Political Science

Politics, pandemics, and protests 

Exactly how the coronavirus pandemic, the current unrest, and the nation’s economic woes will affect November’s presidential election is unclear, but voter turnout will be key, according to two political experts. 

Kristen de Groot

COVID-19 checkup

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and a physician, gave an update on the pandemic during a Perry World House virtual earlier this week. He says summer is a good time to open up in stages but cautions about fall.

Kristen de Groot

Diagnosing Russia’s COVID-19 response

Despite the Russian government’s assertions that it has the COVID-19 crisis under control, the outbreak is in the beginning stages in the country and three experts says Vladimir Putin’s political fate may rest on how he responds to the crisis.

Kristen de Groot

How can hospitals address scarce resources during COVID-19?

Most hospitals have general contingency plans for resource allocation in times of medical scarcity, but not detailed guidelines for the process of actually making those allocation decisions. School of Arts and Sciences political scientist and LDI Senior Fellow Julia Lynch has created those guidelines.

Hoag Levins

Human rights during the coronavirus pandemic

During a virtual event at Perry World House, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, spoke to PWH interim director Michael Horowitz about the importance of centering human rights and about holding governments accountable in a time of pandemic.

Kristen de Groot

Coronavirus and the election

Political science professor Marc Meredith shares his thoughts with Penn Today on what the coronavirus pandemic could mean for primaries, traditional campaigning activities, and voter turnout.

Kristen de Groot

Media Contact


In the News

WAMU Radio (Washington, D.C.)

Social media usage is at an all-time high. That could mean a nightmare for democracy

Pinar Yildirim of the Wharton School spoke about the uptick in social media usage amidst the pandemic and about its impact on politics. “If you asked me two months ago, I would have had very different predictions about social media’s role on the election,” she said. “But now it’s become the primary source of information and social communication.”


Voice of America

Taiwan’s Tsai to treat cautiously on cross-strait relations at inauguration: Experts

Jacques deLisle of the Law School and School of Arts & Sciences says Tsai Ing-wen, the recently re-elected president of Taiwan, will probably reference political unrest in Hong Kong in her inaugural speech. “I think she has to walk a fine line in how much to reference the Hong Kong situation which obviously is key to her re-election but neuralgic to Beijing,” he said.


Dallas Morning News

Book banning is a bipartisan game

Jonathan Zimmerman of the Graduate School of Education wrote about efforts by those at both ends of the political spectrum to censor certain books in schools. “It’s too easy to mock the conservatives out in Alaska. It’s a lot harder to look in the mirror, and to ask whether we liberals might be imitating them,” he wrote.


The Washington Post

Here’s a fair approach to calculating COVID-19 specific aid to the states

Robert Inman of the Wharton School and David Skeel of the Law School wrote an op-ed proposing a fair method to calculate federal aid for states. “Because some states will be hit harder than others, Congress should allocate the $358 billion based on each state’s rate of COVID-19 cases and related unemployment claims,” they wrote.



The creative thinker who should be Biden's vice president

Benjamin Jealous of the Annenberg School for Communication wrote an op-ed about Stacey Abrams, whom he believes should be Joe Biden’s vice presidential candidate. Abrams brings to politics “creative approaches to complex challenges, and given the current pandemic crisis we are facing, we need her creative thinking, now more than ever,” writes Jealous.


The Washington Post

Will the coronavirus make conservatives love government spending?

Yphtach Lelkes of the Annenberg School for Communication contributed to an analysis of how Republican voters and leaders are reacting to coronavirus relief proposals that involve significant government spending and intervention.