The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance



Over 25 years ago, when the public first gained access to the Internet, UMASS Amherst Legal Studies Distinguished Professor Emeritus Ethan Katsh envisioned the growth of online conflicts and, therefore, the possibilities for online dispute resolution (ODR). He not only pioneered a new subfield of law and society, his vision impacted e-commerce and eventually the slow moving court system. While a few other countries have already been effectively integrating ODR into courts, the U.S. has finally joined in as New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Nakamura states in announcing the first ODR court project.
Congratulations, Ethan, on helping increase access to justice in the U.S.!

Professor Musgrave's recent piece: "Trump Bends Over to Kiss the Blarney State" in Foreign Policy receives a response from the Irish ambassador to the US. See full response here and for additional comments please click on Twitter.

A column about the aftermath of the election of President Donald Trump quotes from a paper by Matthew C. McWilliams and Tatishe Nteta, political science, and former colleague Brian Schaffner. The 2018 paper showed that Trump made racism more explicit, leading to sharper divisions on attitudes toward race.

"I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I’ve received from not only voters in the Town of Palmer, but my community at UMass and the network I’ve gained over the years as a young professional," said Sizer. "With the voter turnout rate being higher than expected, I see there is a vested interest in the wellbeing of our community and the voters looked energized and excited."

Throughout the Cold War, nuclear weapons were the main existential threat to the planet. But they were also considered vital to powerful nations. With no chance of getting those players to give them up, possession and use of the weapons was simply regulated at the margins. But thanks to the concerted work of a coalition of activists, nuclear weapons were banned outright in a 2017 treaty that has been signed by 70 countries and ratified by 23…Read the rest of the article here.

Paul Musgrave is interviewed on the local public affairs program Connecting Point about how in one of his courses, he assigns students an essay and podcast on the politics of the end of the world. He says while students find it challenging, they often enjoy learning to think about possible events they hadn’t previously considered. 

Congratulations to Samantha Davis who has been awarded a summer fellowship with the WEB Du Bois Center to support her dissertation research.

  1. Podcast: "Why Washington can't escape the West Wing".
  2. JSTOR "The Civilian Solution to Bank Robberies", Paul Musgrave quoted.
  3. "The Missing Links: Choosing and Rejecting International Issue Linkages in the Presidential Interest". Presidential Studies Quarterly.
  4. "Universities Aren't Ready for Trade War Casualties", Foreign Policy.
  5. U.S. Tariff War with China, Connecting Point.
  6. "IR Theory and 'Game of Thrones' Are Both Fantasies" Foreign Policy.

Peter Haas co-authored with Kate O'Neil: “Being there: International Negotiations as Study Sites in Global Environmental Politics” Global Environmental Governance 19:2 (May) pp 4-13.

Charli Carpenter published an article in Foreign Affairs titled: “Game of Thrones as Theory” back in 2012 and it's now highlighted in light of the Game Of Thrones finale. The article explains how the show is not as Machiavellan as it seems, and is instead a deeply progressive, human-security-focused narrative about power, justice and the dangers of unchecked realpolitik. (Foreign Affairs, 5/19/19)

Among the foreign-policy intelligentsia, and society broadly, interpreting Game of Thrones (and the book series by George R. R. Martin that the show is based on) has become a cottage industry. Every political analyst, historian, or theorist has his or her take on what lessons can be drawn from the story for real-world foreign policy. This enthusiasm tells us something about the show’s political implications: fans and writers argue over Game of Thrones precisely because there is power in interpreting a story to support one’s own arguments about what is right and who gets to choose. (Foreign Affairs, 5/27/19)