LSE Comment

In this section you can read recent expert commentary from LSE academics on important issues around American Politics and Policy. This section also contains reviews of recent books by LSE academics and book reviews from LSE staff and alumni.

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    Why building a wall on the US-Mexico border is a symbolic monument, not sensible immigration policy

Why building a wall on the US-Mexico border is a symbolic monument, not sensible immigration policy

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One of Donald Trump’s signature policies is to “build a wall” in order to better secure the border with Mexico. Susannah Crockford has spent nearly two years in Arizona conducting an ethnographic study; many in the area feel that constructing the wall is unnecessary. She writes that the real function of the wall is not to keep people out, […]

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    Make America Cruel Again?: A pragmatic analysis of why torture does not work

Make America Cruel Again?: A pragmatic analysis of why torture does not work

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Jennifer Brown reviews some of the psychological evidence challenging the assumption that torture works as an interrogation technique. In light of Donald Trump’s recent comments on the use of torture, she suggests that the moral case is more effective in persuading people to oppose torture than pragmatic arguments.

‘Does it work? Does torture work?’ and the answer was ‘Yes, absolutely’. […]

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    Trump is redefining America’s terms of international engagement

Trump is redefining America’s terms of international engagement

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With only a few days left until his inauguration, Donald Trump has largely filled out his foreign policy team. US Centre Director Peter Trubowitz writes that Trump’s choices show that he is making good on his campaign promise to shake up Washington. By choosing “America Firsters”, he writes, Trump seeks a foreign policy strategy that fully exploits US strategic […]

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    Social mobility in the United States depends heavily on where you live

Social mobility in the United States depends heavily on where you live

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There is considerable geographical variation in the opportunities available to disadvantaged children in the United States, according to research by Raj Chetty, who delivered the 2016 Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures at LSE. Maria Molina-Domene talked to him about his findings, the use of big data and the implications for policy.

Raj Chetty was in London in October to deliver three […]

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    Trump’s victory will fuel the growing backlash against globalization in the West

Trump’s victory will fuel the growing backlash against globalization in the West

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Earlier this month Donald Trump stunned much of America and the world by winning the 2016 presidential election. But how can we explain his election win and what are the implications of a Trump presidency? LSE US Centre Director, Peter Trubowitz, writes that key to Trump’s relatively small victory margin were his gains among white rural voters. He argues that as president, […]

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    This election was about race, not class or a dispossessed majority

This election was about race, not class or a dispossessed majority

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While many argue that Trump owes his victory to those living in poverty and political exclusion, Rajesh Venugopal of LSE Development argues that this race was about race- while being poor was a contributing factor to who people voted for in this election, voting for Trump had more to do with being white than those other factors.

Was Donald Trump’s victory a revolt of […]

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    America’s real challenge is the defence of democratic institutions

America’s real challenge is the defence of democratic institutions

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With much talk focusing on the likely outcomes of Trump’s protectionist economic policies, the security of America’s fundamental institutions has gone largely undiscussed. As Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi argues, however, this is where our greatest attention must go; and warns that in the context of a populist victory this presidential election, Americans must be cautious and vigilant in defending their political institutions.

Market […]

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    What Donald Trump could do to ‘make America great again’ without destroying free trade

What Donald Trump could do to ‘make America great again’ without destroying free trade

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Investors are looking for signs that the populist agendas of his campaign will be left where they belong: on the campaign trail, writes Simeon Djankov.

For nearly two years, unsettling comments by US presidential candidates rattled international investors. The prospect of US trade wars with China and Mexico hit global markets, already weakened by the surprising result of the Brexit […]

Global implications of Trump’s fiscal stimulus

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Recent commentary on the presidential election has touched on the domestic appeal of Trump’s protectionist, “America first” economic policy. LSE Visiting Fellow Guillermo Felices reflects on the broader implications of this protectionist stance, and argues that an international backlash could undermine the sustainability of this economic position. He also notes that though the anti-establishment sentiment seen in the UK and […]

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    What does the Trump triumph mean for journalism, politics and social media?

What does the Trump triumph mean for journalism, politics and social media?

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Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE and Director of Polis, Charlie Beckett, looks at who is to ‘blame’ for Trump’s election and what this means for the future of media.

There’s been a wonderful arc to the blame narrative in the wake of Donald Trump’s decisive victory in the Presidential election.

I’m talking here mainly about […]

This work by LSE USAPP blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.