nuamah found that school closures tend to imbibe mostly black and Latino families with a sense of “mobilization fatigue”: They expend considerable political energy fighting to keep their schools open only to watch their elected officials cater to families who actually support closing schools.


James Druckman | Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response

April 30, 2020 – from Nature Human Behaviour
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. Here we discuss evidence from a selection of research topics relevant to pandemics, including work on navigating threats, social and cultural influences on behaviour, science communication, moral decision-making, leadership, and stress and coping. In each section, we note the nature and quality of prior research, including uncertainty and unsettled issues. We identify several insights for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.

Alex Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | American Workers' Experiences with Power, Information, and Rights on the Job

April 30, 2020 – from The Roosevelt Institute
"The COVID-19 pandemic has cast these failings in sharp relief: the lack of paid sick leave, inadequate wages, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, and the inability to speak up at work without facing discipline or dismissal. But even before the coronavirus crisis, a growing number of labor activists, policymakers, and academics have been calling for a fundamental overhaul of workplace law."

James Druckman | Easing the Impact of COVID-19

April 30, 2020 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
"“The paper makes clear that the social sciences provide a body of knowledge that helps understand responses to COVID-19 and provides concrete suggestions about how best to respond,” Druckman said. The researchers reviewed more than a century of relevant research from a wide variety of topics, synthesizing more than 250 prominent peer-reviewed studies, chapters, and books to produce their analysis."

Jason Seawright | Party-System Change in Latin America

April 30, 2020 – from Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics
"A distinctly Latin American puzzle for the study of party systems emerges from taking the long view of these periods of stability and disruption. For the most part, party systems in the region are distinctly central to politics and electoral in origin, in contrast to many other developing countries where parties are noncentral, volatile, or oriented toward nonelectoral forms of governance. Yet, these same party systems are largely unable to adjust their appeals when faced with fundamental transformations to the social, political, or economic landscape—in contrast to the party systems of much of North America and Western Europe, where many parties and party systems have successfully navigated multiple such transformations with the identities of key parties intact."

Scott Greer | The European Union after Brexit

April 30, 2020 – from Manchester University Press
The European Union after Brexit addresses the forces and mechanisms at work during an unprecedented transformation of the European polity. How will the EU operate without one of its key diplomatic and international military partners? What will happen to its priorities, internal balance(s) of power and legislation without the reliably liberal and Eurosceptic United Kingdom? In general, what happens when an 'ever closer union' founded on a virtuous circle of economic, social, and political integration is called into question?

Loubna El Amine | 2020-21 Kaplan Humanities Institute Fellow

April 29, 2020 – from Weinberg College
Ten Weinberg College faculty members have been named 2020-21 Kaplan Humanities Institute Fellows. The competitive fellowships offer faculty the opportunity to develop research projects within an interdisciplinary community. The new fellows, and their projects, include: Loubna El Amine, assistant professor of political science Project:?Beyond Freedom and Slavery: Status and Membership in the Ancient Confucian Political Community

Wendy Pearlman | Charles Deering McCormick Professor for Teaching Excellence

April 29, 2020 – from Weinberg College
Five Weinberg College faculty members have been recognized for their excellence in classroom teaching with Northwestern University Teaching Awards. Four of these professors have been named Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence: Sarah Jacoby, an associate professor of religious studies; Wendy Pearlman, an associate professor of political science; Santiago Canez, an associate professor of instruction in mathematics; and Regan Thomson, a professor of chemistry.

Mauro Gilli (TGS PhD) | Studies Tackle Who Joins the Military and Why, but Their Findings Aren’t What Many Assume

April 27, 2020 – from Military Time
"...our analysis suggests that, despite the increasing economic inequality and the erosion of many low-skill occupational opportunities, the U.S. military has not become a refuge for the less fortunate," write authors Andrea Asoni, Andrea Gilli, Mauro Gilli and Tino Sandanaji in "A mercenary army of the poor? Technological change and the demographic composition of the post-9/11 U.S. military," a report published January in the Journal of Strategic Studies.

