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Archive Year


Yoes Kanawas, Ph.D Candidate | Jokowi’s son and V-P candidate silences critics in debate ahead of Indonesia’s polls

December 28, 2023 – from The Straits Times
Mr. Yoes Kenawas, a research fellow at Atma Jaya Catholic University, told ST: “Their theatrical performance became the talk of the town. It’s more the performative aspects, rather than the substantive ones, (that are used to attract voters).” Mr Yoes said that for the president and vice-president to be an effective team, technical knowledge is not enough, and that strategic thinking is also required to achieve bigger goals for the country. But he added: “It is hard to see the (Prabowo-Gibran) pair do that.” He acknowledged that Indonesia has progressed under Mr Widodo, but said many experts still had doubts whether the President’s policies and development strategies could ensure sustainable and equitable progress for the nation.

Samir Mayekar, WCAS'06 KSM'13 | New Polsky Managing Director Samir Mayekar Sees Startups as Key to the Future

December 27, 2023 – from The Chicago Tribune
Samir Mayekar took the reins as managing director of the University’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation last month. Mayekar previously worked in the Obama administration as the director of national security personnel; served as the deputy mayor of Chicago for economic and neighborhood development under former Mayor Lori Lightfoot; and cofounded the NanoGraf Corporation, a renewable energy startup.

Professor William Reno and Jahara Matisek, Ph.D. | Crash Courses on Combined Arms Warfare for Ukraine's Army

December 26, 2023 – from European Resilience Initiative Center
The outcomes of the 2023 counter-offensive by Ukraine's army have raised concerns over the adequacy of Western training provided to Ukrainian military personnel. During his multiple trips to Ukraine, the director of the European Resilience Initiative Center, Sergej Sumlenny, talked with multiple Ukrainian soldiers. They confirmed that, while these training courses were indispensable to learn how to operate Western weapons systems, the often ignored battlefield realities in Ukraine when teaching combined arms warfare.

Professor William Reno and Jahara Matisek, Ph.D. | Five Recommendations for Left of Boom Security Assistance to Taiwan

December 18, 2023 – from War on the Rocks
Time is not on Taiwan’s side. A U.S. Air Force General predicts potential conflict with China in 2025, while the retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggests China’s accelerated modernization could advance its ability to seize Taiwan to as early as 2027. Worse, in current wargame simulations run by experts at RAND, the United States fails in preventing Chinese forces “from overrunning Taiwan’s defense forces.”

Professor Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya | Decarbonization ecosystems: the impact of university partnerships

December 16, 2023 – from UN Climate Change
This panel features the University of Toronto’s 46-partner decarbonization project, the Italian University Network (RUS)’ decarbonization guidelines, and the Climate Leadership Network's 450+ institution decarbonization plans, and the UK Universities and U7+ Climate Network leadership initiative. Speakers: Shatha Qaqish-Clavering (chair and co-moderator), Beth Martin (Co-moderator) Patrizia Lombardi, Michela Gallo, Patricia Crifo, Erwin Franquet, Carmela Cucuzzella, Paola Visconti Arizpe, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Respect Musiyiwa.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Boston holiday party furor underscores intensity of race in the national conversation

December 15, 2023 – from USA Today
Alvin Tillery Jr., professor of political science at Northwestern University and director of the university's Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, said that while the pushback over the holiday party in Boston may have been amplified because of the national debate over diversity, equity and inclusion practices, it's unlikely that a city like Boston, known for its liberal politics, will see efforts to ban DEI programs at public universities that have had success in states like Florida and Texas.

Lamin Keita, Ph.D. Candidate | Youth and protest: how “#Gambia” ended decades of autocratic rule

December 15, 2023 – from Taylor & Francis Group
This study examines the unexpected collapse of the authoritarian regime in The Gambia following a peaceful election after twenty-two years in power. The study rejects the conventional view that African authoritarian leaders are unremovable through protests and the peaceful electoral process. Drawing on Bunce and Wolchik’s model, this study utilizes semi-structured interviews to explain how youth movements and established opposition parties strategized to decisively impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Despite the incumbent’s institutional and procedural advantages, that election “worked” in this context. However, the youths’ ability to encourage the fragmented opposition parties to unite and the youths’ campaign to persuade the electorate to vote against Jammeh contributed to this success.

Monica Wyant, WCAS'07 | Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

December 14, 2023 – from Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Monica Wyant, of East Grand Rapids, is the produce business manager for Meijer, Inc. and a former associate director of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She earned her Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in natural resources from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Northwestern University. Wyant is reappointed to represent Democrats for a term commencing January 1, 2024, and expiring December 31, 2027.

Professor Tabitha Bonilla | Tabitha Bonilla receives the 2023 Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Mentor Award for Exemplary Mentoring of Latino/a Graduate Students in Political Science

December 14, 2023 – from Political Science NOW
Tabitha Bonilla is Associate Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and Political Science (by courtesy). She also is a Faculty Fellow at the Institute of Policy Research and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. Her research agenda examines how political communication and identity shift the public’s understandings of representation, public policies, and social movements. Dr. Bonilla is also a recipient of the 2019 Fund for Latino Scholarship.

Mona Oraby, Ph.D. | Life at the Margins: Religious Minorities, Status, and the State

December 13, 2023 – from Cambridge University Press
This essay examines the claims-making practices of conservative evangelical Protestants in England and Satmar Hasidim in the United States, communities marginal to two contingents of leftist academic discourse today: scholars who see liberation as an anti-statist project and others who imagine religious diversity as a common good facilitated by the state. The author suggests that one way forward in the critical study of law and religion is to examine communities with political commitments that differ from our own—who shape their worlds alongside and through the state yet are unconcerned about a common democratic future.

Wendy Pearlman | Opinion: The conversation we can’t avoid about pro-Palestinian campus protests

December 13, 2023 – from CNN
The aftermath of last week’s congressional hearing on antisemitism with presidents from three elite universities saw the resignation this week of University of Pennsylvania’s Liz Magill. Although the others, Harvard’s Claudine Gay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sally Kornbluth, have survived calls for their ousters, the outcry continues.

Professor Shmulik Nili | Biden Sends a Warning to Israel

December 12, 2023 – from Newsweek
"Biden knows exactly who he's dealing with," Shmulik Nili, an associate political science professor at Northwestern University, told Newsweek. "He has much more sympathy for Israelis than for Netanyahu and his government, and obviously domestic political pressures will also push Biden to take an increasingly stern line with Netanyahu as time passes." He continued: "Like many Israelis, Biden will be waiting for the collapse of Netanyahu's government and a new election, widely seen as likely sometime in 2024. From Biden's point of view, the sooner the better."

Professor Jason W. Seawright | Mission: Accessible Wall of Fame

December 11, 2023 – from Northwestern Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance
The following instructors have completed the Mission: Accessible challenge and their Canvas courses are now designed to meet seven core criteria for digital content accessibility. Their dedication helps make Northwestern’s digital spaces more accessible and inclusive to all students.

Professor Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya | Decarbonization Ecosystems: The Impact of University Partnerships

December 9, 2023 – from University of Toronto Climate Positive Energy
Titled “Decarbonization ecosystems: the impact of university partnerships,” this panel features the University of Toronto’s 46-partner decarbonization project, the Italian University Network (RUS)’ university decarbonization guidelines, the Climate Leadership Network’s 450+ institution decarbonization plans, and the UK Universities Climate Network and U7+ network leadership initiative.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Inside Brittney Griner's Russia arrest, detainment and release

December 8, 2023 – from ESPN
Colas set up a series of all-star phone calls, for her own education and for disconcerted WNBA players: Fiona Hill, a former senior White House adviser and universally well-regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on Putin and Russia; Malcolm Nance, a counterintelligence expert and MSNBC commentator; Danielle Gilbert, a political science professor (now at Northwestern University) and expert on state-sponsored hostage taking; Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania with expertise on Russia.

Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | How the US is making it illegal for students to disagree with Israel

December 5, 2023 – from Chicago Tribune
The talk on college campuses earlier this fall was about new rules to protect free speech. Now it’s about canceling Palestinian support groups and banning the phrase “from the river to the sea.” The Hamas attack and Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza brought a sharp reversal in the diagnosis of what’s wrong with college these days: from too little free speech to too much. What happened?

Ari Shaw, Ph.D. | Global issues to watch in 2024

December 1, 2023 – from Chatham House
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, enacted in May 2023, is one of the most draconian laws yet against LGBTQ people, imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Politicians in Kenya and Ghana have proposed equally repressive legislation, and anti-LGBTQ violence is increasing in Nigeria and Cameroon. Legal challenges to the Ugandan law have been filed, and a favourable ruling in the Constitutional Court could stop copy-cat legislation.

Napon Jatusripitak, Ph.D. | Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 45/3

December 1, 2023 – from ISEAS Publishing
Contemporary Southeast Asia (CSEA) is one of ISEAS’ flagship publications. Now in its fourth decade of publication, CSEA has succeeded in building up an international reputation as one of Southeast Asia's premier academic journals. The aim of the peer-reviewed journal is to provide up to date and in-depth analysis of critical trends and developments in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The primary focus is on issues related to domestic politics in Southeast Asian countries, regional architecture and community building, military, strategic and security affairs, conflict zones and relations among the Great Powers. CSEA publishes authoritative, insightful and original contributions from scholars, think-tank analysts, journalists and policymakers from across the globe.


Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D. | Education Behind the Wall: Why and How We Teach College in Prison

November 30, 2023 – from New Books Network
Why are college programs offered in some prisons? How are the students selected? Where do the professors come from? What are the logistics of preparing to teach, and to learn, behind the wall? How does the digital divide affect these students? Today’s book is: Education Behind the Wall: Why and How We Teach College in Prison (Brandeis UP, 2022) edited by Mneesha Gellman, which is an edited volume reflecting on different aspects of teaching in prison and different points of view.

Professor Tabitha Bonilla and Amanda Sahar d’Urso, Ph.D. | The Ballpark | Extra Innings: Religion over Race with Dr Amanda Sahar d’Urso and Dr Tabitha Bonilla

November 29, 2023 – from LSE Player
In 2023 the Phelan US Centre spoke to Dr Amanda Sahar d’Urso, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University and Dr Tabitha Bonilla, Associate Professor at Northwestern University, about their recent article Religion or Race? Using Intersectionality to Examine the Role of Muslim Identity and Evaluations on Belonging in the United States in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, which they also wrote about on the US Centre’s USAPP blog. They discuss the role of religious and racial identity in America today. This Extra Inning was produced by Mohid Malik and Anderson Tan.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | Jared Kushner Behind the Scenes Role in Donald Trump's 2024 Run

November 28, 2023 – from Newsweek
Jaime Dominguez, a political science professor at Northwestern University, told Newsweek that despite Kushner's efforts, the interview "will do little to mobilize Latino voters." "As always, that will have to come from [get out the vote] efforts and on-the-ground campaigning," he said. He noted that the "new corporate leaders at Univision, perhaps, may want to widen their audience and, therefore, are offering a platform for the GOP to compete for ideas that will resonate with the Latino electorate."

Professor William Reno | The Principal/Agent Problem With Military Assistance to Ukraine

November 28, 2023 – from University of Notre Dame International Security Center
William Reno is the Payson S Wild Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. His current research focuses on the politics of foreign military training. He is the PI of a Defense Education - Civilian University Partnership (Minerva) research project, "Foreign Military Training: Building Effective Armed Forces in Weak States." His previous research concentrated on the politics of conflict in weak and collapsed states.

Professor Kim Marion Suiseeya | Researchers and Ojibwe to Use Environmental Data to Strengthen Tribal Sovereignty

November 22, 2023 – from Association of American Universities
A Northwestern University-led research team has received a $2 million grant over three years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build on its work with Ojibwe tribes in the western Great Lakes region studying the health and socio-ecological conditions of manoomin (wild rice in Ojibwe). “Manoomin is foundational to Ojibwe identity — it is part of their origin story,” said Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, an environmental social scientist and the principal investigator of the new NSF grant. “The main threat identified by our Ojibwe partners regarding manoomin’s decline is an erosion of tribal sovereignty and their sense of belonging and well-being,” she said. “Across the globe, Indigenous people are the most vulnerable to climate change. We have a lot to learn about resilience from them.”

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr | Overwhelming support for Evanston reparations program, survey finds

November 22, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
The population of Evanston is highly educated and has been very engaged in conversations about racial equity over the past several years, so we expected to find more support for reparations here than we might see in other parts of the nation, but we are stunned that more than 60 percent of every ethnic and racial demographic group thinks the program is good public policy for the city.

Professor Jacqueline Stevens | Breaking Boundaries Podcast

November 22, 2023 – from Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
The ideas shaping the modern world are generated by connections across fields, sectors and geographies. Our new "Breaking Boundaries" podcast features stories of successful collaborations fueling progress toward reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Episodes will spotlight idea catalysts and innovators working across borders of all kinds to address complex global challenges ranging from the climate crisis and food insecurity to poverty and inequality.

Professor Daniel Krcmaric | When do leader backgrounds matter? Evidence from the President’s Daily Brief

November 22, 2023 – from Sage Journals
A wave of recent scholarship shows that the backgrounds of political leaders shape their behavior once in office. This paper shifts the literature in a new direction by investigating the conditions under which foreign observers think a leader's background is relevant. We argue that pre-tenure biographical attributes are most informative to outsiders during leadership transitions—unique periods where the new ruler does not yet have a track record—because a leader's background provides clues about how that leader might govern. But as time passes, foreign observers quickly discount the leader's biography and instead evaluate the leader's observable behavior.

Professor Alex Hertel-Fernandez | How Academics Can Bust Administrative Burdens

November 21, 2023 – from Institute of Global Politics
On October 30th, IGP Faculty Advisory Board Member and Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Alex Hertel-Fernandez, participated in a webinar hosted by The Scholars Strategy Network and Washington Center for Equitable Growth on how academics can write comments to the federal government to reduce administrative burdens. The webinar featured Sam Berger, Associate Administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Kyle Gardiner, Policy Analyst at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Jordan Kyle, Research Fellow in the Poverty, Gender, and Inclusion Unit of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Miranda Yaver, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College.

Christopher Dinkel, Ph.D. | The Future of Work and U.S. Public Opinion on Noncompete Law: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment

November 21, 2023 – from Wiley
Although policymakers have recently shown a keen interest in noncompete reform, a gap exists in the literature concerning what the U.S. public's preferences are regarding noncompetes. Therefore, this article presents the empirical findings of a nationally-representative survey of the American public on the noncompete law governing employees. Based on the results of a conjoint experiment within the survey, this article finds that the U.S public prefers that noncompetes be used to protect any types of confidential information, rather than simply customer lists or employee training investments. Additionally, the findings do not show clear support either for or against noncompete exemptions based on an employee's earnings level.

Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Schill’s committee on preventing antisemitism and hate meets mixed responses from students, faculty

November 21, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Schill’s announcement that Kellogg Prof. Efraim Benmelechwill lead the committee — alongside SESP Dean Bryan Brayboy — has also attracted some criticism. Benmelech served six years in the Israeli Defense Forces in the 1990s, eventually serving as a commander. The minimum required length of military service for Israeli men is two years and eight months. Political science Prof. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd said she worries Benmelech’s former service in the IDF could bias the committee toward certain kinds of hate. “The IDF is associated with the state of Israel, and so that person presumably is going to be attuned to or have an ear for anti-Israel sentiment,” said Hurd, who signed the Thursday Letter to the Editor by faculty and staff. “I’m afraid — as a scholar of religion and politics — that having your antenna up for anti-Israel sentiment … sets up that kind of inquisitorial mentality and

Monique Newton, Ph.D. Candidate | The road to sustained success: An interview with Chicago Sky general manager Jeff Pagliocca

November 20, 2023 – from The Next
Chicago Sky fans got a sweet surprise this Halloween when the organization announced Jeff Pagliocca would serve as the team’s new general manager. Pagliocca will now work closely with new head coach Teresa Weatherspoon and Sky ownership, as well as president and CEO Adam Fox to build a championship-caliber WNBA team. After the introductory press conference on Nov. 7, Pagliocca discussed hise approach to building the roster, his background in player development, and his overall vision for the Sky moving forward.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | The plight of the hostages in Gaza

November 20, 2023 – from WBUR
It’s been more than 40 days since Hamas kidnapped some 240 people in Israel. Only four have been released. Israeli officials say two hostages have been found dead in Gaza. Hamas has not yet allowed any international group to visit the hostages. Meanwhile, the head of Israel's national security council says there will be no ceasefire until "the massive release of all hostages." So their families wait in despair. "It’s hard to be in the hands of people who are so cruel, people who have completely different morals than we do," Gili Roman says. "And I cannot control it." Today, On Point: Negotiations, political ramifications and the plight of the hostages in Gaza.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | US considering tactical recovery plans for hostages in Gaza

November 18, 2023 – from ABC News
The various potential courses of action unfolding simultaneously against the intricate web of diplomatic negotiations reflect the unparalleled complexity of the Gaza hostage crisis, which involves a massive number of individuals now believed to be held by Hamas and other terrorist groups through various locations in the besieged enclave for more than 40 days. "There are a few different things that can make hostage takings and hostage recovery negotiations extremely complicated. This hostage situation has all of them," said Danielle Gilbert, a member of the Bipartisan Commission on Hostage Taking and Wrongful Detention at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and political scientist at Northwestern University.

Claudia López Hernández | Conversatorio ´La Bogotá que deja Claudia López´ Temas: Movilidad, seguridad y agenda social

November 17, 2023 – from Claudia López Hernández (
la Bogotá que deja Claudia López Ah perfecto maravilloso buen título la Bogotá que deja Claudia López Estamos ya terminando mandato fueron 4 años es la primera mujer en 400 y pico años de historia de esta ciudad que ASUME las riendas de la de la capital y eso tiene que haber dejado un impacto en estos 4 años pues ya ustedes conocen buena parte de la historia la hemos conversado con la alcaldesa de los desafíos de los momentos duros críticos que ella y el resto de mand aros del país vivieron pero hoy vamos a poner la lupa en esta ciudad que deja Claudia López en tres temas que sé que es la es es lo que nos nos conmueve a todos los que vivimos en esta ciudad el tema de infraestructura el tema de la seguridad por supuesto y el tema de todo lo que fue el estas inversiones En el tema social que fueron

Julianne Beck | New Faculty Bring Energy and a Collaborative Spirit to Northwestern

November 16, 2023 – from Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy
New faculty have joined Northwestern University this fall – several with a special interest in sustainability and energy topics. Their unique expertise brings opportunity for students from the classroom to the laboratories. It also sets the stage for discoveries that will lead to a more sustainable future.

Several | LTE: NU Faculty across schools respond to President Schill: Protect academic freedom and the right to dissent

November 16, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
As faculty at Northwestern, we are seriously dismayed and concerned by the email you sent on Nov. 13, “Announcing new committee on antisemitism and hate.” We join our colleagues at other universities such as Harvard University, Columbia University and Brown University who are disturbed by administrative messaging that conflicts with our collective commitment to intellectual freedom and rigorous, open debate and contributes to a campus climate that erodes these freedoms.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | How Qatar Became the World’s Go-To Hostage Negotiator

November 16, 2023 – from The New Yorker
Hostage-taking is a cruel crime; it is also a violation of international humanitarian law. But hostage crises are not resolved through slogans or posturing, and rarely through rescue or military operations. In the vast majority of cases, they are resolved through negotiations—and, in order to negotiate, opposing parties need an effective interlocutor. “In addition to the contacts and reputation for securing these deals, you need the process, the skill set, and the division of labor,” Dani Gilbert, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University and a leading expert of hostage policy, told me. Being a successful hostage negotiator is “an influential position to be in. To be needed and valued by more powerful countries gives them the position of a real power player on a geopolitical issue that is getting a lot of attention.”

Professor Ian Hurd | Jessica Hopper talks unequal representation of female musicians in annual Weber Lecture

November 16, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Writer, filmmaker and music journalist Jessica Hopper described her experience in the music industry at this year’s annual Weber Lecture. Hopper also highlighted the significant but underappreciated contributions female artists have made to music Wednesday at the Segal Visitors Center. Hopper, 47, has written for numerous music publications like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. Citing journalists like Ellen Willis as influences for her writing, she said she applies a similar focus on feminism to documentary filmmaking. Coming off of the release of her 2022 docuseries “Women Who Rock,” detailing the experiences of over 40 musicians, she’s now working on her first feature film.

Lauren Baker and Professor Kim Marion Suiseeya | Northwestern Sends Third Delegation to COP28

November 13, 2023 – from The Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Lauren Baker is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern. Her research examines the domestic impact of hosting global environmental governance events such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (UNFCCC COPs). Using ethnographic methods, her dissertation project focuses on the politics of garbage to illustrate how the spectacle of these mega-events are constructed and the political possibilities they create and foreclose. She is a graduate assistant and instructor with the Northwestern Middle East and North African Studies (MENA) cluster and taught several courses with Chicago Field Studies. She previously worked as Assistant Director at the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS) and Associate Editor at The Monkey Cage, a political science blog hosted by The Washington Post.

Professor Chloe Thurston | The Political Development of American Debt Relief

November 13, 2023 – from University of Chicago Press
Americans have a long history with debt. They also have a long history of mobilizing for debt relief. Throughout the nineteenth century, indebted citizens demanded government protection from their financial burdens, challenging readings of the Constitution that exalted property rights at the expense of the vulnerable. Their appeals shaped the country’s periodic experiments with state debt relief and federal bankruptcy law, constituting a pre-industrial safety net. Yet, the twentieth century saw the erosion of debtor politics and the eventual retrenchment of bankruptcy protections. The Political Development of American Debt Relief traces how geographic, sectoral, and racial politics shaped debtor activism over time, enhancing our understanding of state-building, constitutionalism, and social policy.

