UMass Amherst Department of Political Science

UMass Amherst Department of Political Science Welcome to the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, home to the Legal Studies and Political Science baccalaureate programs and the MA, Accelerated MA, and PhD in Political Science.

The Department of Political Science and Program in Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is comprised of 36 full-time faculty and two undergraduate majors, Political Science and Legal Studies. The Department also offers a graduate program in Political Science with 70 active PhD students. We are part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, one of nine colleges of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Carnegie Research I university. The flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. The University offers 88 bachelor's degree programs, 73 master’s and 53 doctoral programs in 10 schools and colleges. If you need to speak with an adivisor, please request an appointment at the following link: https://server17.securedata-trans.com/ap/umassamherstdeptofpoliticalscience/index.php?page=10

Operating as usual

In an article titled, “Past Presidents, Presidential Legacies, and the Future of the United States,” Paul Musgrave, poli...
11/18/2020
Past Presidents, Presidential Legacies, and the Future of the United States

In an article titled, “Past Presidents, Presidential Legacies, and the Future of the United States,” Paul Musgrave, political science, writes, “Presidents’ views of the future structure their choices in the present. Often that is for the good, as when a historically minded president shies away from a rash course of action because of fears about how such an action might look to posterity."
https://www.cato-unbound.org/2020/11/16/paul-musgrave/past-presidents-presidential-legacies-future-united-states

Paul Musgrave argues for stronger legal and cultural curbs to the power, perks, and influence of ex-presidents.

In an article about how former presidents have used their presidential libraries to frame their legacy, Paul Musgrave, p...
11/18/2020
Perspective | Trump’s presidential library will be a shrine to his ego

In an article about how former presidents have used their presidential libraries to frame their legacy, Paul Musgrave, political science, writes that President Trump’s library “will be a shrine to his ego … Following a trail blazed most successfully by Richard Nixon, turning his presidential library into an image-making prop will be among the most normal things Trump ever does.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/trump-presidential-library-narrative/2020/11/17/fcd27b9e-1edd-11eb-ba21-f2f001f0554b_story.html

If he declines federal participation, he can tell any story he wants about his presidency.

11/17/2020

The Retired Faculty Association meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 18, will feature political scientists Ray La Raja and Alexander Theodoridis, presenting “National Elections Analysis.” Before the discussion of election results, Tyrone Parham, assistant vice chancellor and chief of police at the UMass Amherst, will talk about “Policing a Diverse Community.” The Zoom meeting will begin at 10:15 a.m. Those interested in joining should contact the RFA at [email protected] to receive the Zoom link.

11/13/2020

Leah Wing, political science, presented for the Canadian Ministry of Justice:
“Operationalizing Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Ethical Principles in the Application of Technology to Dispute Resolution Systems and Practice”
Find out more at, http://odr.info/leah-wing/

Reporting of town-by-town results from last week’s failed Ballot question 2 to implement ranked-choice voting notes that...
11/13/2020
These Massachusetts cities and towns voted ‘yes’ on ranked choice voting

Reporting of town-by-town results from last week’s failed Ballot question 2 to implement ranked-choice voting notes that a UMass Amherst poll in late Oct. found 48% of likely voters supported ranked choice voting while 43% opposed it & 9% were undecided.
https://www.masslive.com/politics/2020/11/these-massachusetts-cities-and-towns-voted-yes-on-ranked-choice-voting-ballot-measure-that-failed.html

Seventy-seven cities and towns approved the ballot measure, according to a MassLive review of election results.

There is continued reporting on what would happen if Sen. Elizabeth Warren were to take a position in the Biden administ...
11/13/2020
Secretary Warren? A Pressley-Healey primary? A Biden White House sets off stars in Mass. Democrats' eyes - The Boston Globe

There is continued reporting on what would happen if Sen. Elizabeth Warren were to take a position in the Biden administration. An October UMass Amherst/ WCVB poll found that voters prefer Rep. Ayanna Pressley to fill Warren’s seat.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/11/metro/secretary-warren-pressley-healey-primary-biden-white-house-sets-off-stars-mass-democrats-eyes/

Massachusetts Democrats are awash in speculation about how Biden’s victory could reshuffle the state’s own elective landscape as he fills out the new Democratic administration.

