The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Language and Politics

What politics means is an open question, but there is no doubt that politics is meaningful. Politics and language are thus inseparable, and our faculty examine their relation in various and complementary ways. We study how language constructs our political and legal reality, as well as how it occasionally disrupts it. We study the use of framing in political communication, as well the politics of framing. We study the role of protests in the Middle East, as well as the impact of new media for the American democratic process. We bring insights from ordinary language philosophy to the project of an empirical social science, and we read classics of social science for new insights in the philosophy of language. We are open to students with diverse methodologies, backgrounds and interests, and are a generally likable bunch.

Paul M. Collins, Jr.

My research interests include understanding the democratic nature of the judiciary, interdisciplinary approaches to legal decision making, and social movement litigation.Read more

Barbara Cruikshank

My research interests include modern and contemporary social and political theory, the history of reform, social movements, the politics of sex and sexuality, and relations of power and knowledge.Read more

Justin H. Gross Headshot

Justin H. Gross holds a Ph.D. in Statistics and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. His applied research interests are in U.S. ideologies, political communication in mass and social media, public opinion, public policy, and Latina/o politics. He works on methodological problems in measurement, text analysis, and network analysis,...Read more

I received my Ph.D. in political science from Penn State University. Broadly, I am interested in the study of courts and public policy, the separation of powers, judicial behavior, agenda-setting, and political methodology. On my website, you can find more information on my current research, my prior publications, and...Read more

Frederic C. Schaffer, Frederic Charles Schaffer, Frederic Schaffer, Fred Schaffer

My subfield of specialization is comparative politics and my methodological area of expertise is the investigation of concepts. Substantively, I study the meaning of democracy, the practice of voting, and the administration of elections. Read more