Recent News

John Wilkerson -- Chair of Political Science UW Seattle
I just finished reading Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (by John Meacham). Jefferson, of course, wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence and played many roles in early U.S. government including George Washington’s Secretary of State and two terms as President. The book offers fascinating insights into the man, but I most appreciated Jefferson’s observations about the politics of his times.  It was an era of widespread partisan suspicion and distrust,... Read more
Prof. Lance Bennett receiving honorary doctorate University of Bern
On December 7, Prof. Lance Bennett received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bern, Switzerland as part of Dies academicus 2020, which commemorates the founding of the University of Bern in 1834. Prof. Bennett also participated in a daylong seminar on disinformation and democracy, and the communication processes that organize and mobilize movement-... Read more
In an article penned by NYT writer Jamelle Bouie, the theme is that the Republican Party took a turn for the much more confrontational when the Tea Party surfaced. But where did the descructive style of politics come from? Conventional thought says the Republicans of the mid 1990s Congress. But the author says it is more than a fear of of over taxation and spending and more a fear of losing their country to others. For the full... Read more
UW Political Science Graduate Students Mathieu Dubeau and Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer penned an article for the American Association of University Professors, "Data Snapshot: Graduate Students, Social Class, and Academia’s Promise." They ask: "Quantitative academic scholarship typically understands class in terms of a person’s socioeconomic status. But what does this really mean to social science graduate students, many of whom study social and economic stratification?", and, "What effect does this range of class backgrounds have on the graduate school experience?" From a small survery... Read more
Why did the recent rejection of Referendum 88 in Washington State happen by a slim margin? According to UW Political Science Asst. Prof. Jake Grumbach, there were two possibly causes:Polling where the “'social desirability bias,' a tendency in survey respondents to give answers that make them look favorable to the surveyor." and the low turnout of local elections make it harder to get support for an vote. For the full article... Read more
The UW Center for Environmental Politics (CEP) was created to study the environment from the social science perspective. The director Aseem Prakash said there hasn’t been enough action taken on climate change even though there are several available technologies to help address the change, but unless we understand the politics and the social science of environmental challenges, we will not be able to address them. “We have an excellent College of the Environment, we have excellent natural and physical scientists, but the social science understanding remained quite poor,” Prakash said. “And... Read more
University of Washington political scientist Megan Ming Francis says there is a dearth of academic book series being published on topics of race, ethnicity and politics. Now, she will start to change that. Megan Ming Francis An associate professor of political science, Francis will be the editor of a new series of books from Cambridge University Press called Cambridge Elements in Race, Ethnicity and Politics. Francis, on leave and at Harvard for the... Read more
A lot of companies in the coal industry are filing for bankruptcy protection, which Profs. Prakash and Dolšak believe will also be the fate of the Tar Sands oil industry in the years to come. A lot of investments are being put into the oil industry through Alberta, which would be beneficial in the next 10-20 years due to predicted high demand. The downside to it is, those oil demand would later go down due to newer technologies that might no longer require oil, like electric cars, and possible carbon taxes that could reduce demand for oil in the next 20 - 40 years. The wise policy is to start... Read more
Prof. and Chair John Wilkerson and Political Science Graduate Andreu Casas awarded the CQ Press Award for the best paper on legislative studies. Abstract: For more than half a century, scholars have been studying legislative effectiveness using a single metric—whether the bills a member sponsors progress through the legislative  process.  We  investigate  a less orthodox... Read more
California is considering passing a legislature for it’s “pro-free market” which allows college and university student athletes to negotiate compensation and salary at their will without any interference of a third party. However, the legislature may actually be the opposite of what it is trying to accomplish. The government interference (imposing the policy) might defeat the purpose of a free market. For example, the NCAA and its member universities often offer athletic students deals that they can take it or leave it and both the NCAA and the student have to agree on a voluntary contract... Read more