Professor William Reno | It's Time to Ukrainify U.S. Military Assistance

November 10, 2023 – from Modern War Institute at West Point
Ukraine is in a bloody slugfest with Russia. It wasn’t supposed to become an ugly war of attrition—when Russian forces invaded last year, almost nobody expected Ukraine to hold out so long, much less hold its own. In less than two years, Western governments have provided over $80 billion of military aid to Ukraine. Along with training, that material support aimed to build a modern Ukrainian force that could conduct dynamic combined arms maneuver, which requires the close coordination of armor, infantry, artillery, and airpower. But some of the Western military training is not working. The US military, in particular, as the leading provider of support to Ukrainian forces, is repeating the mistakes of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | This Era of Hostage Diplomacy Requires New Answers

November 9, 2023 – from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
From Hamas to Russia to Iran, hostage-taking is on the rise once again and hostage diplomacy has entered that arsenal of foreign policy tools by countries around the world. This week, Northwestern University’s Dani Gilbert guides us through what is new, what has worked and failed in the past, and why countries need new ways to respond to hostage-taking today.

Christoph Nguyen, PhD | Attributing blame: how political parties in Germany leverage cooperative federalism

November 9, 2023 – from Taylor & Francis Group
This study investigates how political parties used the federal structure of government for discursive blame attribution strategies in parliamentary debates during the Covid-19 crisis. The analysis focuses on the German case which is considered an embodiment of cooperative federalism. Largely intertwined responsibilities and joint decision making provide incentives for self-serving blame attribution strategies.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | With government funding running out soon, expect more brinkmanship despite public dismay at political gridlock

November 9, 2023 – from The Conversation
Much of the news coverage of the discussions and negotiations aimed at averting a government shutdown on Nov. 17, 2023, relies on pundits and their unnamed sources, on leaks, speculation, wishful thinking and maybe even the reading of tea leaves. The Conversation tapped an expert on congressional behavior, Northwestern University political scientist Laurel Harbridge-Yong, and asked her what she sees when she looks at the prolonged trouble Congress has had over the past few years coming to agreement on the debt ceiling and spending to keep the government open.

Rana Khoury | PhD Rana Khoury Leads Roundtable Discussion

November 8, 2023 – from American Political Science Association
Finally, the roundtable presents a creative discussion convened by Rana B. Khoury, a member of the editorial board, and Sean Yom on the principles and process of conflict research in the Middle East. It presents an edited transcript of a Zoom discussion involving five junior and senior scholars (Anne Irfan, Kevin Mazur, Sarah Parkinson, Stacey Philbrick Yadav, and Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl), who have all recently published well-received volumes on civil or interstate wars in the region. The wide-ranging dialogue touches on many important issues, among them the perils of fieldwork, the dilemmas of data sensitivity, the challenge of conceptualization, and which forms of knowledge production matter for the academy.

Samir Mayekar | Former deputy mayor Samir Mayekar appointed head of Polsky Center

November 8, 2023 – from Hyde Park Herald
Samir Mayekar, Chicago’s former deputy mayor of economic development, is the new leader of the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mayekar, who served as deputy mayor under former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, is also a former White House staffer for the Barack Obama administration. In May, as the Lightfoot administration prepared to hand the city keys to Mayor Brandon Johnson, Mayekar learned about the position over breakfast with a friend at the U. of C. He graduated from Northwestern in 2006 with a degree in political science.

Loubna El Amine | Across the Border

November 7, 2023 – from London Review of Books
Official history textbooks in Lebanon stop in 1943 because people cannot agree on one version of the history that followed. They do not agree on the causes of the civil war from 1975 to 1990, or on what role various foreign forces, including the Palestine Liberation Organisation, played in it. But there is widespread agreement about the atrocities committed by Israel, including in Lebanon. There is also widespread agreement that the Palestinians have been denied freedom and the right to a dignified life in their homeland.

Diana K. Elhard | Maya Peoples’ Territorial Governance and Vulnerability in Climate Change Policy and Action

November 6, 2023 – from Cultural Survival
The links between climate change, food systems, and biodiversity protection are clear from the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples and their diverse knowledge systems. As the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP28 faces the challenge of including Indigenous Peoples’ environmental stewardship and community-based policy contributions, ancestral Maya organizations and farmers in Campeche, Mexico offer a variety of potential solutions rooted in the affirmation of collective rights and leadership roles that honor the urgency of the action needed for the continuation of life on our planet.

Professor Emeritus Wesley Skogan | Books Examine Aspects of Inequality and Security

November 6, 2023 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
In France, the security management system is centralized and state controlled. However, many other actors are involved in what is now known as "the coproduction of security" alongside the police nationale and gendarmerie, the two French national police forces. In their book Police et Société en France (Presses de Science Po, 2023) which also appeared in English, political scientists IPR fellow emeritus Wesley Skogan and Jacques de Maillard of the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin unveil a collection of 20 original essays that provide a compelling examination of the French police system and its role in the 21st century.

Professor Jeff Rice and Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong| Northwestern’s BridgeUSA hosts first campus-wide conference ‘NUNITED’

November 6, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern’s chapter of BridgeUSA hosted its first campus-wide conference, “NUNITED,” at Norris University Center on Saturday. The all-day event featured panels, workshops and discussions centered around collaboration and dialogue in mainstream politics. BridgeUSA is a national organization with more than 50 college chapters dedicated to creating opportunities for constructive discussion about political issues on campuses. It also trains students in leadership on conflict navigation and “building bridges.”

Zhihang Ruan | SEAREG Fellows

November 5, 2023 – from Duke Center for International Development
SEAREG Fellows are advanced PhD students or newly minted PhDs in the social sciences who display unusual promise as scholars of Southeast Asia. They are selected semi-annually via a competitive process.

Matej Jungwirth | Graduate student parent group finds “disconnect” between caregiving needs and NU resources

November 2, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
The Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Parent Peer Support Group met Wednesday at the Women’s Center to present survey results that revealed a gap between their caregiving needs and resources provided by Northwestern. The group outlined plans to advocate for increased stipends and subsidized healthcare in partnership with the NU Graduate Workers Union.

Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Democrat Civil War Is Reaching a Boiling Point

November 2, 2023 – from Newsweek
Democrats are divided over the U.S. response to the war, which began after Hamas launched thousands of missiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since said his country is at war with Hamas, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, electricity and medicine to Gaza while launching an invasion. About 1,400 people in Israel and 9,061 in Gaza have been killed amid the fighting, according to the Associated Press. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Northwestern University professor of political science and religious studies, also chair of the latter, told Newsweek Thursday that seeing these divisions grow amid the conflict is unsurprising.


Professor Danielle Gilbert | What we know about the ongoing hostage crisis in Gaza

October 31, 2023 – from Vox
Gilbert says that Hamas’s decision to take hostages is a continuation of these prior practices and also a continuation of the group’s alleged efforts to use civilians as “human shields.” Hamas has often been accused by Israel of locating its bases or launching weapons in Gaza near or in residential areas. Recently, Israel claimed Hamas’s headquarters is located under one of Gaza City’s main hospitals, for example, an accusation Hamas has refuted. In this case, Hamas could be using the presence of hostages in Gaza’s tunnels to protect its operatives.

Ricardo Court | The Office of the Provost hosts new Generative AI conversation series

October 29, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
The Office of the Provost hosted the first events in its conversation series focused on generative artificial intelligence Thursday afternoon. The conversation centered around the future of AI and an exploration of the ethical considerations that come with it. Ricardo Galliano Court said using information and text from the internet where there is a lot of repetitive and low-quality information and then reformatting it for a professor creates a number of problems, including concerns around academic integrity and proper citations. Court said errors are an inherent part of a student’s thinking process. He said generative AI can assist in the act of thinking but is unlikely to replace the act of critical thinking, in which ideas are carefully developed and refined.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Why Hasn’t Israel Invaded Gaza?

October 27, 2023 – from US News
It’s been roughly two weeks since Israel’s military directed the evacuation of more than 1 million people in northern Gaza within 24 hours. The move seemed to signal an imminent ground invasion to seek out and destroy members of Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group responsible for the surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 people. While Israel has performed raids in Gaza, the larger ground invasion hasn’t happened, and the delay could expose further challenges for Israel’s operations.

James Druckman | How Title IX is undermining college sports

October 26, 2023 – from Good Authority
It has been roughly 50 years since the passage of a number of federal-level, liberal feminist policies designed to address sex discrimination, pregnancy and credit discrimination, pay inequity, etc. – but there is little social science that assesses the outcomes or impacts of these policies on gender inequality. At the same time, there is a common presumption that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been extremely successful – particularly in the realm of school-sponsored athletics. This stems from people assuming that the inclusion of women in intercollegiate and interscholastic sports, relative to near total exclusion before 1972, is a sign of increased equality.

Daniel Krcmaric, Stephen C. Nelson, and Andrew Roberts | Billionaire Politicians: A Global Perspective

October 25, 2023 – from Cambridge University Press
We introduce an original dataset of formal political participation for over 2,000 individuals included in the Forbes Billionaires List. We find that billionaire politicians are a surprisingly common phenomenon: Over 11% of the world’s billionaires have held or sought political office. Even compared to other elite groups known for producing politicians from their ranks, this is a high rate of political participation. Moreover, billionaires focus their political ambitions on influential positions, have a strong track record of winning elections, and lean to the right ideologically. We also document substantial cross-national variation: a country’s number of billionaire politicians is not simply a product of its total number of billionaires, but is instead related to regime type.

Monique Newton | ‘I’m coming here to stir things up’: Inside Teresa Weatherspoon’s intro presser as Chicago Sky head coach

October 25, 2023 – from The Next
You could tell by the weather forecast on Tuesday that the day would be special. A bright and sunny 75-degree October day, Chicago couldn’t have scripted it any better for the introduction of new Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. Inside Wintrust Arena, the second floor overflowed with cameras, catered food filling the outskirts. Rows of seats for media personnel were lined up in front of a table with three microphones. On the heels of a challenging season, the excitement in the arena was infectious.

Richard Powell | Professor Richard Powell on the importance of student internship opportunities

October 25, 2023 – from The Maine Campus
In his twenty-third year teaching at the University of Maine, political science professor Richard Powell has extensive experience in both his discipline and the field of education. He has taught at numerous universities in America and China and is the founding director of the Cohen Institute for Leadership and Public Service. This semester, Powell is teaching an array of political science and leadership studies courses along with working on numerous projects related to his discipline.

James Druckman | Political rhetoric changes views on democratic principles, study finds

October 25, 2023 – from Notre Dame News
Most people will agree that over the past several years, American political leaders have been saying — and sharing on social media — unusual things that politicians would never have said a decade or two ago. At times, their words can seem out of character for what a leader should typically say and can even appear antidemocratic in nature. As our nation heads into the 2024 election year, what our leaders say will matter even more when it comes to fulfilling the ultimate democratic process of electing the next U.S. president.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr | Overwhelming support for Evanston reparations program, survey finds

October 24, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
“The population of Evanston is highly educated and has been very engaged in conversations about racial equity over the past several years, so we expected to find more support for reparations here than we might see in other parts of the nation, but we are stunned that more than 60 percent of every ethnic and racial demographic group thinks the program is good public policy for the city.”

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Overwhelming support for Evanston reparations program, survey finds

October 24, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
A new survey conducted by Northwestern University's Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy (CSDD) and in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago has revealed that the city of Evanston's historic reparations program garners widespread approval and support across every ethnic and racial demographic group within the city and across all nine of the city’s political wards. Alvin Tillery, director of the CSDD and a professor of political science at Northwestern University said, “The population of Evanston is highly educated and has been very engaged in conversations about racial equity over the past several years, so we expected to find more support for reparations here than we might see in other parts of the nation, but we are stunned that more than 60 percent of every ethnic and racial demographic group thinks the program is good public policy for the city.”

Yoes C. Kenawas | Jokowi’s dynasty-building risks tensions with his PDI-P party base

October 22, 2023 – from East Asia Forum
Just three days after he became a member of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) in September 2023, Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep, was appointed the party’s chairman. Kaesang’s ascendancy to PSI’s leadership caps what is probably the fastest political rise ever seen in Indonesian politics for someone who is not the founder of a political party.

Silvia Otero-Bahamon | Non-pharmaceutical interventions to combat COVID-19 in the Americas described through daily sub-national data

October 21, 2023 – from Scientific Data
This dataset covers national and subnational non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the Americas. Prior to the development of a vaccine, NPI were governments’ primary tools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Variation in subnational responses to COVID-19 is high and is salient for health outcomes. This dataset captures governments’ dynamic, varied NPI to combat COVID-19 for 80% of Latin America’s population from each country’s first case through December 2021. These daily data encompass all national and subnational units in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | What history reveals about the current Israeli hostage crisis

October 20, 2023 – from Vox
The current hostage crisis puts Israel in a position unlike any of the previous emergencies it has faced. As Danielle Gilbert, an assistant professor at Northwestern University who is an expert in hostage diplomacy, has written, the sheer number of victims, along with logistical and organizational challenges, are coalescing in a way that will make it extremely difficult to get the hostages out. “Even if the Israeli government were to decide to pursue negotiations, who would they call? As any negotiator will tell you, it’s extremely difficult to negotiate when it’s unclear who’s in charge,” Gilbert writes. Baskin, the hostage negotiator, says it’s not clear that the Israeli government is interested in negotiating with them at all.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Helping faculty clearly communicate their research and expertise

October 20, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
Northwestern launches a new initiative with resources on how to speak and write for the public. A joint initiative, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Global Marketing and Communications (OGMC), offers a series of in-person and virtual workshops throughout the academic year to help faculty speak and write about their work using lay-friendly, compelling language. Information on the suite of trainings and resources can be found at a new one-stop webpage.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | ISSS Best Security Article Award

October 20, 2023 – from International Studies Association
The purpose of the award is to recognize an article by an ISA member on any aspect of security studies that excels in originality, significance, and rigor, published in the prior calendar year.

Shmuel Nili | Ex-Hamas Leader Criticized for 'Sitting' Out War With Israel

October 20, 2023 – from Newsweek
"When [Biden] sees Hamas having basically genocidal intent, he's just unequivocal and opposing it," Nili said. "When he says Hamas makes ISIS look rational, I think it's both on point objectively. And I don't know if he sort of takes it personally, he would often say at different points that one doesn't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. I think that's a heartfelt conviction he has."

Professor Danielle Gilbert | How deals like the U.S.-Iran prisoner exchange come together

October 19, 2023 – from CBS News
Five Americans who were detained in Iran have finally returned to the U.S., landing Tuesday morning at a military base in Virginia. The Americans were freed Monday after monthslong secret negotiations between the Biden administration and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dani Gilbert, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, joined CBS News to discuss what went into those negotiations.

Professor Wendy Pearlman | LTE: Open letter on NU leaders’ responses to war in Palestine and Israel

October 16, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
We write as NU faculty members who are scholars of the Middle East and North Africa to present a perspective on the current violence in Palestine and Israel that is distinct from the one offered by University leaders in recent communications to the NU community. We also write as faculty who care for all of those in our community who are affected by these events. We condemn all violence that kills civilians and we mourn the deaths of Palestinians as well as Israelis. We grieve with their loved ones. There are omissions in several of these recent messages from leadership. For example, University President Michael Schill’s communication on Oct. 12 made no mention of the violence that the Israeli military has undertaken against Palestinians in Gaza since last Saturday, and that is occurring as we write.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Chicago-area family trapped in Gaza waiting near Egyptian border to escape war with Hamas

October 16, 2023 – from ABC 7
"The bottom line is Gaza is an open air prison. No one's going in or out until and unless the there's an agreement that involves Egyptians, the Israelis and Hamas," said Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, a Northwestern political science professor and Middle East expert. Hurd said with more than 100 aid trucks waiting to get in and thousands of people in need, there are security questions about who's crossing and whether an Israeli bombing campaign has damaged the gate mechanism. It may all come down to who blinks first.

Amanda D'Urso | Georgetown Announces 2023-2024 Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellows

October 16, 2023 – from Georgetown University
Amanda Sahar d’Urso is in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences. D’Urso studies American politics and focuses on racial and ethnic identities which are ambiguous in American legal and social spheres. Her current book project details how Middle Easterners and North Africans have been racialized throughout the 20th and 21st century, despite being legally classified as “White.” Before joining Georgetown, she was a Guarini Dean Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth University with joint appointments in the Department of Government and the Program in Quantitative Social Science. D’Urso received her Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University and is an alumna of the University of Virginia.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | How the Israel-Gaza Hostage Crisis Could Play Out

October 16, 2023 – from Time Magazine
The goal then was strategic. “It was a huge part of those movements’ ability to gain attention on a world stage, to coerce massive concessions from not only the Israeli government, but also the U.S. government and other actors around the world,” says Danielle Gilbert, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University who specializes in hostage diplomacy.

Mauro Gilli | Centre for International Security - Hertie School

October 16, 2023 – from @thehertieschool Twitter
Exciting news! We're thrilled to welcome @Mauro_Gilli from @ETH_en as a visiting lecturer for the Spring term at @Hertie_Security! Dr. Gilli will explore topics ranging from military operations to technology and more with our students. Welcome to @thehertieschool!

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Why the Gaza hostage crisis is different

October 13, 2023 – from Good Authority
The Oct. 7 Hamas incursion into Israel – on the 50th anniversary of the surprise Yom Kippur War – was stunning for the apparent intelligence failure and reports of sheer brutality. Hamas killed more than 1,000 people.One shocking feature of the attack was that Hamas also kidnapped an estimated 150 people – mostly Israelis but also citizens of several other countries – starting an ongoing hostage crisis that has gripped the world.By Thursday, the Israeli government identified 97 hostages held in Gaza. This is an evolving crisis: much remains unknown about where the hostages are being held and how the crisis will end. In the meantime, here’s how I’m thinking about Hamas’s hostage taking.

Shmulik Nili, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, and Danielle Gilbert | Experts Available on the Israel-Hamas War

October 12, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
Northwestern University experts are available to discuss the evolution of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, hostage recovery and the ethics of war. Connect with faculty using their contact information below or reach out to media relations for assistance. Sociocultural anthropologist Jessica Winegar can speak to views of the conflict in other countries of the Middle East, U.S. media bias in covering the events, activism in support of Palestinian rights in the U.S. and the general situation in Gaza under Israeli occupation.

Wendy Pearlman | Syria Divided & Perspectives on Politics

October 12, 2023 – from Project on Middle East Political Science
Wendy Pearlman of Northwestern University also joins Marc Lynch to discuss the Perspectives on Politics journal, of which she serves as co-editor. The journal aims to foster dialogue and collaboration among political scientists with wide-ranging subfield specializations, epistemological perspectives, analytical approaches, and thematic interests.? The journal plays a role as an impactful conduit for political science’s engagement beyond the academy. (Starts at 34:21).

Ari Shaw | Why Anti-LGBTQ Attacks Matter for Democracy

October 12, 2023 – from Council on Foreign Relations
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden convened the second Summit for Democracy, in which global leaders took stock of the state of democracy around the world and measured progress on commitments that countries made during the first summit fifteen months prior. At the time, Biden remarked that “we are turning the tide” away from autocracy and towards “greater freedom, greater dignity, and greater democracy.” His observation was notable, in part, because it was said against a backdrop of what many indicators suggest is a global rise in authoritarianism. According to Freedom House, more than three quarters of the world’s population lives in a country that has some restrictions on freedom—the highest proportion in more than a quarter-century.

Jeff Feng | Meet Jeff Feng, 2023 Advancing Research Grants for Early Career Scholars Recipient

October 9, 2023 – from Political Science NOW
Jeff Feng is a STRONG Manoomin Collective Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. Their research and teaching focus on the intersections of climate justice and queer liberation, environmental justice, and social movements. They examine the contributions of queer, trans, and Two-Spirit activists to fighting climate injustices and analyze how power, privilege, and marginalization shape climate justice policies and movements. As a scholar-activist, they advance climate justice by researching alongside organizers, such as those in the Central Coast Climate Justice Network, and by teaching courses that pair students with environmental justice partners to complete collaborative projects.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | The Prisoner’s Dilemma: Hostage Diplomacy 101

October 6, 2023 – from Irregular Warfare Podcast
Dr. Dani Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. Her award-winning research explores the causes and consequences of hostage taking and hostage recovery. She previously served as a professor of Military & Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy, a non-resident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, and a Peace Scholar with the U.S. Institute of Peace. In August of 2022, she authored a Foreign Affairs article entitled, “The Prisoners Dilemma,” which serves as the anchor for episode 89.

Nicolette Alayon | Meet Nicolette Alayon, 2023 Fund for Latino Scholarship Recipient

October 6, 2023 – from American Political Science Association
With the Ocean Decades Champion funding, these women are extending their efforts far beyond their academic interests to advance our ability to thrive in a changing coastal environment and to engage with and solve the problems of underserved communities in these areas. NSF and KADF have collectively contributed over half a million dollars to support the careers of these leading women.

Nathan Dile | What Separates an All-Time Great

October 5, 2023 – from Common Ground Scholar
On October 21, 2021, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced its 75th season’s anniversary team to commemorate the seventy-five greatest NBA players of all-time. The NBA compiled a group of writers, NBA executives, and current and former players to create the list. However, it is unclear what metrics, standards, or views the voters used to develop their respective lists. Using open-source information from and the NBA’s official website, we created an original dataset with twenty-six variables normalized via z-scores for the 145 players who have made at least three All-Star games after the NBA–ABA (American Basketball Association) merger between the 1976–1977 and 2022–2023 seasons to examine certain questions.

Professor William Reno | Trump's NATO Warning Comes Back to Bite Ukraine

October 4, 2023 – from Newsweek
When asked about NATO's defense spending, Northwestern University political science professor William Reno told Newsweek that "Trump is right, but right in the same way that a broken clock is on time twice a day." "The situation is more complex than a lack of will among feckless allies," he said. "It is hard to ramp up production." Reno added that defense "contractors live in an unpredictable world" where the Biden Administration has to try to increase munitions "within a budget deal with House Republicans that limits defense spending." "It's true that NATO—including the U.S.—has under-invested in production of munitions. It's hard to explain to voters why they should pay more taxes to produce something that ideally sits on a shelf," Reno said.

