The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Tatishe Nteta, professor of political science and director of the UMass Poll, comments on what polling reveals about Americans’ opposition to paying reparations to descendants of enslaved people. “The reason why they oppose reparations is because they don't believe the descendants of slaves deserve reparations. So this is not a question of logistics or economics. It's a question of deservedness,” he says. (NPR, 3/27/23) 
A columnist writing about slavery cites a UMass poll from last year finding that only 28% of whites in America support the idea of reparations for descendants of enslaved Blacks. (Hampshire Gazette , 3/10/23; News Office release)

Peter Haas, professor emeritus of political science, has written an opinion piece looking at the intricacies of the debate over providing reparations to the descendants of slaves. “Current efforts by Amherst and Northampton appear to go beyond performative politics through the creation of committees to develop policies for implementing reparations locally,” he writes. “As with most ethical arguments, the devil is in the details of their application. There is precedent for reparations. Post-World War II Germany paid out sizable reparations to surviving Jews for lost earnings. The U.S. offered paltry and delayed reparations to Japanese Americans interned during World War II. Evanston, Illinois and Asheville, North Carolina have committed funds under reparations plans for African Americans, although their amounts are relatively small.” (Gazette, 3/13/23)

 

Alexander Theodoridis, political science, is quoted in an opinion column about Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Theodoridis says, “Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016 was a stress test for Republican partisanship, and Republican partisanship passed with flying colors. The election was close enough for Trump to win because the vast majority of G.O.P. voters found the idea of either sitting it out or voting for a Democrat they had spent 20+ years disliking so distasteful that Trump’s limitations, liabilities and overt racism and misogyny were not a deal-breaker.” (The New York Times , 3/22/23)

Political science and associate director of the UMass Poll Ray La Raja is quoted in a story about President Biden unveiling his $6.8 trillion budget proposal “He’s setting the table. Announcements of budgets are definitely about setting the campaign agenda,” La Raja says. “We already know from the State of the Union speech that he’s going to go after the Republicans for taking away Social Security, Medicare…he says this budget shores that up.” (The National DeskKATV [Little Rock, Ark.] MidMichiganNow, NBC 24 [Toledo, Ohio] 3/10/23)

Newly analyzed data from Human Security Lab at UMass Amherst shows significant and sustained support for women’s human rights as a top national priority in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan - even among men and women who strongly support the Taliban. (Read more)

Grigory has won a dissertation completion grant from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER) for his dissertation entitled “Election Monitoring under Authoritarianism: The Case of Russia” which examines the goals, strategies and tactics of election monitoring groups in Russia.

Professor of Political Science with Programs in Legal Studies, Paul Collins comments about two cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan. In Newsweek, he says, “I expect the Court will halt the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan down ideological lines, which will be a major blow to student loan borrowers trying to get out under mountains of debt.” In an interview on WGN Radio, he says, “The conservative justices in particular were pretty skeptical about the Biden administration’s authority to forgive student loans in this way.”  ( Newsweek, WGN Radio, 2/28/23)

Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll Tatishe Nteta comments in an article about the agenda set by new Massachusetts governor Maura Healey. Nteta says the early weeks of a new governor’s term “is where leaders step up and articulate their vision for the future of the state, and the question is, is she going to do that or is it just going to be reactive to the problems that we have been dealing with, whether that’s the MBTA or issues of housing, the overarching issues or transportation and economic issues. Is she going to be proactive and visionary? Or is she just going to be reactive and managerial?” (GBH, 2/22/23)

A research team from the Center for Justice, Law, and Societies won the inaugural UMass Public Interest Technology (PIT) Fellowship for their project, "What Counts Count? How Information about Racial Disparities Informs the Public’s Evaluations of District Attorneys." PI Kelsey Shoub (School of Public Policy), along with collaborators Jamie Rowen (Legal Studies and Political Science), Youngmin Yi (Sociology), and Cindy Xiong (CICS) will use the award for a series of survey experiments to examine whether and how the visual presentation of racial disparity data and selection of information to be presented affects trust in DAs, evaluations of the office, and confidence in making decisions about whom to charge and prosecute. The results of these studies will inform the Northwestern District Attorney’s (NWDA), our local district attorney that we have partnered with for this broader project, plans to develop a public-facing data dashboard.

Ray La Raja, Political Science and Co-Director of the UMass Amherst Poll, was interviewed for a local news report highlighting local experts’ analysis of President Biden’s State of the Union Address. La Raja was not involved in the survey, said, “Of course people aren’t excited because [Biden’s] not an exciting candidate. People just aren’t paying attention that much, and they’re still sticking to their priors.” (Boston.com, 2/10/23; WWLP-TV 22, 2/8/23)

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