Our thesis in our work on economist jokes is that there are really three factors: whether the joke is funny, or insightful, or makes fun of economists. If the unexpected alteration in point of view is too great, seems strained, or violates the internal logic of the joke itself, then we may say, “That’s not funny.” This may mean that the joke is not intended to be funny — though the teller finds it so — because the object is not humor, but rather mockery. And even mockery can be funny if the joke is also insightful.… read more about Economist Jokes: A Typology - Michael Munger writes for Learn Liberty »
As a social entrepreneur and activist, James Ferencsik is committed to tackling major social problems including waterborne disease and youth representation in politics. In 2013, James was awarded the Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholarship, an undergraduate merit award, to attend Duke. The scholarship is awarded to outstanding students who show promise of being intellectual leaders.
During his time at Duke, James spent two years running the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council, which lobbied Congress and the White House to… read more about James Ferencsik, graduating political science student, profiled on Duke Today »
The legitimate questions about what the Russians were doing cannot be fired away. Indeed, if Comey has damaging testimony to offer, he would seem to be even more of a threat as a former FBI director than as an acting one. Moreover, the hearings for his successor will be dominated by the same topic, and to be credible the next FBI director will have to promise to pursue the investigations no less vigorously than Comey did.
I think the way forward (and out) is the same one that struck me as obvious two months ago: a blue-… read more about Firing Comey Makes an Independent Commission Even More Likely - Peter Feaver writes for Foreign Policy »
On May 4 the House of Representatives passed a poorly understood healthcare bill.
The more people learn about it, the less they seem to like it. Maybe that’s why it was so shrouded in secrecy before passage, with barely any analysis of its likely effects or opportunity for public discourse.
Oddly, despite the secrecy, the bill might be getting closer to the true, honest positions of some politicians (and their constituents) than prior bills.
The reason is that healthcare is not only a policy matter: Many Americans and a… read more about Healthcare is a moral issue first - David Siegel writes for The Hill »
Michael Ward retired as Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He received a bachelors from Indiana University in 1970, served with the 287th Military Police in the Berlin Brigade from 1970-72, and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University in 1977. He soon became the Gordon Scott Fulcher Research Fellow where he worked with Harold Guetzkow from 1977-1979. He then joined the Science Center Berlin, working with Karl Wolfgang Deutsch and others for two years building a global political… read more about Professor Michael Ward Retires »
The game of chicken is commonly used to describe conflicts between states armed with nuclear weapons. Also referred to as "brinkmanship," leaders of nuclear states know that it is not credible to threaten the initiation of nuclear war, but they try to use the risk of nuclear hostilities to get their opponents to back down.
But we are just an ultimatum away from a situation in which one side will have to swerve in order to avoid disaster. Moreover, the gameplay in 2017 is especially concerning for at least three reasons… read more about Risky brinkmanship with an unstable North Korean regime, Kyle Beardsley writes Op-Ed »
The selection of Macron and Le Pen for the runoff may be a harbinger of a more far-reaching transformation of the French party system. Scholars like MIT political scientist Suzanne Berger have long argued that as globalization, European integration and immigration have become increasingly salient, the traditional anchors of the French party system, such as class and race, are giving way to a new political cleavage centered on France’s relationship to the outside world — on whether France is an open or a closed society,… read more about Herbert Kitschelt interviewed on political ideology in French Election for The Washington Post »
“[In] early elections, the U.S. was trying to choose how our institutions would work, and famously there was Governor [Elbridge] Gerry of Massachusetts. In the 1812 election [he] had signed off on a map that one of the districts – that his party, the Democratic Republicans would get a seat in the state legislature. And people imagined on the map that it looked like a salamander. So it’s a portmanteau. You take the ‘Governor Gerry and salamander,’ and you get gerrymander,” says Professor Michael Munger.
