The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Jane Fountain, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science, the School of Public Policy and director of the National Center for Digital Government, has been named to a list of the “100 Most Influential People in Digital Government” for the second year in a row.

A team of UMass Amherst researchers has received a three-year, $460,000 National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network grant for a project aimed to help better understand the interplay between policy design and human behavior. The grant, awarded to Douglas Rice, assistant professor of political science and legal studies, Charles Schweik, professor of environmental conservation and public policy, and Brenda Bushouse, associate professor of political science and public policy, aims to build an interdisciplinary international network of policy scholars, behavioral researchers and computational scientists to develop mechanisms to allow these kinds of comparisons to move toward a more robust, quantitative science.

Professor Musgrave comments in a news story about how members of the Trump administration and some conservative politicians have adopted the idea of a “deep state” to attack their political enemies. He says the idea was originally used to describe countries where the military and national security apparatus played a large role in the actions of civilian governments. In the U.S. government, he says, “It’s a really useful bogeyman, but there is no evidence for it.”

He also states that it is apparent that President Donald J. Trump is unfit for office, but the U.S. Constitution and our laws don’t have a clear answer to how to quickly remove him. He says there are tools available such as the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and the impeachment process, but neither of those fits well with the current situation. Musgrave also says both of those fixes are hampered by the high level of congressional incapacity that has developed in recent decades.

by Seth Oldmixon and Arafat Kabir

"Rohingya Refugees Pose A Global Humanitarian Crisis. They May Become A Global Security One"

An article about the status of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the concerns about the rising crime rate and drug addictions in the camps and their concerns about the extremist education within the camps. The authors outline the root cause of the crisis which is that the refugees lack a clear path to a meaningful future outside the camps.

Professor Paul Musgrave writes that President Donald Trump’s interactions with the president of Ukraine show that the greatest challenges to post-Cold War liberal order has come from the country — the U.S. — that was supposed to lead it.


A column about the changing ways that political parties raise money quotes Professor Ray J. La Raja who says it’s not too surprising that President Donald Trump has raised more money from small donors because Trump ignites the passions in individual donors.

She is the co-founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, a movement of young people fighting to stop the climate crisis. She says Sunrise has “catapulted” the Green New Deal into the national spotlight.

A team of researchers headed by Chaitra Gopalappa, an engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, including Professor Dean Robinson has been awarded a four-year, $1.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Health program to develop a multi-disease model of interrelated diseases for studying the impact of public health investments on overall health. This multidisciplinary project involves engineering, computer science, and social sciences research aimed at building new decision-analytic models for informing national and global public health decisions.

By Charli Carpenter
During the Bush-era “war on terror,” detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and numerous other detention sites were tortured through such techniques as beating, stress positions, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, sexual assault, subjection to extreme heat or extreme cold, and confinement in small coffin-like boxes. During the Obama administration, deadly drone strikes targeted men and teenage boys merely suspected of crimes, killing numerous civilians—and even allegedly engaging in double-tap strikes of first responders. Read more here.

Meredith Loken is a 2019-2020 non-resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Modern War Institute is a research center at West Point devoted to the study of contemporary conflict.