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Why Won’t Democrats Say They Want Government to Solve Problems?

All 10 Democratic candidates in the Houston debate Sept. 13 spoke about investing public money – taxpayer dollars – in education, health care and economic opportunity for Americans. Those ideas depend on an underlying point none of them came out and said directly: Government can help citizens live better lives and achieve their dreams. Why...

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Chance, Not Ideology, Drives Political Polarization

Ever-widening divisions between Democrats and Republicans are believed to reflect deeply rooted ideological differences, but a new study points to a radically different interpretation: it may be mostly a matter of luck. It’s a phenomenon that Michael Macy, Cornell University professor and director of the Social Dynamics Laboratory, calls an “opinion cascade” – in which...

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How Moral Obligation Drives Protest

Researchers have long studied the motives that inspire people to join in collective action. Three factors have received particular attention: anger caused by apparent social injustice; belief in the efficacy of collective action; and politicised identity. In 2008, these factors informed a predictive model of collective action – SIMCA, or a Social Identity Model of...

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Study Examines How Picture Books Introduce Kids to Politics

Politics have been known to put adults to sleep, but political engagement could be part of children’s bedtime stories as well. Lessons about the importance of politics could be part of their early education. A new University of Kansas study analyzed political messages in the most popular picture books of the last several years to...

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Politicians Walk the Walk, When It Comes to Financial Investments

For the most part, politicians do put their money where their mouths are. A recent study of U.S senators and representatives finds that the more liberal a politician’s voting record is, the more likely the politician is to invest in socially responsible stocks. “Socially responsible investments refer to investments in companies that reflect traditionally liberal...

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Following Federal Guidelines May Help Acceptance of Police Use of Body-Worn Cameras

Thousands of police departments have adopted body-worn cameras over the last few years. Previous research on acceptance of the cameras has yielded mixed findings. A new study that examined how Tempe, Arizona, planned and carried out a body-worn camera program found that adhering to federal guidelines helped ensure integration and acceptance among police, citizens, and...

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Holding Law Enforcement Accountable for Electronic Surveillance

When the FBI filed a court order in 2016 commanding Apple to unlock the San Bernandino shooter’s iPhone, the news made headlines across the globe. Yet every day there are tens tens of thousands of of other court orders asking tech companies to turn over Americans’ private data. Many of these orders never see the...

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Twenty-Five Percent of Seafood Sold in Metro Vancouver Is Mislabelled

A quarter of the seafood tested from Metro Vancouver grocery stores, restaurants and sushi bars is not what you think it is. A new UBC study used DNA barcoding to determine that 70 of 281 seafood samples collected in Metro Vancouver between September 2017 and February 2018 were mislabelled. Researchers from UBC’s Lu Food Safety...