Political Science

Iowa, New Hampshire, and what’s next in the 2016 presidential race

February 2, 2016

It’s been a wild week in politics as the 2016 presidential race continues to heat up. Hillary Clinton won Iowa’s Democratic caucuses by a nose over Bernie Sanders, while Texas senator Ted Cruz showed up Donald Trump on the Republican side. With the racing moving on to New Hampshire in coming days, what’s next? What could this week’s happenings in Iowa tell us about the way the race is headed? University of Utah political science professor Jim Curry is available for commentary.

Jim Curry Cell: 301-325-4979| Email: james.curry@utah.edu

Will the Paris terrorist attacks close the borders for refugees around the world?

November 16, 2015

The world is still reeling from horrific terrorist attacks in Paris. As the story continues to unfold, new questions are arising about refugees’ future entry into Europe.

Desperation of families to escape a war-torn Syria and Europe’s escalating crisis over how to handle an influx of refugees has been an issue for months. What’s the significance of the migrant crisis and how could the recent terrorist attacks in Paris influence public policy and public opinion on the matter? Claudio Holzner, associate director for the Center for Latin American Studies and an associate professor in the U’s Political Science Department, can speak to the developing issues on the future of migrant populations.

Phone: 801-585-7988 | Email: claudio.holzner@poli-sci.utah.edu

Election night madness: Who will emerge as Salt Lake City’s new leaders?

October 30, 2015

One thing the Salt Lake City mayoral race hasn’t been this year? Boring. Former legislator Jackie Biskupski and incumbent Ralph Becker are expected to be down to the wire when the polls close on Nov. 3—and a number of other political races are also hotly contested. How will the results shape a number of Utah public policy issues? Matthew Burbank, an associate professor of political science, and Tim Chambless, a professor of political science, are available for election night commentary as well as analysis on election results.

Matthew Burbank Phone: 801-581-6313 | Email: mburbank@poli-sci.utah.edu
Tim Chambless Phone: 801-209-0931| Email: tchambless@poli-sci.utah.edu

The race to be the next house speaker

October 9, 2015

It’s been a wild week in Washington as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner to be the next speaker of the house in the wake of John Boehner’s resignation, dropped out of the race. What does the turn of events mean for Utah’s Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s chances to advance to a leadership position? University of Utah political science professors Tim Chambless and Jim Curry are available for commentary.

Tim Chambless Cell: 801-209-0931| Email: tchambless@poli-sci.utah.edu
Jim Curry Cell: 301-325-4979| Email: james.curry@utah.edu

The migrant crisis

September 11, 2015

The world is still reeling from a photo of a dead toddler from Syria washed ashore on a beach in Turkey, the latest image that speaks to the desperation of families to escape a war-torn Syria, and Europe’s escalating crisis over how to handle an influx of refugees. What’s the significance of the migrant crisis? Claudio Holzner, associate director for the Center for Latin American Studies and an associate professor in the U’s Political Science Department, can speak to the developing issues as the European Union grapples with how to handle growing migrant populations.
Phone: 801-585-7988 | Email: claudio.holzner@poli-sci.utah.edu

The upcoming vote in Congress on Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal

September 9, 2015

All eyes are on Congress and a pending vote on the Iran Nuclear Deal that is expected to take place before Sept. 17. The deal calls for the U.S. to lift economic sanctions against Iran in return for Iran’s agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the agreement would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, while others (mostly Republicans) in Congress have argued that Iran can’t be trusted to follow through on the deal. Earlier this week, news emerged that President Obama has secured enough votes to put the agreement in place. U law professor Amos Guiora is an expert on counterterrorism and national security. He is available to offer commentary on the Iran nuclear weapon deal and potential ramifications of any outcome. Guiora has written for the New York Times about his past involvement in prisoner release negotiations for Israel. He served 19 years in the Israel Defense Forces and was involved in the release of Palestinian prisoners in his role as a judge advocate general. Guiora can offer commentary on the question of national security in the middle east and what the deal will do to stabilize or not stabilize the middle east. He can also speak to the deal’s potential ramifications for the Islamic State group, what the deal means for other countries getting nuclear weapons and a host of other issues on this developing story.
Phone: 216-470-6386 | Email: amos.guiora@law.utah.edu

Rocky Anderson’s potential lawsuit around domestic spying during 2002 Olympics

August 14, 2015

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has plans to inform the FBI, National Security Agency and Department of Justice that he will sue them if the agencies don’t respond to claims of privacy violations connected to an alleged dragnet surveillance program during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The program allegedly monitored texts, emails and phone data. What are the chances that Anderson’s domestic spying case may move forward? Law professor Wayne McCormack can offer commentary on the merits of Anderson’s potential lawsuit. The suit, says McCormack, “would have some chance of success because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had not yet been interpreted to allow bulk record gather by NSA at the time.” He noted that defenses would include “good faith immunity,” “state secrets” and “emergency national security interests.” The case could make for some interesting arguments over who knew what and when, says McCormack. He is available for interviews on the subject.
Phone: 801-581-8494 | Email: wayne.mccormack@law.utah.edu

Campaign finance and Salt Lake City’s mayoral race

July 31, 2015

As primary elections for Salt Lake City’s mayoral race approach on Aug. 11, increased attention is being paid to campaign finances, with incumbent Mayor Ralph Becker and other candidates questioning campaign spending by opponent Jackie Biskupski, who recently posted billboards with an election message. James Curry, an assistant professor at the U’s Department of Political Science, can offer commentary on the campaign finance issues and political conflicts.
Phone: 301-325-4979 | Email: james.curry@poli-sci.utah.edu

Human sex trafficking

July 31, 2015

The U.S. State Department this week released its annual report on human trafficking, outlining human rights abuses of people forced into sex work. This year’s report included a section on slavery in the global supply chains of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture. Law professor Erika George has researched trafficking—a subject the law school will be sponsoring an event on later this year. She is available for comment on the recently released report, as well as a vote in Congress this week on a federal law that would model California’s transparency mandate for supply chains.
Phone: 801-581-7358 | Email: erika.george@law.utah.edu

Incest, the Duggars and public policy

June 5, 2015

TLC has pulled its hit series, “19 Kids and Counting,” after one of the show’s stars, Josh Duggar, admitted to molesting several young girls, including his sisters, when he was a teenager. While news of the development involving the conservative Christian family shocked many, the issue of incest in families occurs in many cases but is often not discussed because it’s an uncomfortable topic. Lina Svedin, acting director of the U’s Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy programs, is currently working on a book related to incest and how social taboos regulate behavior. Svedin’s research focuses on incest from a protracted social problem perspective and addresses how taboos as a way to regulate social behaviors work poorly. Her work examines how when such taboos are carried into the policy sphere, they end up creating more damage than good in terms of combatting the problem. She is available to talk about broader issues involving incest and policymaking in the wake of the Duggar case, which has cast a spotlight on a difficult subject.
Phone: 801-581-6781 | Email: lina.svedin@poli-sci.utah.edu