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2021 News

January

Daniel Galvin, Josh Vincent | Democratic presidents have traditionally hurt their parties. Joe Biden may be different.

January 21, 2021 – from The Washington Post
Today, Jaime Harrison will be elected chair of the Democratic National Committee. Harrison is an institution builder. By choosing him, President Biden suggests he may be willing to become modern history’s first Democratic presidential party-builder — that is, the first Democratic president who prioritizes building up his party as well as enacting policy.

Loubna El Amine | In Beirut

January 21, 2021 – from London Review of Books
Nothing changed and everything did. In Mar Mikhael, one of the areas of Beirut most damaged by the explosion last August, there were more signs of reconstruction than destruction when I visited last month. New glass storefronts were being mounted; inside pubs, furniture was set up for reopening. Across the highway, the remains of the 48-metre-high silos at the port stood charred and desolate.

Wendy Pearlman, John Bullock, Ricardo Galliano Court, Laurel Harbridge-Yong & Jeffrey Winters | Northwestern Political Science Faculty Forecast Future Republican Strength in Panel on Trump Presidency

January 20, 2021 – from The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern Political Science Faculty reflected on the Trump presidency and its implications on future U.S. politics in a Tuesday event. The virtual event, moderated by political science Prof. Wendy Pearlman, featured fellow political science Profs. John Bullock, Ricardo Galliano Court, Laurel Harbridge-Yong and Jeffrey Winters to offer reflections and answer questions on the last four years. The event was held on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, marking the end of a fraught transition period.

Alvin B. Tillery Jr | 'I Solemnly Swear': 5 Things Biden Needs to do as He Takes Office Amid Historic Turmoil

January 19, 2021 – from USA TODAY
"It's more like a wartime inauguration than a normal inauguration," said Alvin Tillery Jr., director of Northwestern University's Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. "It's going to look a lot more like FDR and the economic crisis of the Great Depression or Lyndon Johnson and the crisis of the civil rights movement." As a result, he said, Biden's speech needs to be "a much more stirring defense of the institution of democracy" than the typical inauguration address – or the typical speech by Biden, usually a plain-spoken person.

Alvin B. Tillery | Trump Leaves America at its Most Divided Since the Civil War

January 19, 2021 – from Erie News Now
Seen against that history, the upsurge in White nationalist violence under Trump seems less like a new phenomenon than the resurgence of an old one -- a determination to use force to maintain a clear racial hierarchy. Political scientist Alvin Tillery, director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, says Trump's success at mobilizing an electoral coalition resistant to demographic change underscores the country's imperfect progress toward creating a true multiracial democracy. While America has formally been a democracy since its birth in the 1700s, he notes, for most of our history those democratic rights were limited solely to White men.

Alexander Hertel Fernandez | Ending At-Will Employment: A Guide for Just Cause Reform

January 19, 2021 – from Ending At-Will Employment: A Guide for Just Cause Reform
American exceptionalism in at-will employment has pernicious consequences for workers and US workplaces. As we explain in this brief, at-will employment corrodes enforcement of workers’ labor, employment, and civil rights (e.g., Blades 1967; McGinley 1996). At-will employment also leaves workers vulnerable to arbitrary and unfair treatment by managers and supervisors. Workers already likely to experience discrimination or illegal treatment from their employer—for example, Black and brown workers, workers with lower levels of formal education, and low-wage workers—are especially vulnerable under at-will employment. On a more fundamental level, at-will employment erodes workers’ dignity and diminishes the possibility of real workplace democracy.

Rachel Xanttopoulos | How I Got Here Podcast: Episode #3

January 19, 2021 – from The Garage
Nothing changed and everything did. In Mar Mikhael, one of the areas of Beirut most damaged by the explosion last August, there were more signs of reconstruction than destruction when I visited last month. New glass storefronts were being mounted; inside pubs, furniture was set up for reopening. Across the highway, the remains of the 48-metre-high silos at the port stood charred and desolate.