Paul Collins, political science, comments in an article about whether President Trump’s legal challenges will succeed in...
11/13/2020
‘There’s no indication it will succeed’: Legal analysts weigh in on Trump team’s election challenges - The Boston Globe

Paul Collins, political science, comments in an article about whether President Trump’s legal challenges will succeed in changing the outcome of the election. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/10/nation/if-it-succeeded-it-would-be-coup-legal-experts-weigh-trump-teams-election-challenges/

President Trump’s defiant rhetoric and unprecedented refusal to accept his defeat have Democrats and the American public feeling increasingly rattled, but there is little reason to believe his actions will change the election results.

An article about the possibility of elected officials from MA becoming part of the Biden administration notes that a UMa...
11/10/2020
Mass. may become recruiting field for Biden team

An article about the possibility of elected officials from MA becoming part of the Biden administration notes that a UMass Amherst/WCVB poll (Directed by Tatishe Nteta, of UMass PoliSci) asked voters who they would pick to replace Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
https://whdh.com/news/mass-may-become-recruiting-field-for-biden-team/

When President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team announced his COVID-19 advisory board on Monday, House Speaker Robert DeLeo quickly did the math, pointing out on Twitter that more...

Three years ago, when tensions were high with Iran, political scientists from Dartmouth and Stanford released a study cl...
11/10/2020
New Research from UMass Amherst Political Scientist Shows Americans Would Oppose War Crimes in a War with Iran

Three years ago, when tensions were high with Iran, political scientists from Dartmouth and Stanford released a study claiming that Americans would have little respect for the norm of civilian immunity in a war with Iran. New research from UMass political scientist Charli Carpenter and Alex Montgomery of Reed College shows this finding was highly misleading with over 80% of Americans saying civilians should never be the object of attack in war.
https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/new-research-umass-amherst-political?mc_cid=89c76b2526&mc_eid=1613dc78f6

Three years ago, when tensions were high with Iran, political scientists from Dartmouth and Stanford released a study claiming that Americans would have little respect for the norm of civilian immunity in a war with Iran. Their survey experiment appeared to show that Americans would support targetin...

Ray La Raja, professor of political science and an associate director of the UMass Poll, comments in an article about re...
11/10/2020
One place Trump gained in Mass.: heavily Latino cities - CommonWealth Magazine

Ray La Raja, professor of political science and an associate director of the UMass Poll, comments in an article about reasons behind increased support for President Trump by Latino voters in this year’s election.
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/politics/one-place-trump-gained-in-mass-heavily-latino-cities/

DEEP BLUE MASSACHUSETTS, where Joe Biden ran up his biggest margin of any state, was an afterthought in the presidential race, which was largely fought in a dozen or so battleground states. But results in Lawrence and a handful of other Massachusetts Gateway Cities with large Latino populations show...

Jesse Rhodes and Paul Collins, political science, are quoted in an article about the delay in learning the results of th...
11/10/2020
Are we there yet? Observers confident Biden will prevail

Jesse Rhodes and Paul Collins, political science, are quoted in an article about the delay in learning the results of the presidential election, which was published before news outlets called the election in favor of now President-elect Joe Biden.
https://www.gazettenet.com/Drawn-out-presidential-election-results-ends-37178326

Continued vote-counting in Pennsylvania, which moved the state into former Vice President Joe Biden’s win column Friday, appeared to leave little doubt that he has accumulated the 270 electoral votes needed to keep President Donald Trump from winning...

