The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Paul Musgrave, Professor of Political Science, discussed his recent research on “tripwire forces” on the Power Problems podcast. Musgrave says a tripwire can refer to “a small number of forces, normally US forces, deployed somewhere in what could be a crisis situation," for "greater commitment by the country that placed those forces there.” (Foreign Policy Analysis, Volume 19, Issue 4, October 2023)

An opinion piece published by The Washington Post highlighted a 2021 and a consequent 2022 UMass Poll. The data reveals that in April 2021, just 33 percent said Biden was dishonest, but in October 2021, it was found that just 50 percent said he was dishonest. This spring, 54 percent said no when asked whether Biden is honest and trustworthy in Washington Post-ABC News polling. (The Washington Post, 2023)

Tatishe Nteta, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst is featured on NPR's All Things Considered discusses California Voters opposing Cash Reparations for Slavery. "California is an important test case," said Tatishe Nteta, who has conducted national polling on public support for reparations. "If it does pass, I think it provides the momentum for the reparations movement that it has been looking for for 200-plus years. But if it doesn't pass, it provides momentum for those who oppose reparations to make the case that in a state as progressive as California, if you can't pass reparations, the likelihood of passing this at the national level is very low, and in other states is also very low." Nteta said the Berkeley poll's findings on California voters mirror his own polling of Americans nationally. (NPR 9/11/23) 


Sophie Schor, PhD Candidate, was recently awarded the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Advancement Fellowship to conduct dissertation fieldwork in Jerusalem. Please send your congratulations to Congratulations, Sophie!

UMass Amherst poll conducted a few months ago (after Thomas’ trips financed by Crow first came to light) asked whether the Supreme Court should have a formal code of ethics like other federal courts. The University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll found that Americans are of two minds when it comes to the policy of affirmative action. A plurality of Americans – 42% – agree that the policy should be discontinued and race and ethnicity should no longer factor into such decisions, while 33% support the continued use of such criteria in admissions decisions. (CNN, 9/3/23; News Office release)

Raymond La Raja and Brian Schaffner, political scientists at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Tufts, write in their 2015 book, “Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail”:

The public intensely dislikes how campaigns are financed in the United States. We can understand why. The system of private financing seems rigged to favor special interests and wealthy donors. Much of the reform community has responded by calling for tighter restrictions on private financing of elections to push the system toward “small donor democracy” and various forms of public financing. These strategies seem to make sense and, in principle, we are not opposed to them.

(New York Times, 8/30/23)

Charli Carpenter, Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies, Human Security Lab Director, and graduate students Jenna Norosky and Camryn Hughes have briefed officials from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor regarding the lab’s recent report on Ukraine’s travel ban imposed on civilian men in the aftermath of the Russian invasion last year. Read More >


An article on housing and the influx of migrants to Massachusetts cites an April UMass Amherst Poll on residents considering leaving the commonwealth. The poll found that 39% of respondents said they considered leaving the state, up from 35% the previous fall. (CommonWealth Magazine, 8/10/23; News Office release)

A recent UMass Poll is cited in an article about the apathy and political divide seen following Trump’s indictment for the Jan. 6 events. The poll reports that the number of people who say “it’s time to move on” increased from 44 percent in 2021 to 50 percent in 2023. (Vox, 8/2/23; News Office release


UMass Amherst professors of political science Tatishe Nteta and Jesse Rhodes along with graduate student Adam Eichen write an opinion piece in Newsweek about "Why are Americans so willing to consider age limits for service in positions of national leadership? Eighty-one-year old Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently "froze" during a weekly Republican news conference and was escorted away from journalists. This incident comes on the heels of growing concerns regarding the mental acuity and physical ability of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who at 90 years old, missed nearly three months and over 90 Senate votes as she recovered from a serious case of the shingles. (Newsweek, 08/07/23)