Recent Headlines

Ariel White

When the media is in on the experiment

With a readership that runs into the millions, few would argue that the New York Times doesn’t influence public debate on a host of issues. But what about a news outlet with a circulation of only about 50,000?

Richard Nielsen

Why some Muslim clerics become jihadists

Peter Dizikes MIT News Office

What turns people into radical jihadist clerics? A new book by an MIT political scientist offers a new answer: thwarted career ambitions.

Elizabeth Dekeyser

An American in Paris

Leda Zimmerman MIT Political Science

Moving to another country often sparks serious thinking about identity and belonging. This is doubly true for Dekeyser: She is an American in Paris, on a multi-year research project investigating the ways Islam shapes people’s sense of citizenship and allegiance to the French state.

Jesse L. White Jr. PhD '79

Jesse L. White, Jr. (1979) endows fellowship fund

Leda Zimmerman

Mississippi native Jesse L. White Jr. PhD ’79 came to MIT with the aim of understanding voting behavior in his home state and gaining a broader perspective on the world. As a political science doctoral student, he found what he was looking for: “Growing up in a very provincial environment, going to a world-class institution was life-altering,” White says. “I feel like I owe so much to MIT.”

Mens et Manus: Stewart and Hersh

Mens et Manus America examines election integrity

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Various concerns about the security of U.S. elections have arisen over the past two decades, some more significant than others. While many studies have shown that voter fraud, for instance, is vanishingly rare in the U.S., what about the state of electoral administration, lost votes, and cyberattacks? On Oct. 16, two experts teamed up at MIT to share insights from their research on what is and isn't working in America's electoral system.

Kathleen Thelen

Uber a 'shared shock' around the world that created a perfect experiment

Mary Beth Faller, ASU Now ASU Now

The ride-sharing platform Uber burst onto the scene a few years ago, creating a “shared shock” in several countries at about the same time with its disruptive practices. And that makes it the perfect natural experiment. “For a comparative political scientist like me who likes to study how things work across different countries, Uber is a wonderful case because it spread quickly across the globe,” said Kathleen Thelen, the Ford Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Talia Weiss

Bridging the Science Policy Divide

Fatima Husain MIT News

In the eighth grade, in response to being asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Talia Weiss critically examined her aspirations and gathered them into one succinct statement: “I wanted to be a writer, dancer, and an astrophysicist,” she recalls. Weiss, now an MIT senior majoring in physics, can comfortably say she’s stuck to her goals, save for a little variation.

Adam Berinsky

The Political Rumor Mill

Scholars Strategy Network/No Jargon

Political rumors are spreading across the country and the widening divide between parties is only making them more potent. Professor Adam Berinsky discusses where these rumors come from and what, if anything, can be done to combat them.

IPL Delegation

International Policy Lab issues new call for proposals

Dan Pomeroy, International Policy Lab

The International Policy Lab (IPL) within the Center for International Studies has issued its third Institute-wide call for proposals. The IPL helps leading MIT researchers develop the policy implications of their research and better inform the policymaking community in the United States and abroad. It provides funding and staff support for translating scholarly work into digestible, policy-relevant materials and for direct outreach to policymakers.

Ketian Zheng

Probing the behavior of an international “bully”

Leda Zimmerman MIT Political Science

Although she grew up in a family of Communist Party stalwarts, Ketian Vivian Zhang never felt entirely at home in China’s patriotic education system. “I learned that the world was less black and white than the Party made it out to be,” says Zhang, a doctoral student in political science. By the time she was in high school, she was actively seeking alternative perspectives on China and its role in the world.

Vipin Narang

Making sense of nuclear threats

Peter Dizikes MIT News

"I’ve been fortunate to have great graduate students from the day I got here, and I’m very proud of how they’ve done," Vipin Narang says.

Teppei Yamamoto

Introducing the Political Methodology Lab (PML)

Teppei Yamamoto, Director, MIT Political Methodology Lab (PML) The Political Methodology Lab

PML's mission is to foster research and education in the area of quantitative political methodology through various channels. We are always looking for innovative ways to fulfill our goal in the midst of constantly advancing technology.

Evan Lieberman

Political science debuts on MITeX

Leda Zimmerman MIT Political Science

New course takes a deep dive into African democracies. “The course is about Africa, where there are specific challenges to democratic government, but the questions and ideas that arise are relevant in any political context,” says Lieberman.

M. Taylor Fravel

Fravel named Acting Director of CIS

Michelle Nhuch Center for International Studies

M. Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science and member of the Security Studies Program at MIT, will become acting director of the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) on July 1, 2017.

Vipin Narang

Vipin Narang named to Open Minds 2017


Vipin Narang is named to Open Minds 2017. On their 2017 list, Open explains "India, we are often told, is a country with a chequered past and an uncertain future. But as a nation, it has managed to flourish and triumph against daunting odds and terrifying prophecies, thanks to people such as these who play a pivotal role in championing truth and action. This list, therefore, is a celebration of our faith in hope and our ability to push boundaries, fight off challenges, overcome the odds, solve problems, invest in aspirations, and, above all, dream big."

Barry Posen

Posen wins 2017 Frank E. Perkins Award

MIT Institute Awards

Barry Posen is the 2017 recipient of the Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. The Frank E. Perkins Award is presented to a faculty member who, as a graduate student advisor, demonstrates unbounded compassion and dedication towards students.

Richard Nielsen, Charles stewart, Darren Acemoglu

Nielsen, Stewart, & Acemoglu, awarded Carnegie fellowships

Peter Dizikes MIT News

MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and political scientists Richard Nielsen and Charles Stewart III have been named to the 2017 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows, a prestigious honor supporting research in the social sciences and humanities. The MIT trio is among 35 scholars and intellectuals receiving the fellowships, which are awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Each fellow receives up to $200,000 to support a research sabbatical.

Tom O'Grady

An ear for political language

Leda Zimmerman MIT Political Science

Doctoral student Tom O’Grady maps the rise of anti-welfare rhetoric in decades of parliamentary speeches

Renato Lima de Oliveira

Grounded in Geology

Sarah C. Baldwin MIT Political Science

PhD student Renato Lima de Oliveira examines how a country's natural resources affect its politics and policies.

Bern Notice

Peter Dizikes MIT News

In MIT speech, Bernie Sanders contends future of U.S. politics “must be” progressive.

Inda's long range missile

India May Be Rethinking Nuclear First Strikes

Max Fisher The New York Times

India may be reinterpreting its nuclear weapons doctrine, circumstantial evidence suggests, with potentially significant ramifications for the already tenuous nuclear balance in South Asia.

Richard Nielsen

3 Questions with Richard Nielsen: How political science helps combat terrorism

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Richard Nielsen is an MIT assistant professor of political science who writes on international law, the political economy of human rights, political violence, and political methodology. His current book project, Deadly Clerics, explores why some Muslim clerics adopt the ideology of militant jihad while most do not.