A new UMass Amherst poll asked 1,500 likely Massachusetts voters to rank the U.S. presidents who they believe have done ...
11/04/2020
Abraham Lincoln has done the most for Black Americans than any other president, UMass Amherst poll says - The Boston Globe

A new UMass Amherst poll asked 1,500 likely Massachusetts voters to rank the U.S. presidents who they believe have done the most for Black Americans. Abraham Lincoln was ranked first, followed by Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/02/metro/abraham-lincoln-has-done-most-black-americans-than-any-other-president-umass-amherst-poll-says/

Likely voters consider Abraham Lincoln to be the president who has done the most for Black Americans throughout US history, according to a new poll from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Two Amherst students talked about their excitement to vote in next week’s election. UMass PoliSci Professor Brenda Busho...
10/28/2020
Young voters excited to cast their ballot

Two Amherst students talked about their excitement to vote in next week’s election. UMass PoliSci Professor Brenda Bushouse says, “In 2008 when Obama was elected, I saw a huge shift in my undergrad students. They were alert, aware, and asking questions."
https://www.westernmassnews.com/news/young-voters-excited-to-cast-their-ballot/article_4e3e59cc-1893-11eb-aa31-8bd9ba34b172.html

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- With election day exactly one week away, early voting has hit record numbers with officials saying more people have cast ballots early already than in all

The latest UMass Amherst/WCVB Poll that found 79% of Massachusetts voters are worried about a second wave of COVID-19, s...
10/28/2020
Massachusetts voters fear 2nd COVID-19 wave; Coronavirus crisis top issue in election, new poll says

The latest UMass Amherst/WCVB Poll that found 79% of Massachusetts voters are worried about a second wave of COVID-19, support for the Black Lives Matter movement is increasing, and voters are generally satisfied with schooling during the pandemic.

https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/10/massachusetts-voters-fear-2nd-covid-19-wave-coronavirus-crisis-top-issue-heading-into-2020-election-new-umasswcvb-poll-says.html

The majority of the more than 700 poll respondents also appear to have a dismal view of President Trump's response to the pandemic.

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our Legal Stu...
10/28/2020

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our Legal Studies 397R course, "Gender, Law, & Politics." See more below or visit umasss.edu/online for more info.

Please join us in congratulating Timothy Pachirat, who recently co-organized a conference on industrialized animal agric...
10/28/2020
About | Yale Macmillan Center Program in Agrarian Studies

Please join us in congratulating Timothy Pachirat, who recently co-organized a conference on industrialized animal agriculture and planetary health at Yale University, "Industrialized Livestock Production, Fish Farming, Global Climate Change, and Global Health"

Details below: https://agrarianstudies.macmillan.yale.edu

Forthcoming Event with the Program in Agrarian Studies The Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale is an experimental, interdisciplinary effort to reshape how a new generation of scholars understands rural life and society. Our basic goal is to infuse categories of social science research in danger of b...

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our Legal Stu...
10/24/2020

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our Legal Studies 397CS course, "Law, Crisis, and Society" See more below or visit umasss.edu/online for more info.

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our PoliSci 3...
10/22/2020

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our PoliSci 388 course, "Corporate Lobbying and the Global Economy." See more below or visit umasss.edu/online for more info.

On October 23, 2020 faculty member Timothy Pachirat is co-organizing the following conference on industrialized animal a...
10/22/2020
Feral Atlas: The More-Than-Human Anthropocene | Edited by Anna L. Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Saxena Keleman and Feifei Zhou

On October 23, 2020 faculty member Timothy Pachirat is co-organizing the following conference on industrialized animal agriculture and planetary health at Yale University:
https://agrarianstudies.macmillan.yale.edu/
The conference will also mark the global debut of Feral Atlas:
https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=30693

Every event in human history has been a more-than-human event. When hunter-gatherers burn the land, they cooperate with herbs that seed quickly and grasses that sprout after fires, attracting game. Inside us, intestinal bacteria make it possible for us to digest our food. Other things, living and no...

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our PoliSci 3...
10/21/2020

Interested in taking classes over the winter? Registration is now open for our winter session courses! Try our PoliSci 338 course, "Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Identity in Politics!" See more below.