Professor Kim Marion Suiseeya | Trek to Chile Widens Northwestern Students’ Perspective

October 2, 2023 – from Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering
The trip was the first for the new Global Engineering Trek in Energy Storage & Critical Minerals. Developed through the Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience (CESR), this immersive Global Engineering Treks Initiative was offered through McCormick Global Initiatives (MGI) in partnership with the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy and the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. The cohort was led by Jennifer Dunn, professor of chemical and biological engineering and (by courtesy) mechanical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering; Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, associate professor of political science at Northwestern’s Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences; and Rafael Urbana Casanova, a PhD candidate in plant biology and conservation through Weinberg and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Professor Kim Marion Suiseeya | Trek to Chile Widens Northwestern Students’ Perspective

October 2, 2023 – from Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering
The trip was the first for the new Global Engineering Trek in Energy Storage & Critical Minerals. Developed through the Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience (CESR), this immersive Global Engineering Treks Initiative was offered through McCormick Global Initiatives (MGI) in partnership with the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy and the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. The cohort was led by Jennifer Dunn, professor of chemical and biological engineering and (by courtesy) mechanical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering; Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, associate professor of political science at Northwestern’s Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences; and Rafael Urbana Casanova, a PhD candidate in plant biology and conservation through Weinberg and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Professor Anthony Chen | Anthony Chen talks affirmative action at first Institute for Policy Research Colloquium

October 2, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Sociology and political science Prof. Anthony Chen kicked off the Institute for Policy Research’s Fay Lomax Cook fall colloquium series with a talk Monday. In the discussion, he contextualized the June U.S. Supreme Court decision: Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. He said the decision reflects the counter-majoritarian difficulty ? unelected institutions like judges or courts making decisions that go against the popular will. Authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the 2023 case concluded that Harvard’s and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s admissions programs violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Yoes C Kenawas | The irony of Indonesia's democracy: The rise of dynastic politics in the post-Suharto era

September 29, 2023 – from Sage Journals
This essay aims to study why politicians engage in dynastic politics within democratic institutions and how they reject institutional changes that may limit their ability to pass on political power to family members. While scholars have emphasized institutions as an enabling factor, it is unclear how the power struggle manifested to preserve the institutions that continually suit the interests of aspiring dynasts amidst the democracy shift and pressure. This study seeks to fill the gap by delving into how political players struggle to preserve the structures that allow them to form political dynasties. This study also presents an original empirical conclusion demonstrating that Indonesian political dynasties more than tripled between 2010 and 2018, or in only one election cycle.

Elizabeth Good | Women Advocating for Women: Power and Patriarchy with Elizabeth Good

September 28, 2023 – from Harvard Women and Public Policy Program
Do greater numbers of women delegates increase the likelihood peace agreements contain explicit provisions for women? How do the formal positions held by women delegates, and their corresponding power, influence this relationship? Elizabeth explores these questions to advance theories of representation and offer insight into future Women, Peace and Security policy.? Elizabeth Good is an International Security Program Pre-Doctoral Fello??w at the Harvard Kennedy School's ?Belfer Center, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellow, and a PhD candidate at Northwestern University. Her research uses mixed-methodology to explore women’s representation in peace processes.

Kim Marion Suiseeya | Announcing the 2023 NSF-KADF Ocean Decade Champions

September 27, 2023 – from National Science Foundation
NSF and KADF have joined together to empower 31 women scientists associated with the NSF Coastlines and People (CoPe) program. These women are leaders at the frontiers of research and innovation in ocean and coastal science. Their work with CoPe, an endorsed Ocean Decade Action, focuses on critically important coastline and community research that integrates natural, social, and technological processes toward a mission of coastal resilience.

Jennifer Lin | Are rural attitudes just Republican?

September 27, 2023 – from Cambridge University Press
Rural residents are typically construed as being more conservative than urban residents. Is this true, or do rural residents carry unique interests from Republicans or conservatives? Using the 2020 ANES, we compare responses from 22 national issues by interacting urban and rural residency with Republican and Democrat identification. We find that issue preferences are partisan, not place-based: rural Democrats resemble their urban counterparts and urban Republicans resemble their rural counterparts, rather than rural areas specifically being more Republican. However, rural Democrats are more conservative than urban Democrats on issues relating to immigration, transgendered people in the military, and income inequality. These results point to partisan nationalization in issue stances, with exceptions, and that rural is not always Republican.

Shah Zeb Chaudhary | The Affective Economies of Sovereignty: Desire and Identification

September 27, 2023 – from Sage Journals
Khoja-Moolji’s analysis of sovereignty in a cultural-affective register from a postcolonial perspective contributes to the developing study of the affective economies of sovereignty. This literature has two central concepts that we have to think carefully about: desire and identification. I explore sovereign desires in the context of fantasy and history, and think about identification as connecting sovereigns to citizens. I consider how an emphasis on affect helps us understand how sovereignty becomes worthy of so much affective and political investment.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | IPR celebrates faculty promotions

September 26, 2023 – from Northwestern Institute for Policy Research
PR political scientist Laurel Harbridge-Yong’s research examines how elections, institutions, and policy are connected in the United States. She also investigates partisan conflict in American politics, as well as how difficult it is to reach bipartisan agreement and legislative compromises. She studies legislative inaction, partisan conflict, and primary voters’ power. In her recent research, she discovers that legislators have incentives to align with primary voters. These incentives, a product of the American two-stage election process, can shape which constituents’ policy preferences are represented in Congress—and may also contribute to polarization. She and her collaborators are launching a large-scale survey of primary election voters in 2024.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | As Trump Faces Abortion Heat, GOP Senate Candidates Seek Middle Ground

September 26, 2023 – from Newsweek
"Republicans have yet to develop a clear message around abortion that negates or muddies Democrats' current advantage given public opinion on this issue," Harbridge-Yong told Newsweek. "If Republicans can't develop strong messaging on abortion, they will likely focus on other issues that tend to favor their party or where they can criticize the president's party (e.g., economy, crime, immigration)."

Douglas I. Thompson | Tocqueville and the Bureaucratic Foundations of Democracy in America

September 25, 2023 – from Sage Journals
One of Tocqueville’s best-known empirical claims in Democracy in America is that there is no national-level public administration in the United States. He asserts definitively and repeatedly that “administrative centralization does not exist” there. However, in scattered passages throughout the text, Tocqueville points to multiple federal agencies that contemporary historians and APD scholars characterize as instances of a growing national administrative system, such as the Post Office Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I reevaluate Tocqueville’s treatment of bureaucracy in America in light of this evidence. I contend that Tocqueville reveals even the most paradigmatic examples of active, democratic self-government in Democracy in America to be embedded in and causally supported by a network of interrelated, centralized public administrative institutions.

James N. Druckman | Norm-violating rhetoric undermines support for participatory inclusiveness and political equality among Trump supporters

September 25, 2023 – from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Over the last decade, the United States has seen increasing antidemocratic rhetoric by political leaders. Yet, prior work suggests that such norm-violating rhetoric does not undermine support for democracy as a system of government. We argue that, while that may be true, such rhetoric does vitiate support for specific democratic principles. We test this theory by extending prior work to assess the effects of Trump’s norm-violating rhetoric on general support for democracy as well as for the principles of participatory inclusiveness, contestation, the rule of law, and political equality. We find that Trump’s rhetoric does not alter attitudes toward democracy as a preferred system but does reduce support for inclusiveness and equality among his supporters. Our findings suggest that elite rhetoric can undermine basic principles of American democracy.

Professor Stephen C. Nelson | A tough call: Argentina and the International Monetary Fund share a rocky history spanning seven decades - and it looks as if things could get worse.

September 23, 2023 – from The News
Argentina and the International Monetary Fund share a rocky history spanning seven decades - and it looks as if things could get worse. Just five years ago, Argentina became the Washington-based global lender’s biggest single debtor, receiving a $57 billion bailout to help then-President Mauricio Macri’s market-friendly government steer out of an economic crisis marked by high inflation and a gaping budget deficit. But that programme failed to put South America’s second-largest economy back on its feet. Fast forward and Argentina is about to enter a recession, with inflation running at more than 100% and its dollar reserves deep in the red. Meanwhile, the Peronist-led government that took over in late 2019 has missed the modest economic targets mandated by a 2022 IMF loan tailored to refinance $44 billion still owed from the previous programme.

Professor Larry Stuelpnagel | Rupert Murdoch exit may give Trump a Fox News ‘reset,’ Republican strategists say

September 22, 2023 – from WKZO
Fox was a cheerleader for Trump in his ultimately successful 2016 White House campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton, a symbiotic relationship that continued up to the 2020 election. Trump boosted Fox’s ratings, while Fox boosted Trump politically, said Larry Stuelpnagel, an associate professor of journalism and political science at Northwestern University and a former broadcast journalist.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Biden’s hostage diplomacy, explained

September 21, 2023 – from Good Authority
In the weeks leading up to the swap, Republicans slammed the Biden administration for paying too high a price to bring the prisoners home. The criticism is reminiscent of the partisan backlash to the deal that exchanged Viktor Bout ??– a convicted Russian arms dealer known as the “merchant of death” – for WNBA star Brittney Griner last year. This deal is the latest example of hostage diplomacy: when countries use their criminal justice systems to hold foreigners hostage. My research on the dynamics of hostage taking can shed light on the context and criticism of this latest prisoner deal. The Biden administration has made clear that they’re willing to weather criticism if it means bringing American captives home. They have imposed additional sanctions on former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for wrongfully detaining Americans.

Professor Jacqueline Stevens | Solidarities of citizenship

September 19, 2023 – from Frontiers
This essay contrasts the trajectory of Engin Isin's work since Being Political (2002) with a very different intellectual path pursued among scholars of a younger generation. Isin moves away from his initial critiques of citizenship and 10 years later proposes “citizenship without frontiers,” a way of understanding emancipatory interventions of active citizens in opposition to state violence. During this same time frame, other political theorists began to reject “citizenship” entirely. Whereas, Isin's oeuvre since Being Political incorporates the principles of creativity and resistance of “being political” into a more expansive concept of “citizenship,” other theorists began denouncing citizenship as of a piece with colonialism, capitalism, and neoliberalism. Such reactions expressly rejected efforts to recuperate citizenship for causes that oppose domination and oppression.

Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | Northwestern and University of Toronto to launch new decarbonization alliance

September 19, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern and the University of Toronto will launch a new alliance focused on promoting research and dialogue about decarbonization, NU announced in a Tuesday news release. The alliance will pool resources from the University of Toronto and NU’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs and Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy. The two universities will launch the alliance at a series of keynote lectures on Oct. 2-3 on NU’s Evanston campus titled “Roadmapping the Clean Energy Transition,” according to the news release. This series will be led by both universities’ faculty, discussing efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to prevent further global warming.

Jack Garigliano, PhD Candidate | The Graduate School Spotlight: Jack Garigliano, PhD Candidate in Northwestern's Political Science Department

September 19, 2023 – from TGS Spotlight
Jack Garigliano is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. His interests include political economy, political groups and movements, and inequality. Jack's dissertation topic explores how continuing changes in the nature of labor impact our encounters with and participation in American political life.

Ph.D. Candidate Florencia Guerzovich | How to Build Movements with Cyclical Patterns in Mind

September 19, 2023 – from Nonprofit Quarterly
The world changes too much for anyone who is invested in social change work to imagine that this work is linear and predictable. Opportunities come and go, whether caused by a pandemic or political shifts. This much most social movement leaders and activists intuitively understand. But what can be done with this realization? How might movement groups better prepare for moments of opportunity? We want to explore how we can create the changes we want to see by responding to the changes that are outside our control.

Ph.D. Candidate Jonathan Schulman | Who likes Donald Trump? Lots of Republicans, but especially Hispanic voters, plus very rural and very conservative people

September 19, 2023 – from The Conversation
Despite multiple state and federal indictments, recent polling indicates that former President Donald Trump retains a commanding lead in the race for the 2024 Republican Party presidential nomination. So it seems useful to understand who, exactly, supports Trump – and whether the multiple criminal indictments against the former president have had any effect on his nomination prospects. We are a multiuniversity team of social scientists that has been regularly polling Americans in all 50 states since April 2020. Our most recent survey, which ran from June 29, 2023, to Aug. 1, 2023, included 7,732 Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. We explored who, among these respondents, supports Trump in the 2024 Republican primary and how they reacted to his June 2023 indictment for withholding classified documents.

Dominic Caruso, '98 | Northwestern Alum Running for Re-election in Ohio's Brecksville City Council

September 19, 2023 – from
Seven candidates -- two incumbents, three political newcomers, one former school board member and one past candidate -- are running for four seats on City Council this fall. The two council incumbents who are seeking re-election are Dominic Caruso and Ann Koepke. Meanwhile, Mark Janzten, a Brecksville Planning Commission member and former Brecksville-Broadview Heights school board president, hopes to gain a council seat. Steve Schadler, who ran for council for the first time two years ago but came up short, is trying again. The political newcomers seeking a council seat in November are Dan Bender, Eric Geyer and Stephanie Simon Bartos. The election is Nov. 7. Early voting starts Oct. 11. The top three vote-getters will win a four-year-term, while the fourth-place finisher will serve a two-year term. In Brecksville, all council positions are at-large.

Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | Suiseeya Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

September 18, 2023 – from National Science Foundation
The SuReMin, or the Sustainable, resilient, responsible global minerals supply chain grant, is a design grant meant to provide seed funding to develop the teams and the science for future competitions. "SuReMin’s vision is to be a leading voice for a just energy transition by guiding the development of a socially and environmentally sustainable international minerals supply chain."

Professor Danielle Gilbert | A new Iran deal shows the Biden administration is willing to pay a big price to free Americans

September 15, 2023 – from My Journal Courier
Danielle Gilbert, a Northwestern University political science professor who researches hostage matters, said the administration has demonstrated a willingness to make difficult, even controversial, decisions to recover hostages and detainees. The political blowback it faces reflects the inherent imbalance to the swaps, which involve American citizens that Washington regards as unjustly detained and foreigners it sees as lawfully convicted. “There is no deal that will ever be fair when we are dealing with our adversaries to bring home hostages,” she said. “It's unfair. It's unjust. It's not like a normal business transaction or trade of players between sports teams. There's never going to be a deal that we feel great about in terms of the sacrifices that are made.” It's hard to quantify how much the reliance on prisoner swaps directly incentivizes future hostage-taking.

Professor Stephen Nelson | Analysis: IMF has a tough call on Argentina: force major reforms or pull the plug

September 15, 2023 – from Reuters
"The shadow of that failed programme will linger on both the new administration and the IMF, as there is an institutional memory on how this programme didn't help", said Stephen Nelson, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University in Chicago. The current programme could end before its expiration in September 2024, but Argentina will still require funds. "Argentina needs a big liquidity boost. The pressure from IMF members to tighten conditions will get amplified when negotiations turn to a new lending arrangement," said Nelson, who specializes in the politics shaping IMF lending policies.

Professor Will Reno | How Ukraine Could Take Crimea Back From Russia

September 14, 2023 – from Newsweek
Ukraine's military has ramped up attacks on Crimea, launching successful strikes on both land and sea. The increased military effort has inspired discussion about Kyiv possibly reclaiming the region by force, and how they would go about doing it. Northwestern University political science professor William Reno told Newsweek that pro-Russian sentiment among many people in the population leads him to think that "ultimately the status of Crimea is something that could be subject to negotiation, perhaps a formal return to Ukraine with extensive local autonomy and promise of a referendum in some distant future."

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Northwestern welcomes freshmen to campus in wake of hazing scandal

September 13, 2023 – from The Chicago Tribune
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, professor of political science and religious studies, urged the university to 'redouble its efforts to bring the athletic department to account.' 'We owe it to the students and their families,' she said. Hurd noted that a Daily Northwestern story on Monday reported new allegations of unsafe conditions and 'a culture of body shaming' made by Northwestern cheerleaders; the story comes about two years after a Northwestern cheerleader filed a lawsuit against the university claiming sexual exploitation and a hostile environment. That lawsuit is still pending. 'To the new students: I want to assure them that there are many Northwestern employees who are looking out for their safety and security,' Hurd added. 'They are always welcome to contact faculty members such as myself, in confidence, should they need support. We have their backs.'

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | American Democracy in the Balance: From Partisanship to Gerrymandering w/ Dr. Laurel Harbridge-Yong

September 10, 2023 – from Deep Dive with Shawn C Fettig
Is the spirit of bipartisanship gasping its last breath? Today's conversation with Dr. Laurel Harbridge-Yong, Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and an authority on the subject, might just surprise you. We’ll journey into the heart of American politics, exploring the ramifications of polarization, the push and pull of primary voters, and the strategic game of redistricting.

Tabitha Bonilla | Biden targets Trump, DeSantis, Scott over abortion

September 8, 2023 – from The Hill
The Biden campaign has rolled out a new ad on abortion, hammering GOP presidential contenders former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott over their support for a federal ban. The 60-second spot, titled “These Guys,” vows that President Biden and Vice President Harris will “never allow a national abortion ban to become law,” adding: “As long as they are in office, decisions about your body will be made by you, not by them.”

Kenneth Chesebro | Who Is Kenneth Chesebro Wife: What Happened To Emily Stevens?

September 8, 2023 – from PKB News
Kenneth Chesebro is a well-known American attorney who garnered attention due to his indictment in 2023 by the state of Georgia in connection with the Trump fake electors plot, a scheme aimed at manipulating the 2020 U.S. presidential election results. He provided testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives about his involvement, which generated significant interest in his personal life.


Loubna El Amine | Women, Rituals, and the Domestic-Political Distinction in the Confucian Classics

August 31, 2023 – from Sage Journals
In this article, I show that women are depicted in the early Confucian texts not primarily as undertaking household duties or nurturing children but rather as partaking in rituals of mourning and ancestor worship. To make the argument, I analyze, besides the more philosophical texts like the Analects and the Mencius, texts known as the “Five Classics,” which describe women in their social roles in much more detail than the former. What women’s participation in rituals reveals, I contend, is that the domestic-political distinction does little to illuminate the philosophical vision offered by the early Confucian texts. Relatedly, while women’s involvement in communal religious rituals has also been noted about early Greece, the political import of such participation is even more pronounced in the Confucian case.

William Reno | Why Russia Can't Stop the Onslaught of Drone Attacks

August 30, 2023 – from Newsweek
Russia was hit on Tuesday night and early Wednesday with what has been called the biggest drone assault on its territory since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war in February 2022. The strikes targeted the regions of Moscow, Bryansk, Oryol, Kaluga, Ryazan and Pskov, as well as Crimea. Even before the widespread assault, drone missions have become more frequent inside Russian territory, including on the capital city of Moscow, which has raised questions about why Russia's military defenses have struggled with drones.

Daniel Krcmaric | When do leader backgrounds matter? Evidence from the President’s Daily Brief

August 30, 2023 – from Sage Journals
A wave of recent scholarship shows that the backgrounds of political leaders shape their behavior once in office. This paper shifts the literature in a new direction by investigating the conditions under which foreign observers think a leader's background is relevant. We argue that pre-tenure biographical attributes are most informative to outsiders during leadership transitions—unique periods where the new ruler does not yet have a track record—because a leader's background provides clues about how that leader might govern. But as time passes, foreign observers quickly discount the leader's biography and instead evaluate the leader's observable behavior.

Salih Emre Gercek | CLAS Scholars Bring New Expertise to UConn

August 29, 2023 – from UConn Today
Salih Emre Gercek joins the Department of Political Science as an assistant professor. His research interests and work are in the history of political thought and democratic theory, with a particular attention to themes of equality, participation, and political economy. Gercek is currently working on a book project that explores how the idea of democracy emerged and evolved in 19th century European political thought as a solution to the problems of poverty, social inequality, and social conflict. He received his doctoral degree from Northwestern University and will be teaching political science courses at UConn Hartford.

Yoes Kenawas | Thailand. Dynastic democracy: Political families in Thailand

August 24, 2023 – from Cambridge University Press
Yoshinori Nishizaki's Dynastic Democracy presents a novel interpretation of Thailand's political development over the past nine decades. He argues that the ups and downs of electoral democracy in Thai political history are inseparable from the endless power competition between two types of families: the conservative princely-bureaucratic families, who are connected and subservient to the Chakri dynasty, vis-à-vis the commoner-capitalist families, whose emergence, ironically, was inseparable from political reforms to make parliamentary elections more competitive. When electoral democracy is present, the commoner families emerge as the dominant power in the Parliament, giving Thai electoral democracy a strong dynastic character.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Sister of kidnapped grad student criticizes Princeton’s response in op-ed

August 24, 2023 – from The Daily Princetonian
Emma Tsurkov, the sister of Elizabeth Tsurkov GS, claims that Princeton University is trying to “distance itself from any responsibility” in her sister’s kidnapping in Iraq in an op-ed on on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The op-ed alleges that Elizabeth Tsurkov’s advisors were aware of her travel to Iraq for dissertation research. In a statement to the Daily Princetonian, University spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote that “University Travel to Iraq is not permitted for students (graduate or undergraduate), and there are no exceptions.”

Yoes C. Kenawas | Pemilu Makin Dekat, Politik Dinasti Makin Menguat? ft. Yoes Kenawas

August 23, 2023 – from Kontekstual
Ada yang mau jadi cawapres nih ya kayaknya? Politik dinasti jadi salah satu topik penting untuk politik kita, khususnya menuju pemilu 2024 mendatang. Sayangnya, masih banyak loh praktik politik dinasti dari level nasional sampai lokal di negeri ini. Kok bisa? Ikhlas, Majiid, dan Shofwan kedatangan Yoes C. Kenawas di Podcast Bebas Aktif!

