University of Massachusetts Amherst

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An essay by Brian F. Schaffner, political science, and Rishab Nithyanand and Phillipa Gill, computer science, looks at how offensive political comments posted on Reddit, the social news aggregation, web content rating and discussion website, become more popular when politicians are being extremely offensive. They tested every political comment on Reddit from January 2015 to January 2016 and rated them for offensiveness. They conclude that the tone of political comments on Reddit responds to how politicians were behaving. (Vox, 8/7/17)

Professor Raymond J. La Raja comments in a news analysis about how campaign fundraising has changed in response to court rulings that allow large donors to give to joint fundraising committees that direct the money to state and national political parties. The result is giving parties large sums of money whose origin is hard to detect. “I don’t like these kinds of politics, where money is just circulating in these circuitous ways,” La Raja says. (Politico, 8/4/17)

Professor Paul Musgrave, says President Donald J. Trump’s decision to attack Congress over the Russian sanctions bill he doesn’t like is politics as usual. “Doing it directly by tweet, in a vague and threatening manner, is not,” he says. The comments are in a story about how the tensions between the American president and lawmakers over the sanctions probably benefit the Russians most of all. (Vox, 8/4/17)

Professor Paul Musgrave, Political Science is quoted in a Newsweek article on how the concept of the “deep state” conspiracy theory made its way to mainstream dialogue. Musgrave cautions that the confrontational attitude adopted by President Trump and his supporters goes beyond “just the context of Russia,” to more widely reflect the President’s self-professed outsider status, which sees “President Trump insulting or targeting intelligence agencies in the period up to the inauguration. And this was perceived to be something that could really spark a backlash from members of American intelligence agencies.”

 

An essay co-authored by Brian F. Schaffner and Jesse H. Rhodes looks at how automatic voter registration works in Oregon and why that state saw the largest increase in voter turnout in the country during the 2016 election. They note that the turnout increase came in a state that had no contested race for the U.S. Senate and virtually no investment in advertisement dollars by the presidential candidates because Oregon isn’t considered a battleground state. (The Nation, 7/27/17)

By Thanassis Cambanis July 15, 2017

Read original article here.

“The state continues to be the basic building block of politics. Fragile states don’t diminish that fact,” said Alasdair Roberts, incoming director of the school of public policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In response to Conway's tweet, Paul Musgrave, an international relations expert who teaches political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said, “Selective enforcement of laws and displays of 'mercy' are monarchical, not democratic, tendencies.”

 
American politics is a bicycle with a rusty chain, flat tires and no brakes. It's broken, and it's not taking any of us where we want to go.

Dr. Bernal, as the Director of the newly renamed Academic Fellows Program (AFP), will support first generation and ALANA undergraduate students in SBS

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