UNH Political Scientist Named Visiting Scholar at Harvard

February 17, 2017

photo of Elizabeth Carter

Elizabeth Carter, assistant professor of political science, has been named a visiting scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) at Harvard University. She is currently in residence at the Center for the spring 2017 term.

At CES, Carter is working on her book project “For What it’s Worth: The Politics of Market Barriers in European Luxury Markets.” The project investigates linkages between political organization, market protection and value construction in luxury markets in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the European Union. She is analyzing dynamics between trust and power across the supply chain, and their relationship to prices and perceived production quality.

Carter earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of California Berkeley. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. Her dissertation focused on producer organization and the creation of value in the French and Italian wine markets. Her current research interests include supply chain organization, regulatory politics and price theory.

This year, CES is hosting 25 social scientists from a range of disciplines who are carrying out innovative research on Europe while in residence at the Center. CES is the premier academic institution for the study of European history and culture, as well as for debate and discussion on contemporary Europe and its future role in world affairs.


UNH Classics Professor Awarded Research Fellowship in Germany

February 3, 2017

Harriet Fertik

Harriet Fertik, assistant professor of classics, has been awarded a research fellowship for postdoctoral researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She will spend the academic year 2017-2018 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables highly-qualified scientists and scholars from abroad who are just embarking on their academic careers and who completed their doctorates less than four years ago to spend extended periods of research in Germany.

During her fellowship, Fertik will work on a new book project, “Outside the Ideal Community: Spaces for Education and Politics in Greco-Roman Antiquity and the Works of W. E. B. Du Bois.” She will investigate education in political communities that do not value the equal participation of its citizens in public discourse and action.

“While much work at the intersection of political and educational philosophy in classical studies focuses on the formation of the ideal community and how to educate its members,” says Fertik, “I investigate how, where and why education takes place when these ideals cannot be realized. I will use W. E. B. Du Bois’ discussions of classical training for African Americans to frame my study of education and politics in the ancient world.”

While recent scholarship has paid greater attention to the influence of Du Bois’ classical training in his thinking about politics, education and race, says Fertik, no one has yet examined the potential of Du Bois’ work to shed light on key issues in classical antiquity.

Humboldt-Universität has an active program in African-American studies, and Du Bois himself was a doctoral student there in the late 19th century.

“The Humboldt fellowship will give me the time necessary to make significant progress in researching and writing this book,” says Fertik.

Fertik has also received a faculty fellowship from the UNH Center for the Humanities to support this project.


UNH Research Finds Trump Voters Stand Apart on Renewable Energy and Climate

February 2, 2017

key findings chart

Only 25 percent of those who say they voted for Donald Trump agree with the scientific consensus that human activities are changing Earth’s climate, according to new survey research at UNH. In contrast, large majorities of Clinton voters as well as third-party voters and nonvoters believe humans are causing climate change and want to see renewable energy development be a priority.

Climate change received little media attention during the 2016 presidential campaign, but recent surveys indicate that climate change and related energy issues are taken seriously by a growing majority of the public. Almost three-fourths of Americans surveyed after the election said that renewable energy should be a higher national priority than more drilling for oil and about two-thirds agree with the scientific consensus that humans are changing Earth’s climate.

“We saw a common theme when talking about what actions those surveyed wanted to see to reduce the risks of climate change,” said Larry Hamilton, professor of sociology and a senior Carsey fellow. “While renewable energy and lifestyle changes were popular, cap-and-trade and carbon tax were not. Overall, Trump voters are much less likely than other voter groups to support any action to reduce the risks of climate change.”

“Although public recognition and a sense of urgency lag behind science, they are measurably rising,” Hamilton added. “Given the outcome of the 2016 election and the belief patterns seen in these surveys, the willingness of the U.S. to respond is in question.”

The full report can be found here: https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/energy-climate-trump.


On the Trail of Witches

October 27, 2016

photo of Jorge Abril Sanchez

excerpted/edited from a longer piece by Jennifer Saunders

Goblins, ghosts, werewolves, witches. At this time of year, those words conjure images of Halloween and favorite scary stories.

For one member of the UNH faculty, however, research into the folklore and fears of the past has attracted the attention of Smithsonian.com. Jorge Abril Sánchez, a lecturer in Spanish in the department of languages, literatures, and cultures, was contacted over the summer by a Smithsonian reporter to share his expertise for an article on the Basque country in Spain, the site of the largest witch trial in world history.

