The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Professor Charli Carpenter will join Harvard's Kennedy School this fall as a senior fellow at the Belfer Center on International Security, where she will spend a semester completing work in progress on the laws of war and the nuclear ban treaty, and write a number of external grants to support her newly founded Human Security Lab, an interdisciplinary project focused on global human security law and policy. This summer, Carpenter hired and trained four undergraduates and supervised five graduate students through the Lab on a variety of projects related to humanitarian disarmament and conflict transformation. In fall, Carpenter hopes to secure external funding to expand Human Security Lab programming to involve events, speaker series', and develop a grants program for faculty and graduate student research at the intersection of inequality, conflict resolution and humanitarian law. While maintaining her post at Belfer on sabbatical this fall, Professor Carpenter also looks forward to staying involved with the Political Science and Legal Studies community through the Conflict, Violence and Security workshop, Human Security Lab speaker series, and continuing to serve the university community with public-facing op-eds for World Politics Review.

Jesse Rhodes and Ray La Raja, Professors of Political Science at UMass Amherst, are cited in an opinion piece that advocates for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In explaining why de Blasio could be successful with negative poll numbers, the author notes that Rhodes and La Raja found that “the views of white voters are structurally overrepresented in local politics throughout the country, even in cities like New York that are majority non-white.” (Gotham Gazette, 7/22/21)

Dr. Philip D'Agati was interviewed recently by the Washington Post on the impact of the ban of the Russian Flag, Anthem and its official participation as a result of a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report concluding Russia violated anti-doping policies. (Washington Post, 7/23/2021)

An article in Fox News about American slavery reparations cites an April 2021 UMass Poll finding that nearly 2/3 of Americans, and 90% of Republicans, oppose the idea of providing reparations to the descendants of slaves. (Fox News, 7/19/21) 

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to name 41 new Leading Edge Fellows. In this third round of the fellowship program, outstanding PhDs in the humanities and interpretive social sciences have been placed with nonprofits to support initiatives advancing social justice and equity in communities across the United States.
Eric will work with the Environmental Law & Policy Center on the project "Equitable and Inclusive Climate Change Solutions." The ELPC is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy organization. ELPC produces strong results for the environment in the courtrooms, boardrooms, and legislative hearing rooms across the pivotal Midwest states and in Washington D.C. Eric will join the ELPC team as a Policy Analyst, and will partner with ELPC attorneys and policy staff to advance climate justice through research, community outreach, and public engagement. (ACLS, 7/9/2021)


Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science, coauthored an article in The Conversation, titled "Should the Supreme Court have Term Limits?" The article explores the problems with granting Supreme Court justices life tenure, and suggests the nation would be better served by limiting the justices to 18-year terms. (The Conversation, 7/6/2021)

Professor Charli Carpenter will write a bi-weekly column for the newsmagazine World Politics Review, which publishes in-depth news and expert analysis on global affairs to help readers identify and make sense of the events and trends shaping the world. Like her earlier blog posts and many one-off contributions to Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs and the Washington Post, Carpenter's new regular column will focus on the politics of international law with an emphasis on human security. Her recent essays include analyses of the laws of war, the Gaza conflict, attacks on humanitarian workers, the need for peacekeeping in Afghanistan, the politics of foreign aid, the politics of war memorials, the politics of drones and killer robots, the military's role in counter-terrorism, and the global governance of climate change. Carpenter's professional profile has long included public-facing efforts to communicate the results of political science research and academic expertise to the public and policy community. Her essays highlight not only the latest political science research on the politics of international law, but also the efforts of NGOs, norm advocates and global civil servants to strengthen and deepen the rule of law in the global system. (World Politics Review, 7/5/2021)

An opinion piece written by Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst has appeared in a number of news outlets.  In the piece, which was co-authored by Artemus Ward of Northern Illinois University, Collins says, “Our extensive research on the Supreme Court shows life tenure, while well-intended, has had unforeseen consequences. It skews how the confirmation process and judicial decision-making work, and causes justices who want to retire to behave like political operatives.” (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Rome News-Tribune, 7/8/21)

Ray La Raja, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Associate Director of UMass Poll, is cited in an opinion piece about inexperienced candidates running for political office. According to the piece, research by La Raja “shows that more and more candidates without experience, especially Republicans, are running for office, frequently challenging incumbents. And all too often they’re winning.” (Los Angeles Times, 7/8/21)

A recent UMass Amherst Poll is cited in a number of articles discussing a potential third term for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The poll, which asked about Baker’s popularity among Republican voters in hypothetical matchups against likely opponents, showed Baker with double-digit leads over the current field of Democratic challengers. (Gloucester Daily Times, 7/2/21; News Office release)