The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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“Focusing on the influence of “dark money” groups that don’t need to disclose their donors may prove appealing for Republicans sensitive about how they oppose the first Black woman Supreme Court nominee,” said Paul M. Collins Jr., Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst, who studies Supreme Court confirmation hearings. “Instead of attacking Judge Jackson directly, they can attack the process, which includes spending by outside organizations whose donors can’t be traced.” (Bloomberg Law, 3/17/22)

A satirical Op-Ed column in The Grio that lists various grievances that many mistakenly blame on President Joe Biden, regardless of his ability to influence or correct the problems, cites a UMass Poll that found 71% of Republicans believed Biden was not legitimately elected president. (The Grio, 3/21/22; News Office release)

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science is quoted about possible efforts by Republicans to block the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. “Republican senators can try to delay the process of confirming Judge Jackson through procedural maneuvers, but ultimately they cannot block Judge Jackson's confirmation as long as Senate Democrats stay united,” Collins says. (Newsweek, 3/21/22)

Paul Musgrave, Assistant Professor of Political Science is quoted in multiple outlets on the financial impacts of U.S. corporations such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola halting business with Russia. “When McDonald’s moved into the Soviet Union, it was part of a message of opening up and building trust and cooperation between Russia and the West. And now those avenues have all been closed off. And so Russia’s having McDonald’s exit that market really brings a bookend or close to that era,” he says. “It’s the spiritual end to any hope that commercial ties by themselves would sustain political integration.” (International Business Times, Times of News, OAN News, Reuters, National Post, 3/8/22; WION News, Now This News, [all via Reuters], 3/10/22) - (PBS NewsHour, 3/11/22)

Alex Theodoridis, Associate Professor of Political Science is quoted in a New York Times Op-Ed analyzing the prospects for President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party in the 2022 midterm elections. He is pessimistic about Democratic prospects but acknowledges some positive signs for Biden and Democrats since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Theodoridis says that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “is an awkward one for GOP elites and voters. They have spent the last few years downplaying the nefariousness of Putin’s regime and portraying Ukraine as a hopelessly corrupt hotbed of profiteering for the Biden family…UMass Poll data from 2020 and 2021 show that Republicans, on average, rate Democrats, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and even people who vote for Democrats, as greater threats to America than Vladimir Putin and Russia. In the weeks before the invasion, Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, among others, peddled takes flattering to Putin. This stance has grown uncomfortable as Russia and Putin have clearly played the role of unprovoked aggressor and Ukrainians and Zelensky emerge as both sympathetic and heroic.” All that being said, Theodoridis does not view recent events as game changers for the Democratic Party and predicts that the midterm elections will likely follow the historical pattern of midterm loss for the president's party. (New York Times, 3/9/22).

Sid Issar recently accepted a tenure track offer in political theory at the University of Louisville's Department of Political Science. He will start at UofL in Fall 2022. Congratulations Sid!

Paul Collins, Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies, is quoted in an article examining Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ use of a firm run by Leonard Leo, former head of the Federalist Society, to promote his new book and documentary film project focused on the jurist’s life. “The continued exposure of real or potential conflicts of interest could be problematic for the court, especially when we see ties like this between a justice and the Federalist Society, which plays such a large role in the legal world,” Collins said. (The Daily Beast, Raw Story, 3/8/22)

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Paul Musgrave, was quoted extensively in an article exploring Ukrainians’ use of swear words toward the invading Russians. ( The Washington Post, 3/4/22)

UMass Amherst presented “War in Ukraine: Placing the Conflict in Context,” a public online discussion between various members of the university faculty, on March 3. Audrey Altstadt, history, Ina Ganguli, economics, Julie Hemment, anthropology, Lauren McCarthy, political science and legal studies and Paul Musgrave, political science, discussed how the conflict came to be and where it might lead during the 90-minute conversation. The event was moderated by R. Karl Rethemeyer, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. (Gazette, News Office release)

Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Director of the UMass Poll, conducts groundbreaking research on the underlying dynamics of political attitudes, opinions and behaviors. Nteta’s central research is about trying to understand the impact of race in the 21st century. He also leads the UMass Poll, which provides comprehensive data on the health of the American democracy and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to policymakers and members of the public. Its goal is to focus on sharing nonpartisan and nonideological information to allow citizens to assess the current and future civic health of the state and nation. (UMass News Office, 3/4/2022)