Continue to 1A here… read more about Gerrymandering: America's Most Dangerous Maps? - Michael Munger on NPR's 1A radio show »
U.S. News also announced another set of grad-program rankings it doesn’t update every year, covering fields in the social science and the specialty field of library science. In the social sciences, Duke and UNC both turned in strong showings, particularly for their political science programs, which ranked seventh and 11th, respectively. [...] The two universities also notched high rankings for an assortment of sub-specialities in those fields, with Duke’s political science program showing notable across-the-board strength… read more about Duke & UNC keep pulling top marks in U.S. News grad-school rankings - The Herald-Sun reports »
Celebrated for the first time by the UN on 8 March, 1977, International Women’s Day serves as a way to mark women’s contributions all around the globe. One area where women’s contributions are particularly worthy of celebration is in United Nations peacekeeping missions. Since the deployment of the first peacekeeping mission in 1948 to 1989, the end of the Cold War, only twenty women served in peacekeeping missions. Since 2000, with the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, women’s participation in peacekeeping… read more about Celebrating International Women Day: women in the changing world of peacekeeping - Kyle Beardsley coauthors »
Peter Feaver of Duke University's Department of Political Science interviewed General Martin Dempsey, Duke Alumnus and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During this April 11, 2016 converation, Feaver and Dempsey discussed the responsibilities of the Chairman, the global threats after 9/11, the broader strategic goals in Iran and Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi's death, the rise of ISIS, training Syrian moderates, Russia's destabilizing maneuvers, the tensions in the South China Sea, and civil-… read more about Watch Peter Feaver interview Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff »
Johnston, Christopher D., Howard G. Lavine, and Christopher M. Federico. 2017. Open versus Closed: Personality, Identity, and the Politics of Redistribution. Cambridge University Press.
Debates over redistribution, social welfare, and market regulation are central to American politics. Why do some of us prefer a large role for government in the economic life of the nation while others prefer a smaller role? In Open Versus Closed, the authors argue that these preferences are not always what they seem. They show how deep-… read more about February Duke Political Science Publications »
“A national security adviser has to successfully manage three key constituencies: first and foremost his relationships with the president, but also his relations with other senior officials in the West Wing, and with Cabinet officials in various agencies,” says Peter Feaver, who served on theNational Security Council under President George W. Bush and directs Duke University’s Program in American Grand Strategy. “In the case of General Jones, at some point it became clear that as an outsider he was unable to break into that… read more about The Most Dangerous Job in Washington, Peter Feaver interviewed in Politico »
China is widely viewed as a global powerhouse that has achieved a remarkable economic transformation with little political change. Less well known is that China's leaders have also implemented far‐reaching governance reforms designed to promote government transparency and increase public participation in official policymaking. What are the motivations behind these reforms and, more importantly, what impact are they having? This puzzle lies at the heart of Chinese politics and could dictate China's political trajectory for… read more about China's Governance Puzzle - Edmund Malesky coauthors new book »
For 10 days in early January, nearly 40 Duke undergraduate and graduate students, Duke Political Science faculty members and alumni traced the path of the 1968 Tet Offensive through Vietnam.
Their trip was an academic adaptation of the “staff ride” format the U.S. military uses to educate leaders about a specific historical campaign or conflict, examining the event and its effects from historical, strategic and political perspectives.
But the Duke travelers weren’t just along for the ride: each was responsible for… read more about 'Staff Ride' in Vietnam offers students immersive learning »
Peter D. Feaver, a political scientist at Duke who studies public opinion on national security issues, said he saw no basis for the White House claims. “I don’t think there’s evidence of the press underreporting terrorism,” he said. “The corporate incentives run the other way.”
But Mr. Feaver, who served in the George W. Bush White House but publicly opposed Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign, said the president’s remarks, if not literally true, nonetheless play out in a larger, partisan debate about terrorism.… read more about Is News of Terror Attacks Underplayed? Experts Say No - Peter Feaver interviewed for The NYTimes »
A Jan. 31 Washington Post article, penned by data scientist Andreas Beger and Duke University political science professor Michael Ward, discussed a forecast model that measures the likelihood of “irregular leadership changes, including coups.” According to Beger and Ward, their model shows Turkey coming in fifth (out of a total of 161 countries) most likely to experience a coup in 2017 — trailing Burundi, Thailand, Central African Republic and Chad. The article appeared on the Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog, which shares… read more about Turkish media upset by Duke Political Science Professor Michael Ward's model for coup predictions »
Our research has developed tools to forecast irregular leadership changes, which include coups. Using some of the tools and similar data, we’ve now created a 2017 forecast for the risk of coups for 161 countries.
