Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

Five things to know about the British election

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a decisive victory in last week’s general election. Political scientist Brendan O’Leary, an expert on U.K. politics, tells Penn Today his five main takeaways from the election results.

Kristen de Groot

How rituals shape our world

An Annenberg class about ritual communication encourages students to employ ethnography and textual analysis to think about the unique language of rituals and their endurance.

Penn Today Staff

New leadership at Fels Institute

The 82-year-old Fels Institute of Government’s signature Public Policy in Practice workshops continues the legacy of providing students with a practical program in public administration.

Kristen de Groot



In the News


The Washington Post

Trump’s sarcastic response to Mitt Romney’s negative test for coronavirus follows years of bad blood

Claire Finkelstein of the Law School commented on President Trump’s negative reaction to Mitt Romney’s self-quarantine. “[Trump] would have had a moment there to unify the country around this crisis and to show his moral leadership in doing so,” she said.

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The Washington Post

These social policies could help the U.S. cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Julia Lynch of the School of Arts and Sciences wrote about the U.S.’s structural vulnerabilities to the effects of COVID-19 and what we can learn from other wealthy democracies about how to cope.

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The Hill

Lessons learned in an emergency

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno wrote about how the U.S. can apply lessons learned from the past to the coronavirus pandemic. “The country needs to reorient itself to the advantages that the U.S. military can provide in this crisis,” he wrote. “If we look at our recent history, we will find lessons that can help with tactics and strategy.”

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The Washington Post

How can Trump fight the pandemic when he’s chasing experts out of government?

John Gans of Perry World House wrote about the administration’s removal of “disloyal” civil servants and the effect on the effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic. “This sort of purge is undermining government at a time when it is needed most,” he wrote.

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The New York Times

Fed could bolster groups of businesses and localities with funds in G.O.P. bill

Peter Conti-Brown of the Wharton School said the Federal Reserve should avoid helping specific industries with emergency funding. The banking system has a “convenient set of easy tools that allow policymakers and politicians to skip the burden of their own accountability,” said Conti-Brown. “It’s the kind of set the Fed does not want to make today—which is to pick winners and losers.”

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