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More than 1,000 Duke students from across the globe logged on to Zoom over the first two weeks of January to participate in an academic gateway for students of any major to explore new topics in a short form and without the pressure of grades Open to all Duke students- undergraduates, graduates, and professionals, Winter Breakaway offered 13 different programs focusing on topics including computational thinking, mindfulness, policies in the technology sector, intercultural competencies and navigating difficult… read more about Students Find Interdisciplinary Exploration and Connection in Winter Breakaway Courses »

Paul D. McClain, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Political Science, joined PBS NewsHour to discuss the challenges Joe Biden will face as president. “Our democracy is not only fragile, but it can be destroyed in a flash,” she said. “How do you get people to believe in this idea of democracy again?” read more about Biden Inherits a Deeply Divided Nation, but Most Voters Think He Will Bring Unity »

After last week’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a gang of rioters egged on by President Trump, longtime observers of government and politics are trying to determine just how much damage the nation has suffered and how it can begin to recover. At Duke, three experts in history, law and political science discussed the challenges the nation now faces. In a wide-ranging virtual media briefing, the scholars looked at the historical precursors to the insurrection, the infiltration of police and military by white nationalists,… read more about US Capitol Riots: Where Do We Go From Here? »

DURHAM, N.C. -- The jaw-dropping insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, egged on by President Trump, has shone yet again a harsh spotlight on domestic terror groups, disinformation and the role the military plays in domestic security issues. Four Duke experts spoke Thursday on these and other topics during a virtual briefing for members of the media. (Watch the briefing on YouTube.) Here are excerpts: ON THE CAPITOL INVASION David Schanzer, director, Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland… read more about Lessons From the U.S. Capitol Riot »

Americans were shocked Wednesday by the image of rioters storming through the U.S. Capitol, ransacking galleries, hallways and offices. For law professor Darrell Miller, the attack also prompted questions about white supremacy and how Americans respond to race.    “The police response to the insurrection at the Capitol shows two things,” said Miller, Melvin G. Shimm Professor of Law at Duke. “First, how incredibly dangerous it is if we as a country allow armed political protest to become the norm. One… read more about DC Riot Underscores Dangers of White Supremacy, Experts Say »

If he could bottle the sound, he would. In his backyard music studio in Durham, Matthew Busch lifts his saxophone to his lips, takes a breath, and plays four languid notes. He ascends from an E to an A, then plays up an octave, holding each note for four beats. He switches to another mouthpiece, plays again. Repeats with a third. Busch describes the sound coaxed from each thumb-sized mouthpiece like he’s describing a favorite wine. One, a Selmer tenor sax mouthpiece from the 1950s, is expressive, balanced, bright. Another,… read more about Conjuring Coltrane »

December Jeremy Spater. 2020. "Exposure and Preferences: Evidence from Indian Slums." American Journal of Political Science. Amelia Steinbach, T’21 student, who wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post last year, has been awarded the George J. Mitchell Scholarship for a year of graduate study in Ireland, reports Duke Today November Daniel Kselman, Emerson Niou, and Austin Wang. 2020. “Measuring ‘closeness’ in 3-candidate elections: Methodology and an application to strategic voting.” Electoral Studies… read more about Scholarship & Milestones, in 2020 »

Timur Kuran, professor of Economics and Political Science, joined the podcast Hidden Brain to discuss the way "our personal, professional and political lives are shaped by the fear of what other people think." Listen at the Hidden Brain website or your favorite podcast app. read more about A Conspiracy of Silence »

In July 2020, President Donald Trump announced plans for the U.S. to withdraw from the World Health Organization, which he has repeatedly blamed for failing to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. While the threat had no immediate practical effect – the WHO’s rules require a year’s notice to withdraw – it inflamed concerns in global health circles that the U.S. would back away from its historical commitment to the organization at the worst possible time.  Following the election of Joe Biden as president, most of… read more about A Fresh Start for the U.S. and the WHO? »

Alexander Kirshner, an associate professor of Political Science, co-authored an op-ed in the Guardian arguing that "well-designed democracies need not turn the other cheek when confronted by aspiring autocrats." read more about Donald Trump Can – and Should – Be Stopped From Running in 2024 »

Between August 2020 and January 2021, Duke political science faculty engaged journalists on the most pressing issues of the election cycle.  This collection of videos brings them together alongside Duke faculty from other parts of campus.  “The right to vote requires a reasonable but not unlimited set of options. Citizens don’t have the right to violate the rights of others. Citizens don’t have the right to elect whomever they want. We typically have a limited set of choices. We don’t… read more about The Media Briefing Series »

Of all the things that make college students anxious, now you can add ghost cars to the list. Not haunted, unoccupied moving vehicles, Flying Dutchman style. “Ghost cars” is a term Duke Parking & Transportation (DPT) uses to define cars that enter or leave parking lots when the gates are up, like during a football game or evening event. The gate sensors don’t record them both entering and exiting, which causes problems in keeping an accurate count of the cars using a lot. A few summers ago, DPT asked a group of… read more about Quantitatively and Qualitatively, Data+ and Its Affiliated Programs Are Big Hits »