In Spain over a five-year period in the early 1600s, more than 7,000 people were accused of witchcraft, at least 2,000 were “examined” — with many of those investigations involving torture — and 11 lost their lives.

Abril Sánchez confirms there are some similarities between what happened in the Salem, Mass. witch trials and what happened in Spain. In both instances, children played a key role, with many manipulated to retaliate against familial enemies. And, in Spain and Salem, anyone who did not fit the mold of the ruling religion or government was at risk for persecution.

There were differences, however.  In Spain, he notes, there were defenders within the church who were skeptical about the accusations. Of the more than 7,000 accused, six were killed while five died in jail before all 11 were eventually pardoned — compared to Salem, where 20 people of the 200 accused were killed.

Read the full story in UNH Today.

 


Faculty Research: Water Concerns Unite NH Citizen Activists

August 2, 2016

water bottles

A Community Rights Movement Transcends Party, Age, and Gender

Associate professor of sociology Cliff Brown has published a research brief through the Carsey School of Public Policy that explores how citizens in three New Hampshire towns — Nottingham, Barrington and Barnstead — successfully united against a private water-bottling company, USA Springs, that would have pumped 400,000 gallons of water daily from the community groundwater. Commencing their fight in 2001, community activists eventually took their case to the State Supreme Court, and, along the way, developed and passed ground-breaking local ordinances in all three towns that prohibit corporations from taking community water. USA Springs eventually went bankrupt and the plant was never completed.

READ THE BRIEF


Ken Johnson Named Carnegie Fellow

April 19, 2016

Ken Johnson

UNH professor of sociology Kenneth Johnson has been named a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He is among just 33 scholars nationwide selected to receive the country’s most generous and most prestigious fellowships to advance research in the social sciences and humanities.

Fellows receive up to $200,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to fund scholarly research and writing aimed at addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges to U.S. democracy and international order. As a fellow, Johnson will advance and expand his work on the changing demographic structure of rural America and its implications. He’ll mine demographic data for insights into the impact of the Great Recession and an influx of Hispanics on rural America.

Read more.


UNH Research Finds Changing Granite State Population Likely to Have Big Impact on Presidential Primary

January 27, 2016

key findings chart

More than 30 percent of potential voters in the Granite State were either not old enough to vote in 2008 or lived in another state. These younger voters and recent migrants have the potential to change the political landscape of New Hampshire in the coming presidential primary and November election.

The state’s established voters (39 percent), those who have resided in the state since at least 2008, and recent migrants (38 percent) are more likely to identify as Republicans than young voters (33 percent). More young voters also consider themselves to be liberal (35 percent) than either migrants (26 percent) or established voters (23 percent). These findings are based on analysis of demographic, polling and voter registration data. The influence of young voters (129,000 celebrated their 18th birthday between 2008 and 2015) is heightened by the loss of 68,000 older residents from death.

“Young voters and people who have moved into the state in recent years are two powerful demographic forces that are reshaping the New Hampshire electorate,” said co-author Kenneth Johnson, Carsey School senior demographer and professor of sociology at UNH, who wrote the report with UNH Survey Center Director Andy Smith and associate professor of political science Dante Scala. “Only 45 percent of the population residing in New Hampshire was born in the state. In comparison, nationwide 68 percent of the U.S.-born population lives in the same state where they were born. So judging what’s going to happen in the New Hampshire primary based on what’s happened in the past is perilous.”

The report finds that between 2008 and 2015, 197,000 potential voters moved to New Hampshire – including a substantial number from the Boston area. These newcomers, combined with the 129,000 young residents reaching their 18th birthdays, represent a significant change in a state with just over one million potential voters.

“The changing demographic landscape also underscores the need for political pollsters in New Hampshire to carefully assess their sampling methods,” said Smith, who is also an associate professor of political science. “The high percentage of new voters means that pollsters should not rely on lists of previous primary voters to draw samples because they would systematically exclude a high fraction of the electorate, including many young voters who have shown a propensity to support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.”

“New Hampshire has one of the most mobile populations in the nation,” said Scala. “In addition to these powerful demographic forces of change, mortality has further diminished the older generations of voters long associated with New Hampshire tradition as a bastion of Yankee Republicanism.”

To download a copy of the report, go to https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/nh-electorate.


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