Month: May 2017

Graduate Student Presents at General Assembly

Duke graduate student Emily Pechar took part in the NC Legislature’s Graduate Student Education Day on May 16th.  Pechar was one of three Duke graduate students selected to present their research to the General Assembly.

Pechar’s research centers on climate change and how we can use political ideology to depolarize the issue. Her early findings show that climate change politics becomes less polarized once the issue is dissociated from partisan identities. This dissociation can be initiated by  priming someone with a salient, non-partisan identity before approaching an usually polarized issue.

“Hearing about the issue activates their partisan identity,” says Pechar, “so it’s getting folks to think about their nonpartisan identity before talking about these topics.” The hope is that attitudes can be changed to align them with the science.

Pechar’s plans to graduate from Duke next year and hopes to continue her research on “testing identity salience” before leaving Duke. Her climate change politics work has not been published yet. She hopes to give her work more time and review before formally sharing her findings with practitioners.




Judith Kelley Blogs for Brookings: Human Trafficking

Grading countries on their policy efforts can influence their behavior. Duke Sanford Professor Judith Kelley writes about this phenomenon in a recent Brookings blog entitled “Scorecard diplomacy: How grades drive behavior in international relations.”

Scorecard Diplomacy is also the title of Kelley’s new book in which she approaches how grading helped encourage countries to make improvements to their human trafficking laws. Kelley shows evidence that countries have taken concrete steps to improve their tier ranking on the United State Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons report from 2001 to 2014.

Her research on this issue is increasingly important as human trafficking has risen to become a prevalent international issue and part of US foreign policy legislation. Congress is currently considering the “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017,” also known as H.R. 2200. Kelley hopes that her research and policy insight will help congressional members and staff as they move forward with this legislation.

You can learn more about her new book and order a copy here.

Looking for more digital content?

Kelley discusses the content of her latest research with Kelly Brownell, Dean of the Sanford School, on Sanford’s Policy 360 podcast below.


Ken Dodge Appears on Education Matters

Early Childhood Learning Programs WORK!

Sanford Professor Ken Dodge, Director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy (CCFP), made an appearance on the North Carolina’s School Public Forum’s “Education Matters” program to stress the importance of supporting early childhood education.

CCFP recently partnered with Brookings to create and release an 106 page report on the long-lasting positive effects of Pre-K programs on lifelong success. “The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects” report was generated from an interdisciplinary panel consensus statement of which Dodge and Sanford’s Helen Ladd were members.

This was Ken’s second time on the Sunday morning series which focuses on the state of public education in North Carolina.

You can learn more about the CCFP’s collaboration with Brookings on the new report here.

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