Political Science

Trump, Putin, and the Uncertainty of U.S. Foreign Policy

Constantine Pleshakov— Barack Obama will be remembered fondly for a great number of things, but his foreign policy isn’t one of them. For all intents and purposes, the administration ran the “you break it, you run” shop: choose a foreign country that you understand the least, go in and turn

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The Substance of the Constitution: Rights, Structures, Conventions

Mark Tushnet— Donald Trump’s election and the first weeks of his presidency show us some of the ways in which the Constitution matters. When trying to understand how our constitutional system works, I like to identify three “parts” of the Constitution: rights, structures, and conventions. It’s easiest to focus our

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Criminal Politicians on the World Stage

Milan Vaishnav— On February 11, voters in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) began the process of selecting the 403 men and women who will represent them in their state legislature. In India, where elections are about as frequent as a new Bollywood blockbuster, the news of yet another

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Asian Migration and the History of Now

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials— On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order, which banned nationals of seven countries from entering the United States, originally extended to dual citizens, green card holders, and those already

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Reconstructing the Vietnam Peace Movement

Tom Hayden— It is time for a new effort to reverse the propaganda about Vietnam and our movement to end the war. It is time for truth telling, for healing, and for legacy. Who will tell our story when we are gone? So much has already escaped memory, and now

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The Value of Data in Governance

Jennifer Bachner— Data have been collected and analyzed for millennia, but never before have these processes been so ubiquitous. Data journalism, with its focus on eye-catching visualizations and infographics, is transforming an industry from mere collection of information to effective presentation. Businesses rigorously analyze consumers’ browsing and purchasing histories to

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A Republic If You Can Keep It

Richard D. Brown— In 1787 when Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention a lady famously asked “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” Franklin replied tartly, “if you can keep it.” Now, 230 years later, Franklin’s observation on our Founders’ great experiment haunts us.

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What Can “Deep Minority” Democrats Do Now?

Matthew N. Green— Things look bleak for congressional Democrats. Though they gained seats in the U.S. House of Representatives last November, and have enough Senators in their ranks to filibuster legislation, they remain a minority party in both chambers. Even worse for them, the incoming president is a Republican, which

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What Washington Gets Wrong

Benjamin Ginsberg— At a Washington dinner party, I happened to mention to the woman seated to my right, an executive of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency responsible for Americans’ health care, that a colleague and I had undertaken a survey of Washington officials to find out what the

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Resisting the Narrative of Fear against Refugees

M. Jan Holton— Fear is a daily course in the life of refugees fleeing from war. Consider for example the citizens of Aleppo facing bombings, torture, starvation, and death. The title of a New York Times article about the final days before the fall of Aleppo says it all “We

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