Amanda Sahar d'Urso and Tabitha Bonilla | Religion over Race: White Americans do not support Green Cards for Muslim Immigrants, even if they are White.

August 23, 2023 – from The London School of Economics and Political Science
Immigration is a hot-button issue in many countries – the United States is no exception. Most Americans prefer some level of immigration but have a strong preference for which types of immigrants should be allowed to come. Immigrants who are Muslim and immigrants who are Middle Eastern are among those who most Americans do not prefer immigrating to the US. But Americans often conflate Muslims—subjects of Islam—with Middle Easterners—members of a racial or ethnic group. The question remains whether Americans hold negative immigration attitudes toward all Muslims, (regardless of if they are Middle Eastern), or whether Americans are specifically wary of Muslim immigrants who are from the Middle East.

Laura Garcia Montoya and Silvia Otero-Bahamon | Colombia 2022: Del fin de la guerra al gobierno del cambio

August 23, 2023 – from Revista de Ciencia Política
El artículo explica el cambio histórico que ocurrió en Colombia en 2022, donde por primera vez en la historia un presidente de izquierda fue elegido. La primera sección describe los patrones electorales y las razones por las que Gustavo Petro ganó, enfocándose en tres: el despliegue organizativo de la coalición, el cambio en algunos ejes centrales de la discusión pública (de la guerra a la redistribución), y la coyuntura de crisis que trajo la pandemia global. La segunda parte analiza las di­námicas de los primeros meses de gobierno y los desafíos que enfrenta, incluyendo la colisión de demandas redistributivas y la dificultad de implementar una agenda centrada en justicia social en medio de una crisis económica y sin resolver los pro­blemas del conflicto armado. El artículo concluye con un análisis de Colombia en el contexto de América Latina y el “segundo giro hacia la izquierda”.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Despite years of affirmative action, Black student enrollment percentages remain low at local universities

August 22, 2023 – from Crain's Chicago Business
Years of affirmative action and other diversity initiatives haven't lifted the share of Black students at Chicago’s top universities out of single-digit percentages. A Crain's analysis of changes in enrollment demographics at six area schools since 2012 shows modest increases in the percentage of Black students at some and declines at others. During the same time frame, Asian and Hispanic numbers rose, while the share of white students fell. For some of these universities, the total number of Black students did indeed rise, but only in conjunction with the overall student body increasing.

Rodrigo Barrenechea and Silvia Otero Bahamon | Gustavo Petro vs. Rodolfo Hernández. Two Opposing Populisms?

August 22, 2023 – from Universidad de Rosario
On June 19, 2022, the presidential runoff pitted two personalities far removed from the country’s traditional elites and major political parties against each other. On the one hand, Gustavo Petro was the leader of a left wing that had never reached the highest positions in Colombia and seemed condemned to the eternal exercise of opposition. On the other hand, Rodolfo Hernández was a new figure in national politics who jumped from the Mayoralty of Bucaramanga to presidential candidacy based on a discourse of rejection of the political class in general. The unusual profile of the two contenders raised many comments on the rise of populism in the country against a background of a crisis of political representation and intense social conflict.

Mara Suttman-Lea | Exploring Sources of Election Information

August 18, 2023 – from MIT Election Data & Science Lab
Today, we're joined by Katie Harbath of the Bipartisan Policy Center and Mara Suttman-Lea of Connecticut College to discuss their work under the Learning From Elections project, which is focused on identifying where voters get election information and what sources they trust.

Benjamin I. Page and Jason Seawright | The wealthy as a barrier to tax reform

August 18, 2023 – from Oxford Academic
In the optimal design of tax reform proposals, and in decisions about when and how to recommend them, it is useful to take explicit account of issues of political feasibility. In the United States—and probably around the world—important political barriers work against the enactment of major progressive tax reforms. A close look at US poll and survey data indicates that opposition by the general public is not a significant barrier: large majorities favour progressive taxation in general and favour a number of specific progressive tax changes, including higher top personal income tax rates; higher taxes on corporations; increased taxation of realized capital gains; and taxation of unrealized gains at death. But there exist other serious political barriers against tax reform, including an institutional status quo bias that makes any major policy change very difficult.

Joshua Robison | Elite party disunity negatively predicts mass partisan-ideological sorting

August 17, 2023 – from ScienceDirect
Political parties often feature salient internal conflicts between elite members over the party's positioning on political issues. We consider the relationship between elite partisan disunity and an important element of mass partisanship: partisan-ideological sorting. We argue that the likelihood of a partisan being sorted on a political issue will decrease as the extent of within-party elite disunity increases because this disunity will make it more difficult for mass partisans to ascertain the dominant position in their party and hence undermine persuasion and switching processes. We test this argument using data from the 2009 European Election Studies and 2005–2012 Comparative Candidate Survey. Ultimately, we find that partisan-ideological sorting is substantially lower when party elites are divided on the issue. However, we find weaker evidence in favor of the proposed mechanism.

Traci Burch | Federal Lawsuit Alleges Galveston County Redistricting Violated Voting Rights Act

August 15, 2023 – from The Texan
In what could prove a significant redistricting case, a federal court trial has begun over whether or not Galveston officials drew county districts along racial or political lines. Plaintiffs in Terry Petteway, et al. v. Galveston County, Texas, et al., including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), allege that the Republican-dominated commissioners court violated the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and unconstitutionally used a racial gerrymandering formula when they drew new boundaries for the commissioners’ districts in 2021.

Andrew I. Thompson | Racial Threat and Affirmative Action

August 14, 2023 – from Inside Higher Ed
The recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in admissions has cast a spotlight on a growing fissure in American racial politics—the relationship between Asian Americans and Black Americans. Since the lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina were first filed, they have generated a national dialogue on Asian Americans and how they are viewed within the context of racial discrimination.

Napon Jatusripitak | Pheu Thai at the Crossroads: Navigating Thailand’s Senate-Driven Hung Parliament

August 11, 2023 – from Fulcrum
A quintessential Thai-style hung parliament has emerged after the Thai Senate twice obstructed Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader and prime ministerial candidate of the Move Forward Party (MFP), in his bid to become Thailand’s 30th prime minister. The fiery contention between the country’s political parties has led the Pheu Thai Party to exclude the MFP as a coalition partner. The political deadlock shows little signs of resolution, as questions linger about the Senate’s readiness to endorse Srettha Thavisin of Pheu Thai as an alternative candidate.

Jonathan Schulman | Who likes Donald Trump? Lots of Republicans, but especially Hispanic voters, plus very rural and very conservative people

August 11, 2023 – from The Conversation
Despite multiple state and federal indictments, recent polling indicates that former President Donald Trump retains a commanding lead in the race for the 2024 Republican Party presidential nomination. So it seems useful to understand who, exactly, supports Trump – and whether the multiple criminal indictments against the former president have had any effect on his nomination prospects.

Visiting Professor Cody Keenan | Northwestern classes to take before you graduate

August 9, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
“In my (almost) four years of college, the majority of classes I’ve taken here feel like courses I could’ve learned on Coursera for $20 back home in less–terrible weather, as opposed to paying $70k tuition. This is not one of those classes.” Taught by former President Barack Obama’s speech writer, Prof. Cody Keenan, the class is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” as one student described it. If you’re lucky enough to get in, you’ll learn “why some speeches endure and most are forgotten” from the “down-to-earth” NU alumnus that worked with one of the most powerful men in the world. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of it, this class might just get you one step closer to the White House.

Loubna El Amine | Out of Water

August 8, 2023 – from London Review of Books
We had been in Beirut for barely two days when the concierge told us we had only half a tank of water left to use in the apartment. At ten the next morning, he knocked on the door to say we were almost out. The water delivery truck was arriving a bit later, he said, and asked if I wanted to pay him in advance the 500,000 Lebanese liras (slightly more than five US dollars). We had not been at home much since we arrived and, when we were, had been consumed by the challenge of not overloading the power circuit. The concierge had made his disgruntlement clear the second time we asked him to flip the disjoncteur which he alone had access to, as demanded by the private generator company that provided most of our electricity. Now he was telling us we were nearly out of water.

Sally Nuamah | Baltimore closed at least 30 schools in 10 years. More people are asking if that makes sense.

August 8, 2023 – from The Baltimore Banner
A few minutes’ walk away from Kristian Herbert’s home on South Stricker Street in Southwest Baltimore, a vacant house caught fire in 2022, killing three city firefighters. A few minutes to the west, the area’s lone full-service grocery store closed at the end of last year. It’s been a tough stretch for Herbert, a mother of three small children who moved to Baltimore a few years ago. In April, her uncle was shot and killed in nearby Washington, D.C. And a few weeks later, her kids’ school, Steuart Hill Academic Academy, closed its doors for good. She plans on homeschooling Zai’Vion, 8, and Zurii, 7, this upcoming school year.

Kim Marion Suiseeya | Ethnography: From Method to Methodology at Plural Sites of Agreement-Making

August 7, 2023 – from Cambridge University Press
What does it mean to engage ethnography in the study of global environmental politics, particularly at sites of global agreement-making? This chapter explores how different forms of ethnography, including traditional field-based, digital, visual, and spatial approaches, can uncover and interrogate the hidden dynamics that shape the production of global environmental governance. The chapter introduces readers to how ethnographic approaches to these sites have inspired new ways of asking questions about global environmental politics. It considers the opportunities and challenges of adopting transdisciplinary and feminist approaches to ethnography, both in terms of practical concerns in the field and broader disciplinary concerns. It further provides a toolkit for designing ethnographic research with significant attention to the ethical dimensions of ethnography.

Jason Seawright | Long-shot Republican candidates spend millions on their own campaigns

August 3, 2023 – from The Guardian
Two wealthy Republicans running long-shot campaigns for president have qualified for the first GOP debate – even as they remain their own top donors. The candidates, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota and former software company executive, have each contributed more than $10m to their own campaigns.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | 'The nation must brace itself for continuing political conflict,' expert says

August 3, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
“Former president Donald Trump’s indictment on four federal charges of conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election is a turning point in the federal government’s approach to the Jan. 6th insurrection. Whereas most of DOJ’s prosecutorial efforts immediately following the sacking of the Capitol focused on the rioters, this indictment shows us that the government is now ready to hold the coup plotters accountable. While this is an essential moment in our nation’s history and represents a tremendous legal threat to Mr. Trump personally, the fact that the indictments are coming three years after the crimes and Mr. Trump has already ramped up his political campaign means that the indictments will pose a considerable threat to our democracy as Mr. Trump will use them to stoke anger and discord among his supporters."


Matthew D. Nelsen, Ph.D. | The Color of Civics: Civic Education for a Multiracial Democracy

July 21, 2023 – from Oxford University Press
Generations of Americans, dating back to the nation's founding, have regarded schools as essential for developing the knowledge and civic values necessary for sustaining democracy. Yet, as Matthew D. Nelsen argues in The Color of Civics, traditional approaches to civic education are not living up to their promise for many students, particularly students of color from disadvantaged communities. How do we prepare an increasingly diverse generation of Americans for full participation in public life? Drawing on lessons from students and teachers in Chicago, The Color of Civics reimagines the democratic purpose of civic education. Nelsen presents a new approach to civic education that aims to foster political empowerment by centering historically-grounded conversations about current events as well as critical categories of knowledge.

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D. | the Emerson Prison Initiative and the Importance of Education for Incarcerated People

July 20, 2023 – from Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry
It’s no secret that there are huge cultural and structural barriers which prevent many people in the United States from accessing education. These barriers are even higher when it comes to those who are incarcerated. And yet, there is good evidence that shows that obtaining an education makes huge differences in the lives of the incarcerated. To discuss, we’ve invited Mneesha Gellman on the show. Mneesha is the founder and Director of the Emerson Prison Initiative, which makes college available to incarcerated students in Massachusetts. She is the editor of Education Behind the Wall: Why and How We Teach in Prison and co-editor of the forthcoming book Unlocking Potential: Education in Prison Around the World.

Ariel Zellman, Ph.D. | Religious Minorities at Risk

July 19, 2023 – from Oxford University Press
To what extent do minority grievances contribute to intrastate conflict? Against the backdrop of rising discrimination against religious minorities worldwide, Religious Minorities at Risk offers new insights into classic debates on the influences of discrimination, deprivation, and inequality (DDI) on minority grievances and conflict behavior. It does so by utilizing original data on 771 religious minorities in 183 countries between 2000 and 2014. The book demonstrates that DDI is a significant cause of minority grievances which, in turn, deeply influence their conflict behaviors.

Napon Jatusripitak, Ph.D. | Pita (and the People) Versus the Powers that Be

July 14, 2023 – from Analysis on Southeast Asia
Pita Limjaroenrat has failed to secure approval as Thailand’s next prime minister. This underscores the stark reality: leaders in Thailand are not elected by the will of the people, but permitted to rise to power with the support or at least the acquiescence of the conservative establishment.

Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Group of Northwestern faculty asks for delay in Ryan Field renovations due to hazing scandal

July 11, 2023 – from WGN9
EVANSTON, Ill. — In the wake of a hazing scandal in the football program that led to the dismissal of its head coach on Monday, a group of Northwestern professors is calling for a delay in proposed upgrades to Ryan Field. In a lengthy letter obtained by WGN, six members of the faculty have asked the school to stop the planning and marketing of an $800 million renovation of Ryan Field “until this crisis is satisfactorily resolved.”

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | What the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action could mean for legacy applicants

July 10, 2023 – from CNBC
After the Supreme Court’s ruling on the affirmative action admission policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina, decades-old legacy preferences are facing new challenges. The court’s ruling was considered a massive blow to efforts to boost enrollment of minorities at American universities through policies that considered applicants’ race. “The reality is we’ve reached a pretty good consensus on the use of identity in college admissions,” said Tillery, who is also a Harvard graduate. “If you can’t use race for Black and Latino students, then you can’t use race for wealthy white students either,” Tillery added.?

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Aid to Ukraine | What will the House with a Republican majority do?

July 10, 2023 – from Actual News Magazine
Associate professor in the department of political science at Northwestern University in Illinois, Laurel Harbridge-Yong believes that the passage of new legislation could come up against more obstacles than in December 2022. “The Chamber plays the role of guardian of the legislation and it is obviously easier when the majority of this Chamber is from the same party as the president,” she said. Now, a wing of Republicans, the House Freedom Caucus [44 représentants ultraconservateurs, selon les plus récents décomptes] is very averse to spending. This makes negotiations more difficult, especially with the Democratic-majority Senate.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | Will Chicago Politicos be Ousted for Failing to Address Violent Crime?

July 10, 2023 – from Law Officer
Crime—particularly violent crime—was one of the primary points of focus during the most recent mayoral election cycle, and will most certainly have as-yet-unforeseen significance in the 2024 race for the city’s top prosecutor. Jaime Domínguez—a political science professor at Northwestern University—told the Associated Press that the 2022-2023 campaign was the “first time in 20 years that he’s seen public safety be ‘front and center’ in a Chicago mayoral election.

In Memoriam | Robert C. Noël, Ph.D.

July 7, 2023 – from Santa Barbara Independent
Robert Chisholm Noël passed away Wednesday, April 5 at the age of 93. In his long life, Bob made many friends through his career in higher education, but most people in Santa Barbara might know him best as a stalwart on the Santa Barbara School Board for over a decade at the turn of this century. Bob spent the majority of his professorial career teaching courses on international relations, nuclear proliferation, and the Middle East. He traveled extensively for his research and once was sent to Palestine as an emissary of the United Nations. He also taught at Penn State and was a visiting professor at Stanford. His out-of-the-box teaching style was exemplified by a course on nuclear deterrence in which he organized a class field trip from Santa Barbara to board a ballistic missile submarine at the Naval Base in Bremerton, Washington.

Napon Jatusripitak, Ph.D. | How Factions Lost but Patronage Politics Persists: Lessons from Thailand’s 2023 General Elections

July 6, 2023 – from ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute
The stunning victory of the Move Forward Party (MFP) in Thailand’s 2023 general elections has sparked a potential paradigm shift in the country’s political landscape. The election campaigns have prominently centered around the need for reforming traditional institutions, reflecting a change in the prevailing social cleavages. Furthermore, a significant transformation has occurred in the electoral dynamics, with social media and digital platforms playing a crucial role in engaging and mobilising voters based on party labels and ideology. This shift has disrupted conventional practices such as vote-canvassing networks and money politics, which have traditionally played a decisive role in shaping election outcomes.

Professor Anthony S. Chen | Illinois deals with fallout from Supreme Court Affirmative Action ruling

July 6, 2023 – from Illinois Public Media, The 21st Show
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action, making it unlawful for colleges to take race into consideration during the admissions process. The conservative majority ruling says higher ed must now use “colorblind criteria” when it comes to admissions. Joining us today on The 21st Show to dive into how the ruling will affect higher ed in Illinois are two Northwestern University professors, a law professor and an admissions director from Illinois State University.

Professor Daniel Galvin | The D.N.C. Has a Primary Problem

July 5, 2023 – from New York Times
Historically, Democratic presidents have undercut or ignored the D.N.C., especially compared with their Republican counterparts and their willingness to bolster the R.N.C. According to Daniel Galvin, a political-science professor at Northwestern University, every Democratic president in the second half of the 20th century — John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton — raided funds meant for party building or shot down proposals to strengthen down-ballot campaigns. For many decades, Democrats enjoyed congressional and statehouse majorities that seemed unbreakable, Galvin argues in his 2010 book, “Presidential Party Building,” and this incentivized them to focus on policy promotion over extensive investments in the future of party organizing.

Tanya D. Woods, Esq. ’89 (’13 P) | Mayor Brandon Johnson Announces New Appointments to Chicago Board of Education

July 5, 2023 – from Chicago Office of the Mayor
CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson today has announced six new appointees to the Chicago Board of Education. The appointments are new Board President Jianan Shi, and Board members Mariela Estrada, Mary Fahey Hughes, Rudy Lozano, Michelle Morales, and Tanya Woods. Today’s appointees join current Board member Elizabeth Todd-Breland, who will now serve as vice president. The names announced today for a term beginning July 18 mark the last mayoral appointees before the transition to an elected representative school board begins in 2024.

Mauro Gilli, Ph.D. | Drones and Offensive Advantage: An Exchange – The Authors Reply

July 5, 2023 – from Security Studies
In “Will the Drone Always Get Through?,” we investigated empirically whether Medium-Altitude and High-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE and HALE, respectively) drones make attacking comparatively easier or even easy in an absolute sense, as some analysts and scholars assume or claim. To conduct our analysis, we first translated existing arguments into testable hypotheses consistent with the literature on the offense–defense balance (ODB)—that is, whether drones shift the ODB toward the offense or to offensive dominance. Then we explored relevant disciplines such as radar engineering, electromagnetism, signal processing, and air defense operations to assess these competing hypotheses. For our analysis, we focused on current- and next-generation drones.

Kevin Russell, WCAS '17 | Meet DFP Spring Fellow, Kevin Russell, Emory University

July 4, 2023 – from APSA Political Science Now
The APSA Diversity Fellowship Program, formerly the Minority Fellowship Program, was established in 1969 as a fellowship competition to diversify the political science profession. Kevin DeSean Russell is a second-year doctoral student and Centennial Scholar at Emory University in the department of political science. He received his BA in political science from Northwestern University, where he served as a research assistant and Posner Fellow. He studies political behavior and racial and ethnic politics in the U.S. His current research, presented at NCOBPS, focuses on Black participation through financial contributions to political campaigns in recent elections.

Aleksandra Gadzala Tirziu, WCAS | China, Latin America and the new space race

July 4, 2023 – from Geopolitical Intelligence Services
Over the last two decades, China’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have evolved beyond their largely extractive character to encompass a growing focus on digital and space technology. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) first white paper on its relations with LAC, released in 2008, referenced outer space only in passing. “The Chinese side will strengthen cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean in aeronautics and astronautics … and other areas of shared interest,” it read. Eight years later, China’s interest in the sector had grown. Section 9 of its 2016 policy paper on LAC – the latest issued – explicitly addressed space cooperation, with emphasis on remote sensing and communication satellites, satellite data application and aerospace infrastructure.

Zamone Perez, WCAS '22 | Looking for a summer vacation spot? Try a lifetime National Park pass

July 3, 2023 – from Military Times
For folks looking for vacation destinations this summer, this is the first year service members, veterans and their families can access National Parks and other government land free of charge — without having to renew the pass each year. The Interagency Military Pass covers entrance fees at a variety of government lands, including the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Instead of renewing the pass each year, families can receive a lifetime pass.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Where now for workplace diversity after court’s affirmative action ruling?

July 2, 2023 – from The Guardian
“The entire point of these dark-money funded, rightwing groups that have been pushing these cases is that they want to eliminate the use of race in institutional decision-making,” said Alvin Tillery, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, who also runs the consulting firm 2040 Strategy Group. Affirmative action in higher education “is not really the main event for racial equity in America. The main event is the workplace … This is what the rightwingers will attack next, and the economic and societal ramifications of that will be much larger.”


Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Local reaction mixed to landmark decision ending affirmative action

June 30, 2023 – from Evanston Round Table
Not all schools will be affected, according to Alvin Tillery, Northwestern political science professor and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, who said affirmative action policies “only matter” for the top 100 schools in the U.S. U.S. military academies will continue to be able to take race into consideration for their admissions processes due to their “potentially distinct interests,” the court said. “What the court’s given us today is really a radical break from precedent, from originalism, the history of the way that the authors of the 14th Amendment intended it to be used, and also a break from the reality in which college admissions works, ... Like the notion that you can’t use race for Black and Latino and Indigenous and poor Asian kids. You can’t use it as a nudge factor. But like, guess what? Race is used for white people in college admissions."