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 4. Pia Deshpande

April 27, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
In the middle of this thicket was Pia Deshpande, a then 17-year-old, now graduating senior at Columbia University, who made an impressive run to become a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that summer. In this episode, Pia walks us through the path that lead her to that point, and all that has come for her since: enrollment at the University of Texas and then a transfer to Columbia University as a political science major, an abiding curiosity of the American political system, and a participation in that system as a regular voter. Pia shares the experience and impact of her first vote—on November 8, 2016—and the aftermath of that election on the campus at the University of Texas.

Robin Xu (PhD Candidate/Student), James N. Druckman & Avery Goods (WCAS '19) | When and How Different Motives Can Drive Motivated Political Reasoning

April 24, 2020 – from Political Psychology
"The present research explores the roles of distinct types of motives in politically motivated thinking and identifies the conditions under which motivated reasoners are persuaded by political messages. Results of an experiment with a large, representative sample of Republicans show that manipulations inducing motivations for either (1) forming accurate impressions, (2) affirming moral values, or (3) affirming group identity each increased beliefs in and intentions to combat human-induced climate change, but only when also paired with political messages that are congruent with the induced motivation."

Mara Suttmann-Lea | What Voting Means to Me: Episode 3. Gabriela De Golia

April 20, 2020 – from What Voting Means to Me Podcast
This episode reflects on this interconnectedness between faith and politics, taking us on a spiritual journey as we hear from to Gabriela De Golia, a pastor in training at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Growing up in a politically active neighborhood in San Francisco, Gabriela takes us from her time as a resident in this progressive community, to her early teenage years in France, and her political and spiritual activism during and beyond her college years. For Gabriela, political participation has always been a part of the fabric of her life, raised to be engaged in politics from a young age. But as she grew older and broadened her horizons, she realized that, while she deeply values the act of voting, not everyone has been afforded the same kind of access and efficacy from this act that she has.

William Hurst | New Chapter: Chinese Cities: Liberalization, Development, and Social Dislocation

April 16, 2020 – from McGill-Queen's University Press
"Chinese cities re often the envy of the developing world. As one Indonesian urban official put it to me in 2009, 'In Indonesia, people become urban even where there are no cities, but in China cities grow from nothing and are still successful.' Even US cities like Chicago and San Francisco look covetously upon their Chinese counterparts’ ability to scale-up public transit networks, build new housing, and undertake massive new infrastructure investments like airports or bridges. All this seems to happen without concomitant problems like homelessness or crime that so often blight more established metropolises from London to Detroit. Yet this veneer of success, of economic development without social dislocation, masks a much less rosy reality for tens of millions of Chinese citizens and in the countryside."

Hayden Richardson (WCAS '21) | Harry S. Truman Scholarship

April 15, 2020 – from Northwestern Now
Northwestern University junior Hayden Richardson has received a highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 award that supports graduate education for outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in public service. Richardson, a political science and legal studies double major, plans to attend law school and dedicate her career to changing the culture of her home state of Nebraska and help the next generation of women by enacting change when it comes to prosecuting sex crimes.

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | New Chapter: "The Challenges of Partisan Conflict for Lawmaking in Congress" in New Directions in Congressional Politics

April 15, 2020 – from Routledge
"As the U.S. Congress has steadily evolved since the Founding of our nation, so too has our understanding of the institution. The second edition of New Directions in Congressional Politics offers an accessible overview of the current developments in our understanding of America’s legislative branch. Jamie L. Carson and Michael S. Lynch help students bridge the gap between roles, rules, and outcomes by focusing on a variety of thematic issues: the importance of electoral considerations, legislators’ strategic behavior to accomplish objectives, the unique challenges of Congress as a bicameral institution in a polarized environment, and the often-overlooked policy outputs of the institution."

