Full story - November 17, 2020
A supporter of President Donald Trump holds a Trump 2020 flag with sun shining through it outside the US Capitol building as they attend pro-Trump marches
Disinformation has been a part of regular political communication for as long as there have been politics. This week, Critical State takes a deep dive into the dreaded "disinformation threat" and the effect of Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential election tweets on American voters.
Full episode - November 12, 2020
Things That Go Boom Season 3 logo with an illustration that includes a magnifying glass, a rocket, a coin, and the US Capitol building.
For many, 2020 has been a scary year. In an effort to get to the root of why many people feel this way, the first thing we did was something we probably should have done a long time ago — we reached out to a psychiatrist. In a new season of "Things That Go Boom," The World's partner podcast from PRX, host Laicie Heeley also asked listeners, friends and family to answer what might seem like a pretty simple question: How safe do you feel? The answers weren't simple at all.
Full story - November 10, 2020
A woman simulates her vote as Venezuela's National Electoral Council presents the technology platform for parliamentary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 9, 2020. 
Incumbent regimes often act to restrict media access for their opponents in the same way that they restrict access to the vote itself. This week, Critical State looks into Kyong Mazzaro's new research on where and when Venezuela restricted media during election periods.
Full story - November 03, 2020
A voter arrives to cast her ballot at a polling station, during the South Africa's parliamentary and provincial elections.
This week, Critical State takes a deep dive into new research on how governments try to control election outcomes through the diaspora vote. Why do some African countries encourage diaspora voting, others tolerate it and others ban it?
Full story - October 27, 2020
Mass of people wearing masks march with red and white umbrellas.
This week, Critical State takes a deep dive into a new article that locates the source of durable autocratic regimes not in the safety of the regimes’ early years — but in the chaos of that time.
Full story - October 20, 2020
Freedmen voting in New Orleans in 1867.
What separates lasting revolutions from armed uprisings? This week, Critical State takes a deep dive into new research on how revolutions actually function, with a spotlight on arguably the most revolutionary period in American history: Reconstruction.
Full story - October 12, 2020
Two people wearing uniforms and blue helmets carry out maintenance at an oil well
This week, Critical State's Deep Dive looks at a new paper that investigates how people react to resource price shocks in countries where resource economies are already highly developed, using survey data from oil-rich Kazakhstan.
Full story - October 06, 2020
A boy carries a tub of water down a street past a wall full of grafitti in Arabic letters.
How does the “scare” get put into scarcity? This week, Critical State's Deep Dive discusses the latest research on resource conflicts, with a focus on nonviolent protests and demonstrations that arise out of disagreements over water usage.
Full story - September 29, 2020
A man waves a machete in the air as he rides on the back of a motorcycle amid other protesters on foot on a long, dirt road.
A new article by Johannes Vüllers and Roman Krtsch in the journal Political Geography uses geographic data to determine when and where civilian protests happen during wartime in Africa between 1992 and 2013.
Full story - September 22, 2020
Two people carry luggage down a bombed out street in Mosul.
Critical State takes a deep dive into one of the most fundamental choices civilians make in wartime: whether to stay in their homes and live under the control of an armed group that has conquered their city — or to abandon their homes and flee to somewhere they hope will be safer.