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | With affirmative action gutted for college, race-conscious work programs may be next

June 30, 2023 – from Capital Public Radio NPR
But Tillery doesn't expect any changes to DEI initiatives overnight. He argues that those programs fall under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and that companies can maintain their programs by reframing their language. "The current structure of the workforces in corporate America suggests that there are tons of gaps between the races," Tillery said, adding, "Diversity, equity and inclusion work can be reframed as trying to figure out what's behind the processes creating these gaps and then filling the void by creating structures and processes to make sure that you're not discriminating under Title VII."

Professor Chloe N. Thurston | History says student loan debt relief isn’t un-American

June 30, 2023 – from Washington Post
On Friday the Supreme Court ruled that the Biden administration’s plan for student loan debt relief exceeded its statutory authority. In addition to the legal challenges the plan faced, prominent Republicans — who cheered the ruling — have argued that the concept of student debt relief runs counter to our country’s deepest commitments. As Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted, for example, we should not require taxpayers to “pay off $300 billion of other people’s debts … It’s un-American.” But history reveals that such claims are false. For much of the country’s history, Americans have pressed their governments for relief from debts — and often, legislators granted it. This long tradition suggests that today’s ruling won’t put an end to the debate over debt relief, and the activism associated with it may yet pave the way for new protective policies.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Affirmative Action Decision Could Create ‘Chilling Effect’ For Companies

June 29, 2023 – from Forbes
Alvin Tillery, a political science professor and director of Northwestern’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, told Forbes those lawsuits will surely come, but expects companies will still be able “to set targets and baseline goals around diversifying their workplace.” Tillery said companies genuinely committed to doing the work will find a way to continue amid backlash—likely by reframing their practices to “drop the diversity angle” and focus on the requirement to not discriminate through the Civil Rights Act—and companies that aren’t committed will just stop talking about it.

Professors Anthony Chen, Alvin B. Tillery, Jr | Anthony Chen, Alvin Tillery

June 29, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
“This decision marks the end of an era,” said Anthony Chen, professor of sociology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and affiliated faculty member at the Institute for Policy Research. “Affirmative action and college and university admissions do raise questions for people these days, but it’s unquestionably a legacy of that storied moment in our history when civil rights protesters were braving police dogs,,," “What the court has given us today is really a radical break from precedent and also a break from the reality of how college admissions works,” said Alvin Tillery, professor of political science in the Weinberg College and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. “You can’t use race for Black and Latino and Indigenous and poor Asian kids, as a nudge factor, right? But guess what? Race is used for white people in college admissions,” he said.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Chicago schools navigating a new world as SCOTUS strikes down affirmative action

June 29, 2023 – from Crain's Chicago Business
“When you think about something like affirmative action, it really only matters at like 75 to 100 colleges out of the 3,500 nonprofit schools in the U.S. because admissions are not as competitive at these other places, and 95% of Black and Latino college students go to schools where there is not really a need for a big push for diversity,” said Alvin Tillery Jr., a professor of political science and director of Northwestern University's Center for the Study of Diversity & Democracy.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | How the End of Affirmative Action Could Affect the College Admissions Process

June 29, 2023 – from Time
Alvin Tillery, a Northwestern University political science professor, explains that it’s unclear if the trend will be to prioritize diversity through other methods or not, but he’s optimistic. “Affirmative action was never a requirement of any law, which is why it was so easy to strike down,” Tillery says. “It’s not part of Title VII, it was never viewed as any kind of anti-discrimination work. Schools were doing this because they believed in the mission.”

Zamone Perez, WCAS '22 | DoD: Chinese spy balloon did not collect, transmit data over the US

June 29, 2023 – from Military Times
The Pentagon said Thursday that the Chinese spy balloon that flew across the continental United States earlier this year did not collect any data during its flight. “It has been our assessment now that [the spy balloon] did not collect while it was transiting the United States or overflying the United States,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during the briefing. “And as we said at the time, we also took step steps to mitigate potential collection efforts.”

Professor Anthony S. Chen | Biden says Supreme Court ruling should not deter colleges from efforts to diversify their campuses

June 29, 2023 – from Chalkbeat
In his 6-3 opinion for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Harvard’s and the University of North Carolina’s race-conscious admissions policies were unconstitutional because they did not have “sufficiently focused and measurable objectives” that warranted the use of race; they used race in a “negative manner” that involved racial stereotyping; and their policies did not have “meaningful end points.” “That is a list of faults with the UNC and Harvard programs, but it could be read as a blueprint for what would pass muster in some subsequent lawsuit,” said Anthony S. Chen, an associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University, who is publishing a book on the history of affirmative action next year. But the ruling “doesn’t tell us specifically, well, what does a ‘sufficiently focused and measurable objective’ look like?” Chen added.

Professor Daniel Galvin | Child Care Is an Organizing Tool

June 29, 2023 – from Dissent
What worker centers may lack in the traditional bargaining power of unions, they make up for in a nimble and grassroots approach to organizing. That responsive approach has helped worker centers explode in popularity in recent decades, with an estimated 246 centers across the country in 2021. A key part of their success has been their commitment to “whole worker” organizing. “They help members see the connections between the discrimination they face in the workplace and discrimination they face in a larger community and larger society,” said Daniel J. Galvin, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University. “All of these are manifestations of the lack of power that low-wage workers typically have over the decisions that shape their lives. The workplace is just one arena in which that happens.”

Matthew J. Lacombe, Ph.D. | The key to countering the rising anti-LGBTQ tide is building bridges

June 28, 2023 – from Washington Post
As LGBT Americans have gathered at Pride celebrations across the United States, their community faces an increasingly hostile political environment. Over the past year, there has been a notable increase in the number of anti-LGBT bills introduced and passed by state legislatures. Based on data collected by the American Civil Liberties Union, 491 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced this year and 72 have become state law. This compares to only 45 bills introduced and two enacted in 2018.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Northwestern affirms commitment to diversity after SCOTUS strikes down affirmative action

June 28, 2023 – from the Daily Northwestern
At elite universities such as Harvard, approximately 30% of spaces are “encumbered” before admissions even start because of legacy admissions and athletics, Tillery said, two categories which primarily benefit white students. “Because of the nature of our society in the middle of the twentieth century when affirmative action was put in place, we know that these two categories are filled with affluent white people,” Tillery said. “What are the knock-on effects of saying that you cannot use race at all in admissions? Does this mean we can no longer encumber students?”

Professor Sally Nuamah, Ph.D. | A Fading School Reform? Mayoral Control Is Ending in Another City

June 27, 2023 – from Education Week
The school closures, which affected primarily Black and Hispanic students, followed the city’s decision to close the Cabrini-Green public housing project in the early 2000s. For Chicago’s Black and Hispanic families, school closures under Emanuel and mayoral control felt like a threat to their livelihood, said Sally Nuamah, a political science professor at Northwestern University who has studied the effects of mass school closures on Black Americans. “This is about the fate of Black and brown communities,” Nuamah said. “And once people understood that, whether their schools closed or not, they could see why they should be invested in this issue and engaged in the resistance.”

Professor Emeritus Wesley G. Skogan | REVIEW: Stop & Frisk and the Politics of Crime in Chicago (2023)

June 26, 2023 – from Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books
Skogan presents a complicated and, often, conflicted perspective on stop and frisk. He concludes that “stop & frisk was quite inefficient, of unimpressive effectiveness, and raised serious equity issues … a toxic mix of both under-policing and over-policing was going on at the same time.” Id. at 17. That said, Skogan also points to limited success in the policy’s implementation in Chicago. He notes that 2016-18 data shows that, even though the practice had been wound back considerably by that point, stop and frisk still accounted for 7,000 firearms seized by police out of a total of 19,580 — a significant 35 percent. However, he also notes that despite the dropping rate of stops, the “hit” rate of successful stops in the period remained essentially stable: only 25 percent of stops resulted in actions before 2016, with a marginal rise to 27 percent in 2016-18.

Professor William Reno | No, China isn't providing tanks to Ukraine for use against Russia | Fact check

June 26, 2023 – from USA Today
It would be "highly unlikely" for China to provide tanks to Ukraine at this point in the conflict, William Reno, chair of Northwestern University's political science department, told USA TODAY. "Doing so would not serve China's national interests," Reno said in an email. "China benefits from the exhaustion of Russia’s military while NATO member states are preoccupied with this conflict. China wins by staying on the sidelines."?

Professor James Druckman | One year after the reversal of Roe, reflecting on what has changed

June 22, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
“The Dobbs decision has changed the electoral landscape in fundamental ways,” said James Druckman, the Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “It has created a conundrum for many Republican candidates whose donors and primary election voters may support restrictions even though it appears to be a losing strategy in most general elections.”

Rodrigo Barrenechea, Isabel Castillo, Ph.Ds | Seminario Internacional: "Vaciamiento democrático: Erosión sin concentración del poder en el Perú"

June 22, 2023 – from Facultad de Gobierno Universidad de Chile
La democracia de Perú está muriendo. El país llegó a los titulares internacionales después de un ciclo de inestabilidad política que dejó atrás siete presidentes en siete años, un intento de golpe de Estado fallido y 60 personas muertas después de protestas violentas y represión brutal por parte del gobierno. Sin embargo, a diferencia de las historias habituales sobre la democracia siendo presa del ejército o un líder popular que la desmantela desde adentro, la democracia de Perú está muriendo no debido a la concentración de poder, sino a la dilución del poder. La fragmentación electoral, el amateurismo político y las débiles conexiones con la sociedad han dejado la política poblada de políticos dispuestos a romper las normas democráticas para obtener ganancias a corto plazo. Llamamos a ese proceso "vaciamiento democrático".

Zamone Perez WCAS '22 | How old Army admin systems mangled the names of fallen Latino soldiers

June 22, 2023 – from Army Times
From punch cards to press releases, the Army’s personnel systems have struggled to render special characters — like the space in Basaldua Ruiz’s name — for decades, mangling memories, identities and heritage in the process. While the Army said a recent human resources system upgrade will fix the issue moving forward, the service’s record-keeping policies and database technological constraints stripped such characters and “closed up” compound names. Other names were cut off. The problem disproportionately impacts Latino and Native American soldiers, whose compound surnames often include spaces.

Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | World well short of pace needed to meet UN’s 2030 sustainable development goals

June 20, 2023 – from ABC 27 WHTM
Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, an associate professor of political science and environmental policy and culture at Northwestern University who did not work on the report, said that while she sees pressing global development shortfalls on issues like the climate emergency, she thinks the Biden administration is taking climate seriously. She also saw signs of optimism in China’s progress on renewable energy. Though the country ranked below the U.S. in the report, it has invested more in clean energy, according to research firm BloombergNEF.

Professor Ariel Zellman | Mobilizing for Jihad: How Political Exclusion and Organized Protest Contribute to Foreign Fighter Outflows

June 20, 2023 – from Terrorism and Political Violence
This article adds to a growing literature explaining driving forces behind Muslim foreign fighters in Jihadist conflicts. Employing quantitative analyses, we examine counts of Muslim foreign fighters from non-Muslim majority countries in Iraq and Syria from 2011 to 2015. We find that greater numbers of foreign fighters come from countries where Muslim minorities are politically organized, excluded from policymaking processes, and engaged in peaceful mobilization than countries where these conditions are otherwise absent. These results contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms by which aggrieved individuals tend to be recruited in larger numbers to participate in foreign wars.

Professor Ian Hurd | Law, Anarchy, and Rule: The Authority of the International Rule of Law

June 15, 2023 – from Rule in International Politics (Cambridge University Press)
The ideology of the rule of law posits a hierarchical relationship with law and rules in a position of authority over the subjects. In international affairs, this is represented by the popular view that international order follows once governments accept the authority of international law and institutions. The idea that states are subordinate to international law is central to the international rule of law, but it directly contradicts the equally popular image of international affairs as a domain of anarchy. Anarchy presumes that governments are not subordinate to any source of authority while the rule of law says that they are. The fact that two apparently fundamental assumptions of international theory are incompatible with each other suggests an urgent need to look closely at both.

Professor Karen J. Alter | The Contested Authority and Legitimacy of International Law

June 15, 2023 – from Rule in International Politics (Cambridge University Press)
International law (IL) draws its legitimacy and authority from public affirmations and diffuse support for the rule of law, yet contestation about IL is to be expected. States collectively rule and contest international politics through the crafting, invocation, and interpretation of IL. The chapter explores both ordinary and extraordinary contestations of IL authority. Ordinary contestation takes place within a legal field, when lawyers, stakeholders, judges, and government officials debate, contest, and disagree about the meaning of IL. Political tactics are also part of ordinary contestation, but because the curators of IL authority are transnational, a state may be unable to impose its preferred IL interpretation.

Professor Anthony S. Chen | The Past and Future of Affirmative Action in College Admissions

June 15, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
Although schools like Michigan, UCLA, and Cornell didn't really have Jim Crow segregation, they also didn't have very many African American students. So they thought they needed to do something more to create a world where racial equality was real, on the ground, and not just a promise in the air. They wanted to reimagine ways of assessing academic merit so that the next generation of Black applicants wouldn't be lost to racial inequality—so that capable Black applicants could get a higher education right away and begin to make their way in a society that was finally fully open to them.

Ji Hye Choi WCAS '23 | In students’ speeches, a nod to the ‘true power of community’

June 15, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
Choi’s college path was marked by intense hardship when she was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. She said she continued her classes because they took her mind off the sickness, which helped her learn about the “true power of community,” which “truly healed me.” Now cancer-free, Choi will be completing a congressional internship in D.C. this summer before heading to South Korea on a Fulbright scholarship. “Let us embrace difference, and recognize sameness,” Choi said. “Community is a powerful act of resistance in a world that tries to pull us apart.”

Professor Tabitha Bonilla & Amanda Sahar d'Urso, Ph.D. | Religion or Race? Using Intersectionality to Examine the Role of Muslim Identity and Evaluations on Belonging in the United States

June 15, 2023 – from Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
How do White Americans evaluate the politics of belonging in the United States across different ethnoreligious identity categories? This paper examines this question through two competing frameworks. On the one hand, given the salience of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States, we consider whether White Americans penalize Muslim immigrants to the United States regardless of their ethnoracial background. On the other hand, Muslim identity is often conflated by the general public with Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) ethnoracial identity. We argue MENA-Muslim identity should be understood through the lens of intersectionality. In this case, White Americans may penalize MENA-Muslims immigrants to the United States more than Muslims from other ethnoracial groups.

Professor Matthew J. Lacombe | Power in a Union: How Unexpected Group Partnerships Form

June 14, 2023 – from Perspectives on Politics
While scholars have focused extensively on the consequences of partnerships between interest groups, less attention has been paid to the historical dynamics shaping when, how, and why such groups unite. This is especially true of “unexpected” partnerships, which unite groups with seemingly little in common. Such partnerships are important, as they can reshape to an unusual degree which actors, issues, and ideas “fit together” politically. We address the puzzle of how unexpected group partnerships form through case studies of previously non-existent alliances between labor unions and the gay/lesbian rights movement in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s.

Professor Brian Libgober | How Does Living Under Left-Wing Authoritarianism Affect Refugees Who Settle in Democracies? Evidence From Soviet Refugees (WP-23-16)

June 14, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research: Working Paper Series
The researchers use data on Jewish refugees resettled in the United States between 1938 and 2005, along with survey data on Israeli citizens born in the Former Soviet Union, to demonstrate the persistent downstream political consequences of socialization under left-wing authoritarian regimes. Using a within-family research design that allows them to identify the effect of spending more time under left-wing authoritarianism relative to younger siblings, they show that additional years spent under such regimes result in a higher likelihood of voting and of identifying with right-wing political parties after immigration to democratic countries.

Laila Skramstad WCAS '24 | Migrant Exposure and Individual-Level Trust: First Impressions from a Systematic Literature Review

June 14, 2023 – from Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Global forced migration has reached the highest level since World War II. The global increase in human mobility raises the question: what dynamics emerge between migrants and receiving communities, and how do migrant arrivals shape trust among individuals? This report presents initial findings from a systematic literature review of quantitative survey-based research on the relationship between migrant exposure and sociopolitical trust. Using a predetermined search string in Web of Science, we coded peer-reviewed literature that quantitatively estimates effects of migrant exposure on respondents’ political or social trust and/or perception of economic or physical security.

Ph.D. candidates Qin Huang, Andrew Saab, and Dinara Urazova selected as Buffett Institute Global Impacts Graduate Fellows 2023-24

June 14, 2023 – from Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Northwestern Buffett’s Global Impacts Graduate Fellowship Program provides financial and programmatic support to an interdisciplinary cohort of approximately 16 graduate students (in their 3rd through 7th years). Programmatic support focuses on essential dissertation support and on professional development and growth opportunities that will improve young scholars’ prospects on academic and non-academic job markets. The cohort will be offered access to networks, skills, and mentoring to explore career opportunities for global studies PhDs in international affairs, policy, and development. (Programming will be designed to permit remote participation and to accommodate dissertation travel and teaching to the extent possible).

Ph.D. Candidate Ely Orrego Torres selected as 2023-24 Sciences Po Visiting Fellow

June 13, 2023 – from French Interdisciplinary Group
The French Interdisciplinary Group administrates a nine-month graduate fellowship at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, or Sciences Po, to conduct dissertation research with the assistance of a Sciences Po faculty member. The exchange is especially recommended for students in sociology, international relations, comparative politics (political science) and contemporary history.

In Memoriam | Marian Richter Bolz, WCAS '50

June 11, 2023 – from Wisconsin State Journal
In 1946, Marian graduated from Southern Seminary (a boarding school) in Virginia and in 1950, from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she was elected VP of the Student Government and a member of its honorary May Court. Following graduation, she traveled in post-World War II Europe and the Caribbean and wrote and lectured about her experiences. Marian later worked as a women's wear buyer for Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago and Macy's in Kansas City. A recognized community leader and fundraiser in the arts, Marian served as president of the Madison Civic Music Association (symphony, opera and chorus) and then president of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She founded the Madison Symphony Orchestra League and later became a life trustee.

Katy Kim WCAS '23 | The culinary odyssey of NU student Katy Kim

June 10, 2023 – from North by Northwestern
Katy Kim mixes orange lavender marmalade into Greek yogurt, swipes whipped miso butter onto artisan bread and adds fig jam to thyme-infused ice cream. For this Weinberg fourth-year majoring in Art History and Political Science, food is an opportunity to make “something out of nothing” and simply be creative. Kim started her first Instagram food account, @cakesniffing, during the pandemic to share her original food creations. With more than 300 posts and 5,000 followers, the account has helped Kim find a community within the home cooks of Instagram. But recently, she switched her focus to a second food account, @eatlettuceboy. It began as a to-go shop run from her apartment where students could buy one of Kim’s unique baked goods, salads or toasts every week.

Professor William Reno | Putin Trying to Intimidate NATO With Nuclear Weapons Move: Officials

June 9, 2023 – from Newsweek
Northwestern University political science professor William Reno said he thinks the announcement could have been made for a different reason. "It is plausible—and most likely—that the announcement is meant to signal the alignment between Russia and Belarus on strategic matters," Reno told Newsweek. He added that after Lukashenko faced allegations of rigging Belarus' 2020 presidential election in his favor, he "has become dependent upon Putin's favor to remain in power." "This dependence increased with the intensified Russian invasion of Ukraine, and even more so with the appearance of armed anti-Lukashenko 'partisans' in recent weeks from among exiled opposition activists," Reno said. "While NATO is a likely intended audience, I see Lukashenko's government and those who oppose him as the primary target for this signal."

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | What Trump’s second indictment means for his presidential run

June 9, 2023 – from WBEZ Chicago
In his second indictment in just a few months, former President Donald Trump now faces seven federal charges over his handling of classified documents after leaving office. Reset discusses what the indictment means for Trump’s political future and what it reveals about the U.S. political system. GUEST: Alvin Tillery, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Expulsions, Walkouts, Filibusters: Lawmakers Grapple with Acrimonious Legislative Sessions

June 9, 2023 – from The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint
Lawmakers “recognize that the general electorate would prefer that they compromise, but they think that the primary electorate wants them to oppose it,” said Laurel Harbridge-Yong, a Northwestern University political scientist. Civility can crumble when lawmakers draw gerrymandered districts or make voting rules that pick political winners and losers. It also erodes, Harbridge-Yong said, when lawmakers debate hard-to-compromise identity and morality issues, including abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. But lawmakers in districts dominated by one party need to stave off internal challengers rather than satisfy the broader voting public, she said.

Professor William Reno | Ukraine's at Risk of a Devastating Setback

June 6, 2023 – from Newsweek
"The stakes of the counteroffensive for Ukraine is the need to show Western backers that the investments and risks of the past year and a half bear fruit," Northwestern University political science professor William Reno told Newsweek. "Significant failure would open more political space for Western critics of aid, particularly in upcoming elections in Europe and the U.S." Reno added that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his "government also needs to show Ukrainian people that their sacrifices are not in vain and that conquered territories can be reclaimed."

Professor Danielle Gilbert | CSIS Commission on Hostage Taking and Wrongful Detention

June 5, 2023 – from Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Hostage Taking and Wrongful Detention explores responses to the growing phenomenon of hostage taking. Over the next 18 months, the bipartisan commission will meet to explore and consider tools to strengthen U.S. policy, with the goal of: Proposing new U.S. government policies that could deter further hostage taking; Studying the efficacy of different strategies toward diverse actors; Developing additional tools and authorities to empower U.S. officials and the families of hostages.

Florencia Guerzovich, Ph.D. | How to Build Movements with Cyclical Patterns in Mind

June 5, 2023 – from NPQ Nonprofit Quarterly
The world changes too much for anyone who is invested in social change work to imagine that this work is linear and predictable. Opportunities come and go, whether caused by a pandemic or political shifts. This much most social movement leaders and activists intuitively understand. But what can be done with this realization? How might movement groups better prepare for moments of opportunity? We want to explore how we can create the changes we want to see by responding to the changes that are outside our control.

