Recent News

Professor Jamie Mayerfeld has published an essay entitled "Kavanaugh and the question of torture" in the blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money.  Mayerfeld argues that "there are unanswered questions about Kavanaugh’s involvement in torture when serving as a White House lawyer between 2001 and 2006" and that "his opinions as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals from 2006 to the present undermine fundamental protections of the right not to be tortured."  For the full piece please click here...
Victor, you and your co-author Michael Albertus have a new book. What is it about? Yes, we examine what happens when authoritarian systems of government transition to democracies. How does this process occur and what are the consequences? For example, since World War II, the outgoing authoritarian regime has drafted the new democratic constitution in over... Read more
Prof. Parker and colleague Henry Fernandez write an opinion piece on The Hill web site about why a stronger black voter turnout can be a win for the Democrats. They first note that black and white “…are not far apart on alleged “wedge issues” like gun background checks, Roe v. Wade, and LGBTQ marriage equality. Even where there is stronger support among blacks than whites, like for a national $15 minimum wage; expanding access to health care; and raising the threshold for when police can legally use deadly force, these issues are still supported by a majority of white voters.” But what can... Read more
Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Nives Dolsak report that climate change is already unfolding and use their city of Seattle, for the past two summers, as an example. “Seattle is supposed to be the emerald city. Always green and sparkling….Seattle’s air quality has been worse than in Delhi or Beijing. The summer air quality in the state of Washington is now among the worst in the lower 48 states.” In order to effectively adapt to change there needs to be cooperation between federal and state entities to manage forests.  On the private side, environmental organizations and timber companies... Read more
Professor Jamie Mayerfeld writes an opinion piece in the Just Security web site about the U.S. using enhanced torture techniques in contrast to what the Constitution says about treaties.   When the Bush administration authorized "enhanced interrogation techniques" against foreign suspects, one of its justifications was the claim that international law has limited authority over the United States. President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares this approach to international law, a matter that should concern us, given Trump’s promise to “bring back waterboarding and …... Read more
Prof. Mark A. Smith
You have just returned from your sabbatical, and it seems to have inspired you? Yes, I did a lot of reading and thinking about “post-truth” politics and how many people today seem to think that truth is whatever feels true within their own filter bubbles. What is a filter bubble?The concept refers to how easy it is for all of us to seek out information that confirms our beliefs and people who agree with us. We are then inclined to equate this consensus among our sources with “truth.” OK, how do we separate fact from fiction? The first goal of the class is to review what scholars have learned... Read more
UW graduate students Mathieu Dubeau (Political Science) and Lee Fiorio (Geography) have recently published an article in New Politics documenting the particular difficulties facing the Seattle area. In 2017, Amazon, like many other corporate giants, effectively paid zero in state income tax despite their profit expanding exponentially since 2008. Additionally, the income for the working class stagnated and all these factors caused overproduction and under-consumption. To worsen this, Seattle's median housing price has just surpassed $700,000, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is... Read more
Political Science Lecturer Scott Lemieux writing for the Vox web site states six myths about Roe v. Wade and why they are incorrect The first reason that they claimed is that Roe was only based on the emanations and penumbras in the Constitution. However, Justice Harry Blackmun's opinion for Roe was grounded in the 14th Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action. Additionally, others believed that Roe made states impossible to regulate abortion. while it was true that Roe itself forbade most state regulation of abortion prior to second “trimester", but Planned... Read more
Political Science Professor Christopher Parker, along with colleagues Robin DiAngelo (UW) and Diana Mutz (U-Penn), are interviewed for their research into how racial resentment played a factor in turnout for President Trump. Contrary to a common theme that economic anxiety was not the reason for people voting for Trump but racism in the respect of a fear of loss of power in society. Most of the data suggests that Trump got many college education white votes, who are better off as a group, than less well-off white voters. So, the economic concerns argument doesn’t stick.   For the full radio... Read more
“Elite-biased democracy,”  Albertus and Menaldo wrote, “is a regime in which free and fair elections are paired with institutional devices that codify the rights and interests of the economic elites that were favoured under the former authoritarian period.” In Daily Maverick: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-05-17-why-the-very-dna-of-m... In Hong Kong Free Press:... Read more

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