Lefebvre: “The Geopolitical Dilemmas of Confronting ISIL/ISIS”

Hot Topics Discussions

“The Geopolitical Dilemmas of Confronting ISIL/ISIS”

Prof. Jeff Lefebvre, Political Science

UCONN Stamford
Room 1.29
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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Dyson on Booker Finalists

Professor Stephen Dyson wrote about two works of political fiction on the shortlist for the Man Booker prize, Britain’s highest literary honor. Money quote: “Personifying the abstract is fiction’s great gift to political thought. Howard Jacobson’s warning about the future and Neel Mukherjee’s epic of the past offer rich rewards, whatever the final decision of the Booker judges.”

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Dyson on ‘The Leftovers’

Prof. Stephen Dyson wrote about HBO’s saturnine thought experiment ‘The Leftovers’ for the Monkey Cage, a political science blog hosted by the Washington Post. The central point: “The most vivid character, one of the few who seems not to have surrendered to a smothering depression (although it is an open question whether he has retained his grip on reality), is the police chief Kevin Garvey, played by series star Justin Theroux. Garvey still cares enough to get angry over turf wars with the federal government, and to react with humanity when the reconfigured Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and Cults (ATFEC) offers to “eliminate the infestation” of a Guilty Remnant chapter in his town. In one of the very few instances of humor in the entire season, Garvey toasts a bagel which fails to emerge from the toaster oven – has his breakfast been raptured?”

Congratulations!

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Blessing publishes paper on Muslim Brotherhood

Molly Blessing ’15 published an article in Al Nakhlah on the Muslim Brotherhood. The piece is entitled, “Responses to revolutions: A comparative analysis of the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood branches in Egypt and Syria in the wake of the Arab Spring.” Al Nakhlah is The Fletcher School’s online journal on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization. (Fletcher is part of Tufts University) Congratulations!

Blessing is a Chemistry major at UConn. She originally wrote the paper in Prof. Jeremy Pressman’s POLS 3402, “Contemporary International Politics.”

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Pressman on Hamas-Israel War

Over at UConn Today, Prof. Jeremy Pressman answered questions about the struggle to attain a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel. Pressman also wrote about the Government of Israel’s strategic goal at Political Violence @ a Glance, a political science blog focused on research on war, conflict, and their resolution.

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Hayes Wins Best Paper Award

Prof. Thomas Hayes co-authored the paper that won the best paper award, the Bailey Award, from APSA’s LGBT Caucus. The paper is “Testing Backlash: The Influence of Political Institutions on Public Attitudes toward Gay Rights” by Ben Bishin, Hayes, Matthew Incantalupo, and Tony Smith.

The award committee reported:

The Committee found this to be a well-executed study of a very timely topic. In light of recent advancements in the area of military inclusion, marriage equality and other issues, the possibility of political backlash has become an important problem for both academic and political communities to understand more thoroughly. Through an interesting experimental design Bishin, Hayes, Incantalupo and Smith find little evidence of increased intensity of attitudes regarding gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage, challenging key pillars of the backlash thesis with significant empirical evidence. By adding new dimensions to the study of political backlash, they move away from the simplistic, but often widely accepted conclusion that political advances necessarily lead to backlash (and the implication that such advances should therefore be avoided). Rather, they provide empirical evidence that challenges such easy and potentially politically reactionary conclusions.

If you will be attending the annual APSA conference, the award will be presented at the LGBT Caucus Business Meeting on Saturday, August 30, 2014, at 12:15 pm in the Omni Forum Room.

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Mexico’s President cites CIRI project

At a recent ceremony, the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, listed getting a better score on Prof. David Richards’s CIRI project’s physical integrity right index as one of 11 human rights goals the Mexican government has set for 2014-2018. Congratulations!

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