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    Challenging people’s political views and values makes them think even harder and produce better arguments to defend themselves

Challenging people’s political views and values makes them think even harder and produce better arguments to defend themselves

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To many, American politics and society seem more polarized than they have ever been. Why, then do people cling so tightly to their values, identities and attitudes? In new research, Cengiz Erisen, David P. Redlawsk,  and Elif Erisen looked at the effects of presenting people with information that conflicted or refuted their own ideologies. They found that far from […]

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    White, middle-class social capital helps to incarcerate African-Americans in racially diverse states.

White, middle-class social capital helps to incarcerate African-Americans in racially diverse states.

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Social capital is mostly seen as a ‘good’: bringing communities together and, in the case of criminal justice, encouraging social empathy which can lead to less harsh sentencing. But these analyses ignore racial divisions in social capital. In new research, Daniel Hawes finds that while social capital can reduce the Black-White disparity in incarceration rates in states with […]

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    Alabama’s Senate runoff election mirrors the national struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party

Alabama’s Senate runoff election mirrors the national struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party

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Republican voters will go to the polls on September 26th to select the state’s US Senator to replace Jeff Sessions, who President Trump elevated to the position of US Attorney General. Andrée E. Reeves gives an overview of the runoff race, which pits former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore against former Attorney General (and now incumbent US Senator) […]

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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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    How California could be the launching pad for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominee

How California could be the launching pad for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominee

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The California legislature recently passed a bill which would move its presidential primary from June to March. Renée Van Vechten looks at the arguments that the move may make the Golden State the kingmaker for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, and highlights two potential Democratic presidential candidates from California: junior US Senator Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor […]

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    The American Dream eludes many urban youth of color. And they think it’s their own fault.

The American Dream eludes many urban youth of color. And they think it’s their own fault.

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Segregation is not a thing of the past for young people of color in the US; many attend under-resourced and segregated school districts. Despite these disadvantages, America’s leaders tell young people of color that they can achieve the “American Dream” via hard work and determination. In new research, David T. Lardier Jr., Kathryn G. Herr, Veronica R. Barrios, Pauline […]

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    Trump’s transgender ban reminds us that the US military does not float above politics

Trump’s transgender ban reminds us that the US military does not float above politics

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In July, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that transgendered individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the US military. Thomas Crosbie writes that there is no justifiable reason to exclude the transgendered from the military and such an order ignores its tradition of progressive politics. He argues that in matters such as this, the military should […]

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    Trump supporters’ resistance to social justice efforts is driven by their meritocratic ideology, not bias.

Trump supporters’ resistance to social justice efforts is driven by their meritocratic ideology, not bias.

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Trump supporters are more resistant to social justice efforts than other Americans, but not because of bias. Rather, many Trump supporters are “rugged meritocratists”- those who resist social justice efforts because they believe that American society is already fair. Erin Cech argues that if rugged meritocratists are to heed calls for social justice, they must first be convinced that inequality actually […]

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    Book Review: Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer

Book Review: Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer

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In Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, Nicole Hemmer argues that broadcasters like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are but the second generation of conservative media activists. Americans, states Hemmer, are used to thinking of such figures as being integral to contemporary conservatism; her book tells the story of the lesser-known […]

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    Book Review: Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty by Scott W. Allard

Book Review: Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty by Scott W. Allard

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In Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty, Scott W. Allard challenges the impression that the American suburbs offer a hub of prosperity and a safe haven from issues such as unemployment and crime. Demonstrating the alarming growth in suburban poverty across the USA and proposing some policy changes to try and fix the decline, this is a […]

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