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Jesse Savage (TGS PhD) | Political Survival and Sovereignty in International Relations

March 15, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
Why do political actors willingly give up sovereignty to another state, or choose to resist, sometimes to the point of violence? Jesse Dillon Savage demonstrates the role that domestic politics plays in the formation of international hierarchies, and shows that when there are high levels of rent-seeking and political competition within the subordinate state, elites within this state become more prepared to accept hierarchy.

Jahara Matisek (TGS PhD) | The "Goldilocks Zone" of War and Peace

March 12, 2020 – from The Journal of Character & Leadership Development
“In this article, we contend that educators should strive toward an educational ‘Goldilocks Zone’ approach, where students are forced to grapple with counterfactuals and case studies to understand the implications of the human condition, cultures, and societies within conflict. We further argue that weak states breed persistent civil wars, and that overcoming this ‘conflict trap’ requires war-making and the teaching of such to resolve contextualized political disputes. Moreover, we discuss the utility and limits of military force to include the precarious nature of militarily intervening in civil wars – past and present – in order to illustrate how future leaders should engage in constructive classroom engagements about humanitarianism in such scenarios.”

Mara Suttmann-Lea (TGS PhD) | Bloomberg Bets Old Rules of Politics No Longer Apply. He May Be Right.

March 12, 2020 – from The Christian Science Monitor
Just a few wealthy super PAC donors were able to boost Republican candidates in 2012 and 2016 who wouldn’t have made it off the ground in previous cycles, he says. And while most Democratic candidates have spoken out against Citizens United and eschewed the use of super PACs, “instead we get people like [Tom] Steyer and Bloomberg, who are financing themselves,” Professor Boatright says. Others note that Mr. Bloomberg has committed to keeping his resources on the ground, even if he’s not the nominee. “So regardless of where he ends up in the nominating process, he’s going to have an impact,” says Mara Suttmann-Lea, professor of government at Connecticut College.

Erin Lockwood (TGS PhD) | The Trump administration considers ways to help the travel industry

March 11, 2020 – from Marketplace
When the financial system was in turmoil in 2008, it was pretty easy to see which industries caused the problems and which were suffering. “And this, of course, was concentrated last time to the financial industry, the housing industry, ultimately, the automakers were also involved,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. And so they got federal government bailouts, or loans, regulatory relief — whatever you want to call it. “The assistance that was given to the banking and automobile industries during the 2008 financial crisis came under the heading of the Troubled Asset Relief Program,” said Erin Lockwood, assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine.

Marina Henke | A tale of three French interventions: Intervention entrepreneurs and institutional intervention choices

March 11, 2020 – from Journal of Strategic Studies
"What factors explain the institutional shape of military interventions spearheaded by France? This article suggests that Intervention Entrepreneurs are the deciding agents. To secure the viability of their intervention proposal, they select an intervention venue based on pragmatic grounds. Most importantly, they carefully study possible domestic and international opposition to their intervention plans and conceive institutional intervention choices accordingly."

Samara Klar (TGS PHD) | Civics 101: A Podcast — Independents

March 11, 2020 – from CIvics 101: A Podcast
What prevents someone from affiliating with a political party? What is the ideology of an independent? And how can these voters exist in a two party system? Walking us through the world of the party outsiders is political scientist Samara Klar, head of, Jacqueline Salit and president of New Hampshire Independent Voters, Tiani Coleman.

Chloe Thurston | From Personal to Partisan: Abortion, Party, and Religion Among California State Legislators

March 10, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"The parties’ polarization on abortion is a signal development. Yet while the issue has been much discussed, scholars have said less about how it reveals the unstable relationship between legislators’ personal backgrounds and their issue positions. We argue that the importance of personal characteristics may wane as links between parties and interest groups develop. We focus on the case of abortion in the California State Assembly—one of the first legislative bodies to wrestle with the issue in modern times."

Samuel Gubitz and Denzel Avant (TGS PhDs) | Racializing Captain America: How Racial Attitudes Affect Perceptions of Affirmative Action and Diversity Initiatives in Media

March 9, 2020 – from Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
"Is announcing a commitment to diversity enough to activate attitudes toward diversity initiatives? And what are the spillover effects of these programs? To address these questions, we conduct an experiment imbedded in a nationally representative survey of non-Hispanic White Americans (n = 1,519). We inform respondents that the White actor who plays Captain America will be replaced, while varying whether there is a reference to a diversity initiative and whether the replacement is White or Black. We find that reference to diversity initiatives on its own has no effect but the action of displaying diversity affects marketplace preferences and attitudes toward diversity initiatives."

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (WCAS '08) | Memo: Why Workers Need Physical Spaces for Workplace Discussions—and What Labor Law Can Do

March 6, 2020 – from Data For Progress
"American labor and employment law is broken. Compared to their counterparts in other rich democracies, U.S. workers have far fewer rights on the job. And federal and state governments all too often fail to enforce the patchy set of protections that American workers do have. Violations of basic workplace rights, like failing to pay workers the minimum wage or overtime and breaking health and safety laws, are surprisingly common in many segments of the economy. Labor unions, the most natural source of worker protections and voice, only reach about 12% of workers, and just 7% of workers in the private sector. Workers need reforms to American labor law that will guarantee better working standards and more opportunities for representation."

Horia Dijmarescu (TGS PhD) | Book Review of Anatomies of Revolution

March 5, 2020 – from Cambridge University Press
"Anatomies of revolution advances a relational, inter-social and historicist view of revolution. George Lawson convincingly rejects a generalizing approach to revolutionary processes, which completely detaches them from the contexts in which they arise and from interactions among social forces across levels of analysis. Instead, Lawson argues that revolutions are ‘formed by the interaction of entities-in-motion—they are confluences of events that are embedded within fields of action that are, in turn, derived from historically specific conditions’ (p. 249). The book adopts an analyticist framework, which moves between abstract ideal-types that highlight causal configurations seen across revolutionary cases and historical narratives, which are sensitive to how the abstract interacts with singular, context-specific events, processes, personalities, institutions and meanings."
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