Here are some posts showing how TMC can help to do just that – thinking not just about important global events, but everyday life as well.
TMC’s most popular post in 2014 (the year Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula) was this investigative report of 2,066 Americans. The survey found that only one in six Americans could locate Ukraine on a map, and the farther their guesses were from where it actually was, the more they wanted the United States to intervene by force.
Terrorism expert Brian Phillips explains why the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris received more news coverage than the deadlier attacks in Lebanon and Kenya that same year.
Articles published by TMC challenge what we think we know. Computers are better than humans at counting votes. Wars are less deadly, but just as frequent.
As events unfold in real time, political science experts have written helpful explainers, bringing their expertise to topics of public concern. How exactly does the math of representation work in a U.S. presidential race — and what happens if a candidate drops out or dies before the election? What is a budget “settlement,” and why does it prevent a filibuster? What is the World Health Organization, how is its leader chosen, and where does it get its funding? How did North Korea manage to acquire nuclear weapons? Can the President of the United States really pardon himself?
Nadia Brown, Ray Block, and Chris Stout curate a series of research articles to help readers better understand the Black Lives Matter movement amid protests for racial justice following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others in Black America. Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020 were overwhelmingly peaceful.
The battle for racial justice has been around for a long time. As Alvin B. Tillery told TMC readers, many of America’s Founding Fathers were racist, while Alexis Deutsche, a prominent conservative commentator on 19th-century American politics, Alexis de Tocqueville said systemic racism is baked into American society. In a book written 150 years ago, Alan Coffee explains how Frederick Douglass captured America’s political factionalism; controlling the black population was always better than addressing the roots of deep divisions The reason is easier.
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Systemic racism also shapes U.S. politics toward its immediate neighbors, helping explain persistent discrimination against Haitians. As Cecilia Hyunjung Mo pointed out in 2015, prior to the recent upsurge in visible anti-Asian racism, many Americans saw Asian-Americans as foreigners, and the increased hostility of conservatives toward Asian-Americans helps explain why Asian Americans have moved away from the Republican Party. Yet polling data shows that Americans are less anti-immigration, less inclined to favor bombastic anti-immigration measures such as former President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, and more willing to consider compromises than political debate might suggest.
As TMC is increasingly trying to show, female political scientists know something, too. In 2022, around 45% of our contributors will be women – a much higher percentage than when we started publishing in The Post. We also regularly report on the politics of gender and sexuality. After Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, Christina Wolbrecht and David Campbell write that her defeat can still inspire young women. But gender politics can also cut in the opposite direction. Eric Knowles and Sara Di Muccio share their research on how Trump is more attractive to men who are insecure about their masculinity.
Zein Murib explains how white identity politics has shaped laws against trans youth. Elizabeth Sharrow discusses how US federal civil rights demands are in conflict with anti-transgender laws being passed and considered in many US states, while Heath Fogg Davis asks why sports and medical Health care is disaggregated entirely by sex.
Of course, TMC is not limited to American politics. Marc Lynch analyzed early on that Saudi Arabia’s 2017 purge was less about fighting corruption than eliminating opposition to the crown prince. Chipo Dendere explains that if you want to understand Zimbabwe’s 2017 coup, you need to know more about First Lady Grace Mugabe. TMC’s African Politics Summer Reading Fest annually shares the latest books on African politics. Suparna Chaudhry explains what we need to know ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2019 visit to the US.
In early March 2020, Yang Dali wrote an article about how Wuhan officials tried to cover up the coronavirus outbreak in central China. Late in the pandemic, Michael Bang Petersen and Alexander Bor explain how Denmark is better than other countries in fighting the coronavirus.
But TMC was publishing widely on health and politics long before the pandemic. A viral post by Kim Yi Dionne and Laura Seay rebuts racist media coverage of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, highlighting a long history of Attitude issues affect. Mara Pillinger explains the implications of WHO’s decision that the 2016 Zika virus outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
We thank political scientists for bringing together the voices of ordinary citizens to shed light on world events. Our work with Afrobarometer provides multiple examples—from how Africans perceive China’s influence in their countries, to citizens’ trust in the safety of government vaccines as the coronavirus vaccine rollout begins. Likewise, with all the reporting on ISIS, how do ordinary citizens in the Arab world perceive them?
Politics is everywhere and sports are no exception. Proof of Dani Gilbert’s recent analysis of Brittney Griner’s wrongful detention in Russia or Chris Hanretty’s interesting post imagining a “World Cup of Democracy” up to this point. TMC regularly conducts thematic analysis on the World Cup and Olympic Games.
Michael Horowitz uses political science research on dictator behavior to analyze how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell managed to wield power. Kevin Wallsten, Lauren McCarthy, and Tatishe Nteta show that white racial attitudes influence perceptions of whether college athletes should profit from the use of their names and likenesses.
We also publish a number of articles linking political science to celebrity and pop culture. One was an essay by Mark Lynch after the “X-Files” revival. Seth Masket’s post “House of Cards” misinterpretation of American politics is a fan favorite. Political scientists have weighed in on Bigfoot and UFOs (more than once!).
We commemorate the holidays. On Labor Day, Danielle Phillips-Cunningham reminds us of the role Black women play in securing labor rights. We also have posts on Juneteenth, Memorial Day, and even Giving Tuesday. Former editor Erik Voeten wrote about the traditional Dutch depiction of “Black Pete” before the character became highly controversial. A few years later, we even compiled a holiday gift guide.
Political Scientists Can Have Fun Too
Sarah Binder’s posts on how the American political establishment really works have attracted many readers over the years. Most people, and even most political scientists, have only a vague understanding of how U.S. Senate processes affect legislation, among other things, but when they want to know the likely prospects for a bill they care about, they have to start paying attention. But Sarah has many other talents. She often writes about ordinary people, including the French.
Many Americans—including those who should know better about Africa—see Africa as a country rather than a continent, failing to notice the enormous diversity of peoples, cultures, languages, and politics across the vast and diverse continent. This is a great source of misfortune for those who study Africa. It also sparked one of the most successful April Fools’ pranks in TMC history, when Kim and Laura wrote an article in which professors languishly abandon their “fun with well-informed journalism, Eurocentric educational programs, and Irish pop stars.” struggle” 1987. ’ The high readership and lively Twitter debate showed just how many people expressed their frustration.
Check out TMC’s list of expanded classroom topic guides.
When Bill O’Reilly said Bernie Sanders would flee the US for Ireland if he was elected president in 2016, TMC’s Irish politics expert Henry Farrell told him what he could find there. Spoiler alert: he’ll be shocked.
TMC is doing something new
TMC has enjoyed nine stellar years at The Post. Our time at The Post turned a small professional blog run by a few professors in their spare time into a much larger business. It also helped transform political science, sharing new research and busting long-standing myths.
Our editors help thousands of political scientists write for a wider audience. Some of these political scientists went on to write elsewhere. Others return to their research with a new understanding of the public debate and their relevance to it. We can only mention a small number of the great writers and great works we have published, but we appreciate the opportunity to celebrate these contributions – and we look forward to what’s next for TMC. there are more.