The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Ray La Raja, Professor of Political Science, is quoted in an article about public campaign funding for U.S. elections. In reference to candidates who turn down public financing in order to fundraise privately, La Raja said, “The programs will say, ‘Take these public funds, but don’t spend over this amount or else you’re not eligible to take the public money,’ which is an invitation for all these outside groups to spend tons of money.” (Bloomberg, 9/16/21)

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst was extensively quoted in a Newsweek article on the Supreme Court’s case involving a newly enacted Texas law that bans most abortions. Collins said that the court’s handling of the case will increase calls to expand the size of the court. Collins added, “If the court were interested in avoiding being in the political thicket, it's difficult to imagine a dumber move.” (Newsweek, 9/3/2021)

Little is known about the experiences of human trafficking survivors over the long term. Why do some survivors experience re-victimization while others do not? Drawing from longitudinal interviews with 64 female sex trafficking survivors in Cambodia, we use qualitative comparative analysis to compare which conditions in the lives of survivors are associated with re-exploitation and which are associated with not experiencing re-exploitation.

Graduating UMass doctoral student and Human Security Lab doctoral researcher Alexandria Nylen has accepted a position as Program Coordinator at Brown University's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS) at the prestigious Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Nylen successfully defended her PhD dissertation, Targeting Drones, this month, completing the final requirement for her doctoral degree in Political Science and Legal Studies from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Charli Carpenter, political science, has written an opinion piece calling for United Nations intervention in Afghanistan, saying it is not too late for a peacekeeping force to assist in protecting the nation’s women as the U.S. military withdraws from its 20-year occupation of the country. (World Politics Review, 8/20/21)

Human Security Lab doctoral researcher Alexandria Nylen successfully defended her PhD dissertation, Targeting Drones, last week, completing the final requirement for her doctoral degree in Political Science and Legal Studies from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll, is quoted in a column supporting a federal reparations program to benefit Black Americans descended from enslaved Africans. In April, the UMass Poll found that nearly half of Americans believe that the federal government should not pay reparations. Nteta says, “In explaining their opposition to reparations, Americans view the descendants of slaves as unworthy of payment for the plight of their forefathers and mothers. For supporters of reparations, the next stage in the fight may be the education of the public regarding the continuing legacy and impact of slavery on the African American community.” (MSNBC, 8/4/21)

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst, is quoted in an article about the Supreme Court’s 49% approval rating, which dropped from 58% last year. Collins tied this drop to a sharp decrease in support from Republicans. “This was the first term with the three Trump appointees on the Court and the expectations among Republicans were high that the Court would take a decidedly conservative turn,” Collins explained. “Though the Court did make some significant conservative rulings, the term was largely defined by moderation, which was disappointing to many Republicans.” (Courthouse News Service, 7/28/21)

Professor Charli Carpenter will join Harvard's Kennedy School this fall as a senior fellow at the Belfer Center on International Security, where she will spend a semester completing work in progress on the laws of war and the nuclear ban treaty, and write a number of external grants to support her newly founded Human Security Lab, an interdisciplinary project focused on global human security law and policy. This summer, Carpenter hired and trained four undergraduates and supervised five graduate students through the Lab on a variety of projects related to humanitarian disarmament and conflict transformation. In fall, Carpenter hopes to secure external funding to expand Human Security Lab programming to involve events, speaker series', and develop a grants program for faculty and graduate student research at the intersection of inequality, conflict resolution and humanitarian law. While maintaining her post at Belfer on sabbatical this fall, Professor Carpenter also looks forward to staying involved with the Political Science and Legal Studies community through the Conflict, Violence and Security workshop, Human Security Lab speaker series, and continuing to serve the university community with public-facing op-eds for World Politics Review.

Jesse Rhodes and Ray La Raja, Professors of Political Science at UMass Amherst, are cited in an opinion piece that advocates for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In explaining why de Blasio could be successful with negative poll numbers, the author notes that Rhodes and La Raja found that “the views of white voters are structurally overrepresented in local politics throughout the country, even in cities like New York that are majority non-white.” (Gotham Gazette, 7/22/21)