Joshua Tucker

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Rioters pass a sledgehammer forward in their attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg News)

The New York Times published a piece titled “The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media.” This of course follows in tradition of many who have raised concerns about how social media can undermine democracy. Yet not too long ago, after the Arab Spring, social media was being hailed as a “liberation technology” that would help spread democracy. How can this be?

In a 2017 article in the Journal of Democracy, we answer this question with two observations. First, social media is a tool for giving voice to those excluded from access to the mainstream media. Second, despite the fact that social media democratizes access to information, those using it can simultaneously censor and manipulate information to try to silence others’ voices.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters hold the Ukraine flag and anti-government placards at a rally in Kiev, Ukraine. (Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The journal Post-Soviet Affairs recently published a special issue on politics and identity in Ukraine. The question of Russian vs. Ukrainian identity has been central to the study of Ukrainian politics for decades now, but especially so since the “Euromaidan” protests of 2014, Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea, and continued violent conflict among Ukraine, Ukrainian separatists, and Russia-supported forces in the southeast. With this in mind, I spoke to one of the guest editors of the special issue, Olga Onuch, associate professor in politics at the University of Manchester and author of “Mapping Mass Mobilizations: Understanding Revolutionary Moments in Argentina and Ukraine” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).…  Seguir leyendo »

Yesterday Nigel Farage, who led the campaign for Brexit, suggested on television that perhaps the U.K. should vote again on the measure to leave the European Union. In light of that comment TMC is reposting this June 30, 2016 analysis from TMC editor Joshua Tucker. 

Despite the results of the Brexit referendum, some are still questioning whether Britain will actually leave the European Union. At the moment, no one knows for what sure will happen, especially given the current chaotic state of British politics, and this post is not meant to be an attempt at predicting the future. But for now, the decision of whether Brexit actually occurs is a political one, as opposed to a legal obligation.…  Seguir leyendo »

As America awakes to the morning after protests in Ferguson and across the country, much will be made of the role played by social media in those protests.

At NYU’s Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) laboratory, we’ve been spending a lot of time over the past year thinking about the ways in which social media can impact the decision of an individual to join a protest (primarily examining data from Ukraine and Turkey). When political scientists think about protest, we often use the framework of a collective action problem: a group has a goal it would like to achieve, but individual participation in that group activity is costly.…  Seguir leyendo »

In this file photo, Poland’s opposition party Nowoczesna leader Ryszard Petru (C) with other parliamentarians hold a card reading ‘#Free Media in Sejm’ during a protest in Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament in Warsaw, Poland, December 16, 2016. The ruling Law and Order Party had proposed rules limiting news media access to the parliament. (EPA/MARCIN OBARA)

As we head into election season in Europe, the question that dominated the past spring’s elections remains on everyone’s mind: What will be the fate of populist movements, parties and candidates? I reached out to Stanford University political scientist Anna Grzymała-Busse, who just guest-edited a special issue of Slavic Review on “Global Populisms,” and is  the 2017 President of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. What follows is a lightly edited version of our discussion.

JT: You recently were the guest editor of a special online issue of Slavic Review on “Global Populisms.” First off, what exactly do you mean by that term?…  Seguir leyendo »

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, in “Game of Thrones. (Courtesy of HBO)

So you might have heard that “Game of Thrones” returns for Season 7 on HBO this Sunday. Season 6 ended with insurgent Daenerys Targaryen (the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, Khaleesi, Breaker of Chains, etc.) departing at long last for Westeros to take the Iron Throne.

Because political scientists know a thing or two about seizing power — and perhaps more important, keeping power once you have it — I asked a number of colleagues what lessons they could offer Daenerys. Below are lightly edited transcripts of their responses.

How should the Mother of Dragons seize power?

Andrew Lotz, University of Pittsburgh: The common advice about political success from throughout the Iron Kingdoms seems to be in line with Niccolò Machiavelli’s suggestions in “The Prince.” …  Seguir leyendo »