Wesley Skogan | Beck Reflects on His Time in Chicago Battling COVID-19 and the City’s Stubborn Violence Problem

April 9, 2020 – from Chicago Tribune
Wesley Skogan, a Northwestern University emeritus professor of political science who has studied policing in Chicago, said the reorganization going forward should be crucial for top brass who need more cops at the drop of a hat when crime flares up. “Every superintendent I’ve known has wanted to put resources in the hands of the area deputies so that they can move them around from district to district within their jurisdiction, and so they can respond quickly,” said Skogan.“ Here, (Beck) was pursuing a dream that several superintendents have dreamed, which was to try to decentralize this quickly responsive resource reallocation and push it down to the area level.

Mara Suttman-Lea (TGS PhD) | What Voting Means to Me Podcast

April 9, 2020
What Voting Means To Me is hosted by Mara Suttmann-Lea, a professor of American Politics and lifelong observer of American democracy. Recorded in the basement of a log cabin in the woods of Connecticut, each episode features in-depth, one on one interviews with people from all walks of life—voters and non-voters alike—about their personal relationship with the act at the heart of the democratic experiment: the vote.

Tabitha Bonilla, James Druckman, & Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Join CoronaData U.S.

April 8, 2020 – from Funded by the NSF and NU WCAS
The COVID-19 Social Change Survey is a daily nationally representative survey of U.S. public opinions, behaviors, and attitudes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by a team of social scientists at Northwestern University.CoronaData U.S. is a nationally representative survey, administered daily, of U.S. public opinions, behaviors, and attitudes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by a team of social scientists at Northwestern University.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Theologies of American Exceptionalism

April 6, 2020 – from Indiana University Press
"Theologies of American Exceptionalism is a collection of fifteen interlocking essays reflecting on the vagaries of exceptionalist claims in and about the United States. Loosely and generatively curious, these essays bring together a range of historical and contemporary voices, some familiar and some less so, to stimulate new thought about America. A print version of this volume will be available in summer 2020. This volume is the first in a book series “Religion and the Human” hosted by the IU Center for Religion and the Human."

Brian F. Harrison | A Change is Gonna Come

April 1, 2020 – from Oxford University Press
"How can deliberative democracy survive if we can't even speak to people with whom we disagree? As this book argues, we need a new way to discuss politics, one that encourages engagement and room for dissent. One way to approach this challenge is to consider how public opinion changes. By and large, public opinion is sticky and change occurs very slowly; one exception to this is the more recent and significant change in public opinion toward LGBTQ rights and marriage equality."

Shmuel Nili | From Charlottesville to the Nobel: Political Leaders and the Morality of Political Honors

April 1, 2020 – from Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy
"Political honors are ubiquitous in public life, whether in the form of public monuments, street names, or national holidays. Yet such honors have received scant attention from normative political theorists. Tackling this gap, I begin by criticizing a desert-based approach to political honors. I then argue that morally appropriate honors are best understood as marking and reinforcing the moral commitments of the collective in whose name they are being awarded. I show how this thesis clarifies and organizes core intuitions regarding a variety of honors, from those commemorating slave-owning founders of the United States to the Nobel Peace Prize."

Ernesto Calvo (TGS PhD) | Early E-book Release of Fake News, Trolls y Otros Encantos

April 1, 2020 – from Siglo Veintiuno Editores
"If we could go back to the origin of social networks, that moment in which for the first time two users shared the photo of a cat sleeping in the lap of a dog, it would be difficult for us to imagine the political-media world that we inhabit today. Why do we abandon the promise of unrestricted, horizontal and democratic communication to enter this wasteland of political operations, fake news, narcissism and conflict?"

Florencia Guerzovich (TGS PhD) | Problem Solving Before Teeth: Welcome to the Realm of Local Politicians and the Bureaucracy (Part 3)

April 1, 2020 – from Global Partnership for Social Accountability
"Bureaucrats, local politicians, and their capacities and incentives to respond to demands, rather than people’s expectations, seem to shape responsiveness and the ability to effectively solve problems that matter to people. Our colleagues believe that when service providers and bureaucrats feel their challenges are understood, they are more likely to respond in kind in many contexts. Yet, the lack of attention and learning about each side (state and civil society and their interfaces) can undermine the possibility to increase trust and continue engaging in what should be in essence a repeat interaction."


