The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Former graduate student Kira Tait has just published an article (co-authored with Whitney Taylor) in Law & Social Inquiry, one of the top journals in the Law and Society field. The article, entitled "The Possibility of Rights Claims-Making in Court: Looking Back on Twenty-Five Years of Social Rights Constitutionalism in South Africa" is based on her dissertation research. You can congratulate Kira at!

Amel Ahmed, Associate Professor of Political Science, has a new article on The Conversation about the often-overlooked work of local election administrators. As Ahmed writes, election officials are usually overworked, underpaid, and feeling pressure from multiple sources, especially in small, undersupported jurisdictions. Ahmed also commented on NPR and in The Times in advance of the midterm election. She told NPR, “The fate of democracy really hinges on whether or not losers accept defeat and whether they recognize losses as losses.” Ahmed adds, “I believe the focus on the machinery of elections has obscured a different threat to the nation’s elections: Local election administrators work under increasingly difficult circumstances, with dwindling resources and mounting challenges.” (The ConversationTimes-UnionWBTWMilwaukee IndependentStudyFindsNPRThe Times 11/07/2022)

There is continued coverage of the results of recent UMass Polls, including a statewide poll that found 57% of respondents said Gov. Charlie Baker has handled the issue of transportation “not too well” or “not well at all,” and a national poll that found approximately one-fifth of the electorate doesn’t view the 2020 presidential election as legitimate. (, Atlanta Magazine, The Schenectady Daily Gazette, 11/3/22; News Office releases)


Tatishe Nteta, Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass poll, is quoted in a story on Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Massachusetts to campaign for Democratic candidates Maura Healey, Kim Driscoll and Andrea Campbell, who are running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively. “Many Democrats aren’t that excited about this slate of candidates,” Nteta says, adding that Harris’ appearance will remind voters about the women-led ticket. “These are historic firsts,” he says, calling Harris “the embodiment of a historic first” as the first Black and female vice president. (, 11/3/22)

Outgoing Governor Charlie Baker remains popular, despite a recent UMass/WCVB poll finding that a majority of Massachusetts residents think he did a poor job of handling the state’s transportation issues. (Boston Herald, 11/2/22; News Office release)

Eve Weinbaum, Labor Studies and Sociology, and Dean E. Robinson, Professor of Political Science, were featured on episode 10 of the Class Matters podcast, "Millionaires Tax on the Ballot in Massachusetts." Weinbaum and Robinson spoke with Adolph Reed Jr. about MA Question 1 and strategies for state-wide organizing to unite working people. (Class Matters Podcast)

Timothy Pachirat's Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (Yale University Press) has now been published in a Japanese language translation by Akishobo Press (2022), with a new foreword by Professor Jihyun Na, Professor of Law at Kokugakuin University. The Japanese title of the book is "Boryoku no Esunographie" which translates to English as "An Ethnography of Violence."

Lindsey Guenther ’21 and Paul Musgrave have published a peer-reviewed article together in Journal of Global Security Studies entitled “New Questions for an Old Alliance: NATO in Cyberspace and American Public Opinion”. The article uses survey experiments to understand how Americans understand the NATO Article 5 collective self-defense commitment as extending to cyberspace—an open question, given that the Article 5 commitment was initially designed only to extend to “armed attacks”. It finds that the public does believe that there are circumstances under which the United States should come to the aid of an ally facing Russian cyberattacks. It also finds that having a treaty commitment substantially increases support for that assistance. The project grew out of Lindsey’s Honors thesis and was funded in part by a CHC research grant.

UMass Center for Justice, Law, and Societies is hosting an opening reception for a photo exhibition on November 10 at the Colombian Consulate in New York City. The exhibition features work by Colombian migrants who participated in a six month photovoice research project co-led by graduate student Luz Maria Sanchez Duque, with administrative support from CJLS director and Associate Professor Jamie Rowen. This event is supported by Humanity United and the Colombian Victims Unit. The project aims to increase solidarity among Colombian migrants living in the United States, to serve as a form of symbolic reparation, and to build dialogue between Colombian migrants and the Colombian and U.S. governments.

Signe Predmore, PhD Student was an invited panelist at this year's Civil Society Policy Forum at the IMF Annual Meetings. She took part in a panel convened by the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) and the Bretton Woods Project to discuss the topic, "Implications of financial deepening for inequality and its impact on gender, poverty and marginalization." The panel recording (scroll to Oct 14 recordings) is now available here.