Politics + Society – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Scorpions used to be a rural problem in Brazil. Now, residents of São Paulo and other urban areas are dealing with an infestation of these venomous creatures. AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini

Venomous yellow scorpions are moving into Brazil’s big cities – and the infestation may be unstoppable

Brazil's scorpion infestation, which is terrorizing residents of São Paulo and other major cities, is a classic 'wicked problem.' That means officials must think outside-the-box to fix it.
A rally celebrating the second anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, March 18, 2016. AP/Ivan Sekretarev

Autocracies that look like democracies are a threat across the globe

Almost one-third of countries around the world are authoritarian regimes with the trappings of democracy. Their bad behavior poses a threat to real democracies, as the United States recently learned.
Trump before delivering the State of the Union address with Pelosi and Pence. Doug Mills/The New York Times/Pool via REUTERS

Immigration, legislation, investigation and child poverty: 4 scholars respond to Trump’s State of the Union

Four scholars weigh in on President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech, exploring his statements on immigration, childhood poverty, the border wall and the investigations into his campaign.
A man holds up a joint during a 2017 rally to support the legalization of marijuana in Washington, D.C. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Why do so many Americans now support legalizing marijuana?

As politically polarized as the country may seem, when it comes to marijuana, Americans across the spectrum have changed their minds. A new study says it's all thanks to the media.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a 2014 press conference in Bahrain. AP/Hasan Jamali

Why Jamal Khashoggi’s murder took place in a consulate

Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder happened at a consulate, a space not subject to the laws of the host country, Turkey. That means the alleged murderers did not fear interference by local authorities.
Mauro still has enough money to buy the loyalty of Venezuela’s military — but his government is going bankrupt, so that will change. Reuters/Handout

Odds of military coup in Venezuela rise every day Maduro stays in office

A coup seems so imminent in Venezuela that people are debating whether Maduro's overthrow would be good or bad for Venezuelan democracy. But history suggests a coup may be less likely than it seems.
The line of succession works like this: If Trump is removed from office, Pence takes over. If both Trump and Pence go, Pelosi would take over. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The new Congress likely won’t impeach Trump and remove him from office – here’s why

Democrats control the House and could impeach Trump if they wanted. But removing the president from office is in the hands of the Senate -- which is still dominated by Republicans.
Migrants on a ship intercepted offshore near the Libyan town of Gohneima, east of the capital Tripoli, in July 2018. Libyan Coast Guard via AP, File

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

After 1.3 million migrants from the Middle East and Africa came to Europe in 2015, many countries built fences or closed their ports. That has pushed migrants to take riskier routes into the EU.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador with the families of the 43 students who went missing in 2014 in Guerrero state. He has ordered a truth commission to investigate the unsolved disappearance. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Mexico is bleeding. Can its new president stop the violence?

President López Obrador campaigned on some outside-the-box ideas to 'pacify' Mexico after 12 years of extreme violence. But so far his government has emphasized traditional law-and-order policies.
Letter from President Trump to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. AP/Wayne Partlow

Separation of powers: An invitation to struggle

After the recent government shutdown and breakdowns in functioning within all three branches, it looks like the separation of powers system is broken or unbalanced. It is – and it isn't.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

The shutdown took so long to end because it became a moral issue

Research on the psychology of politics reveals that when issues are framed in terms of moral right and wrong, the possibility of compromise becomes very small.
Annie Dookhan, center, pictured with her family in a Boston courtroom Nov. 22, 2013, after she pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence. Dookhan was a state chemist. David L. Ryan/AP/The Boston Globe

How corruption in forensic science is harming the criminal justice system

Forensic science is only as good as the equipment and the people who calibrate it, some high-profile cases indicate. Thousands of innocent people have been harmed. Here's how.
Destiny Watford and other Baltimore youth leaders derailed plans to build a big incinerator in their neighborhood. The Goldman Environmental Prize

3 ways to make your voice heard besides protesting

Showing up at school board meetings might not sound as exciting as marching in the streets. But it can be an effective way to change things at the local level.