John Bullock | Education and Attitudes toward Redistribution in the United States

February 27, 2020 – from British Journal of Political Science
"Although scholars have studied education's effects on many different outcomes, little attention has been paid to its effects on adults’ economic views. This article examines those effects. It presents results based on longitudinal data which suggest that secondary education has a little-appreciated consequence: it makes Americans more opposed to redistribution. Placebo tests and other analyses confirm this finding. Further investigation suggests that these conservative effects of education operate partly by changing the way that self-interest shapes people's ideas about redistribution."

Karen Alter and Cristina Lafont | Global Governance and the Problem of the Second Best: The Example of Reforming the World Trade Organization

February 27, 2020 – from Social Science Research Network
"This article applies the problem of the second best to the subject of global governance reform. The problem of the second best raises a concern about an “approximation trap” where steps intended to move closer to an ideal instead generate outcomes that are worse than the unreformed system. The solution, we argue, is “second-best theorizing,” identifying a package of objectives worth protecting so long as the first-best ideal remains elusive. Our second-best theorizing involves ideal elements that one can approximate, deviant elements that one must defend so long as the ideal is unattainable, a substantive floor so that reforms do not make things worse, and a meta-requirement that wholesale institutional change take the form of a 'constructive vote of no-confidence.' We then apply these criteria, suggesting reforms of the World Trade Organization (WTO)."

Samuel Gubitz (PhD Candidate/Student) | National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant

February 26, 2020 – from National Science Foundation
The Political Science Program supports scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of citizenship, government, and politics. Research proposals are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented. Substantive areas include, but are not limited to, American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, political behavior, political economy, and political institutions.

Laurel Harbridge‐Yong | You Can’t Always Get What You Want: How Majority‐Party Agenda Setting and Ignored Alternatives Shape Public Attitudes

February 26, 2020 – from Legislative Studies Quarterly
“Agenda setting is central to the study of legislatures and has profound implications for policy outcomes—yet little is known about how the public reacts to agenda setting and to majority-party decisions to ignore alternative proposals. We hypothesize that voters will be less satisfied with policy decisions when they are made aware of ignored alternatives. “Through a series of experiments, we show that information about agenda setting can drive down public support for legislation and for Congress as a whole and reduce the perceived fairness of the legislative process. Importantly, these effects are not confined to cases where popular policy alternatives are ignored or where one’s own party loses out.”

Sebastian Karcher (TGS PhD) | Official Release of Online Course "Managing Qualitative Social Science Data"

February 25, 2020 – from Social Science Research Council
In collaboration with the Qualitative Data Repository, the Digital Culture program’s Digital Literacy Initiative introduces a new set of modules of the SSRC Labs project. Diana Kapiszewski and Sebastian Karcher explain how this new course will help researchers become better acquainted with research data management, in particular the management of qualitative data.

Jahara Matisek & Colin Robinson | Assistance to Locally Appropriate Military Forces in Southern Somalia

February 23, 2020 – from The RUSI Journal
For decades, military assistance in southern Somalia focused on building up a central state army. This reflects standard patterns of Western assistance worldwide. Yet the nature of Somali society and clan, greatly affected by the winnowing process of more than 30 years of conflict, means that most sub-clan groupings are more militarily effective than centralised forces deployed to unfamiliar areas. The centralised Somali National Army remains riven by clan itself, thoroughly politicised, and ineffective (with the exception of the Danab special forces). Based on fieldwork and interviews with military personnel who work in Somalia, Colin D Robinson and Jahara Matisek argue that these locally appropriate forces deserve assistance, albeit with some caveats, in the continuing struggle against Al-Shabaab.

