The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ray La Raja,Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, is quoted in a column analyzing the results of first-ballot voting in the Democratic primary election for mayor of New York. La Raja says, “There has been a growing education and age divide in the Democratic Party beyond racial divisions. In the past it was white ethnics — Italians, Irish and Poles living in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens — who supported the Tammany-style politicians. Today it is Hispanics and Blacks … supporting [front runner Eric] Adams, who leveraged his shared background with voters, with ties to powerful political institutions, much like Tammany." (The New York Times, 6/30/21)

New research from Jesse Rhodes, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, finds that states with same-day voter registration have higher turnout among Black and Latinx voters. Rhodes and a colleague from the think tank Demos report that data from 23 states plus the District of Columbia showed Black and Latinx turnout is 2% to 17% higher in states with same-day registration than in states without. (MassLive, 6/29/21; News Office release)

Angélica Bernal's article "Ecuador's Dual Populism: Neocolonial extractivism, violence, and Indigenous resistance," was published in the Special Issue on Populism of the journal Thesis Eleven. This article examines the confluence of extractivism, violence, and their resistance in the context of left governance in Latin America – specifically the case of Ecuador – through an engagement with the concept of populism. Alongside Bolivia and Venezuela, Ecuador has long been associated with the rise of radical populism and with it an ‘autocratic turn’ in Latin America. Dispensing with overdetermined accounts of populism as either the anti-thesis or essence of democracy, this article proposes a third lens – dual populisms – to better grapple with the neocolonial turn toward intensified natural resource extraction and violence. With the expansion of extractive industries, and its accompanying violence increasingly becoming a global phenomenon, dual populisms posits a third position – one that is at once top-down, state centered, and also bottom-up and social movement focused – to better account for the complex dynamics at work within this turn. (Sage Journal, 6/15/2021)


Tatishe Nteta, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Director of the UMass Poll, was interviewed on the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered” regarding a recent UMass Poll about whether the U.S. government should pay reparations to the descendants of Black slaves.  According to the poll, 62% of respondents feel the government definitely or probably should not pay reparations, while 38% think the government definitely or probably should pay reparations. Nteta talks extensively about the poll results with UMass alumna Audie Cornish on the “All Things Considered Podcast”. (NPR, 6/18/2021)  


Alexander Theodoridis, Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Associate Director of the UMass Poll, was recently interviewed on the topic of party polarization, in relation to an April 2021 UMass Amherst/WCVB poll found which found that two-thirds of both partisan Democrats and partisan Republicans believe that many members of the other party are “downright evil.”  Theodoridis said that “we have seen partisanship become aligned with all sorts of different other identities.” (WCVB-TV Boston, 6/8/21; News Office assistance)

A recent UMass Amherst Poll is cited in an opinion column in The Boston Globe about the proposed Fair Share Amendment, which, if passed by the Legislature, would impose a 4% surtax on the wealthy in Massachusetts. The March poll found that 65% of respondents support this measure. (Boston Globe, 6/9/21)

Ray La Raja, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, is quoted in an article about the impact of small donations in New York City’s mayoral race and the role of the city’s public campaign matching funds program. La Raja says, “New York is probably the most bold public financing program in the country. Politicians have an incentive to go speak to people who can’t give a lot of money. It encourages people to participate more in politics.” (The City, 6/7/21)

Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Director of UMass Poll, is quoted in The Atlantic and interviewed on Canadian national television network news about unruly fan behavior at NBA games since spectators have been allowed back into arenas. “I think some of this is reflective of the pandemic, and people for the first time being in public places—the crowds, the conformity, the emotions, and alcohol mixed in,” Nteta says. “I also think it’s a reflection of widespread lack of civility and respect that pervades our society.” (The Atlantic, 6/2/21; CTV News, 6/4/21)

While much media attention has been paid to the question of what will happen to the opposition movement in Russia after the arrest and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, there has been less focus on his ordinary supporters—the tens of thousands across the country who have gone out on the street to protest his detention. In an extensive crackdown that was unprecedented during the Putin regime, over 11,000 were arrested and charged during a series of nationwide protests in January/February 2021, with another 1,700 arrested in April. Most were charged with violating the prohibition on participating in unauthorized gatherings though some were also prosecuted criminally. (PONARS Eurasia, 6/1/2021)

Jamie Rowen draws from her NSF CAREER funded research on veterans in the criminal justice system to explain how veterans have fared in the pandemic and shutdown. She says: “Veterans have been among the most hard-hit, with heightened health and economic threats from the pandemic. These veterans face homelessness, lack of health care, delays in receiving financial support and even death.” (The Conversation, Lock Haven Express)