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The Board of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs has named Marie MacCune this year’s recipient of its Best Undergraduate Student Paper Award in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies. Ms. MacCune’s thesis, written under the advising of Professor Lauren McCarthy and Senior Lecturer Diane Curtis, is titled “Studying the Fathers’ Rights Movement in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Jerome “Jerry” Mileur, 83, died September 5, 2017. Born in 1934 in Murphysboro, Illinois, Jerry taught political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1967 to 2004 during which he mentored generations of graduate students. For 37 years he served...

The American Political Science Association Section on Class and Inequality named "Understanding Inequality and Representation in Local Politics," 2017 Best Paper.

Professor Brian Schaffner’s recent study shows why some Sanders supporters voted for Trump. Several media outlets have recently carried his analyses based on data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study. The NPR report is here and an interview with Vox is here.

Paul Musgrave, political science, says the recent heightening of tension and sharp rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea is different from past episodes. He says President Donald J. Trump spends much less time with his foreign policy advisors than previous presidents and those advisors have less experience dealing with crises. "For 25 years, we've been in a relatively dangerous situation, but now these two things have happened. Both of them happening simultaneously raises the possibility of miscommunication, of miscalculation," he says. Still, Musgrave says he thinks diplomacy will be needed to lower tensions. (Gazette, 8/10/17)

Professor Frederic Schaffer will deliver a keynote address at the 20th International Conference on Conceptual History, “Concepts in the World: Politics, Knowledge, and Time,” to be hosted by the University of Oslo, Norway on September 21-23, 2017. 

Professor Musgrave, Political Science, says it is highly unlikely that the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea will lead to a nuclear standoff or the use of military force, but he thinks the harsh rhetoric may be heightening tensions. Musgrave says President Donald J. Trump’s threats aren’t helpful. “The president is a little more bellicose than most experts would recommend,” he says. (REPUBLICAN, 8/9/17)

An essay by Brian F. Schaffner, political science, and Rishab Nithyanand and Phillipa Gill, computer science, looks at how offensive political comments posted on Reddit, the social news aggregation, web content rating and discussion website, become more popular when politicians are being extremely offensive. They tested every political comment on Reddit from January 2015 to January 2016 and rated them for offensiveness. They conclude that the tone of political comments on Reddit responds to how politicians were behaving. (Vox, 8/7/17)

Professor Raymond J. La Raja comments in a news analysis about how campaign fundraising has changed in response to court rulings that allow large donors to give to joint fundraising committees that direct the money to state and national political parties. The result is giving parties large sums of money whose origin is hard to detect. “I don’t like these kinds of politics, where money is just circulating in these circuitous ways,” La Raja says. (Politico, 8/4/17)

Professor Paul Musgrave, says President Donald J. Trump’s decision to attack Congress over the Russian sanctions bill he doesn’t like is politics as usual. “Doing it directly by tweet, in a vague and threatening manner, is not,” he says. The comments are in a story about how the tensions between the American president and lawmakers over the sanctions probably benefit the Russians most of all. (Vox, 8/4/17)