April 2017

In early April, Adjunct Professor John Kane presented his research on partisan politics at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago, IL. This is one of the largest political science conferences in the United States, and features many of the world’s leading scholars in numerous political science subfields.

The study that Professor Kane presented, “Who’s at the Party? Party Coalitions and Political Orientations In the Mass Public,” focuses on the relationship between partisanship and affinities for various societal groups. Various literatures in political science have demonstrated that parties are coalitions of distinct social groups, and that affinities for these groups help inform and shape citizens’ identification with political parties in the United States. Building on previous literature, Professor Kane’s study analyzed national survey and experimental data to investigate how the nature of party coalitions shapes partisans’ own political orientations. Importantly, Professor Kane finds that citizens’ strength of party attachment is systematically related to feelings toward politically-aligned groups. Moreover, he finds that citizens’ beliefs about a party’s coalition directly impact their own partisan identity. As partisan identity is a key correlate of political participation, vote choice, and policy beliefs, the results of Professor Kane’s study provide important insights into the nature of partisan polarization in the United States.


On April 29, Adjunct Assistant Professor Bill Hewitt, teaching in the Environment & Energy Policy concentration, was in Washington for the People’s Climate March. His report and photos can be found at his blog, “A Newer World.” 


During the month of April, visiting scholar and professor Dr. Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu penned the following op-eds for the widely circulated Indian business newspaper, Mint:

Donald Trump’s tumultuous 100 days, notes that he is the first US president to have higher disapproval ratings (of nearly 60%) than approval ratings (around 37 %). The article notes that Trump’s nascent presidency has reflected a trait of his real estate roots: to over promise and under deliver. That might not be an unwelcome outcome in his handling of foreign policy.

Can unarmed states prohibit nuclear weapons?, examined why a handful of states armed with the most powerful weapons ever invented were running scared from a conference organized by unarmed nuclear states. It argues that the conference, which seeks negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons will challenge the very basis of nuclear deterrence.


During the month of April, Clinical Associate Professor Jennifer Trahan spoke at a number of conferences and institutions.

  • On April 3, Professor Trahan spoke as a panelist at the 2017 Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights, entitled “Global Criminal Justice: Accomplishments, Challenges, and Future Directions,” held at Georgetown Law School in Washington DC. 
  • On April 7, Professor Trahan spoke at Central Michigan University as the Dr. Harold Abel Endowed Lecturer, speaking on a lecture series on the Study of Dictatorship, Democracy and Genocide. Her talk was entitled “From Rwanda to the Present: The Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes.” She was also interviewed on Central Michigan University Public Radio.
  • On April 12, Professor Trahan spoke on the topic of Humanitarian Intervention, at the NY City Bar Association, on a panel with Ambassador Christian Wenaweser and the UK Legal Adviser, Helen Mulvein.

Lastly, during the month of April, Professor Trahan also wrote an op-ed entitled In Defense of Humanitarian Intervention, which appeared on the blog “Opinio Juris.”