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.

  • Two satellite maps showing a meth lab in Bakwa, Farah, Afghanistan, still functioning despite a downturn in both oman and meth prices and recent interdiction efforts
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    Long Read: The unknown unknowns of Afghanistan’s new wave of methamphetamine production

Long Read: The unknown unknowns of Afghanistan’s new wave of methamphetamine production

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Recent years have seen a massive upswing in the production of ephedra and methamphetamine from the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan. David Mansfield, the Organisation for Sustainable Development and Research and Alex Soderholm give a detailed account of how methamphetamine is produced from its precursor plant, oman, and distributed across Afghanistan and beyond into Iran and Pakistan. What we […]

So, who are the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates?

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Ahead of the third Democratic debate this Thursday, USAPP blog Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, profiles each of the candidates who have qualified for the debate and their chances for breaking out into the top polling tier.

 

Top Tier – polling above 20 percent
Former Vice-President Joe Biden
Who are they? If you only know one candidate in the Democratic race, it’s probably […]

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    Oxcart rather than “Snowplow” or “Lawnmower” Parents: Our Students’ Parents are NOT the Problem

Oxcart rather than “Snowplow” or “Lawnmower” Parents: Our Students’ Parents are NOT the Problem

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In the wake of a recent poll on parental involvement with adult children’s lives, and the US College admissions scandal, Charis Thompson stands up for the majority of students’ parents who are doing their best for their children, often under difficult circumstances.

A US poll on parental involvement in adult children’s lives from earlier this year got a lot of attention. […]

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    When it comes to harmful air pollution, denser cities aren’t greener cities. 

When it comes to harmful air pollution, denser cities aren’t greener cities. 

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Where urban planning is concerned, the conventional wisdom is that more compact cities are greener. While this may be the case for greenhouse gas emissions, new research on US cities from Sefi Roth and Felipe Carozzi find that denser cities are also more likely to have greater concentrations of harmful air pollution which can be detrimental to human health and well-being.

Air pollution is bad for us. We all […]

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    How the Panama Canal reshaped the economic geography of the United States

How the Panama Canal reshaped the economic geography of the United States

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More than a century ago, the opening of the Panama Canal revolutionized international trade by making it much quicker and easier to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But, write Stephan Maurer and Ferdinand Rauch, the canal’s opening also had a significant impact on the economic geography of the US. By examining county level data from 1900 to […]

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    Break up big tech? Make it fairer? Sure, but let’s support our right to refuse what technology companies offer us

Break up big tech? Make it fairer? Sure, but let’s support our right to refuse what technology companies offer us

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With billions of people now members of social media networks such as Facebook and the all-pervasiveness of big tech throughout many aspects of our lives, conversations about digital citizenship have never been more important. Seeta Peña Gangadharan writes that despite efforts by the Obama administration in the late 2000s to improve digital citizenship, the US information economy has now […]

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    Here are three strategies of deceptive communication to be on the lookout for as the 2020 presidential election rolls forward

Here are three strategies of deceptive communication to be on the lookout for as the 2020 presidential election rolls forward

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As we head into the 2020 presidential election, Gustav Meibauer and Jörg Meibauer reflect on how many candidates are often not always completely truthful or accurate in what they say to prospective voters. They give an overview of the different types of deceptive communication candidates may engage in in order to cultivate a favorable impression. From lying to bullshitting to […]

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    New US airstrikes obscure a dramatic development in the Afghan drugs industry – the proliferation of low cost methamphetamine 

New US airstrikes obscure a dramatic development in the Afghan drugs industry – the proliferation of low cost methamphetamine 

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Earlier this month US and Afghan forces bombed 68 drugs labs in South-western Afghanistan, claiming that they caused the Taliban losses of over $1 million per day. David Mansfield and Alexander Soderholm write that not only have the effects of these strikes been exaggerated, their promotion obscures a new reality on the ground: a dramatic growth in the methamphetamine […]

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    The US shows the unequal world we are heading for – and we don’t seem to care

The US shows the unequal world we are heading for – and we don’t seem to care

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Income inequality is on the rise, a fact which many academics and commentators suggest is an important part of the election of populist figures like Donald Trump. And yet, studies show that people are actually becoming less concerned about inequality as it increases. In new research, Jonathan Mijs describes how inequality has reshaped the social landscape and how, as […]

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    Will Dysfunctional Politics Finally End the American Century?

Will Dysfunctional Politics Finally End the American Century?

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The United States has dominated international politics since the end of the Second World War. And while it retains tremendous wealth and military strength, the domestic hyper-partisanship which has characterized the post-Cold War era is draining the country’s ‘usable power’ argue Peter Trubowitz and Peter Harris.

Can the United States continue to shape international politics as it has done for the […]

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