Distinguished Lecturer Cody Keenan WCAS '02 | DC insider on the 10 most crucial days of the Obama presidency

June 3, 2023 – from Rawstory
Ten days in June 2015 were some of the most intense during the presidency of Barack Obama. The president was awaiting US Supreme Court decisions on the fate of the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality. And, on June 17, a hate-fueled white supremacist shot to death nine African American worshippers at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. Chief White House speechwriter Cody Keenan focuses on this extraordinary period in his revelatory and lively new book Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America (Mariner Books). In response to this perfect storm of historic events, Mr. Keenan drafted memorable speeches and a heartfelt and now immortal eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney and other victims of the Charleston violence.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. | Freedom of speech in higher education and harnessing the power of difference

June 2, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
“I did not go to college thinking, ‘I am just going to speak now, I’m going to say whatever I want, wherever I want, with no consequences,’” said Alvin B. Tillery Jr., sharing his own experience of overt racism directed at him by professors at Harvard when he was a graduate student. A professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy in Weinberg College, Tillery said higher education should do more to set standards by teaching students to rely on good information and facts. Tillery, who by his count has taught introduction to American politics to approximately 10,000 students at three universities since 1999, also said conservative voices on college campuses are alive and well.


Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Quantifying the power of bipartisan coalitions

May 31, 2023 – from The Journal of Politics
We confront the puzzle of why bipartisanship is alive and well in Congress, despite notable increases in party polarization and rising primary election threats. The answer is remarkably simple—bipartisanship unambiguously helps individual legislators who seek to advance their policy goals. We show that members of the House and Senate from the 93rd to 114th Congresses (1973–2016) who attract a larger portion of their bill cosponsors from the opposing party are much more successful at lawmaking. We show these patterns to be remarkably robust to both majority-party and minority-party lawmakers, under changing legislative and electoral conditions and over time. Moreover, a clear path to attracting bipartisan cosponsors involves reciprocity, making cosponsoring others’ bills across party lines attractive.

Professor Sally Nuamah | NEPC Talks Education: Discussing the Causes and Potential Consequences of Declining Enrollment

May 30, 2023 – from National Education Policy Center
In this month’s episode of NEPC Talks Education, Christopher Saldaña discusses the causes and potential consequences of declining enrollment in K-12 public schools with Thomas Dee, the Barnett Family Professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Education, and Sally Nuamah, a professor of Urban Politics in Human Development, Social Policy, and Political Science at Northwestern University. Nuamah details findings from her new book, Closed for Democracy, which highlights the impact of school closures on Black families and communities in Chicago and Philadelphia's K-12 public schools. She argues that closing schools removes key democratic organizations from communities, and she explains that even when communities successfully stop a school from closing, the victory often comes at a cost, resulting in disillusionment and distrust in the democratic process.

Professor James Mahoney | Constructivist Set-Theoretic Analysis: An Alternative to Essentialist Social Science

May 30, 2023 – from Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Psychological essentialism is a cognitive bias through which human beings conceive the entities around them as having inner essences and basic natures. Social scientists routinely generate flawed inferences because their methods require the truth of psychological essentialism. This article develops set-theoretic analysis as a scientific-constructivist approach that overcomes the bias of psychological essentialism. With this approach, the “sets” of set-theoretic analysis are mental phenomena that establish boundaries and identify similarities and differences among entities whose natural kind composition is not known. The approach is illustrated through a consideration of research on intelligence, race, and poverty in the United States.

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Instruction over Incentives: Assessing Reading Strategies for International Security Studies

May 30, 2023 – from International Studies Perspectives
Discussion-based courses in international relations rely on students’ careful reading of complex texts in advance of class. However, instructors face a perennial problem: many students do not read effectively, or at all. We argue that students often want to, but do not always know how to, read such material effectively. With instruction and guidance on effective reading strategies, students can improve reading comprehension. To test our hypotheses, we measure the effects of (1) receiving course-preparation assignment worksheets (CPAs), (2) receiving critical/active reading strategies instruction, or (3) receiving both interventions (1) and (2) on students’ consumption of reading assignments and reading comprehension. Across four sections of an “International Security Studies” course, we tested our hypotheses using student self-assessment.

Professor James Druckman | Working Paper: How to Study Democratic Backsliding

May 30, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
The twenty-first century has been one of democratic backsliding. This has stimulated wideranging scholarship on the extent and causes of the erosion of democracy. Yet, an overarching framework that identifies levels of analysis, specific actors, particular behaviors, and psychological processes is lacking. Druckman offers such a structure that envelops elites (e.g., elected officials, the judiciary), societal actors (e.g., social movements, interest groups), media (e.g., television, social media), and citizens. He discusses erosive threats stemming from each actor and the concomitant role of psychological biases. He concludes by discussing various lessons, and suggestions for how to study democratic backsliding.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Voters want compromise in Congress – so why the brinkmanship over the debt ceiling?

May 30, 2023 – from The Conversation
The difficulty that Congress and the White House are having in reaching compromises highlights two aspects of contemporary politics. The first: Since the 1970s, both the House and Senate have become much more polarized. Members of the two parties are more unified internally and further apart from the opposing party. You don’t have the overlap between parties now that existed 50 years ago. Even as we’ve had rising polarization, we still have important differences within the parties. Not every Democrat is the same as another and not every Republican is the same. This relates to a second point: Members’ individual and collective interests shape their behavior. For Republicans in more competitive districts, their own individual electoral interests probably say, “Let’s cut a deal. Let’s not risk a default that the Republicans get blamed for."

Professor Stephen Nelson | Too afraid to ask: Decoding the U.S. debt ceiling crisis and its implications

May 30, 2023 – from North by Northwestern
Both parties’ firm stances on their respective plans has resulted in unproductive negotiations and multiple breakdowns in debt ceiling talks. The worst-case scenario? Negotiations continue to remain in gridlock and no agreement is made. The U.S. would then have to default on its financial obligations, meaning it would essentially miss payments to creditors and be rendered unable to borrow. Northwestern Associate Professor of Political Science Stephen Nelson, whose research focuses on international and comparative political economy, explains that this would have far-reaching consequences both domestically and globally. The default would further downgrade the nation’s credit rating, and its impacts would ripple through the economy, affecting everything from government programs and services to financial markets and investor confidence.

Professor Emeritus Wesley G. Skogan | Stop & Frisk and the Politics of Crime in Chicago

May 24, 2023 – from BSC Policing Network
During the past 25 years, American policing moved from a focus on responding to crimes in progress or (more often) already committed toward proactive strategies for preventing or deterring future crimes from occurring in the first place. Rather than cleaning up in the aftermath of crime, police have taken responsibility for its occurrence. This seemed to work for a while, as crime declined during the 1990s, but in the mid-2000s violent crime began to grow. Police now had responsibility for crime, and this led almost inevitably to more heavily targeted and aggressive police tactics.

Dara Gaines, Ph.D. Candidate | The Graduate School Spotlight: Dara Gaines

May 24, 2023 – from The Graduate School
Dara Gaines is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Her dissertation examines how geography and race influence rural African American political attitudes and political behavior prediction. Her study relies on groundbreaking sociological and political science studies, bridging the gap between historical evidence and contemporary politics for African Americans who reside outside of urban areas.

Professor Wendy Pearlman | Muzoon: A Syrian Refugee Speaks Out

May 24, 2023 – from Penguin Random House
This eye-opening memoir tells the story of a young girl’s life in Syria, her family’s wrenching decision to leave their home, and the upheaval of life in a refugee camp. Though her life had utterly changed, one thing remained the same. She knew that education was the key to a better future—for herself, and so that she could help her country. She went from tent to tent in the camp, trying to convince other kids, especially girls, to come to school. And her passion and dedication soon had people calling her the “Malala of Syria.” Muzoon has grown into an internationally recognized advocate for refugees, for education, and for the rights of girls and women, and is now a UNICEF goodwill ambassador—the first refugee to play that role. Muzoon’s story is absolutely riveting and will inspire young readers to use their own voices and stand up for what they believe in.

Professor Shmuel Nili | Getting away with it? Kleptocracy, atrocities, and the morality of autocratic exile

May 24, 2023 – from International Theory
Foreign exile has often served as an important solution to high-stakes standoffs between opposition forces and beleaguered autocrats. I assess the moral status of autocratic exile, by focusing on the tension between exile's contribution to domestic peace and its threat to global deterrence against autocracy. I begin by contending that transitioning societies normally have the moral prerogative of accepting an exile arrangement for their autocrat, even though such an arrangement harms global deterrence against autocracy. I then suggest that, in the absence of clear evidence of majority opposition to an exile arrangement within the transitioning society, foreign countries who have been entangled in an autocrat's rule will normally have a decisive duty to facilitate his exile, despite exile's repercussions for global deterrence.

James Druckman | Media use and vaccine resistance

May 22, 2023 – from PNAS Nexus
Public health requires collective action—the public best addresses health crises when individuals engage in prosocial behaviors. Failure to do so can have dire societal and economic consequences. This was made clear by the disjointed, politicized response to COVID-19 in the United States. Perhaps no aspect of the pandemic exemplified this challenge more than the sizeable percentage of individuals who delayed or refused vaccination. While scholars, practitioners, and the government devised a range of communication strategies to persuade people to get vaccinated, much less attention has been paid to where the unvaccinated could be reached. We address this question using multiple waves of a large national survey as well as various secondary data sets.

Professor Kim Suiseeya | Students and faculty present research on Indigenous peoples at fifth annual CNAIR symposium

May 22, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Out of the more than 21,000 students who graduated from medical school in 2022, only 193 self-identified as American Indian or Alaska Native, according to the American Academy of Medical Colleges. Financial costs, a dearth of available mentors and a lack of early STEM education pathways, among other factors, prevent Indigenous people from matriculating to and graduating from medical school, Giger said. “It’s a very, very common experience of just the isolation of being the only one and the difficulty of cohort building,” Giger said. “(We should think) about how we can build a cohort across the country across new students at different schools to make some change.” At the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research’s fifth annual symposium Thursday, Giger presented on a community focus group. The study examined the underrepresentation of Indigenous people in medical school.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | Our Chicago: City's new mayor and City Council changes

May 16, 2023 – from ABC 7 Eyewitness News
"I think the challenge for Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson is going to be how does he move successfully from his multi-racial electoral coalition into a multi-racial governing coalition," said Dominguez, "So right now I give him an A in terms of just how he's put this team together. He did say that he's going to put together a team that reflects the city of Chicago and I think so far he's done that." The new City Council will be more diverse with more women including two Asian Americans on the council, LGBTQ-plus members will make up a fifth of the council and there will be 20 Black alderpeople. "As someone that welcomes civic engagement and the inclusion of different voices and perspectives, I think that's great for the city of Chicago," said Dominguez.

Professor William Reno | ‘Escalation of the conflict would be a step closer to direct contact with NATO’

May 16, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
“My take is that it's a higher probability it was a staged attack (firecrackers over the Kremlin) as a pretext for a Russian decision to escalate the conflict. That likely would take the form of attacks on Ukraine's political leadership. Putin has threatened such action. These developments are unfolding against a backdrop of what are most certainly Ukrainian aerial attacks on energy infrastructure inside Russia and in Russian-held parts of Ukraine. “My concern is a change in the patterns of Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian targets. This could take the form of targeting Ukraine’s leadership. Or it could mean targeting the shipment of western weapons after they have crossed the border into Ukraine. Either would mark a significant escalation of the conflict, the latter perhaps more so because it would be a step closer to direct contact with NATO forces.”

Professor Jacqueline Stevens | Chicago to see immediate impact amid Title 42 fallout

May 16, 2023 – from Fox 32 Chicago
The Trump-era boarder rule has expired and an influx of migrants is expected in sanctuary cities like Chicago. City leaders are struggling to provide resources to the thousands of migrants already in the area. Political science professor at Northwestern Jacqueline Stevens explains the immediate impacts to follow.

Professor William Reno | U.K. Crosses Putin's Red Line

May 16, 2023 – from Newsweek
Will Reno, the chairman of the political science department at Northwestern University, told Newsweek that he feels the U.K. missiles "are intended to put all Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory within range of Ukraine's armed forces. That capability would be important to support a Ukrainian counteroffensive on the ground." As for Putin's supposed "red lines," Reno said that the Kremlin has frequently "scaled back the definition of 'victory' to control of Crimea and areas of eastern Ukraine occupied from 2014." "That shift signals weakness to the Ukrainians, as does Putin's failure to respond decisively when red lines are crossed," he added.

Ana Luiza Vedovato, Ph.D. Candidate | International Relations beyond universities: the communication of the area through popular education

May 10, 2023 – from Caminho Aberto
In this article, we discuss the role of communicating International Relations issues with Brazilian society through Popular Education practices, addressing how Popular Education can help strengthen the debate between university and society on international issues. In the first section, we present our theoretical-practical foundation, dialoguing with the context of Popular Education in Brazil and the emergence and implementation of the discipline of International Relations in the country. Afterwards, we present our methodology which, based on Paulo Freire, presupposes social transformation, collectivity and dialogue in the learning processes. Finally, in the third section, we covered our experiences as popular educators to present the construction and execution of our practice based on the extension project “Popular Education and International Relations."

Professor Ana Arjona and Professor Wendy Pearlman | Meet the Editorial Team for Perspectives on Politics, 2023-2026

May 10, 2023 – from Political Science Now
The American Political Science Association (APSA) is delighted to announce that Ana Arjona and Wendy Pearlman of Northwestern University have been selected to lead the APSA flagship journal Perspectives on Politics from June 1, 2023, until May 31, 2026. The journal will be housed in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University.

Ubeydullah Ademi, Ph.D. Candidate | Democratic transition and party polarization: A fuzzy regression discontinuity design approach

May 10, 2023 – from Party Politics
How does democratic transition affect party polarization? While previous literature on party politics in post-transition environments describes a fragmented political system marked by multi-partism and the rise of weakly institutionalized parties, party polarization in young democracies is underexplored. We argue that democratic transition reduces party polarization by introducing a new set of parties which have not consolidated their issue positions yet. The ambiguity of party positions makes ideological attributes less salient and renders a less polarized party politics. To assess the impact of the party polarization in young democracies, we employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity design (RDD). We use the Manifesto Project data on right-left positions of parties from 58 countries to measure party polarization and the Varieties of Democracy (V-DEM) data on regime transition.

Professor Will Reno and Jahara Matisek, Ph.D. | Ukraine Can Point the Pentagon Toward a New Way of War

May 8, 2023 – from Wall Street Journal
The Ukraine conflict shows that the U.S. needs to adapt to the realities of war in the 21st century. Perhaps the best place to begin is developing unconventional military partners. To be sure, the war also shows the value of America’s traditional alliances. Since February 2022, our joint civilian-military research team has studied Western efforts to provide military training to Ukrainian troops. Many trainers with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan told us that Ukrainian troops are much more motivated and proficient than Iraqi and Afghan soldiers were. The relationship is also mutually beneficial: American forces are learning from Ukrainian soldiers’ engagement with a near-peer adversary—something the U.S. hasn’t encountered since the Korean war. Yet American support for Ukraine is hindered by a failure to cultivate new partners.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Top-Four Primaries Help Moderate Candidates via Crossover Voting: The Case of the 2022 Alaska Election Reforms

May 8, 2023 – from The Forum
Concerns about polarization and the difficulty moderate candidates have in winning primary elections have driven several electoral reform efforts in recent decades. In this article, we leverage reforms prior to the 2022 elections in Alaska to assess whether the top-four primary is likely to help moderate candidates succeed. We evaluate three mechanisms by which the top-four might help moderates: by allowing them to advance from the primary and compete for votes from the more moderate general electorate, by changing the composition of the primary electorate and/or by facilitating crossover voting during the primary. Our analysis suggests that the top-four primary creates opportunities for cross-party voting that can enhance the electoral prospects of moderate candidates.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | The Bipartisan Path to Effective Lawmaking

May 8, 2023 – from The Journal of Politics
We confront the puzzle of why bipartisanship is alive and well in Congress, despite notable increases in party polarization and rising primary election threats. The answer is remarkably simple—bipartisanship unambiguously helps individual legislators who seek to advance their policy goals. We show that members of the House and Senate from the 93rd to 114th Congresses (1973–2016) who attract a larger portion of their bill cosponsors from the opposing party are much more successful at lawmaking. We show these patterns to be remarkably robust to both majority-party and minority-party lawmakers, under changing legislative and electoral conditions and over time. Moreover, a clear path to attracting bipartisan cosponsors involves reciprocity, making cosponsoring others’ bills across party lines attractive.

Professor Ian Hurd | Spotlight on Ukraine, and a case for investment in global security

May 3, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
The stakes in Ukraine remain existential—not just for Ukrainians, but for the security of the entire global community. This was the message that the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch delivered at an April 19 event hosted by the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies (WCCIAS) at Northwestern. In her comments, Yovanovitch underscored that providing support to Ukraine “is not a charity,” but an investment in global security. “If we don't support Ukraine and help Ukraine end this war with victory,” she said, Russia will continue pursuing territorial expansion in the region. Europe will be destabilized, and the international order will be undermined if Russia doesn’t face accountability, she continued, ultimately making the U.S. itself “less secure, [less] prosperous and … less free.”

Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | Manifesting, Measuring, and Mitigating Climate Change

May 3, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
While scientists at Northwestern and other institutions are working on the processes of climate change, IPR researchers are approaching it from an equally important perspective, that of the social sciences. Their questions tackle deep-seated social and political issues, such as: How does climate change affect how people live, in the U.S. and across the globe? How does it widen inequities among people? How do we measure and address its impacts? Which policies will prove more effective in healing the planet and bettering its people’s health?

Professor Larry Stuelpnagel | How Does Maria Bartiromo Still Work at Fox News?

May 3, 2023 – from The Daily Beast
“They were way more out front in the Dominion lawsuit,” noted Larry Stuelpnagel, an associate professor of journalism and a lecturer in political science at Northwestern University. “They were also [more] out front than Tucker in the Dominion situation. Maybe there’s some negotiations going on right now with their contract—who knows what’s going to come out of that. Maybe when that next lawsuit comes, there will be more to learn.”

Professor William Reno | Who's Behind the Drones Found Near Moscow?

May 3, 2023 – from Newsweek
The fact that the drone reports have come solely from Russian state media has led to some skepticism, though. Northwestern University political science professor William Reno told Newsweek that he doesn't "put much stock in these reports" because of the stories' timing. "It is too convenient to claim that Ukraine is launching attacks deep into Russia at just about the time that the latest U.S. Department of Defense leak describes how Ukrainians wanted to strike deep into Russia while U.S. officials struggled to convince them not to do that," Reno said.

Summer Pappachen, Ph.D. Candidate | SOLR hosts May Day event to celebrate campus workers, spotlight intersectional activism efforts

May 3, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Hundreds of students and workers gathered in the Multicultural Center Monday to celebrate May Day, which recognizes the struggles and gains of international labor organization efforts. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers from around the U.S. went on strike for an 8-hour workday. Three years later, an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions commemorated it with the observance of the first May Day. Second-year Ph.D. student in political science Summer Pappachen said NUGW needs intersectional activism “more than anything else.” Community organizing means recognizing that you have little power as an individual, but “more power than you could ever imagine” as a collective, Pappachen added. Pappachen, a bargaining committee member, said university campuses have historically been a place to organize demands.

Professor Ana Arjona | The Long-Term Economic Legacies of Rebel Rule in Civil War: Micro Evidence From Colombia

May 2, 2023 – from Journal of Conflict Resolution
A growing literature has documented widespread variation in the extent to which insurgents provide public goods, collect taxes, and regulate civilian conduct. This paper offers what is, to our knowledge, the first study of the long-term economic legacies of rebel governance. This effect is theoretically unclear. Rebel governance may generate incentives for households to expand production and accumulate resources. However, rebel rule may be too unstable to maintain such incentives. We explore empirically the effect of rebel rule on households’ economic resilience using a longitudinal dataset for Colombia. Results show a positive relation between wartime rebel rule and the ability of households to cope with weather shocks in the post-war period. Households in regions where armed groups were present but exercised limited or no intervention fare worse.

Julia Brown, Ph.D. | John Locke on Reading the Bible: Rational Obscurity and the Lockean “Rule”

May 2, 2023 – from Political Theology
This essay resists the tendency to separate Lockean reason from revelation, and his political concerns from his Christian theology. Rather than a repudiation, in significant ways, Locke’s Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul is the application of his methodological or hermeneutic approach to reading scripture laid out in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. While the fundamental articles of Christianity were “plain” and “clear” in the gospels, requiring minimal interpretation, far more labor was required to render Paul’s sense “plain” and “clear.” Rather than a simplistic notion of doctrinal minimalism, Locke’s Christianity amplified order, duty, and obedience.


Owen Brown, Ph.D. Candidate | Workshop on race and international relations brings diverse voices into conversation

April 25, 2023 – from Keough School of Global Affairs
The intersection of race and international relations was the focus of an intensive workshop sponsored by the Klau Institute on March 31, 2023. The workshop was an initiative of Zoltan Buzas, associate professor of global affairs at the Keough School. Owen Brown, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University and one of the emerging scholars participating in the workshop, relished the freedom to engage honestly with these divergent approaches. “I appreciate that there wasn't a push, having these worlds collide, in a sense, no need to reconcile that or make it all sort of fit together,” he remarked. “I think leaving some of these tensions, leaving those be in sense, is fruitful. Engaging others’ work in a productive and helpful way that isn't combative.”

