Justice and Domestic Affairs

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    Vulnerable targets, lone actors, and unsophisticated weaponry are increasingly common trends of U.S. far-right domestic terror attacks

Vulnerable targets, lone actors, and unsophisticated weaponry are increasingly common trends of U.S. far-right domestic terror attacks

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Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, countering violent extremism in the United States has remained a top homeland security concern. Despite Jihadist extremists’ role in the events of 9/11, America has also faced a persistent and deadly form of domestic terrorism stemming from the extreme far-right, who have been responsible for hundreds of deaths over the past 25 […]

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    Visa overstayers in Northern Arizona reveal complex motivation behind undocumented migration

Visa overstayers in Northern Arizona reveal complex motivation behind undocumented migration

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Much of the media and public debate concerning immigration focuses on illegal border crossers. In this post, Susannah Crockford, who spent two years in Arizona completing ethnographic fieldwork, looks at the motivations behind people who overstay their visas. Unlike the common stereotype of ‘illegal immigrants’, many overstayers come from wealthy, ‘developed’ nations such as Canada and the UK, and […]

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    This major church-state case makes direct funding of religious organizations more likely

This major church-state case makes direct funding of religious organizations more likely

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The Supreme Court’s latest church-state decision opens the door to direct funding of religious institutions. Ursula Hackett argues that this phase merely accelerates a decades-long trajectory: rapid expansion of voucher programmes that offer public funds for private (including religious) schools, and the increasing irrelevance of state constitutional bans on such aid.

Five years ago a Missouri church was excluded from […]

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    Satisfaction with public policy decisions is dependent on the racial composition of decision-makers, not only on the decisions themselves

Satisfaction with public policy decisions is dependent on the racial composition of decision-makers, not only on the decisions themselves

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When a lack of diversity in decision-making bodies signals to citizens that the policymaking process is inherently unfair, then it increases the likelihood that any outcomes detrimental to minorities are perceived as the result of systematic bias rather than unfortunate circumstances. Research by Matthew Hayes and Matthew Hibbing finds that Americans’ satisfaction with public policy decisions is dependent on […]

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    Hawaii movement illustrates the importance of video evidence and gender violence in police reform

Hawaii movement illustrates the importance of video evidence and gender violence in police reform

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Nicholas Chagnon, Meda Chesney-Lind, and David T. Johnson argue that Hawaii, one of the most diverse states in the country, lacks the racial tensions characterizing many cities in continental United States, and thus concerns over gender violence provide an alternative discourse for catalyzing police reform. Video recordings of incidents of police violence, they argue, have worked to elicit public […]

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    Citizen science and crowdsourced data collection, not government statistics, provide the most reliable count of citizen fatalities by police

Citizen science and crowdsourced data collection, not government statistics, provide the most reliable count of citizen fatalities by police

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In 2016 one thousand ninety-two civilians were killed by the police in the United States. When civilians die during police encounters they lose not only their right to due process, but also their chance to be counted. Matthew J. Thompson and Chris M. Smith argue that since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, more is […]

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    White Americans are much more likely to support gun rights than their non-white counterparts, but not because they want arms for self-protection

White Americans are much more likely to support gun rights than their non-white counterparts, but not because they want arms for self-protection

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Does fear of criminal victimization contribute to white Americans’ enthusiastic support for ‘gun rights’? While those in favor of less arms control link gun rights to fear of crime and self-protection, Alexandra Filindra takes a look at the notion that Americans support gun ownership on the grounds of personal protection. Finding that the gun owning population is much whiter […]

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    Book Review: In the Heat of the Summer: The New York Riots of 1964 and The War on Crime by Michael W. Flamm

Book Review: In the Heat of the Summer: The New York Riots of 1964 and The War on Crime by Michael W. Flamm

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In In the Heat of the Summer: The New York Riots of 1964 and The War on Crime, Michael W. Flamm draws on personal narratives and archival evidence to outline the development of the New York Riots of 1964 — instigated by the shooting of the fifteen-year-old black teenager, James Powell, by a white police officer — and their wider repercussions on the […]

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    Three more dead in California: why the US political system is to blame

Three more dead in California: why the US political system is to blame

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On April 10th the city of San Bernadino in California entered headlines for gun violence once again as a man shot his wife, who was a teacher at a school; and one of her students, before shooting himself. Sierra Smucker argues that this is part of a much wider trend of intimate partner homicides, caused by the country’s grip […]

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    Why pursuing more rehabilitative policies may actually lead to harsher punishments for prisoners.

Why pursuing more rehabilitative policies may actually lead to harsher punishments for prisoners.

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In recent decades prison policy has a reoriented towards measures which try to rehabilitate, rather than punish offenders. While this discourse may appear to be beneficial to inmates, Anthony Grasso warns that it may actually make incarceration even more punitive for some inmates. Rehabilitative policies, he writes, often lead to harsh punishments for those who commit new crimes despite […]

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