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New Constitution or Nothing! The Promise and Pitfalls of Chile's...

In the wee hours of Friday, November 15th, Chile reached a historic milestone: Congressional representatives from nearly all political parties, across the political spectrum, signed an agreement to open the path to a new constitution. After four dramatic weeks of mass protests, and following two long days of intense negotiations, the national political leaders thus responded to one of the principal demands of the mobilized citizenry. In an uprising driven by pent-up rage over inequality, exclusion, and perceived systemic injustice, citizens have insisted on the replacement of Chile’s current constitution. That charter, inherited from the military dictatorship, was designed to entrench a neoliberal socio-economic model, and during the thirty years since the transition back to democracy, it has effectively served to prevent reforms that would strengthen the public sector and more equitably distribute wealth and power. Citizens thus view the revamping of that illegitimate document as a necessary part of the transition to a more just and democratic social order.
Nancy Luxon poses for a portrait.

Archives of Infamy

History provides invaluable insight into the modern world. Professor Nancy Luxon is using letters from the 18th century to gain new perspectives on how ideas of political power and family crystalize into social relationships and power regimes. "The letters help us think about the ways power and justice touch on the lives of ordinary people," Luxon says.

The Politics of Loyalty

In a properly functioning democracy, what is supposed to come first: beliefs about what kinds of government policies would be best for oneself, or for the nation, or for one’s party? Hold that thought for a beat, and think about the concept of “democratic inversion,” as explained by Professor Howard Lavine.
Howard Lavine

The Politics of Loyalty

Howard Lavine, professor of political science, focuses his research on the area of political psychology. Lavine believes there’s been a shift in American values that focus more on political party rather than personal beliefs. “People are less motivated by policy substance than they are with showing their loyalty to the team,” he says.
Helen M. Kinsella standing outside of Northrop

War Fatigue

Associate Professor Helen M. Kinsella’s work focusing on gender and violence has taken her to Central America and Sri Lanka. She examines how the distinction between combatants and civilians is decided and maintained in war and international law. She is currently working on a book on war and sleep.
Portrait of Mark Bell

Nuclear Reaction

The United States, Great Britain, and South Africa have all utilized nuclear weapons in different ways. How are international politics affected by a country’s nuclear arsenal? Assistant Professor Mark Bell explores this question.