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Lauren McCarthy and Doug Rice, along with co-author Aleks Lokhmutov from the organization OVD-Info have published a new article on Russia's wartime repression. 
(Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, Volume 31, Number 2, Spring 2023, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University)

Kira Tait (PhD '21) has accepted a job at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Politics Department.  She'll be starting in Fall 2023 after a year of teaching at University of San Diego.  You can email your congratulations to Kira at

Sindiso MnisiWeeks, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science, has won a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellowship for 2023-24.  The CLF program seeks to cultivate future campus leaders by offering a half-time, one-year temporary appointment to an administrative area on campus and providing mentoring from the leader of the host unit. In addition, fellows are expected to launch a significant program during their fellowship year. 

Paul Collins, professor of legal studies and political science, appeared on “Talking Politics” to discuss a proposal by a group of elected officials, including Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, to make changes affecting the U.S. Supreme Court, including increasing its size. Collins says increasing the size of the Court creates a “tit for tat” strategy in which there’s a push for more justices each time control of Congress or the Court changes. He says the best solution would be to institute staggered 18-year terms. (GBH, 4/28/23)

There is continued coverage of a recent UMass Poll that asked respondents if inmates serving sentences for felonies should be given the right to vote. (Boston Herald, 4/28/23; The Eagle-Tribune [North Andover], 4/30/23; News Office release )  (WBUR Boston, 4/28/23; Florida Politics, 4/27/23; News Office releases)


Fellows with the UMass Poll, Adam Eichen, Political Science PhD Candidate, and Maddi Hertz, lecturer for DACSS, wrote a letter to the editor in the Boston Globe refuting a recent Jeff Jacoby op-ed on felon disenfranchisement.  In the letter, Adam and Maddi cited Jacoby's failure to cite recent and relevant UMass Poll data that shows that close to a majority of the state (49%) support the provision of voting rights to those who are currently incarcerated. (Boston Globe, 4/24/23) 

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science, says he expects the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Collins predicts the six conservative justices will be against the program and the three liberal justices will in favor. “The Supreme Court is an incredibly ideological and partisan institution in 2023 — perhaps more so than at any other point in American history,” Collins says. (CNBC, 4/22/23)

Jamie Rowen, legal studies and political science, and her sister, Tami Rowen, an obstetrician and gynecologist in San Francisco, answer questions about what the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest ruling on the abortion pill mifepristone means immediately and for medical care going forward. (The Herald-Press [Indiana], Phil’s StockWorld, 4/24/23; both via The Conversation)

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks, Associate Professor of Legal Studies, has published a piece for I-CONnect, the blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, following her attendance of the Peopling Constitutional Law symposium. The post expands on Mnisi Weeks's fall 2023 Four @ Four presentation and discusses possibilities for decolonizing constitutional law. (I-CONect, 4/23/24)

Andrew March, Professor of Political Science, is quoted in a profile of Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s main opposition party and an ardent critic of President Kaid Saied, who has been ordered to be imprisoned pending trial on charges of incitement against state authorities. March says Ghannouchi drew inspiration from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as well as from Tunisian thinkers and regional philosophers such as Algerian Malik Bennabi. “Ghannouchi’s ideology cannot be simply limited to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is to a large extent because of Bennabi, who had a wider understanding of the concept of civilization – one that was not exclusive to Islam but that included other religions and cultures,” he says. (Al Jazeera, 4/20/23)