The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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In an Op-Ed piece published by the Washington Post, Professors and Associate Directors of the UMass Amherst Poll Raymond La Raja and Alex Theodoridis argue that the implementation of ranked-choice voting by delegates to the Virginia Republican statewide delegation reduced the chances that a Trumpist candidate would run away with the party’s nomination for governor, likely securing the key to victory for the GOP. (The Washington Post, 11/5/21)

Donny Snyder (PhD student, Dept. of Political Science) received a grant of up to $1,000 from The International Society for Self & Identity (ISSI) for research in the area of political identity. His funded project aims to test how psychological intergroup bias-reduction interventions may be translated into a political polarization-reduction context by adding additional dimensions for cross-categorizing political identities.

Professor Justin Gross comments on the latest anti-Biden catchphrase, now ubiquitous among right-wing crowds. “It's a way to say the thing that people want to say...but we can get grandma and the 11-year-old involved, because they’re not saying a naughty word.” (NBC News, 11/03/2021)

“We’re seeing the beginning of the baton passing to a new generation,” said Tatishe Nteta, associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst. “This decade is going to be about those transitions.” (Vox, 11/03/2021)

Associate Professor Jamie Rowen, along with Assistant Professors Joshua Kaiser and Youngmin Yi in sociology and Cindy Xiong in CICS, were awarded a Deans Research Council Grant for their study: "Understanding the Progressive Prosecution Agenda: Trust and Transparency in Data and Decision-Making." Through a partnership with the Northwestern District Attorneys office, the group working through the Center for Justice, Law, and Societies will examine efforts to reduce bias and inequality, and increase trust and transparency in criminal justice institutions. 

The following Professors from the School of Public Policy Brenda Bushouse and Charles Schweik, and Associate Professor Saba Siddiki from Syracuse University, Political Science Professor Doug Rice along with undergraduate student Isaac Wolfson worked together to publishe: "The Institutional Grammar: A Method for Coding Institutions and its Potential for Advancing Third Sector Research".

Abstract: Institutions—defined as strategies, norms and rules (Ostrom Understanding institutional diversity, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2005)—are omnipresent in third sector contexts. In this paper, we present the Institutional Grammar (IG) as a theoretically informed approach to support institutional analysis in third sector research. (VOLUNTAS, 10/20/2021)

Join us for the 23rd annual Cyberweek, the largest online conference focused on online dispute resolution hosted by The National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution. This free, week-long international conference on Online Dispute Resolution features panels with ODR experts from around the globe, technology demonstrations, and an authors panel each day from the newly released treatise Online Dispute Resolution–Theory and Practice (2nd edition). To join these conversations on cutting edge ODR topics visit Click on links in the agenda to join a session. Video recordings of completed sessions will be uploaded to the agenda.

Professor of Political Science, Ray La Raja, is quoted in a story about a concerted effort in Massachusetts to redraw the legislative borders to make it easier for people of color to win elections and reduce the lack of representation in the State House. “Lawmakers are drawing the maps and they don't want to hurt themselves, and that's one of the tensions built into this system,” La Raja says. “So when they draw a map, they're not going to likely make it too hard for them to win reelection.” (WBUR, 10/21/21)

Leah Wing (Legal Studies Program, Dept. of Political Science) received a $10,000 grant in the area of Native American and Indigenous Studies to integrate Native Hawaiian concepts and methodologies into her courses. This curriculum infusion project is a collaboration with Talking Chief M.Kalani Souza (Olohana Foundation), Valerie Joseph (Smith College), and Sharon Tracy (Quabbin Mediation Program). The grant was provided through Five Colleges, Inc. and the Gathering at the Crossroads project; with funding made possible through support by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“About 35 percent of Americans believed in April that Biden’s victory was illegitimate, with another 6 percent saying they are not sure. What can we say about the Americans who do not think Biden’s victory was legitimate? Compared to the overall voting-age population, they are disproportionately white, Republican, older, less educated, more conservative, and more religious (particularly more Protestant and more likely to describe themselves as born again).” (The New York Times, 10/6/21)