The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Titled "Learning by Doing: Lessons from the Graduate Students in the Boston Human Rights City Pilot Project," the article describes the experience and lessons learned by graduate students and supervising faculty (Sindiso MnisiWeeks and Gillian MacNaughton) in piloting an action-research project aimed at realizing positive economic and social change by advancing the vision of Boston as a human rights city that was articulated in a city council resolution adopted in 2011.

Chris Bailey, a graduate student of political science; Paul Collins, legal studies and political science; Doug Rice, legal studies and political science; and Jesse Rhodes, political science, have been awarded the 2022 Best Conference Paper Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Their paper, "The Effect of Judicial Decisions on Issue Salience and Legal Consciousness in the LGBTQ+ Community," is based on research funded by the National Science Foundation and was presented at the 2022 Law and Society Association Conference. (SBS News, 9/26/2022)

Tatishe Nteta, Provost Professor of Political Science and Director of UMass Poll comments on the possibility that Republican Geoff Diehl might refuse to accept a loss this fall in the Mass. governor’s race, adding that agreeing with Trump’s stolen election claims and suggesting that the 2022 results might not be valid puts Diehl squarely in the Republican mainstream. “In our polling, we consistently find about six in ten Republicans question the legitimacy of President Biden and the 2020 election. … This is a growing sentiment in the Republican electorate, that our election system is fraudulent.” ( GBH, 9/19/22)

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Sheldon Goldman weighs in on the granting of former President Donald Trump’s request to appoint a special master to handle documents seized by the FBI from his Florida home. Goldman says, “If Republicans regain control of the Senate, then all civil libertarian progress will come to a halt.” ( The Guardian, 9/18/22)

Associate Professor of Political Science Amel Ahmed comments about an increase in requests made to local elections officials for documents related to the 2020 presidential election.  The Massachusetts secretary of state says those making requests are, “ self-appointed vigilantes who think they are going to go out and protect America.” Ahmed says the requests create “a nebulous aura of doubt” and sow seeds in people’s minds that elections are not secure. (The Boston Globe, 9/18/22)

Siddhant Issar, UMass PhD 2021 graduate, currently an Assistant Professor of Political Theory at the University of Louisville, won the 2022 Leo Strauss Award for his dissertation on "Thinkins with Black Lives Matter: Towards a Critical Theory of Racial Capitalism." His research and teaching interests lie in modern and contemporary political theory, particularly Black, Indigenous, and anti-colonial thought, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the politics of race, class, and empire. In his scholarship, Issar delves into the entanglement between capitalist political economy and racial/colonial domination, as well as the theoretical insights that social movements generate against such interlinked domination. He is currently working on a book manuscript, titled Theorizing Racial Capitalism in the Era of Black Lives Matter. The citation from the Award Committee reads: Siddhant Isser’s “Thinking with Black Lives Matter: Towards a Critical Theory of Racial Capitalism” is a superb argument for moving beyond analyses of contemporary oppression that think through only one critical lens (i.e. “anti-racist” or “anti-capitalist” or “anti-colonial”). Taking his starting point from the Black Lives Matter movement, which relies on an expansive understanding of racial capitalism (as necessarily entwined with settler colonialism), Isser shows the importance of a robust theory of racial capitalism for political theory by way of engagement with a wide range of thinkers (e.g. Marx, Cedric Robinson, David Harvey, Wendy Brown, Jodi Melamed). Isser’s dissertation shines especially in its incisive critique of major thinkers of neoliberalism for their failures to sufficiently analyze the importance of race, and its brilliant analysis of “racial/colonial primitive accumulation.” Isser’s dissertation is most important, though, because it gives political theorists something they really need: a theory of racial capitalism that they can use and put to work in analyzing contemporary oppression. (Political Science Now, 09/18/2022)

Recent graduate student Basileus Zeno from the Department of Political Science accepted a position as Sessional Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at York University. He was also offered two post-docs in Canada: The Simons Foundation Canada Postdoctoral Fellow and the Arts Without Borders Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Ottawa; which he turned down in favor of the position at York. On top of this professional achievement he has recently published two articles: “The Making of Sects: Boundary-Making and the Sectarianization of the Syrian Uprising, 2011-2013,” Nations and Nationalism. 28(3),1040-1060 (open access) and “Education and Alienation: The Case of Displaced Syrians,” Digest of Middle East Studies, 30(4), 284-294. He also contributed to a report on the Boston Asylum Office for the ACLU of Maine, which has gained support of Congress members in New England who have called for a federal investigation into the Boston Asylum Office. You can send your congratulations to Basileus at WAY TO GO BASILEUS!!! (York University, 09/2022)

Dr. Leah Wing has been elected as President of the Board of Directors of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR).

ICODR is an international nonprofit and membership organization that facilitates the development and promotion of worldwide standards for all forms of technology-assisted dispute resolution, including diagnosis, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and courts. ICODR’s open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, protect consumers and citizens, and protect the right of free access to justice.

Political Science major Nicholas McCurrach is one of the 100 Inaugural Voyager Scholarship winners. This scholarship gives college students seeking careers in public service with financial aid to alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their horizons, and a network of mentors and leaders to support their aspirations. (, 9/16/2022)