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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    President Trump’s First State of the Union: LSE Experts React

President Trump’s First State of the Union: LSE Experts React

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On Tuesday January 30th, President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. We asked LSE experts to give their rapid reaction to the speech.  Read the State of the Union address here.

A scripted 80 minute speech does not portend a departure from the chaos of Trump’s presidency: Brian Klaas– LSE Government

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    Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US.

Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US.

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On the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency, the future of the transatlantic relationship is as uncertain as ever. According to Lisa ten Brinke, the rift between the EU and the US began before Trump entered the Oval Office, and this is not likely to change any time soon. 

Just over one year ago, the world watched as Donald Trump […]

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    A new interactive tool can show us just how polarised Congress has become

A new interactive tool can show us just how polarised Congress has become

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Advances in data analysis and visualization now mean that members of the public can be far more informed about the intricacies of politics and the records of those who represent them. Gokhan Ciflikli discusses his new interactive tool, adavis, which shows seven decades of data on Congressional voting records and which allows users to examine how party and politicians’ ideologies have […]

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    Unlike Bush and Obama, Trump’s zero-sum worldview is severely hampering America’s counterterrorism efforts

Unlike Bush and Obama, Trump’s zero-sum worldview is severely hampering America’s counterterrorism efforts

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In his inaugural address in January, President Trump vowed to “eradicate completely… Radical Islamic Terrorism”. Jonny Hall writes that while Trump’s rhetoric against terrorism is not an enormous change from that of the Bush or Obama administration, what is very different is how Trump’s perspective informs American counterterrorism policy. Trump’s zero-sum worldview, he argues, largely ignores the ’causes’ of […]

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    Seattle’s public funding for candidates experiment may be both good and bad for democracy

Seattle’s public funding for candidates experiment may be both good and bad for democracy

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Next week sees Seattle residents go to the polls to elect a new mayor and City Councillors. Tory Mallett writes that what makes this election worth watching is that in Seattle, voters are able to ‘spend’ up to $100 on contributions to candidates’ campaigns via a property-tax funded voucher scheme. While the system may appear to enhance democracy by […]

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    Donald Trump’s interim Opioid Commission report did not mention drug courts. Here’s why that’s a positive step.  

Donald Trump’s interim Opioid Commission report did not mention drug courts. Here’s why that’s a positive step.  

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Last week, President Trump declared America’s opioid crisis to be a “public health emergency”, announcing measures to tackle the problem including expanding access to treatment. John Collins writes that, in a positive and perhaps surprising move, in its interim report, Trump’s Commission did not mention drug courts, a politically popular approach to tackling substance-abuse. He argues that drug courts, […]

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    A generous welfare state can help reduce unemployment – if there are good job opportunities for the jobless.

A generous welfare state can help reduce unemployment – if there are good job opportunities for the jobless.

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Are state unemployment benefits a safety net or a hammock for the lazy? In new research, Thomas Biegert explores the effects of benefits on job seekers in 20 European countries and the US. He finds that in some countries, generous benefits are linked with high unemployment rates, while in others, the opposite is the case. This difference, he […]

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    Nuclear weapons dominate North Korea’s foreign and domestic policy; diplomatic engagement is the only way to encourage regime change.

Nuclear weapons dominate North Korea’s foreign and domestic policy; diplomatic engagement is the only way to encourage regime change.

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Recent months have seen rising rhetoric between Washington DC and Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But why is the North Korean regime so keen on developing such weapons? Vuk Vuksanovic argues that for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un nuclear weapons act as a deterrent to international intervention, an instrument of foreign policy, and as a way of […]

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    Trump’s return to ‘drug war’ rhetoric is unlikely to succeed in a region that has largely rejected its effectiveness

Trump’s return to ‘drug war’ rhetoric is unlikely to succeed in a region that has largely rejected its effectiveness

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Under Donald Trump, US federal drug policy has undergone a fairly dramatic reversal. The Obama administration’s criticisms of the ‘war on drugs’ are gone, replaced by a seeming return to eradication policies in key drug producer countries. John Collins, Executive Director of the US Centre’s International Drug Policy Unit, writes that the Trump administration’s return to unilateral aggressive supply […]

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    It’s not a lack of information that stops many Americans from adapting to flood risks; it’s a lack of cash.

It’s not a lack of information that stops many Americans from adapting to flood risks; it’s a lack of cash.

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The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey on the south coast of the US have raised new questions about how Americans deal with flood risk. Drawing on her research on how New York responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Rebecca Elliott argues that giving people in flood prone areas more information about flood risk is not enough; policymakers […]

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