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Politics - 07.06.2021
When and why do politicians use emotive rhetoric in parliamentary speeches?
A study involving Toni Rodon, a professor with the UPF Department of Political and Social Sciences, argues that emotive rhetoric is one of the tools that politicians use strategically to attract voters. Published in American Political Science Review , the article analyses two million parliamentary speeches delivered in the lower houses of parliament in the UK (between 2001 and 2019) and Ireland (between 2002 and 2013).

Politics - 07.06.2021
YouTube comments reveal scant evidence of political echo chambers
Conservative and liberal viewers on YouTube engage in crosstalk-although it's mostly one-sided-with conservatives commenting on left-leaning videos twice as much as liberals remarking on right-leaning videos, according to a large-scale study from the University of Michigan School of Information. Left-leaning channels had a quarter of their comments from conservative users and more than 1 in 10 comments on right-leaning channels were from liberal users, dispelling the notion of echo chambers where people of like mind and politics see only information that meshes with their existing beliefs.

Social Sciences - Politics - 20.05.2021
News photos shape immigration attitudes
News images of immigrants have an effect on some Americans' attitudes towards immigration, a new University of Michigan study shows. Photos of large groups of immigrants, such as the migrant caravan, may decrease support for immigration. Images of individuals, however, produce the opposite effect. In line with work on "person positivity,” personalized images tend to increase support for immigration, particularly among Americans who are threat-sensitive.

Criminology / Forensics - Politics - 04.05.2021
Security and violent crime cannot be an argument against humane refugee policies - new study
New research from international academics challenges a myth that progressive policies towards asylum seekers pose a threat to domestic security. Last updated on Tuesday 4 May 2021 Ahead of US President Joe Biden's plan later this month to lift the country's historically low cap on asylum seekers, a new political study finds that liberal, progressive refugee policies do not pose domestic security challenges for states.

Politics - History / Archeology - 23.04.2021
Immigrants participated in the political life of medieval England
VUB research shows many people came from the Low Countries and were politically active Friday, April 23, 2021 — The question as to what extent newcomers from abroad should have a political say in their new place of residence is one that occupies many minds.

Environment - Politics - 09.04.2021
Research from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven on Ethiopian mega-dam
Solar and wind power could mitigate geopolitical conflict in Northeast Africa Friday, April 9, 2021 — A new study shows that several disagreements between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt around Africa's largest hydropower plant, the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), could be alleviated by massively expanding solar and wind power across the region.

Environment - Politics - 09.04.2021
Solar and wind power could mitigate conflict in northeast Africa
Solar and wind power could mitigate conflict in northeast Africa
A new study shows that several disagreements between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt around Africa's largest hydropower plant, the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), could be alleviated by massively expanding solar and wind power across the region. Adapting GERD operation to support grid integration of solar and wind power would provide tangible energy and water benefits to all involved countries, creating regional win-win situations.

Media - Politics - 31.03.2021
A physical party to prove you're a real virtual person
A physical party to prove you're a real virtual person
The ease of creating fake virtual identities plays an important role in shaping the way information - and misinformation - circulates online. Could 'pseudonym' parties, that would verify proof of personhood not proof of identity, resolve this tension' Social media platforms have completely changed the way information flows online.

Sport - Politics - 24.02.2021
Leaders in sports, business and politics get credit-and blame. How much do they really deserve?
After winning six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, quarterback Tom Brady won an unprecedented seventh championship in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-raising questions about how much he needed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to win his six previous titles. In the business world, investors might be asking themselves something similar as Jeff Bezos transitions out of his role as Amazon's CEO.

Politics - 16.02.2021
The Politics of Synonyms
Previous studies have shown people can identify the gender and race of a speaker based on the words chosen, but could a person identify something like political membership? A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found people are more successful at identifying language associated with Republican speech than Democratic speech patterns.