Rodrigo Barrenechea, Ph.D. | Peru: The Danger of Powerless Democracy

April 25, 2023 – from Journal of Democracy
Peru‘s democracy is dying. The country made international headlines after a cycle of political instability that left behind seven presidents in seven years, a failed coup, and 60 people dead after violent protests and brutal repression by the government. However, unlike the usual stories about democracy falling prey to the military or a popular strongman dismantling it from within, Peru‘s democracy is dying not from power concentration but from power dilution. Electoral fragmentation, political amateurism, and weak linkages with society have left politics populated by politicians willing to break democratic norms to make short-term gains. We call that process “democratic hollowing.”

Moses Khisa, Ph.D. | Militarism and the Politics of Covid-19 Response in Uganda

April 25, 2023 – from Armed Forces & Society
Within the broader context of securitized responses to Covid-19 globally, Uganda experienced an oversized military role, ranging from law-and-order and lockdown enforcement, to managing food-relief supplies, medical operations, and partisan political repression. What explains this excessive militarization? To address this poser, the article draws on secondary sources and key-informant interviews to test the hypothesis that military involvement in pandemic responses depends on pre-pandemic militarism. The findings reveal direct links between pre-crisis militarism and Covid-19 responses, contrary to the view that exceptionality and novelty of Covid-19 informed overly militarized responses. This excessive militarization of public health seriously impacts civil–military relations, specifically command and control, reporting and accountability, and resources management.

Professor William Reno and Jahara Matisek, Ph.D. | More than a Hobby: Informal Security Assistance to Ukraine

April 25, 2023 – from Texas National Security Review
“We are where NATO should be,” says Rima Žiuraitiene, Managing Director of Blue/Yellow Ukraine. Her non-governmental organization communicates directly with combat units at the brigade level and uses trusted drivers to deliver much-needed equipment directly to units on the frontline, bypassing Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. Debates about appropriate military equipment for Ukraine continue a year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These arguments focus predominantly on state-to-state assistance. But they miss an important element of Kyiv’s battlefield performance: informal security assistance. Aid from domestic civil society, informal military networks, and foreign volunteers are bolstering the Armed Forces of Ukraine in real and meaningful ways.

Professor James Druckman and Jennifer Lin, Ph.D. Candidate | A 50-state survey study of thoughts of suicide and social isolation among older adults in the United States

April 25, 2023 – from Journal of Affective Disorders
We aimed to characterize the prevalence of social disconnection and thoughts of suicide among older adults in the United States, and examine the association between them in a large naturalistic study. We analyzed data from 6 waves of a fifty-state non-probability survey among US adults conducted between February and December 2021. The internet-based survey collected the PHQ-9, as well as multiple measures of social connectedness. We applied multiple logistic regression to analyze the association between presence of thoughts of suicide and social disconnection. Exploratory analysis examined heterogeneity of effects across sociodemographic groups. The effects of emotional support varied significantly across sociodemographic groups.

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D. | Speaking Up: School Climate and Language Politics in the Trump Era

April 25, 2023 – from Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
Identity politics are fraught. High school is a prime location where such politics play out and interface with state-dictated norms and values about acceptable social behavior. This article examines identity politics during the Trump era in two far Northern California high schools to better understand the impact on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students. I argue that while the Trump effect allowed hostility towards BIPOC people to be expressed more openly in general, schools can also be sites of resistance to culturecide—the killing of culture—that diminishes the role of minority ontologies and epistemologies in the formation of young people. Yurok and Spanish language courses serve as spaces of heritage language revitalization that challenge White supremacist ideologies embedded in curricula as well as wider US culture.

Napon Jatusripitak, Ph.D. | Thai election: promising policies or empty promises?

April 25, 2023 – from Southeast Asia Globe
As the parties are competing for numbers of seats in parliament, multiple parties can end up having representation. But a coalition government will not mean all the parties have equal power. Each party might have control over two or three ministries, but that means none will be able to deliver the promises they made while campaigning. “Parties make promises like, ‘Oh, we’re going to offer price guarantees for certain agricultural products,’” said Napon Jatusripitak, visiting research fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. “But if you don’t end up controlling the Ministry of Agriculture and other parties do, there’s no way it’s going to work.” Empty political promises could further erode voters’ trust in the government, which was already harmed after the 2014 military coup.

Maya Novak-Herzog, Ph.D. Candidate | EGEN Prize Competition 2023: Honorable Mention

April 24, 2023 – from The Empirical Study of Gender Research Network
The Empirical Study of Gender Research Network is thrilled to announce the results of the 2023 prize competition. The EGEN prize committee selected 3 Prize Recipients and 6 Honorable Mentions. All of these projects confront crucial topics of gender and politics that stand to make important contributions to the field moving forward.

Professor Reuel Rogers | Seven honored with University Teaching Awards

April 24, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
In his teaching, Reuel Rogers examines the racial injustices and political disparities Blacks and other people of color experience in the United States. As he explains, he guides students to use “empirical evidence and social science theory to identify progress, problems, and puzzles in [these groups’] quest for democratic representation and equality,” his nomination states. He prompts students to “engage with counterarguments …when they make empirical claims,” with the aim of challenging them to “cultivate a nuanced perspective on how power operates in the American political system to harness or hinder its multiracial democratic potential.”?His chair notes that Rogers’ courses “challenge students to look boldly at issues that can be as uncomfortable as they are urgent.” Rogers strives to foster a “shared intellectual journey” in his classes.

Professor Sirius Bouchat | NU professors prioritize self-assessment in alternative grading methods

April 24, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Political science Prof. Sirus Bouchat tells his students at the start of every quarter that he understands if his class is not their main priority. Bouchat said they don’t want their students to feel uncertain about their grade when they’re “giving 100%”. Rather, a student’s grade is based on effort, they said. “You might decide that this class is not that important to you, and that you have other classes that you want to give a higher priority,” Bouchat said. Bouchat implements several alternative forms of grading like “contract grading” and “autonomous grading.” Contract grading, he said, allows students to choose from a “menu” of assignments they think will be the most interesting and challenging for them. Autonomous grading relies on more self-assessment, and he said he uses it more commonly with his graduate students.

Napon Jatusripitak, Ph.D. | Political Dealmaking Will Be Key in Thailand's Upcoming Election

April 19, 2023 – from 9DASHLINE
With Thailand’s House of Representatives dissolved and the next general election scheduled for 14 May 2023, the country’s political parties are competing to outdo each other with populist policy pledges. In a bid to bring about the first transition of power in nearly a decade, Pheu Thai has vowed to double daily minimum wages to 600 baht (about USD 17.50) by 2027. In response, Palang Pracharath (PPRP) has pledged to raise the state welfare card scheme monthly allowance from 600 to 700 baht. The Prayut-led United Thai Nation Party (UTN) has promised to raise this allowance even higher, to 1,000 baht (about USD 29). More recently, Pheu Thai announced that it will distribute 10,000 baht (about USD 292) via a digital wallet to every Thai over the age of 16. Essentially, these moves have created the widespread impression that parties are competing for votes primarily by offering more money.

Jacqueline McAllister, Ph.D. | Seeking Justice: Associate Professor of Political Science Jacqueline McAllister earns a research fellowship embedding her in the hunt for global war criminals

April 17, 2023 – from Kenyon College
The International Criminal Court (ICC) made headlines in March when it issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin due to alleged war crimes committed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The chances of Putin appearing in a courtroom anytime soon are razor thin — but what does it mean for the ICC to take such an action, and what are more realistic ways of prosecuting war crimes and punishing the offenders? Those questions are areas of expertise for Associate Professor of Political Science Jacqueline McAllister, who teaches courses at Kenyon related to civil wars and failed states, human rights, and transitional justice. She will spend the next academic year in Washington, D.C., embedded in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice thanks to a fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | ‘It is a new day in our city’: Brandon Johnson is elected Chicago mayor

April 12, 2023 – from WBEZ Chicago
Tuesday was a nail-biter of a night, ending with Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson beating former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in a narrow race for mayor. Current tallies show Johnson holding a lead of about 16,000 votes. Reset turns to a panel of political experts to analyze election results and discuss what local mayor-elect Johnson and a fresh-faced City Council will face under a new administration.

Professor James Druckman | The state of our nation? Stressed.

April 11, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March of 2020, Northwestern University political scientist James Druckman was exchanging emails with a small group of social scientists from Harvard, Northeastern and Rutgers about how they were navigating COVID’s impact on their work and lives. When California became the first state to lockdown, they decided to collectively embark on a state- and federal-level survey and make data available to the public on a range of topics such as mask-wearing, remote learning, vaccinating and voting by mail. “We knew there would be national surveys that policymakers and the media would be looking to, and we felt those surveys would be incomplete because there would be important differences across states, both in how people were reacting to what an individual state was doing and then just individual state cultures,” said Druckman.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | In Historic First, Former President Trump Is Arraigned In Manhattan Today

April 10, 2023 – from LAist
An extraordinary moment in U.S. history will unfold in a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday: Former President Donald Trump, who faces multiple election-related investigations, will surrender and be arraigned on criminal charges stemming from 2016 hush money payments. The booking and appearance before Judge Juan Merchan should be relatively brief — though hardly routine — as Trump is fingerprinted, learns the charges against him and pleads, as expected, not guilty. Merchan has ruled that TV cameras won’t be allowed in the courtroom. Trump, who was impeached twice by the U.S. House but was never convicted in the U.S. Senate, will become the first former president to face criminal charges. The nation’s 45th commander in chief will be escorted from Trump Tower to the courthouse by the Secret Service and may have his mug shot taken.

Krista Johnson, Ph.D. | It Matters How We Define the African Diaspora

April 10, 2023 – from Council on Foreign Relations
Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to three African countries this week—Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia—is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to supercharge engagement with African countries in the aftermath of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit.. Arriving first in Ghana, Vice President Harris gave an emotional speech at Cape Coast Castle, Ghana’s historic slave trading post, that acknowledged the horrors of the slave trade but also the history of those who survived in the Americas and the Caribbean and rose above daunting odds to build a better future. Speaking to Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Harris applauded his leadership in elevating engagement with the African diaspora, a key pillar of the Biden administration’s new U.S.-Africa policy.

Professor Daniel Krcmaric and Jacqueline McAllister, Ph.D. | The International Criminal Court Takes Aim at Vladimir Putin

April 10, 2023 – from Political Violence at a Glance
The International Criminal Court (ICC) shocked the world on March 17 by issuing arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova. The ICC indicated it has reasonable grounds to believe that each bears criminal responsibility for unlawfully deporting and transferring children from occupied Ukraine to Russia—considered war crimes under international law. Rather than starting its ongoing investigation in Ukraine with arrest warrants for “small fry” war criminals, the ICC rolled the dice by going after its most prominent target ever: Vladimir Putin. Often considered the “most powerful man in the world,” Putin is the first leader with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council—and the first leader with an arsenal of nuclear weapons—to face an ICC arrest warrant. What does all of this mean going forward?

Professor Danielle Gilbert | Promoting College Reading Completion and Comprehension with Reading Guides: Lessons Learned Regarding the Role of Form, Function, and Frequency

April 10, 2023 – from Journal of Political Science Education
College faculty often struggle with getting their students to read assigned materials. Even if students do read, they may not read closely or critically. Not only does the lack of effective reading undermine understanding, but it also hampers class discussions and engagement. To promote close and critical reading in a required, upper-division International Security Studies course, we offered optional reading guide worksheets as tools to increase students’ reading comprehension and completion. While our reading guides helped students focus on key terms and lesson objectives, flaws in our implementation produced a lack of perceptual value and extrinsic motivation in using the reading guides. In this article, we offer our lessons learned from the use of reading guides, focusing on their form, function, and frequency.

Swati Srivastava, Ph.D. | Meta’s Mandate-Free Governance: How to Think about Facebook and the Oversight Board

April 5, 2023 – from New America
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases that could upend the internet as we know it. Both center on instances of online radicalization and whether tech companies should be held liable for content published on their platforms that precipitates real-world harm. At issue is whether Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act shields firms like Google, Meta, and Twitter from liability for user-generated content that appears on their sites. The core question is one societies worldwide are grappling with: Who is responsible for regulating online content? Legal experts are highly doubtful the Supreme Court will rule in a way that meaningfully alters Section 230 and imposes stricter requirements on firms. U.S. lawmakers are apt to continue allowing tech companies to police themselves when it comes to content moderation.

Professor Loubna El Amine | Double Time

April 4, 2023 – from London Review of Books
‘Instead of it being 7 p.m. let’s keep it at 6 p.m.,’ the speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri, told the caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, in a private meeting last week, a video of which was shared on social media. ‘Just until the end of Ramadan. I do not want to burden you.’ ‘It cannot be done,’ Mikati said. ‘There are flights, people, problems.’ ‘What flights?’ Mikati submitted, postponing the onset of daylight saving time less than three days before it was meant to take effect. But the Maronite Christian Church refused to accept the prime ministerial decree and turned its clocks forward anyway, followed by various other institutions, including two of the main TV channels. Even the education minister went ahead with the time change, ordering that all schools in the country follow suit.

Isabel Castillo, Ph.D. | When do progressive evangelicals mobilize? Intra-denominational competing identities in Chile's constitutional process

April 4, 2023 – from Politics and Religion
Over the last decade, and throughout the Americas, evangelicals have strongly mobilized in defense of socially conservative agendas or against so-called “gender ideology,” sparking general and academic interest. Much less is known about progressive evangelicals. Using the unique juncture presented by the constitutional process in Chile, we study the politicization of a progressive evangelical identity and ask when these religious groups mobilize. We argue that intra-denominational competition for evangelical identity has played an important role in progressive evangelical mobilization, and more specifically the wish to differentiate themselves from conservative evangelicals, introduce a distance from the political right, and show the internal diversity of the community. This process occurs in response to an initial (conservative) politicization of religion.

Pilar Manzi, Ph.D. Candidate | The politics of sanctioning the poor through welfare conditionality: Revealing causal mechanisms in Uruguay

April 3, 2023 – from Social Policy and Administration
What explains the ‘punitive turn’ toward more stringent conditionalities in welfare policies? Answering this question is crucial in a region such as Latin America, where cash transfers have proven politically consequential for incumbents. Our argument emphasises the role of electoral competition in shaping a government's decision to adopt a more punitive approach to conditionalities. We use process tracing to test our argument in a case involving a change from relatively lax to more stringent conditionalities in Uruguay's system of conditional cash transfers (CCTs). We also test other explanations from the welfare conditionality and the welfare and policy change literatures. We find that, as public opinion increasingly turned against state assistance to the poor, the opposition politicised the issue of non-enforcement of conditionalities.

Professor Daniel Krcmaric | Does the International Criminal Court Target the American Military?

April 3, 2023 – from American Political Science Review
American policymakers have been wary of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its founding. United States’ opposition is largely due to the fear that the ICC might initiate biased investigations that target members of the American military scattered across the globe. The recent ICC investigation into war crimes committed on Afghanistan’s territory during the American occupation has produced a new surge of interest in this topic. But do ICC investigations, in fact, target America’s military? Using a global sample of cases the ICC could plausibly investigate and data on the locations of all US foreign military installations, I examine how the presence of American troops in a country affects the likelihood of an ICC investigation. Contrary to the common narrative of anti-American bias, the estimated effects of US military presence are statistically indistinguishable from zero.


Professor Karen Alter | Morning Shot: Is China's role as peacemaker between Russia and the world working?

March 29, 2023 – from Breakfast with Lynlee Foo and Ryan Huang
It's a wrap to China President Xi Jinping's state visit to Moscow to meet with its President Vladimir Putin. But still no clear sign whether China's efforts to play the role of peacemaker is yielding results. Karen Alter, Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations at Northwestern University weighs in with her perspectives on the Chinese leader’s peace mission to the Kremlin, and the optics of that meeting in the grand scheme of things.

Ethan C. Busby, Ph.D. | Book Review; What Goes Without Saying: Navigating Political Discussion in America

March 29, 2023 – from Perspectives on Politics
Social scientists have long been concerned with political discussions, considering rates of political discussions, the composition of discussion networks, the consequences of conversations about politics, and more. Recent research focuses on how political engagement—including political discussion—is a sharp cleavage among Americans and closely linked to polarization in the United States (see, for example, Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan’s 2022 book The Other Divide). At the same time, the American public seems to struggle with political conversations. Research by the Pew Research Center, for example, finds that majorities of Republicans and Democrats feel stress and anxiety about political conversations with people who disagree with them. What Goes Without Saying is firmly positioned within this academic and social context.

Professor Tabitha Bonilla | Harshest Chicago Mayor Race in Years Is Being Fueled by Citadel Donors and Unions

March 29, 2023 – from Bloomberg
Chicago’s mayoral runoff could be swayed by executives at Citadel and Madison Dearborn Partners as well as the country’s largest teachers unions. Paul Vallas, the city’s ex-schools chief who pledged to be tough on crime and restaff the police force, is backed by personal donations from executives at hedge fund Citadel and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. He has raised $6.3 million — more than any other candidate except Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who lost her reelection bid on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Brandon Johnson, the Cook County commissioner and the only candidate who didn’t vow to rebuild the depleted police force but denied plans to defund it, has collected $4.2 million. Labor groups led the way, with three unions accounting for more than half that total.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | New Poll Explores Key Issues for Latino, Black Voters in Chicago Mayoral Election

March 29, 2023 – from WTTW News Chicago
A new poll conducted by Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy and a coalition of Black and Latino nonprofits—including the Hispanic Federation, Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative, Latino Policy Forum and Latino Victory Project—found Black and Latino voters have common ground on key issues in the upcoming Chicago mayoral election. The study found that Black and Latino voters are no longer rallying behind the candidate of their race or ethnicity. In a city like Chicago, which has seen its fair share of racial tension, this is not surprising to some community leaders. Jaime Dominguez is a political science professor at Northwestern University and helped conduct the study. He said that this time around, voters want a candidate who cares about solving key issues in the city. Police reform and public safety are among the main issues.

Andrene Wright, Ph.D. | Americans remain hopeful about democracy despite fears of its demise – and are acting on that hope

March 29, 2023 – from Opinion Today
President Joe Biden will convene world leaders beginning on March 29, 2023, to discuss the state of democracies around the world. The Summit for Democracy, a virtual event being co-hosted by the White House, is being touted as an opportunity to “reflect, listen and learn” with the aim of encouraging “democratic renewal.” As political scientists, we have been doing something very similar. In the fall of 2022 we listened to thousands of U.S. residents about their views on the state of American democracy. What we found was that, despite widespread fears over the future of democracy, many people are also hopeful, and that hope translated into “voting for democracy” by shunning election result deniers at the polls. Our study—and indeed Biden’s stated push for democracy—comes at a unique point in American political history.

Professor Mary McGrath | Collaboration Induces Debt-Motivated Altruism

March 29, 2023 – from IPR Working Paper Series
Collaboration with others—even a minimal instance—increases willingness to sacrifice on their behalf. What is the mechanism underlying this relationship? An increased willingness to sacrifice could arise from a general desire to improve the other’s wellbeing, from a norm-bound sense of debt owed to one’s collaborator, or (even after controlling for other egoistic concerns) from an aim towards a “warm glow” feeling from making the sacrifice. Understanding the mechanism at work is not simply a matter of theoretical interest, but of crucial importance in understanding broader implications of the collaboration effect and how it alters our relationships with others. This paper presents results from four randomized experiments investigating this mechanism. Taken together, the evidence from these experiments suggests that collaboration produces a bounded form of altruism.

Professor Andrew Roberts | National Attachments and Good Citizenship: A Double-Edged Sword

March 8, 2023 – from Political Studies
The recent popularity of nationalist movements bears witness to the continued power of national feeling in politics. This article considers the potential relationship between different kinds of national attachments and what we call active and allegiant citizenship—support for democracy, community participation, and prosocial behavior. We analyze these relationships using data from two waves of the European Values Study. We find that a set of attachments often called civic nationalism—including patriotism, national identity, and respect for one’s country’s institutions—are connected with better citizenship on virtually all of our outcomes, whereas ethnic nationalism is frequently connected with worse citizenship. These associations, however, tend to be weaker in the postcommunist states which have a different experience with both nationalism and democracy.

Professor Brian Libgober | Do Administrative Procedures Fix Cognitive Biases?

March 8, 2023 – from Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
This article uses survey experiments to assess whether administrative procedures fix cognitive bias. We focus on two procedural requirements: qualitative reason-giving and quantitative cost-benefit analysis (“CBA”). Both requirements are now firmly entrenched in U.S. federal regulation-making. Multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, OECD, and EU have encouraged their broad diffusion across many national contexts. Yet CBA, in particular, remains controversial. Supporters of CBA claim it leads to more rational regulation, with Sunstein (2000) explicitly proposing that CBA can reduce cognitive biases. By contrast, we argue that procedures should be conceptualized as imperfect substitutes subject to diminishing marginal benefits. We hypothesize that procedures will only fix cognitive biases if they disrupt bias-inducing mental processes.


Professor James Druckman | Survey: Half of Americans uncertain about ability to identify false political claims

February 28, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
Belief in inaccurate political claims was most common among those who endorsed vaccine misperceptions. The survey found 71% of those also believed false vaccine claims also believed inaccurate political claims. In contrast, just 32% of those who correctly identified all false vaccine claims believed inaccurate political statements. “We suspect that the relative prevalence of political misperceptions versus vaccine related misperceptions stems from politics being a more contested domain without consensus experts,” said political scientist James Druckman, one of the project’s principal investigators.

Professor Chloe Thurston | How Should We Govern Housing Markets in a Moral Political Economy?

February 28, 2023 – from Daedalus (2023) 152 (1): 194–197.
Building on Debra Satz's argument that we can design our way out of noxious markets, this essay shifts toward questions of process, paying particular attention to the constraints posed when noxious markets generate supportive political constituencies. Using the case of U.S. housing policy, I make two claims. First, even intentional efforts at using market design to harness the capacities Satz identifies can produce cross-cutting effects, strengthening democracies on some dimensions and weakening them on others. Second, noxious markets can generate supportive constituencies that may undermine reform efforts. Ultimately, a moral housing market requires political supports that can help to broaden communities of fate, build political capacities of those who are persistently underrepresented in local deliberations, and encourage participants to reflect on the consequences of market design.