We use a small number of statistical models to create separate forecasts for the risk of a successful coup, like in Thailand in 2014, or failed coup attempt, like in Turkey in 2016. Then we combine them to get a single forecast for the risk of a coup attempt for each country ... High-risk cases all have markers… read more about Where are coups most likely to occur in 2017? Michael Ward coauthors for The Washington Post »
Bailey Sanders and Victoria Dounoucos, two Political Science Ph.D students, attended the Women's March in solidarity with their friend and to explore themes in their research interests. By attending the March, they learned more about the dynamics of this political coalition than they would otherwise.
read more about Academic Life: Learning from the Women's March »
Bagg, Samuel. "When will a Darwinian approach be useful for the study of society?" Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, Available at Sage Journals
In recent years, some have claimed that a Darwinian perspective will revolutionize the study of human society and culture. This project is viewed with disdain and suspicion, on the other hand, by many practicing social scientists. This article seeks to clear the air in this heated debate by dissociating two claims that are too often assumed to be inseparable. The first… read more about January Duke Political Science Publications »
Timur Ohloff only spent one year as an undergraduate at Duke, but it was an important piece of the German student’s successful application for a 2017 Rhodes Scholarship.
A graduate of Freie Universität Berlin with a B.A. in North American Studies and Political Science, Ohloff spent his junior year at Duke studying political polarization in America. His senior thesis, for which he conducted a national survey experiment, examined how politics affects people's partner preferences.
"I am incredibly grateful for all that Duke… read more about After junior year as Duke Political Science major, German student wins Rhodes Scholarship »
Trump and his team are reacting to the CIA's assessment in precisely the wrong way. If Russian hacking operations did in fact occur, and if they did so at the behest of Russian intelligence, then the more Trump doubles down on claiming the contrary, the more reliant he becomes on Russian President Vladimir Putin keeping secret the Russian operations. Putin will eventually want to be paid for his silence. For example, he may want Trump to show flexibility regarding economic sanctions against Russia as a result of Putin's… read more about Trump needs to back Russian hack attack probe - Joseph Grieco writes op-ed »
But lost in the 2016 campaign rhetoric is the reality that NATO defense spending appears to have “turned a corner.” At the Wales Summit in September 2014, Alliance leaders pledged, for the first time publicly, to “reverse the trend of declining defense budgets.” Each NATO member committed to move toward spending 2 percent of GDP on defense — and 20 percent of defense budgets on equipment modernization. Our research shows a positive shift in burden-sharing.
Continue reading here
read more about NATO is sharing the defense burden - Eddy Malesky coauthors for The Washington Post »
If you're going to make the exception, you want to make the exception for a general that has thought a lot about civil-military relations and has a sophisticated understanding of civilian control, and Jim Mattis meets that test. He's literally co-edited a book on civil-military relations and, full disclosure, I had a chapter in that book. It's been a very difficult time for civil-military relations over the last several years. And having a secretary of defense who's trusted by both the generals and by the White House, could… read more about Mattis' appointment would require special approval from Congress - Peter Feaver on NPR »
Vincent Price, provost of the University of Pennsylvania since 2009, has been elected Duke University’s tenth president, announced David Rubenstein, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, on Friday. In addition to being the chief academic officer at Penn, Price is the Steven H. Chaffee Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication and professor of political science in the School of Arts and Sciences.
Continue reading Duke Today
Price has published extensively on mass communication and public… read more about Former UPenn Provost and Professor of Political Science elected 10th President of Duke University »
On Monday, a student at Ohio State – who was also a permanent United States resident from Somalia – injured 11 people on the University’s campus. He did so using both a car and a knife. Because he is Muslim, posted his displeasure at perceived treatment of fellow Muslims on Facebook, and included a vague threat there, the first response of many has been to assume terrorism. This is entirely the wrong response.
There have been a number of different definitions of terrorism used both by government agencies and in scholarly… read more about A Simple Rule for Defining Terrorism - David Siegel writes for Political Violence @ a Glance »