Blog Profile / Washington Post: Monkey Cage

Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
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Archived Since:March 19, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Is the U.S. about to ‘cheat’ on the Iran nuclear deal? Here’s how this could backfire.

President Trump’s decision not to certify Iranian compliance with “the spirit” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, leaves the United States in a somewhat unexpected position. Trump effectively turned the JCPOA issue over to Congress to decide whether to reintroduce sanctions against Iran. Here’s the problem: […]

How political science can shed light on the Holocaust Museum’s Syria report

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum recently published a report evaluating U.S. engagement in the Syrian civil war. The report examined whether counterfactual U.S. policy decisions at five critical junctures would have reduced atrocities...Show More Summary

Candidate Trump attacked Obama’s executive orders. President Trump loves executive orders.

As he campaigned for the presidency, Donald Trump argued that Barack Obama’s frequent use of unilateral administrative tools made Obama a weak leader. “We have a president that can’t get anything done,” Trump told an interviewer in January 2016, “so he just keeps signing executive orders all over the place.” That spring he added, I […]

Why are Boeing and the U.S. in a trade war with Canada and the U.K.?

In a fierce trade dispute that involves three governments, U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co. and its Canadian rival Bombardier Inc. are facing off. Boeing has accused Bombardier of accepting billions in “unfair” Canadian subsidies that allowed the company to undercut its rivals on price. Show More Summary

Trump is pulling the U.S. out of UNESCO. The bigger pattern is the problem.

On Oct. 12, the Trump administration announced the United States would pull out of UNESCO — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded in 1945, UNESCO is perhaps best known for its World Heritage seal, used to brand and protect some of the planet’s most precious places, from the Taj Mahal to the Pyramids […]

If Trump doesn’t want a nuclear war with North Korea, a ‘No First Use’ pledge might work better than threats

Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea with “fire and fury” should it cross some ambiguous tripwire. By being vague about where that tripwire lies, Trump seems to believe that his threat, coupled with harsher economic sanctions, will force Kim Jong Un to back down. But just the opposite seems to have occurred. […]

Health insurance is good not just for individuals but for democracy

For the past seven months, Americans have watched and weighed in as Congress considered the continued existence of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last Thursday, the Trump administration announced that the government would stop subsidizing insurers for making premiums and deductibles more affordable for low-income customers. Most of the discussion to date has been about […]

President Trump didn’t pull out of the Iran deal. Here’s what that says about the politics of foreign policy.

Last week began with a bang: Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leading GOP voice on foreign policy, made startling comments disparaging President Trump, particularly his handling of foreign policy. Midweek, the world awaited Trump’s decision about the Iran nuclear deal. Even some who had opposed the Iran […]

When democracies are under attack, it’s time to rein in executive power

Democracy is under attack in Poland, and in other countries as well. For several months, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has pushed for new limits on judicial independence that would greatly expand the party’s power. Poles pushed back with mass street protests in July, and the European Union threatened to suspend Poland’s E.U. […]

Gay men and trans women were suddenly rounded up in Azerbaijan. Here’s why.

During the last two weeks of September, Azerbaijani police launched a violent campaign of “arresting and torturing men presumed to be gay or bisexual, as well as transgender women,” according to Human Rights Watch and local advocacy organizations. On Oct. 2, by all accounts, police released all the detainees, officially acknowledging that 83 had been detained. […]

The Dead Milkmen, ‘Moron’: The Week In One Song

This week: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly refers to President Trump as a ‘moron’ following an especially difficult meeting.  

The Iran nuclear deal isn’t so great — for Iran

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in 2015 between the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, known as P5, plus Germany and Iran, significantly limited Iran’s nuclear program. At the time, some were critical of President Barack Obama’s diplomatic approach, rather than other coercive levers. Two years ago, Sen. Tom Cotton […]

Puerto Rico’s troubles are far from over. The population’s health is at risk.

Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” — putting Puerto Rico on notice that federal relief workers may be recalled. But the images of the physical devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria throughout the Caribbean […]

To many Americans, being patriotic means being white

Vice President Pence portrayed his walk out of Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers as an of act patriotism. I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem. — Vice President Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017 Pence’s […]

Federal disaster aid for Puerto Rico isn’t foreign aid — but Trump acts that way

Puerto Rico was back in the news Thursday — this time because of a series of tweets from President Trump that “Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend….” and the warning that federal relief was not open-ended. Disaster assistance, like humanitarian assistance and other forms of foreign […]

Party members in Europe may not actually vote for their candidates. Here’s what’s going on.

In Germany’s federal election last month, the Liberals (FDP) more than doubled their vote share to 10.7 percent. Post-election analysis has focused primarily on the losses of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the rise of the anti-immigration, new national conservative party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Show More Summary

Austrians vote on Sunday. Will they turn to the right again?

In December 2016, Alexander Van der Bellen, a former leader of the Green Party, won Austria’s presidential election. Even though he barely defeated the candidate of the radical right Freedom Party (FPÖ), euphoric observers argued that “Austria stopped right-wing populism in its tracks.” Austrians again head to the polls on Sunday, this time to elect […]

There’s a massive humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps

More than half a million Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar since late August, escaping what U.N. officials have described as a classic case of ethnic cleansing. Myanmar’s army launched comprehensive attacks on Rohingya villages in the country’s Rakhine state after the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) — a Rohingya militant group — attacked […]

People are hyperventilating over a study of Russian propaganda on Facebook. Just breathe deeply.

In the past month, we learned that Russian operatives spent at least $100,000 on Facebook advertisements. We also learned that Russian actors used Facebook to organize offline anti-immigration protests. Just last week, a study estimated that political posts by a Russian troll factory (the Internet Research Agency) had an “organic reach” of between 340 million […]

Persuading voters is hard. That doesn’t mean campaigns should give up.

Political professionals in both parties are busy strategizing about how to persuade voters. Democratic operatives are fiercely debating how to win back working-class voters in key swing states. Meanwhile, the Republican Party establishment is puzzling over how to beat back populist primary challengers. Show More Summary

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