Professor Alvin Tillery | Is Lori Lightfoot's Loss a Win for the GOP?

February 28, 2023 – from Newsweek
The election was defined by voter concerns about crime, which has become a major issue in mayoral races across the country. Lightfoot faced scrutiny from both the left and right over her record on crime and policing, as she sought to stake out the center in the sharply divided race. Vallas, who received the most votes Tuesday night, ran on a platform of expanding the city's police force. Tillery told Newsweek that concerns about crime grew following the COVID-19 pandemic. Following widespread shutdowns across the United States, several cities saw increases in crime, though these numbers have since dropped. Furthermore, a focus on crime by local media and political candidates has fueled voters' concerns, he said.

Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr | Recession or not, Americans feel like they’re poorer

February 27, 2023 – from The Hill
The nation may not be in recession, but Americans are reckoning with a classic recessionary symptom: feeling poorer. “People don’t like to fire sitting presidents, even vulnerable ones,” said Alvin Tillery, Jr., a political scientist and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University. “It’s only happened three times in the modern era,” with Carter, George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Donald Trump in 2020.

Professor William Reno | Ukraine War Can't End Without Putin's Destruction

February 24, 2023 – from Newsweek
With the war in Ukraine hitting its one-year mark, Russian President Vladimir Putin remains so publicly committed to his military efforts that many analysts believe he will never willingly accept anything other than victory. William Reno, professor and chair of the political science department at Northwestern University, told Newsweek that, for now, Putin plans to keep dragging the war on. "At the one-year mark, I'd say that Russia is waiting out the clock and the Ukrainians are racing against the clock. Public support in the West for assistance to Ukraine is still high but declining," Reno said. "The Russians figure they win by staying in the fight." He added that it "looks increasingly likely that Putin personally has no intention of backing down, given where Russia is now."

Professor Jeffrey Winters | Did No White House Officials Visit East Palestine Before Trump?

February 24, 2023 – from Newsweek
a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, has transformed into a political battleground with President Joe Biden's choice to visit Ukraine ahead of the embattled town deemed "a slap in the face" by its local mayor. ... Jeffrey Winters, professor of political science at Northwestern University, echoed these comments, adding that the term "White House official" had "long been synonymous with membership in the president's cabinet and that despite Regan's office being outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it didn't prevent him from being deemed as such. The director of the EPA is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate," Winters added. "Having an office on the White House grounds is not a basis for referring to someone as a White House official”.

Professor Ian Hurd | U.N. Vote on Ukraine: 7 Countries That Didn't Support Russia's Withdrawal

February 23, 2023 – from Newsweek
The United Nations General Assembly voted in overwhelming support to adopt a resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine less than a day before the war in eastern Europe reaches its one-year mark. Ian Hurd, director of Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University, told Newsweek on Thursday that while many members of the UN are "appalled at Russia's invasion," "many also have other concerns and opposing Russia might not be at the top of their list of priorities. The General Assembly can't take decisive action because the founders of the UN did not want it to have any muscle—the vote today was a strong symbolic condemnation by a large majority of countries of Russia's invasion, and of Putin's militarism," Hurd said. "It is a strong statement that signals the broad opposition Putin has made for himself."

Professor Loubna El Amine | The Nation-State 1648–2148

February 22, 2023 – from Political Theory
This essay is part of a special issue celebrating 50 years of Political Theory. The ambition of the editors was to mark this half century not with a retrospective but with a confabulation of futures. Contributors were asked: What will political theory look and sound like in the next century and beyond? What claims might political theorists or their descendants be making in ten, twenty-five, fifty, a hundred years’ time? How might they vindicate those claims in their future contexts? How will the consistent concerns of political theorists evolve into the questions critical for people decades or centuries from now? What new problems will engage the political theorists (or their rough equivalents) of the future? What forms might those take? What follows is one of the many confabulations published in response to these queries.

Daniel Encinas, Ph.D. Candidate | Authoritarian chaos has prevailed in Peru

February 22, 2023 – from Letras Libres
I thought we had a deal with my country. It was supposed that in Peru you suffer but you also enjoy. When the political crisis started, at least we had football. Do you remember, Peru? The anguish of seeing us draw with Colombia still allowed us to reach the playoffs. Then we wept with emotion, marveling. Cuevita gave that goal pass to "Jefferson Agustín Farfán Guadalupe for his mamacita" and the doors of the 2018 World Cup in Russia were opened for us. We were able to enjoy. That was supposed, dear Peru, to be our deal. I know that we do not stop being an imperfect, unequal and unfair country . The social sciences never stopped noticing it . But we were beginning to close gaps during the last decades. Or, at least, there were better conditions to undertake the necessary changes. Today, instead, there is only suffering.

Matthew Lacombe, Ph.D. | Bullets and guns: US pays with lives

February 21, 2023 – from China Daily
The Michigan shooting was the 77th mass shooting in the country this year, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker website. There were 753 mass shootings across the US last year, compared with 339 in 2013, it said. Nearly 5,800 people in the US had died this year as a result of gun violence by Sunday, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit national group that keeps track of shootings. Biden said on Friday that US communities are "being torn apart by gun violence". He made the statement hours after six people were shot dead in a rural Mississippi town. Also, more than 6,540 guns were intercepted by the Transportation Security Administration at airport checkpoints nationwide last year. That figure, equating to about 18 guns a day, was an all-time high for guns intercepted at US airports. "We have the highest rates of gun deaths in the world..."

Ethan Busby, Ph.D. | Out of One, Many: Using Language Models to Simulate Human Samples

February 21, 2023 – from Political Analysis
We propose and explore the possibility that language models can be studied as effective proxies for specific human subpopulations in social science research. Practical and research applications of artificial intelligence tools have sometimes been limited by problematic biases (such as racism or sexism), which are often treated as uniform properties of the models. We show that the “algorithmic bias” within one such tool—the GPT-3 language model—is instead both fine-grained and demographically correlated, meaning that proper conditioning will cause it to accurately emulate response distributions from a wide variety of human subgroups. We term this property algorithmic fidelity and explore its extent in GPT-3. We create “silicon samples” by conditioning the model on thousands of sociodemographic backstories from human participants in multiple large surveys conducted in the United States.

Rana Khoury, Ph.D. | Are U.S. Sanctions Against Syria Stalling Humanitarian Aid After the Earthquake?

February 19, 2023 – from The Intercept
In the past decade, the people of Syria have suffered the unparalleled hardships of war and mass displacement. Earlier this month, Syrians were struck by another calamity as a historic earthquake destroyed entire towns in Turkey and Syria and buried tens of thousands of people under rubble. The desperate need for humanitarian aid has reignited a debate over U.S. sanctions against Syria and whether the U.S. government should lift them to accelerate rescue and relief efforts. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is using the earthquake to renew calls to lift sanctions — a call that has been echoed by some progressive and Arab American groups and activists in the United States. “After the earthquake, aid took several days to make its way to northwestern Syria, which is under opposition control..."

Professor Ian Hurd | Amateur North Suburban Balloonist Group Says Small Balloon Went Missing Near Military Downing Location

February 17, 2023 – from WTTW News Chicago
An Illinois-based club of amateur balloonists says one of its small balloons is “missing in action” after last reporting its location over Alaska on Saturday, the same day the U.S. military shot down an unidentified object in the same region. While the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) has not blamed the U.S. government for taking out one of its 32-inch-wide “Pico Balloons,” the group of hobbyists notes in a post on its blog that its last transmission near a small island off the west coast of Alaska occurred after the balloon had been airborne for more than four months and circled the globe seven times. “Pico Balloon K9YO last reported on February 11th at 00:48 zulu near Hagemeister Island after 123 days and 18 hours of flight,” the NIBBB blog post, dated Feb. 14, states. Attempts to reach the NIBBB have been unsuccessful.

Professor Jordan Gans-Morse | A year of miscalculations and the West’s debt to Ukraine

February 17, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
One year ago, on Feb. 24, 2022, Putin initiated a new world order. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the dynamics of interstate relations are centered around geopolitics and great power competition, rather than the globalization of the 1990s or the threat of terrorism in the 2000s. Had Russia's invasion gone as planned, we would already be living in a world in which dictators again find it permissible to impose their will on weaker neighbors by force. The consequences would have been immense, affecting everything from the territorial integrity of NATO members such as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to China's calculations about its policies toward Taiwan. The rest of the western world should recognize how indebted we are to Ukrainians, who so far have repelled Putin's unlawful invasion but at the cost of immense suffering.

Professor William Reno | Putin's Getting What He Wants

February 9, 2023 – from Newsweek
A recent story saying the United States was behind September's attack on Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines could give Russian President Vladimir Putin something he's likely been wanting in the form of bad publicity for the U.S., according to some analysts. The story about the alleged U.S. role in the attack was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh and published Wednesday on his Substack. The details of Hersh's report could not be independently verified by Newsweek. "It's classic information warfare," political science professor at Northwestern University William Reno told Newsweek. Reno continued, "Critical and inconvenient interventions such as Hersh's story are inherent in a free press and are 'vulnerabilities' that authoritarian adversaries don't possess. Putin is leveraging that advantage, as he does with Tucker Carlson's statements."

Professor James Druckman and Suji Kang, Ph.D. Candidate | Correcting Exaggerated Meta-Perceptions Reduces American Legislators’ Support for Undemocratic Practices

February 3, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
There is substantial concern about democratic backsliding in the United States. Evidence includes notably high levels of support for undemocratic practices among the public. Much less is known, however, about the views of elected officials – even though they influence democratic outcomes more directly. In a survey experiment with state legislators, the researchers show that these officials exhibit much lower levels of support for undemocratic practices than the public. However, legislators vastly overestimate the undemocratic views of voters from the other party (though not the views of their own party’s voters). These inaccurate “meta-perceptions” are significantly reduced when legislators receive accurate information about the views of voters from the other party, suggesting legislators’ own support for undemocratic practices are causally linked to their inaccurate meta-perceptions.


Jacqueline McAllister, Ph.D. | The International Criminal Court at 25

January 31, 2023 – from Journal of Human Rights
On July 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, its founding treaty. The Statute constituted a remarkable transfer of authority from sovereign states to an international institution: The ICC is the first permanent court charged with prosecuting individuals, including senior political and military leaders, for atrocity crimes. Per the Statute, the ICC was designed with the goals of ending impunity for these crimes, contributing to their prevention, and delivering justice to victims. To what extent has the ICC achieved these and other goals in the Rome Statute? The ICC’s upcoming anniversary provides an opportune moment to examine this question and take stock of the Court’s performance.

Professor Ana Arjona and Sarah Moore, Ph.D. Candidate | Political and social behavior in areas with and without the presence of armed groups

January 31, 2023 – from Foco Económico
Non-state armed groups such as drug traffickers, militias, gangs, guerrillas or paramilitaries operate in several Latin American countries. What are the differences between the communities where these groups have been present and the communities where they have not been present? Studies on the impact of organized crime and armed conflicts tend to focus on people and communities that have been victims of violence, for obvious reasons. However, armed groups impact the societies where they operate in many other ways. As one of us pointed out in a previous post ten years ago, the “violence” of these organizations is not necessarily a good proxy for their “presence”. When we focus solely on the victims or on places where high levels of violence have been recorded, we may be ignoring the people and communities that have been impacted by other aspects of the presence of these organizations.

Daniel Bergan, Ph.D. | Can People Use Party Cues to Assess Policymaker Positions? Ecological Rationality and Political Heuristics

January 25, 2023 – from Political Research Quarterly
Scholars disagree about the ability of people to use heuristics to make political judgments, with some arguing that heuristics are easy-to-use pieces of information and others arguing that applying heuristics may require some degree of political expertise. We argue that these debates have been somewhat intractable because most prior work has not considered the ecological rationality of political judgments—that is, the potential for cues to yield accurate judgments about a clearly defined reference class. In this paper, we present the results of two studies exploring whether people use party labels to make judgments about a random sample of U.S. Representatives’ voting behaviors.

Professor William Reno | Game-Changing Abrams Tanks Present One Glaring Problem for Ukraine

January 25, 2023 – from Newsweek
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Wednesday discussed the recent decision by the United States to provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Among the topics Kirby talked about during a press conference were certain issues Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's military forces may experience with the tanks, including the potentially large problem of fueling the battle vehicles. Abrams tanks run on a "gas turbine engine which needs jet fuel," Kirby said. "So there's a specific type of fuel that powers the Abrams, and we've got to make sure that pipeline—literally and figuratively—is available to Ukraine." William Reno, a professor and chair of the political science department at Northwestern University, told Newsweek that the Abrams can run on JP-8, a type of kerosene that's commonly used by the U.S. military and NATO.

Professor Brian Libgober | Examination of federal personnel changes in Trump era

January 19, 2023 – from Mirage.News
According to a new analysis, the total number of people employed full-time by the U.S. federal government remained largely unchanged by the end of the Trump administration, but with significant variation in growth, downsizing, and turnover between agencies. Brian Libgober of Northwestern University and Mark Richardson of Georgetown University present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on January 18, 2023.

Lauren M. Baker, Ph.D. Candidate | New Book Review, Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine

January 18, 2023 – from The Journal of Development Studies
The world is inundated with waste. Waste is a universal feature of contemporary global capitalism and experiences with waste are widely disparate. Should we frame – in line with many environmental justice advocates and scholars – waste as a hazard to the environment and the people who live in proximity to it? Or perhaps, can we understand waste as something more complex: an environment in and of itself; a set of infrastructures that reveal both reified systemic constraints and dynamic political improvisation?

Professor Brian Libgober | Identifying bureaus with substantial personnel change during the Trump administration: A Bayesian approach

January 18, 2023 – from Plos One
Presidents and executive branch agencies often have adversarial relationships. Early accounts suggest that these antagonisms may have been deeper and broader under President Trump than under any recent President. Yet careful appraisals have sometimes shown that claims about what President Trump has done to government and politics are over-stated, require greater nuance, or are just plain wrong. In this article, we use federal employment records from the Office of Personnel Management to examine rates of entry and exit at agencies across the executive branch during President Trump’s term. A key challenge in this endeavor is that agencies vary in size dramatically, and this variability makes direct comparisons of rates of entry and exit across agencies problematic.

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D. | Defining an Ethics of Care in Fieldwork: Reflections on the Digital Turn

January 17, 2023 – from Digital Fieldwork
Scholars derive intellectual fulfillment from an enormously wide range of endeavors. For those who may not have the resources to get to the field, the family flexibility to spend time there, or the personality to enjoy extensive human interaction, the pandemic-catalyzed innovations and acceptance of digital fieldwork may feel like a relieving step forward. For me, in-person fieldwork has been the most fulfilling work I have done as a scholar. The pandemic pause was something I have waited out impatiently. I love talking to people and being in the spaces of others as a way to reflect on and analyze the world. Despite insufficient training in ethnographic methods in graduate school, fourteen years ago I flung myself into the field for doctoral research and never looked back. Like any modality, there are highs and lows with in-person fieldwork.

Professor Karen J. Alter | New Book Review, Veiled Power: International Law and the Private Corporation 1886–1981

January 17, 2023 – from American Journal of International Law
Doreen Lustig, an associate professor of law at Tel Aviv University, frames her book Veiled Power: International Law and the Private Corporation 1886–1981 as an effort to get beyond the “failure narrative” that focuses on how corporations escape responsibility for actions that if undertaken by a state would be a violation of international law. She sees law schools’ curricula as perpetuating the failure narrative and reinforcing the idea that: “Sovereignty is a concept of political or public law and property belongs to civil or private law" (p. 2). Lustig wants to bring in a historical understanding that demonstrates the longstanding interaction between corporations and international law.

Juan Cruz Olmeda, Ph.D. | De/centralization in Mexico, 1824–2020

January 9, 2023 – from Regional & Federal Studies
This article presents an analysis of de/centralization in Mexico during the period 1824–2020, building on an original dataset that coded three subdimension of the politico–institutional arrangement, 22 policy areas and 5 subdimension of the fiscal sphere for each year during that time. The country evolved from a decentralized federation at the outset to a relatively centralized one nowadays. The Mexican case also sheds light on the importance of regime type and the ruling elite's ideological orientation to explain de/centralization patterns. Centralization was prevalent during two long authoritarian periods since the last quarter of the XIX century. On the contrary, dynamic decentralization occurred once the authoritarian regime began to erode in the 1980s. The ideological orientation of the ruling elite helped to strengthen those trajectories.

Candidate Daniel Encinas | Perú necesita recuperar la imaginación política

January 9, 2023 – from Palabra Pública Universidad de Chile
Pensé que teníamos un trato con mi país. Se suponía que en Perú se sufre pero también se goza. Cuando la crisis política empezaba, al menos teníamos fútbol. ¿Lo recuerdas, Perú? La angustia de vernos empatar con Colombia igual nos permitió llegar al repechaje. Luego lloramos de emoción, maravillados. Cuevita le dio ese pase de gol a “Jefferson Agustín Farfán Guadalupe por su mamacita” y se nos abrieron las puertas del mundial Rusia 2018. Pudimos gozar.

Mauro Gilli, Ph.D. | È difficile per Mosca reclutare, addestrare e coordinare 500mila coscritti

January 7, 2023 – from Huffington Post Italy
L'intelligence di Kiev dice che Putin starebbe preparando una nuova chiamata alle armi. Mauro Gilli, senior researcher al Center for security studies del Politecnico di Zurigo, non esclude che si tratti solo di tattica. Mosca si starebbe preparando a ordinare la mobilitazione di altri 500.000 coscritti a gennaio dopo i 300.000 chiamati ad arruolarsi lo scorso ottobre. Lo ha annunciato Vadym Skibitsky, vice capo dell’intelligence militare ucraina, citato dal Guardian. I nuovi coscritti servirebbero a lanciare nuovi attacchi che la Russia ha intenzione di sferrare in primavera e in estate nell’Est e nel Sud dell’Ucraina, ha spiegato.

Swati Srivastava, Ph.D. | Transversal Politics of Big Tech

January 4, 2023 – from International Political Sociology
Our everyday life is entangled with products and services of so-called Big Tech companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook. International relations (IR) scholars increasingly seek to reflect on the relationships between Big Tech, capitalism, and institutionalized politics, and they engage with the practices of algorithmic governance and platformization that shape and are shaped by Big Tech. This collective discussion advances these emerging debates by approaching Big Tech transversally, meaning that we problematize Big Tech as an object of study and raise a range of fundamental questions about its politics. The contributions demonstrate how a transversal perspective that cuts across sociomaterial, institutional, and disciplinary boundaries and framings opens up the study of the politics of Big Tech.

Silvia Otero Bahamón, Ph.D. | Selected as 2023 Programme Fellow with Governance and Local Development at the University of Gothenburg

January 4, 2023 – from Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg
Silvia Otero Bahamón is an Associate Professor at the School of International, Political, and Urban Studies at Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia.?She completed her PhD in Political Science at Northwestern University (2016) and a master's degree at the same institution (2013). Silvia's research topics include social policy, political economy of inequality, comparative politics of Latin America, state formation, and qualitative methods. Specifically, her research agenda focuses on the subnational dimensions of inequality, on which she is currently writing a book on subnational social inequality in Latin America and is advancing a research project on the reduction of income inequality in four Colombian cities. She has published her studies in World Development, Latin American Politics and Society, Geoforum, Studies in Comparative International Development, Health Affairs, and Revist

Professor Ana Arjona | The puzzle of peace #2: Legacies of wartime governance

January 4, 2023 – from UNU-WIDER
Understanding the nature and functioning of wartime governance is crucial because it has important ramifications for state building after war. “When people think about war, they usually think about destruction and anarchy. And if you look at conflict zones, what you find is that that is often not true. There is a new form of order, and that order is the structure or the influence by armed groups on the civilian populations they interact with.” - Ana Arjona

Professor Emeritus Kenneth Janda | The Republican Evolution: From Governing Party to Antigovernment Party, 1860–2020

January 4, 2023 – from Columbia University Press
The Republican Party was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and its spread to new territories and states. Today, under the sway of Donald Trump, it is hardly recognizable as the party of Lincoln or even the party of Eisenhower. How and why has the Republican Party changed so drastically? Kenneth Janda sheds new light on the Republican Party’s transformations, drawing on a wide range of quantitative and qualitative evidence. He examines nearly three thousand planks from every Republican platform since 1856 as well as candidate statements and historical sources, tracing the evolution of the party’s positions on topics such as states’ rights, trade, taxation, regulation, law and order, immigration, environmental protection, and voting rights.

Professor Jeffrey Winters | How the mysterious deaths of 23 elite Russians sparked a global murder mystery

January 3, 2023 – from The Sydney Morning Herald
Professor Jeffrey Winters, a political scientist and oligarch expert from Northwestern University in Illinois, pointed out many of the dead were billionaires with bodyguards and access to the best healthcare money could buy. He told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that without thorough investigations there could only be speculation as to the causes, but dubbed the oligarchs’ deaths “highly unusual”. “They have access to the best healthcare. They fly to top hospitals like the Mayo Clinic and receive concierge check-ups and treatments, paying full costs with no insurance,” he said. Most oligarchs also had an entourage or security detail in tow, making them difficult to kill, Winter noted.

Zamone Perez, WCAS '22 | Egypt buys 12 Chinook helos from Boeing

January 3, 2023 – from Defense News
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has awarded Boeing a $426 million contract to produce 12 CH-47F Chinooks for the Egyptian Air Force, the company announced Tuesday. The contract comes more than seven months after the U.S. State Department approved the foreign military sale on May 26 for Egypt to buy 23 “F” models and related equipment for $2.6 billion. This is the first contract as part of that potential sale, and the country has the option to purchase 11 more, a spokesman with Boeing told Defense News.