Hal Roberts presents Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

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Contact person: Jackie Baker

Is social media destroying democracy? Are Russian propaganda or "Fake news" entrepreneurs on Facebook undermining our sense of a shared reality? A conventional wisdom has emerged since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 that new technologies and their manipulation by foreign actors played a decisive role in his victory and are responsible for the sense of a "post-truth" moment in which disinformation and propaganda thrives.

Network Propaganda challenges that received wisdom through the most comprehensive study yet published on media coverage of American presidential politics from the start of the election cycle in April 2015 to the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency. Analyzing millions of news stories together with Twitter and Facebook shares, broadcast television and YouTube, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture of contemporary American political communications. Through data analysis and detailed qualitative case studies of coverage of immigration, Clinton scandals, and the Trump Russia investigation, the book finds that the right-wing media ecosystem operates fundamentally differently than the rest of the media environment.

The authors argue that longstanding institutional, political, and cultural patterns in American politics interacted with technological change since the 1970s to create a propaganda feedback loop in American conservative media. This dynamic has marginalized center-right media and politicians, radicalized the right wing ecosystem, and rendered it susceptible to propaganda efforts, foreign and domestic. For readers outside the United States, the book offers a new perspective and methods for diagnosing the sources of, and potential solutions for, the perceived global crisis of democratic politics.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception with a book sale and signing will follow in the foyer. 

Charlie Cook: A Preview of the 2018 Midterm Elections

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Opening Reception at 5:30 pm.

Charlie Cook is editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report, a columnist for the National Journal Group, and a Political Analyst for NBC News. Charlie is considered one of the nation’s leading independent, non-partisan authorities on American politics and U.S. elections.

Political Science Political Economy

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar David Weiman Lecture: Barriers to Reentry? A Labor Market Perspective on Mass Incarceration

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Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar David Weiman questions the conventional utilitarian calculus that has favored the use of prison as a criminal sanction, even for more marginal offenders convicted of less serious, victimless crimes. His analysis of the labor market experiences of released prisoners identifies an important unintended social cost of mass incarceration. A prison record, he shows, further isolates released prisoners in the new “urban” labor market, where they are confined to secondary jobs with lower pay, higher turnover, and dimmer prospects.  The evidence also suggests that employers reflect the spatial-racial concentration of mass incarceration by tarnishing all young less educated inner city minority men with the stigma of a prison record.  The significant “barriers to entry” facing released prisoners do not preclude their “going straight,” but significantly diminish the odds. In turn, their greater recidivism risk has sustained the high rates of incarceration despite the recent sharp downturn in crime rates.

Economics Political Economy
Phi Beta Kappa

Political Economy

The centerpiece of the new Program in Political Economy is an interdisciplinary major. This major will entail the study of the important works which laid the foundations of economic and political systems throughout the world and the major critiques of those systems. We promote research and education by hiring well-known scholars who have specialized in the study of political economy, the history of economic thought, and the moral and political foundations of society.

Political Economy Speaker: Dr. Jerry Ellig

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Decision-Making 101: Regulatory Impact Analysis Federal agencies are supposed to conduct careful economic analysis called Regulatory Impact Analysis to inform their decisions about major regulations. This presentation will explain the main elements of Regulatory Impact Analysis, evaluate the quality of agencies analysis, and explore why some agencies produce better analysis than others. Dr. Jerry Ellig is Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. For additional information, contact John Murray at 843-3577 or murrayj@rhodes.edu. This program is sponsored by the Program in Political Economy.

 

Political Economy