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News and Announcements

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Items Series Explores Novel Scholarly Perspectives
on US Gun Violence

The Council’s digital forum Items this month launched a series exploring new pathways to understanding gun violence in America politically, culturally, and from a public policy perspective. Series curator Jonathan Metzl of Vanderbilt University provides an opening essay exploring the state of play of social science research on this pressing and controversial issue and proposing an agenda for future inquiry.

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SSRC Establishes Book Series with Cambridge University Press

The Anxieties of Democracy (AoD) program has a new partnership with Cambridge University Press, which will publish several new titles under the banner of the “SSRC Anxieties of Democracy Series.” The series editors are John Ferejohn of New York University, Ira Katznelson of Columbia University, and Deborah Yashar of Princeton University. Opening the series will be the volume Can America Govern Itself?, emanating from the AoD Working Group on Institutions and edited by Frances Lee of the University of Maryland and Nolan McCarthy of Princeton University.

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New Initiative: Disinformation Research Mapping

The Media & Democracy program has created the Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative, designed to explore the wide-ranging impacts of “fake news,” disinformation, and misinformation on democracy. This initiative will track, collect, and synthesize the unprecedented amount of scholarly research about digital mis- and disinformation, election interference, online incivility, political polarization, and other related topics that has emerged in recent years. In the coming year, the Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative will launch a new web portal that will host comprehensive “living” literature reviews, reflection pieces by prominent experts, a news feed, and an extensive database of scholars and citations. The Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative is generously supported by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, and Reid Hoffman.

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Understanding Violent Conflict Program
Creates Congolese Scholar Network

The Understanding Violent Conflict program (UVC) launched ResCongo, the first network of Congolese scholars working on peace and security, at a conference held in Kinshasa last month. The latest innovation in UVC’s pioneering work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ResCongo is a virtual platform to promote exchanges between Congolese scholars divided by two decades of war and facilitate their participation in academic and policy discussions to rebuild their country. The network was developed in collaboration with the University of Kinshasa, the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Bukavu, and Ghent University in Belgium.

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New Measure of America Report
on Potential of Reconnecting Youth

The SSRC’s Measure of America program issued its latest report, Two Futures: The Economic Case for Keeping Youth on Track, at the Aspen Institute earlier this month. The latest in a series of groundbreaking reports on the subject of America’s disconnected youth (individuals ages 16–24 who are not in school or part of the workforce), the report presents compelling data on the enormous impact this issue asserts on America’s economy, near and long term. Public radio’s national program Marketplace recently featured the report.

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Join Us: Upcoming SSRC Events in NYC

Please join us, in-person or via livestream, for two upcoming events in New York City. On election eve, November 5, the Council inaugurates its partnership with Brooklyn Historical Society and presents “Elections in the Age of Trump,” featuring John Sides, professor of political science at George Washington University and editor of the Monkey Cage, the highly respected blog on politics of the Washington Post, discussing the 2018 midterms and his new book, Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America. Sides will be joined by journalist Clare Malone of FiveThirtyEight.

On November 30, the Council will present its highest honor, the Albert O. Hirschman Prize, to Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The centerpiece of the event, at the headquarters of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, will be Professor Jasanoff’s lecture, “Theory, Critique, and Discipline in a Post-Truth Age.” The Hirschman Prize is awarded every two years in recognition of singular achievement in research, theory, and public communication in the social sciences.


Of Note

The Understanding Violent Conflict program's multipronged China-Africa project released its first book, New Directions in Africa-China Studies, edited by Chris Alden (LSE) and Daniel Large (Central European University) and with a preface by UVC program director Tatiana Carayannis. . . . Leon Sigal, director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project, recently published an article in the Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament entitled “The Singapore Summit and Northeast Asian Security”. . . . SSRC president Alondra Nelson amplified the To Secure Knowledge Task Force report in a column in Why Social Science?, a publication of the Consortium of Social Science Associations.

Fellows Spotlight

Mamie Locke

Professor Mamie Locke

Mamie Locke is a professor of political science at Hampton University and a current grantee in the Anxieties of Democracy program’s Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants initiative, researching the tools used by the Congressional Black Caucus to pass its preferred legislation. Professor Locke is also a Virginia state senator and chair of the state’s Senate Democratic Caucus.


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