Politics - Social Sciences - 26.01.2021
Strength of combining participation with peace-building
VUB researcher Dr. Derya Yüksek has developed a method to transform conflicts, by using participatory community media practices to unite young people of Cyprus, a still deeply divided island with a violent past. Dr. Derya Yüksek: " In a worldwide tendency to relapse back to politics of antagonism and aggression, we need processes and models that can constructively deal with the diverse make-up of our societies, and the conflicts this brings.

Politics - 15.01.2021
Reform public procurement to protect aid money, urges major new anti-corruption study
The biggest study of its kind has proven the link between local political context and the risk that humanitarian aid money is lost to corruption. The study also provides reassurance that the controls that donors may insist upon can be effective at preventing money going astray. The paper " Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: new evidence from contract-level data? is published in the Studies in Comparative International Development journal.

Religions - Politics - 07.12.2020
2021 Northern Ireland census unlikely to clarify prospects of Irish unity
2021 Northern Ireland census unlikely to clarify prospects of Irish unity
Expectations are rising that the 2021 Northern Ireland census may act as a trigger for a referendum on Irish unification, but 'new' census questions on religious background and national identity are likely to shape the debate about Northern Ireland's constitutional future, a new study reveals. While 'sectarian head-counting' has featured in Northern Irish politics since partition in 1921, the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) introduced a mechanism for a 'border poll' on Irish unification.

Health - Politics - 01.12.2020
New study to investigate COVID-19 and misinformation
Researchers at the University of Bristol and King's College London are leading a major new study to investigate COVID-19 perceptions and misperceptions, lockdown compliance and vaccine hesitancy. The research team is gathering longitudinal survey data on trust and compliance with public health requirements over the course of the pandemic, enhancing and extending the 'Life Under Lockdown' study fielded between April and June this year.

Politics - 23.11.2020
Dogmatic people seek less information even when uncertain
People who are dogmatic about their views seek less information and make less accurate judgements as a result, even on simple matters unrelated to politics, according to a study led by UCL and Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics researchers. The researchers say their findings, published in PNAS , point to differences in thinking patterns that lead people to hold rigid opinions.

Politics - Psychology - 06.11.2020
Game combats political misinformation by letting players undermine democracy
A short online game in which players are recruited as a "Chief Disinformation Officer" and use tactics such as trolling to sabotage elections in a peaceful town has been shown to reduce susceptibility to political misinformation in its users. Fake news and online conspiracies will continue to chip away at the democratic process until we take seriously the need to improve digital media literacy across populations Sander van der Linden The free-to-play  Harmony Square  is released to the public today, along with a study on its effectiveness published in the  Harvard Misinformation Review.

Politics - 30.10.2020
SURF Student Crafts More Effective Political Arguments
As the political divide expands in the United States, one Carnegie Mellon University student's research explores a simple idea to bridge the gap - reframe political ideas using the other side's language. Anirudh Narayanan developed an early interest in politics, running for positions in high school as class representative in Dover, Delaware.

Social Sciences - Politics - 15.10.2020
Empathy exacerbates discussions about immigration
Empathy exacerbates discussions about immigration
If both camps take a more empathetic approach when there's an argument, it generally makes it easier to listen to what the other side is saying and alleviate tension. This isn't the case, however, when the conflict is about immigration. Discussions about immigration are heated, even antagonistic. But what happens when supporters and opponents undertake to show more empathy and engage in perspective taking, two types of behaviour that can ease tension?

Politics - Environment - 15.10.2020
Unequal distribution of research into marine resources
Unequal distribution of research into marine resources
Exploration and utilisation of resources from the world's oceans is not equally distributed across the globe. Although many of these resources originate in the Global South, they are mostly being researched by just a few countries from the North. Accordingly, this is also where most of the benefits and profits are flowing to, despite the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Politics - 15.10.2020
ZIRIUS Report II has been published
The Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS) at the University of Stuttgart presents its annual report 2019-2020 How can a sustainable turnaround be achieved in major infrastructure systems, especially in the areas of energy supply and mobility? In the context of the corona pandemic, how can trade-offs such as health protection and the protection of freedom be addressed in the best possible way, so that people's thinking
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