Galya Ben-Arieh | Weinberg Community Building Award for AY 2019-2020

February 21, 2020 – from Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Departments, Programs, and undergraduate students are invited to submit nominations for the Weinberg College Community Building Award. The award carries a cash stipend of $5,000. The award recognizes faculty who foster a sense of community both inside and outside the classroom and who make students feel valued as members of the Northwestern intellectual community.?

Jean Clipperton | Weinberg Alumni Teaching Award

February 21, 2020 – from Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Each year the College selects three members of the tenure-line faculty to receive Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Awards. The most senior of these recipients is designated as the winner of the E. LeRoy Hall Award. In addition, two more Distinguished Teaching Awards, designated as Arts and Sciences Alumni Teaching Awards, are reserved for members of the teaching-track faculty. The Distinguished Teaching Awards carry cash stipends of $5,000.

Kumar Ramanathan (PhD Candidate/Student) et al. | Immigrants Are Far More Engaged In Politics than What You May Expect

February 21, 2020 – from United States Politics and Policy
In new research, Natalie Masuoka, Kumar Ramanathan, and Jane Junn cast doubt on notion that immigrants are less engaged with politics than native born Americans. Analyzing nation-wide survey data, they find that those immigrants who do have citizenship are just as likely and potentially more likely to vote than those born in the US. In addition, looking at political activities that do not require citizenship, they also determine that non-citizens participate at a similar rate to citizens.

Jacqueline McAllister (TGS PhD) | The Extraordinary Gamble: How The Yugoslav Tribunal’s Indictment Of Slobodan Milošević During The Kosovo War Affected Peace Efforts

February 21, 2020 – from Brown Journal of World Affairs
"Since Miloševic’s rise to power roughly a decade before, forces either directly or indirectly under his control had unleashed a reign of terror first in Croatia, then in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and finally in Kosovo. Indicting Miloševic was no small feat: he did everything in his power to cover his tracks. Moreover, in order to secure crucial evidence (e.g., intelligence and satellite imagery linking Serb forces to crime sites) and the support necessary to actually put Miloševic on trial, the ICTY required the backing of Western powers, which—until the Kosovo War in 1999—viewed Miloševic as a vital, yet unsavory guarantor of peace in the region. Reactions to the indictment were mixed."

Jordan Gans-Morse et al. | Trump’s Impeachment Isn’t over for Ukraine’s Citizens

February 19, 2020 – from Washington Post
"From the time that news first broke of Trump’s now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine watchers have worried about the scandal’s ramifications, including its potential to tarnish Zelensky’s image as a corruption fighter, to offer fresh fodder for Russian propaganda efforts in Ukraine and to undermine the United States’ ability to promote the rule of law abroad."

James Druckman et al. | Electoral Consequences of Court Expansion Advocacy: Candidate Support of Court Expansion Does Not Have a Statistically Significant Impact on Voting Rates or Vote Choice

February 18, 2020 – from Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research
"Our results indicate that Republican and Independent voters are no more likely to vote, or to vote for a Republican candidate, if a Democratic candidate endorses court expansion. Thus, a Democratic candidate’s endorsement of court expansion will not produce an electoral backlash. On the other hand, our results indicate that candidate endorsement of court expansion does not prompt Democrats to vote at higher rates, or to become more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. Thus, based on our experimental results, candidate endorsement of court expansion is not expected to produce an electoral disadvantage or benefit in 2020."

Bailey Ellis (WCAS '19) and Carolina Laguna (WCAS '19) | Meet the Fullbrighters

February 15, 2020 – from Northwestern Now
Ellis is an ETA in the Canary Islands. A political science major at Northwestern, Ellis is also interviewing residents who are not of Spanish heritage as part of a project to shed light on the experiences of immigrant populations on Gran Canaria. // Laguna is an ETA in La Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Palmira, one of the oldest campuses of Colombia's National University, which mainly focuses on agricultural studies. In her free time, Laguna volunteers with Venezuelan migrants in the city of Cali as well as with the city's chapter of 100 Resilient Cities.