Dan Galvin | Labor’s legacy

January 14, 2021 – from Work in Progress
At the same time that union density in the United States has declined and labor law has withered, employment law has flourished, proliferating at the subnational level and expanding into new substantive domains (see Figures 1 and 2 below). As a result, for the vast majority of 21st century workers, what rights and protections remain come not from labor law and the mechanism of collective bargaining, but from employment laws and the mechanisms of regulation and litigation.

Rebecca Kolins Givans, Alex Hertel Fernandez (WCAS '08) | What the Teacher Strikes Taught Us — And What We Still Need to Learn

January 14, 2021 – from The Forge
Arizona teachers’ victories and setbacks raise broader questions about the causes and long-term consequences of the upsurge in teacher labor activism over the past two years. Where did these protests come from — and what role did individual teachers, activists, and formal union organizations play in them? Why did the wave of activism appear in some states and not others? Why did it take varying forms, and which of these forms was most effective? How should we think about the current wave against the longer historical arc of mass public sector strikes? And what is likely to be the effect of the strikes on education politics as well as the labor movement? These are some of the timely questions tackled by Strike for the Common Good:

Tulia Falleti | Mellon Just Futures Grant for “Dispossessions in the Americas: The Extraction of Bodies, Land, and Heritage from La Conquista to the Present”

January 13, 2021 – from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest funder of the arts and humanities in the US, announced today that grants totaling more than $72 million have been awarded to winners of its Just Futures Initiative—supporting teams of scholars who are studying past periods of crisis and disruption in order to lead us to cultural and social transformation. The 16 projects will receive grants of up to $5 million to be used over a three-year period to support multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborative teams producing solutions-based work that contributes to public understanding of the nation’s racist past and can lead to the creation of socially just futures.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | The Paradox of Free Religion

January 12, 2021 – from Berkley Center
Though historians now tell a much more complex story about religion in early America, the notion that the United States invented and perfected religious freedom remains firmly ensconced in U.S. public discourse. Since the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, U.S. promotion of international religious freedom advocacy is also written into the law. Legal guarantees of religious freedom appear as riders in trade agreements, aid packages, and humanitarian projects. The foreign policy establishment is abuzz with talk of freedom, toleration, and rights. Proponents defend efforts to export religious freedom globally, with the United States proudly at the helm.

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | House Speeding to Impeach Trump for Capitol ‘Insurrection’

January 11, 2021 – from wttw
"The most important reason to do it is to show there is accountability for his actions. So whether or not he is physically removed from office before his terms ends in the presidential transition occurs I think it's important to show that our democratic institutions are stronger than the pressure he has put on them to overturn free and fair elections and I worry without accountability this could become a political norm. That any losing candidate unhappy with the election tries to prevent the certification of votes, encourages supporters to overturn a free and fair election and that is not the way our democratic institution should work."

Sally Nuamah | Sally Nuamah seeks to empower Black girls with films, research

January 11, 2021 – from The Daily Northwestern
Prof. Sally Nuamah’s (Weinberg Doctorate ’16) scholarship isn’t constrained to the limits of traditionally academic research. A filmmaker, political scientist, author and non-profit founder, Nuamah has used various mediums to examine the education and political participation of Black women. Social policy Prof. Jonathan Guryan, her colleague in the Institute for Policy Research, said the scope of Nuamah’s work goes beyond what is typical for social scientists. “She publishes books, she publishes articles in peer reviewed academic journals,” Guryan said. “And then in addition to that, she also shares her ideas in ways that are more likely to reach non-academic audiences.”

Joshua Freedman | The Recognition Dilemma: Negotiating Identity in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

January 8, 2021 – from Oxford Academic
Political considerations can cause recognition, and its absence, to matter more than it otherwise should, just as they can cause others to view recognition campaigns as vulnerable and ontologically harmful pursuits. This article proposes both an instrumental model of recognition and a theory on the recognition dilemma needed to explain these competing attitudes. In doing so, it shifts attention away from social structure, and relations, in order to take domestic processes seriously as a forum for both the construction and contestation of recognition politics.