Kerry Haynie, an associate professor of Political Science and African & African American Studies, co-wrote an article for the Washington Post describing his new research with Beth Reingold and Kirsten Widner, which found that "women of color are the most likely to address the needs of multiple marginalized groups with their legislative portfolios, but Latinas and Black women approach such issues somewhat differently." read more about Women of Color Won Congressional Seats in Record Numbers. How Will They Legislate? »

Alexander Kirshner, an associate professor of Political Science, argued in The Hill that Donald's Trump's "refusal to acknowledge that the election has been called for Joe Biden or even to allow Biden to receive the customary security briefings given to the presidents-elect has generated broad concern about the state of our constitutional system." read more about Saving Legitimate Opposition »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University senior Amelia Steinbach of Durham, North Carolina, is one of 12 Americans selected this weekend to receive the George J. Mitchell Scholarship for a year of graduate study in Ireland. This year, 453 students applied for the scholarship, named in honor of Sen. George Mitchell’s contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service. Steinbach, a political science major with minors in Gender, Sexuality &… read more about Duke Senior Awarded George J. Mitchell Scholarship to Study in Ireland »

Sunshine Hillygus, Professor of Political Science, was interviewed for an Atlantic article about how to convince loved ones to change their votes. “It’s not just one conversation," she said. “It is a repeated discussion of the things that you value.” Read the article at The Atlantic. read more about The Science of Changing a Loved One’s Vote »

As the Trump administration continues its flurry of largely evidence-free allegations of widespread voter fraud and rigged voting results, President-elect Joe Biden is left to wait for some of the resources needed for his official transition to the White House. As the clock ticks, two Duke professors with experience in previous White House administrations discussed the impact the transition delay will have on the nation’s handling of the pandemic, national security and other important issues. The two political scientists… read more about Former White House Official: 'The Delay in Transition is not Helpful' »

Although election campaigns are at the forefront of our collective consciousness when it comes to politics, what happens between elections really shapes people's lives and their degree of engagement with our political system. We chose five Duke-authored books that showcase the importance of politics and the consequences of policy.  These books along with many others are available at the Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop.   White Identity Politics by Ashley Jardina… read more about Five Duke Books on Politics and Public Policy »

Writing at Foreign Policy, Professor of Political Science Peter Feaver argues that the presidential election "was no repudiation of Trumpism, making it harder for the [Republican] party to heal and return to its strengths." Instead, Feaver claims, "the Trumpist faction in the party will be empowered and in no mood to compromise or reform." read more about What Trump’s Near-Victory Means for Republican Foreign Policy »

The pandemic, wildfires in the west, a hurricane brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, an avalanche of misinformation and the most contentious presidential race in recent memory are combining to create an unprecedented election season. Record numbers of Americans are voting early, many of whom are spending hours in line to do so. What does all this mean? Three Duke faculty members and the leader of a nonpartisan group at Duke dedicated to getting students to the polls took questions from journalists Wednesday during a digital… read more about Pandemic, Voter Suppression, Record Early Voting – Experts Discuss 2020 Election »

Christopher Johnston, Associate Professor of Political Science, co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post about the research in his book Curbing the Court: Why the Public Constrains Judicial Independence. In it, he argues that the American public is "less willing to defend the Supreme Court’s stability and integrity than many political scientists believe — especially now, at a time when they’re so polarized ideologically." read more about Why Americans are Perfectly Willing to Undermine the Integrity and Independence of the Supreme Court »

If you are considering majoring in political science, professor Adriane Fresh outlines what the Duke Department of Political Science has to offer, in this video. "Political science is the application of the scientific method to questions in the political realm. Political scientists study how individual political attitudes are formed, how complex institutions like legislatures or judiciaries function, we study why some protests are successful and others aren't, how corruption responds to new… read more about Why Major in Political Science? »

Kerry Haynie, an Associate Professor of Political Science, participated in a panel about political engagement, offering his take on which states will have the highest turnout, the impact of political action committees and more. Read the article at WalletHub. read more about 2020's Most & Least Politically Engaged States »

North Carolina is changing. It’s more diverse than even just a couple election cycles ago, and people are leaving rural areas and moving to cities and suburbs. This all signals a shift in the state’s voting tendencies, making it a significant swing state in the upcoming presidential election. With the state poised to begin early voting, two Duke University scholars Wednesday discussed the state’s voter tendencies, changing demographics and crucial voting blocs. Here are excerpts from the conversation, held via Zoom in a… read more about Experts: NC’s Shifting Population Makes it a Significant Swing State »

December Peter Feaver coauthors a critique of Trump’s delay on the presidential transition in an op-ed, for Foreign Policy Peter Feaver offers analysis of the limits of Congressional power during wartime, for NNY360 Peter Feaver coauthors examination of poll findings that the public is ambivalent about the war in Afghanistan, for The Wall Street Journal Kerry Haynie’s recent service as Chair of the Academic Council is covered by Duke Today Kerry Haynie coauthors a write-up of his… read more about Political Science in the News, 2020 »

Here are recently published and forthcoming books by Duke authors, from September and October:   Marc Zvi Brettler, co-author: “The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently” Annotated Edition (HarperOne, Oct. 27, 2020) Avshalom Caspi and Terrie E. Moffitt, co-authors: “The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life” (Harvard University Press) Samuel Fury Childs Daly: “A History of the Republic of Biafra: Law, Crime, and… read more about New Great Reads from Duke Authors »