Thomas Leeper (TGS PhD) | Divided By the Vote: Affective Polarization in the Wake of the Brexit Referendum

February 14, 2020 – from British Journal of Political Science
A well-functioning democracy requires a degree of mutual respect and a willingness to talk across political divides. Yet numerous studies have shown that many electorates are polarized along partisan lines, with animosity towards the partisan out-group. In this article, we further develop the idea of affective polarization, not by partisanship, but instead by identification with opinion-based groups. Examining social identities formed during Britain’s 2016 referendum on European Union membership, we use surveys and experiments to measure the intensity of partisan and Brexit-related affective polarization.

Mneesha Gellman (TGS PhD) | Central American Indigenous Movements and the Kurdish Movement. Panel & Discussion.

February 14, 2020 – from Emergency Committee for Rojava
This panel discussion looks at the radical democratic processes of indigenous movements of the Americas with a focus on Central Americas and the Kurdish movement in Rojava to develop a deeper understand- ing of these geographically distinct, yet ideologically proximate movements and to develop solidarities among them. With a comparative discussion of the threats these movements are facing today, we want to explore ways to develop internationalist movements to prevent violence against these communities and help them sustain their vision and practices of anti-capitalist radical participatory democracy.

Sally Nuamah (TGS PhD) | Association of American Publishers Announces Finalists for 2020 Prose Awards

February 12, 2020 – from Association of American Publishers
One of these five Excellence Winners will receive the prestigious R.R. Hawkins Award, the top prize of the annual PROSE competition, which will be named this month. The R.R. Hawkins Award winner will be further celebrated at AAP’s annual Professional and Scholarly Publishers (PSP) forum in Washington, DC, taking place this year on June 23rd.

Arturo Chang (PhD Candidate/Student) | Anáhuac and Rome: Converging Indigeneity and Religiosity in Mexico's Republican Moment

February 10, 2020 – from Age of Revolutions
"Anáhuac took on a political valence in the fifteenth century by indigenous groups collectivizing against Aztec domination and seeking to declare war against the 'Mexicans' for the murder of the chiefs of Chalco.[2] In eighteenth century New Spain, Anáhuac was undergoing popular renewal to reveal a new moment of resistance—this time against Spanish colonial order. Cullen’s hurried letter to Bolívar, it turns out, was not entirely mistaken. Mexican insurgents used indigenous revivalism to reframe the revolution as a restorative act that subverted colonial authority by appealing to the successes of ancient American civilizations."

Alexander Hertel Fernandez (WCAS '08) | Why the PRO Act is a victory for workers and our democracy

February 8, 2020 – from The Hill
"While most of the country has been focused on the Senate and President Trump’s impeachment acquittal this week, over in the House U.S. Representatives voted on a bill that, if made into law, would have major consequences for our economy and democracy. The House of Representatives just passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act, HR 2474), and it’s one of the most significant pieces of labor legislation to come before Congress in years. The PRO Act would make it substantially easier for workers to form and join unions and for those unions to negotiate meaningful contracts with employers."

Mneesha Gellman (TGS PhD) | Landmark Femicide Case Fails to Fix El Salvador’s Patriarchy

February 6, 2020 – from The Globe Post
"El Salvador has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world, and an abysmal human rights record protecting vulnerable categories of people, including indigenous peoples, those reporting crimes, those demonstrating political opposition to gangs or political parties, and women and girls who challenge entrenched machismo, or patriarchy."

Stephen Nelson | Banks Beyond Borders: Internationalization, Financialization, and the Behavior of Foreign-Owned Banks During the Global Financial Crisis

February 1, 2020 – from Theory and Society
"The eruption of the GFC and its aftermath, it would appear, decisively settled the dispute over the merits of foreign control of national banking systems in the critics’ favor. Yet the simple foreign/domestic ownership distinction cannot answer the questions that animate this article: why did foreign-owned banks play an amplifying role during the crisis in one region (post-communist Central and Eastern Europe) but not in another (Central and South America)? What accounts for the difference in how foreign-owned banks responded to a common financial shock across the two regions?"