An article about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett citing the so-called “Ginsburg Rule” as a reason to not answer ...
10/14/2020
Amy Coney Barrett avoided answering questions from senators by citing the 'Ginsburg rule,' but legal scholars say it's not a valid excuse

An article about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett citing the so-called “Ginsburg Rule” as a reason to not answer some questions during yesterday’s confirmation hearing references a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post by Paul Collins, political science, and Lori Ringhand from the University of Georgia, titled “The ‘Ginsburg Rule’ is not an excuse to avoid answering the Senate’s questions.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/barrett-avoided-answering-questions-by-citing-rbg-not-valid-excuse-2020-10

The truth is that Ginsburg directly answered a number of questions on hotbed topics during her confirmation hearings 27 years ago.

Alex Theodoridis, political science, is quoted in an article about a recent poll that found nearly half of registered vo...
10/10/2020
'The country’s lost its mind': Polls warning of civil war, violence shows deep partisan chasm over election

Alex Theodoridis, political science, is quoted in an article about a recent poll that found nearly half of registered voters don’t believe the upcoming presidential election “is likely to be fair and honest,” and that more than half won’t “generally agree on who is the legitimately elected president of the United States.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/07/both-sides-worry-doubts-election-integrity-could-spark-violence/5880965002/

One poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters found that nearly half – 47% – disagree with the idea that the election "is likely to be fair and honest."

Paul Musgrave, political science, was interviewed in advance of the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7. “I think Kamala,...
10/10/2020
UMass professor previews Wednesday's vice presidential debate

Paul Musgrave, political science, was interviewed in advance of the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7. “I think Kamala, of the four people running for president or vice president, is the only person who needs to really define her national brand. I think she’s going to do that as somebody who is tough, confident, and also a loyal member of a potential Biden administration is ready to take over if that need should arise…I think Mike Pence, more than anyone else, is playing for an audience of one. I think that Mike Pence has figured out, since he joined the ticket, that his strongest relationship and his best chance of advancement in politics is showing Donald Trump he is a loyal member of the Trump team,” he said.

https://www.westernmassnews.com/news/umass-professor-previews-wednesdays-vice-presidential-debate/article_4c992d38-08c4-11eb-8e5b-8b2cccf1a032.html

AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- With less than four weeks until election day, the first and only vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris is Wednesday night.

Sheldon Goldman, professor emeritus of political science, is quoted in an article fact-checking claims by Donald Trump t...
10/07/2020
Fact-check: Did Obama leave Trump with 128 judges to appoint?

Sheldon Goldman, professor emeritus of political science, is quoted in an article fact-checking claims by Donald Trump that Barack Obama left 128 federal court vacancies at the end of his presidency. The claim is deemed “mostly false,” as there were 105 vacancies at the end of his term, mostly due to obstruction from Republicans in the Senate.

https://www.statesman.com/news/20201005/fact-check-did-obama-leave-trump-with-128-judges-to-appoint

President Donald Trump: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "left me 128 judges to fill. You just don’t do that.

Paul Collins, political science, is quoted in a news article discussing the ways companies such as Google and Oracle fin...
10/07/2020
Google, Oracle Financed Many Supporters in Supreme Court Faceoff

Paul Collins, political science, is quoted in a news article discussing the ways companies such as Google and Oracle finance amicus briefs for submission to the Supreme Court.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-06/google-oracle-financed-many-supporters-in-supreme-court-faceoff

Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Oracle Corp. will face off in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday in a multibillion-dollar copyright dispute with sweeping implications for technology and media companies worldwide.

Raymond La Raja, political science, is quoted in an article examining Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s preparations for his po...
10/07/2020
Walsh’s campaign finance report shows a spending surge. Is he gearing up for a reelection fight? - The Boston Globe

Raymond La Raja, political science, is quoted in an article examining Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s preparations for his possible re-election campaign in 2021.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/10/05/metro/marty-walshs-latest-campaign-finance-report-shows-an-uptick-spending-hmm/

The mayor has deflected questions about his 2021 re-election plans in recent weeks, saying he’s focused on his job.

