Sopfia Perez, an Associate Professor in the department, recently wrote an article...
By David Glick
Sopfia Perez, an Associate Professor in the department, recently wrote an article on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. This blog is generally considered the leading source of bringing political science analysis to a wider audience. Perez discusses the sudden rise of Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos party and their increasing influence in Spanish politics.
Professor Dino Christenson, along with his colleague Luis Carvalho (Mathematics and Statistics) recently received a major grant from Boston University’s Hariri Institute for Computing. This grant will support their collaborative work into computational analysis of networks. This grant will allow for this exciting interdisciplinary collaboration between members of the Political Science and Mathematics and Statistics departments.
Professor Katie Einstein recently shared her expertise on local politics and polarization at a one day conference called “Dividing Lines” at Marquette University Law School. The conference was co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Professor Einstein’s contributions were featured in the paper. Among other themes, Professor Einstein spoke about the potential for helping both cities and their suburbs by overcoming polarization at the regional level. She also emphasized how race and polarization are inseparable at the local level.
The work of three department members has been recently featured on the London School of Economics “US Politics and Policy” Blog. This blog, run by faculty at LSE, seeks to share academic research on American politics with a wider audience. In the past few weeks the blog featured Professor Doug Kriner’s work on congressional investigations’ impact on Presidential support and Professor David Glick’s work on the diffusion of policy ideas as states try to learn from each other. Last but not least, the site recently featured Professor Dino Christenson’s work on the ways that a strong web presence can level the playing field for long shot candidates in primary races.
Professor Kriner Publishes on Congressional Attitudes About War in the American Journal of Political Science
Professor Doug Kriner published an article in the latest issue of the American Journal of Political Science. The article, co-authored with Frances Shen and titled “Responding to War on Capitol Hill: Battlefield Casualties, Congressional Response, and Public Support for the War in Iraq” explores the sources of congressional attitudes about the war. Kriner and Shen analyze 7500 congressional speeches to measure legislator’s support and opposition to the war. They find that while partisanship and total war casualties matter, legislators are also high responsive to casualties among their own constituents. That is, their views about an international issue like the Iraq war are responsive to its effect on their constituents or, as Kriner put it in a recent post about the piece “All politics, and particularly congressional politics, are local.”
Professor Joe Fewsmith’s recent book was positively reviewed Perspectives on Politics which is a widely read journal that the American Political Science Association produces. The book, published in 2013, is titled the Logic and Limits of Reform in China. As the review begins, Fewsmith’s book is “important if somewhat dispiriting” because his argument is not terribly optimistic about reform. Professor Fewsmith is a member of the Political Science and International Relations departments and is an expert on Chinese politics.
Professor Thomas Berger, a member of the International Relations Department and a member of the Graduate Faculty of Political Science at BU recently had his book honored by the journal Foreign Affairs. Specifically, his book,War, Guilt, and World Politics After World War II was named one of the three ”Best Books of 2013 on Political and Legal Subjects.” As the award citation begins “For over half a century, Germany and Japan have struggled to put World War II behind them. Berger has produced one of the most sophisticated and sensitive treatments yet about how these two countries have contended with their troubled histories.” See the full writeup of the award here.
Professor Martin Leads APSA Task Force on Negotiating Agreement In Politics – Testifies Before Congress
Recently, the American Political Science Association (APSA) released a new major report from a special task force concerning political negotiation in the United States and around the world. BU Professor Cathie Jo Martin was co-chair of this task force which included many prominent political scientists from universities across the globe. According to APSA, “this report explores the problems of political negotiation in the United States, provides lessons from success stories in political negotiation, and offers practical advice for how diverse interests might overcome their narrow disagreements to negotiate win-win solutions.” In addition to releasing the report which culminated many months of work, Professor Martin and her task force co-chair Jane Mansbridge testified about negotiation and compromise before Congress.
On December 10, Professors Katherine Levine Einstein and David Glick turned over the last day of their course “The Politics and Policy of HBO’s the Wire” to a very special guest. Boston Mayor Tom Menino visited the class for the entire 1:20 session. He spoke for a few minutes and then answered dozens of student questions about city politics, policy programs, and his experiences. The Mayor’s visit was a fitting end to the class (syllabus) which combines episodes from the critically acclaimed HBO show with academic journal articles to investigate the social science behind a variety of topics related to urban life. The Mayor touched on topics included in the class such as unions, bureaucracy, economic development, housing costs, and the media. After the class the Mayor took pictures with many of the students and even discussed some of their research papers in which they are conducing original research about politics and policy issues in Boston. While Mayor Menino made this visit in official capacity as Mayor he will soon be seen around BU’s classes more often in his new role as co-director of the new Initiative on Cities at BU.
Taylor Boas, an assistant professor in the department, was recently named one of six new junior fellows of the Hariri Institute for computing. The fellows program was started in 2011 to recognize and support the work of outstanding junior faculty working in the computational sciences. Professor Boas joined the department four years ago. Much of his researcher focuses on campaigns, elections, media, and voting behavior in Latin America. Professor Graham K. Wilson, Chair of the Political Science Department, states, “Taylor Boas is one of the new generation of comparative political scientists who combine the deep knowledge of the area they study (in Taylor’s case, Latin America) with strong training in quantitative techniques. Taylor uses his methodological skills to explore topics such as presidential campaign strategies in the countries of Latin America that have democratized in recent decades and the difficult to study relationships between political support, government spending and corruption. Taylor has made a huge contribution to advancing quantitative skills not only in Political Science but in social departments more generally.”
As part of his fellowship Professor Boas will be delivering a Hariri Institute Distinguished Lecture in the coming months.