The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Raymond La Raja, political science, and Jonathan Rauch from the Brookings Institution write that both Democrat and Republican presidential nominating processes are at risk of producing nominees who aren’t competent to govern and/or don’t represent a majority of the party’s voters. They say this is because party professionals have a declining role in the process, but these insiders can make primaries safer, fairer and more democratic.

Congratulations to Timothy Pachirat, who has been awarded a Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship to the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University next year 2020/2021.

Paul M. Collins, political science, describes the dilemma facing Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in presiding over the presidential impeachment trial. “Any decision he makes in the president’s favor will be interpreted as partisan since Roberts is a Republican. Yet any decision he makes against the president will be interpreted as biased, too,” says Collins.

Charli Carpenter, Political Science, explains the different terminologies for political killings in the wake of the premeditated killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani on Jan. 3.

Sheldon Goldman, Distinguished Professor of political science, says U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has approved almost every federal judge nominee during her years in the Senate, has had an impact on how the judiciary works. 

Musgrave has been named a 2019-20 Spotlight Scholar for his work exploring the ramifications of partisanship and its impact on both domestic and foreign policymaking. Read more.

There is additional coverage of comments by Paul M. Collins Jr., political science and director of legal studies, in an AP article previewing how Chief Justice John Roberts might preside over President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Numerous Political Science faculty have been recognized as finalists for the Distinguished Teaching Award, one of the university's highest teaching honors.

Amel Ahmed is quoted in an article about legal challenges to Electoral College processes, specifically questioning whether individual electors can vote their conscience rather than for the winner of their state’s popular vote. Ahmed says changing the current system without a constitutional amendment is, in principle, problematic because the Electoral College is written into the Constitution.

Rebecca E. Hamlin says among the factors that are influencing immigration from Central America is climate change and how it is affecting the regional economy. She says political change and increasing violence also have an effect on why people choose to try to come to the U.S.