Mneesha Gellman | Emerson Professors on How We Move Forward After Insurrection

January 8, 2021 – from Emerson Today
That problem of racial and socioeconomic relations can also be seen in how different people don’t — or won’t — encounter each other, whether in our schools, in colleges, or even at the grocery store, said Gellman. U.S. schools must overhaul their curricula to stop perpetuating stereotypes and racism, and marginalizing groups. “Let’s rewrite our history books to tell the truth,” said Gellman. “Let’s make curricula respectful and honest. Tell [young students] that it was founded on a genocide of Native Americans, and not the Mayflower, the pilgrims and Thanksgiving.”

Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Northwestern Political Scientists Call for Trump’s Removal

January 7, 2021 – from The Daily Northwestern
Six Northwestern political scientists signed a letter calling for President Donald Trump’s removal following the Capitol’s siege by Trump supporters seeking to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory. For political science Prof. Laurel Harbridge-Yong, signing the letter was about holding officials accountable and preventing such attacks from becoming commonplace. She noted that the Center for Systemic Peace no longer designates the United States as a democracy following the Capitol’s invasion. “We cannot just ignore them and expect politics as normal to resume and fix things,” she said in an email to the Daily. “That is why I think that cabinet officials and Congress need to consider ways of sanctioning Trump’s behavior. I don’t know the best path forward but simply ignoring the problem does not seem to be an appropriate solution.”

Alvin B. Tillery | Storming the Capitol: ‘Rejection of the democratic will is very dangerous’

January 7, 2021 – from Northwestern Now
“Between the ways that the COVID-19 protestors, with their long guns, were treated in places like Wisconsin and Michigan and the ways that Black Lives Matters protestors were treated — 95% of the Black Lives Matter protests had no property damage. They were peaceful, and you had the National Guard there waiting for them. So this is that double standard that people have been talking about all year on display."

Alvin B. Tillery | Pro-Trump Mob Storms US Capitol in Bid to Overturn Election

January 6, 2021 – from wttw
“The reality is we have not seen anything like this in modern American history. We’ve seen this in state houses in the 19th century: 1874 to 1876, the counter reconstruction movement, where the klan and democratic allies threatened violence and entered statehouses in this way. And we’ve seen violence in state houses this summer in Michigan and places like that in response to the COVID-19 restrictions. But we have never seen this in the television age at the US capitol.”

Ana Arjona, Wendy Pearlman, Kendra Koivu | The Qualitative Transparency Deliberations: Insights and Implications

January 6, 2021 – from Cambridge University Press
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues.

Sabina Satriyani Puspita | TGS Spotlight

January 5, 2021 – from Northwestern
"Pursuing a PhD is a years-long marathon. It’s important to focus on caring for ourselves and maintaining a collaborative—not competitive—attitude when interacting with our fellow graduate students.”

Ian Hurd, Christina Lafont | Global Lunchbox: Democracy without Shortcuts — Cristina Lafont

January 5, 2021 – from Soundcloud
“I try to defend public deliberation for slightly different reasons than deliberative democrats usually defend p d for… it is a common good, it is very important. It can help keep citizens informed … it can also help citizens to get to know the views of other citizens. It can also help find solutions… but those are not the ones that really are important and we need to be focusing on … my claim in the book is that public deliberation in a functioning public sphere has a distinctive democratic significance … that common deliberation for citizens is allowing them to testify their political views … and to have a conversation about why they have differences in opinion.”

Brandon Rottinghaus | Is Trump Finished After That Damning Georgia Phone Call?

January 4, 2021 – from CHRON
"I've been looking at scandals and how they affect presidential popularity and survival in office. Scandals in recent years have had a very little effect on politicians. A decade ago, it might have been a debilitating scandal. We also know executive officials typically survive in office. It's hard to get an incumbent president out of office through scandal. The president has shown himself to be a survivor politically. Trump is like political Teflon."

Mara Suttmann-Lea | COVID-19 Could Lead to Permanent Expansion of Voting Opportunities

January 3, 2021 – from The Day
Connecticut already has Election Day registration. There’s pretty compelling evidence that when you have both early voting and Election Day registration, they can do a lot to retain voters and boost new turnout,” Suttmann-Lea said. “From the perspective of increasing access to ballots, the state has shown it has the infrastructure to run something like expanded mail voting quite well, even when they’re doing it on the fly.”
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