Justice and Domestic Affairs

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    Homelessness is North America’s pandemic within a pandemic

Homelessness is North America’s pandemic within a pandemic

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COVID-19 has exacerbated social inequalities in North America with unemployment rising to record levels. Housing security has also been severely impacted by the crisis. Cynthia Puddu discusses the links between housing affordability and potential solutions to this social crisis, such as a Universal Basic Income and the need to treat housing as a human right. 

The economic ramifications of […]

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    Why legal cannabis may be more widespread in the US after the election.

Why legal cannabis may be more widespread in the US after the election.

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The process of implementing comprehensive cannabis legislation varies between states and is often met with bureaucratic challenges. With many states putting medical and recreational cannabis on the ballot this election, Lee Hannah, Gideon Cunningham and Daniel Mallinson look at the key differences in these states’ approaches to legalisation. The increasing momentum on legal cannabis, they write, is likely to […]

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    No matter the election result, the US will continue to wrestle with gun violence.

No matter the election result, the US will continue to wrestle with gun violence.

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Tens of thousands of Americans are killed by firearms every year, and yet the issue of gun related violence has been little mentioned in the 2020 presidential election campaign. Elizabeth Charash and Julie Norman write that the ubiquity of guns in America is linked to a greater likelihood of police shootings of civilians, and higher homicide rates for law […]

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    This year has seen a massive surge in gun purchases in both Republican and Democratic states

This year has seen a massive surge in gun purchases in both Republican and Democratic states

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Past research has shown that when Republicans are afraid for their safety, or when they are concerned about gun laws being tightened, they buy more guns. In new research which uses background checks as a stand-in for gun sales, Matthew Lang determines that there have been eight million ‘extra’ gun sales in both Republican and Democratic states in 2020 […]

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    What the reaction to Jacob Blake’s shooting tells us about political polarization in America

What the reaction to Jacob Blake’s shooting tells us about political polarization in America

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Jacob Blake’s shooting by police in August in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the subsequent local and national protests in response have generally been covered by the national media along partisan lines, especially in light of the 2020 presidential election. Aubri McDonald writes that by examining how events such as these are understood, or framed, we can start to better understand […]

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    How Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination could dominate the presidential election.

How Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination could dominate the presidential election.

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This past weekend, President Trump announced that US circuit court judge, Amy Coney Barrett, would be his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court. In this Q&A Julie Norman writes that Coney Barrett’s stances on most issues would shift the Court into a solid conservative majority, which would likely have serious implications for the Affordable […]

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    Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death casts a shadow on the 2020 election—but nowhere more than on the Supreme Court itself

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death casts a shadow on the 2020 election—but nowhere more than on the Supreme Court itself

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last week, with the public narrative quickly shifting away from a remembrance of her legacy to how the political battle over her replacement would affect the presidential election. Lauren C. Bell reflects on the important legacy of an ‘unlikely icon’, and how Ginsburg’s death has placed the US Supreme Court at […]

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    Black Americans are pessimistic about the state of racial affairs in the US. But so are young whites. 

Black Americans are pessimistic about the state of racial affairs in the US. But so are young whites. 

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Fifty years ago the Kerner Commission found that many Blacks felt powerless in the face of unfair racial treatment and categorized twelve areas of grievance that fed into these feelings.  In new research, Theodore J. Davis, Jr. finds that Blacks (especially older Blacks) remain more pessimistic than Whites about the state of racial affairs in the US today. He writes that race still matters today, but it matters in ways that are very different from when the Kerner Commission report was released.
The 1968 Kerner Commission Report
Between […]

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    The US faces significant health, political, and economic challenges in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

The US faces significant health, political, and economic challenges in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

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Millions of coronavirus infections and thousands of COVID-19 related deaths and an economic recession threaten US political stability. Elizabeth Freund Larus assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, economic difficulties and the uncertainty of the 2020 elections on US political stability.

With more than 5 million confirmed infections and over 166,000 deaths, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 […]

Why Federal intervention in Portland shouldn’t be a shock

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For several months, protests have been ongoing in Portland, Oregon, following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Aaron Roussell and Gisela Rodriguez Fernandez examine the intentional misconceptions which have developed to delegitimize the protests in Portland and elsewhere, writing that despite sentiments that such tactics are ‘not American’, the use of police violence and federal agents […]

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