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Ed Ryan, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles, 2022 171 South Gless Street Los Angeles, California 90033 (323)-685-0416, email, [email protected] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 8/19/20 From: Ed Ryan To: Massachusetts Governor Baker Re: Investigation of UMASS President Marty Meehan Dear Governor Baker, I’m a UMASS alum 82. UMASS President, Marty Meehan should be investigated for efforts wrongly use UMASS to smear congressional candidate Alex Morse with homophobic tropes. Morse is a proponent of single payer universal health care, and Marty Meehan is employed as Director of Blue Cross-Blue Shield along with being President of UMASS. The results Meehan’s conflict is bad for UMASS. An investigation and possible termination of Meehan is called for. UMASS student allies of Congressman Neal have spent months trying to gain access to the private dating apps used by Mayor Morse, and to use the information to effectuate a smear. Recently, Boston Attorney, and former health insurance executive, James Roosevelt surreptitiously assisted students loyal to Congressman Neal in composing a letter containing innuendo and exaggerations. The letter was used by the UMASS Collegian to do a smear story in the days just prior to the primary. Furthermore, it’s probable that President Meehan knew of, an even invited Roosevelt to get involve with the UMASS students to craft the above-mentioned letter. I say this because protocol between two elite insurance executives would surely include notice or being invited. UMASS now retains Counsel to continue investigating Morse. Yet, it’s clear that Morse has been a victim of a yearlong effort to smear. Governor Baker, do not let the Great University of Massachusetts be degraded by a cabal of greedy corporate executives, and their hired guns, all who are bent on elitist notion of preserving the present insurance based health system even though millions of American are denied coverage. UMASS is better than that, and you, Governor Baker are better than that. Thank You. Sincerely, Ed Ryan [email protected] 4138635592
We are trying to recruit students from across the Five Colleges to participate as staffers for our conference. We are looking for Chairs, Vice Chairs, and conference Staffers. They would be responsible for attending all committee sessions during the conference weekend (March 6-8 2020) and attending a training session. We think that the students in your department would be great candidates for our conference. Can you please share with the rest of the students in your department? Here is the link to the application which closes on January 31st: https://forms.gle/b5TGV56hhoRJDDF1A Please email the Under Secretary Generals Mallory Linn ([email protected]) or Hannah Pozzebon ([email protected]) if you have any questions. Thank you so much.
A 2018 paper by Professor @TatisheNteta & colleagues addressing white political polarization in the 2016 presidential election was cited in a recent @nytimes article
Please join us for the 14th Annual Dean Alfange Jr. Lecture in American Constitutionalism featuring Nadine Strossen, former President of the ACLU TODAY! September 27, 2018 @ 4pm Old Chapel, Great Room
Research by Professors Schaffner & Rhodes, on the number of Obama’s voters from 2012 who switched to the Republican side in 2016 is cited in an article about the Democratic party’s platform priorities. Check it out!
Hi! My name is Samantha Docteur and I'm currently an intern working for Fair Shot for All. Fair Shot is recruiting summer interns to fight income inequality across Massachusetts. To apply, please fill out the application below and email your resume to [email protected]. bit.ly/2IcN4Cb
We are excited to present the spring schedule for the Five College Seminar in Legal Studies! Light refreshments will be served at these talks. Locations will be announced ASAP. Monday, March 26, 4:30: Pinky Hota, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Smith College Title: Legalizing Doubt: Laws Banning Religious Conversion in India Location: (TBA) Wednesday, April 11, 4:30: Leah Wing, Senior Lecturer II in Legal Studies and Co-director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, University of Massachusetts Amherst Title: Lack of/Access to Justice Magnified: Ethics, AI and Online Dispute Resolution Location: UMass (Room TBA) Monday, April 23, 4:30: César Pérez-Lizasuain, Instructor of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst Title: Neoliberal Law, Governmentality and De-democratization as Disaster “Management” in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico Location: UMass (Room TBA) Monday, April 30, 4:30: Angelica Bernal, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst Title: Populist Constitutionalism in Latin America Location: UMass (Room TBA)