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BU researchers publish U.S. election analysis report within 11 days of vote

We are delighted to announce the publication of U.S. Election Analysis 2020: Media, Voters and the Campaign
Featuring 91 contributions from over 115 leading US and international academics, this publication captures the immediate thoughts, reflections and early research insights on the 2020 U.S. presidential election from the cutting edge of media and politics research. It is a collaboration between BU academics, American University, and Kent State University, in partnership with the Political Studies Association, American Political Science Association and the International Political Science Association.

Published within eleven days of the election, these contributions are short and accessible. Authors provide authoritative analysis – including research findings and new theoretical insights – to bring readers original ways of understanding the campaign. Contributions also bring a rich range of disciplinary influences, from political science to cultural studies, journalism studies to geography.
In 24 hours, the report website has already had over 5000 hits and has been featured by Nieman Lab.
As always, these reports are free to access.
The report can be found on alongside our previous reports on UK and U.S. elections.
Direct pdf download is available at:  (please note, large file size!)
The table of contents is below.
1. Introduction 
Daniel Jackson, Danielle Sarver Coombs, Filippo Trevisan, Darren Lilleker and Einar Thorsen

Policy and Political Context

2. The far-too-normal election 
Dave Karpf
3. One pandemic, two Americas and a week-long election day 
Ioana Coman
4. Political emotion and the global pandemic: factors at odds with a Trump presidency 
Erik P. Bucy
5. The pandemic did not produce the predominant headwinds that changed the course of the country 
Amanda Weinstein
6. Confessions of a vampire 
Kirk Combe
7. COVID-19 and the 2020 election 
Timothy Coombs
8. President Trump promised a vaccine by Election Day: that politicized vaccination intentions 
Matthew Motta
9. The enduring impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on the 2020 elections 
Gabriel B. Tait
10. Where do we go from here? The 2020 U.S. presidential election, immigration, and crisis 
Jamie Winders
11. A nation divided on abortion? 
Zoe Brigley Thompson
12. Ending the policy of erasure: transgender issues in 2020 
Anne C. Osborne
13. U.S. presidential politics and planetary crisis in 2020 
Reed Kurtz
14. Joe Biden and America’s role in the world 
Jason Edwards
15. President Biden’s foreign policy: engagement, multilateralism, and cautious globalization 
Klaus W. Larres
16. Presidential primary outcomes as evidence of levels of party unity 
Judd Thornton
17. A movable force: the armed forces voting bloc 
Amanda Weinstein
18. Guns and the 2020 elections 
Robert Spitzer
19. Can Biden’s win stop the decline of the West and restore the role of the United States in the world? 
Roman Gerodimos


20. A divided America guarantees the longevity of Trumpism 
Panos Koliastasis and Darren Lilleker
21. Cartographic perspectives of the 2020 U.S. election 
Ben Hennig
22. Vote Switching From 2016 to 2020 
Diana Mutz and Sam Wolken
23. It’s the democracy, stupid 
Petros Ioannidis and Elias Tsaousakis
24. Election in a time of distrust 
John Rennie Short
25. Polarization before and after the 2020 election 
Barry Richards
26. The political psychology of Trumpism 
Richard Perloff
27. White evangelicals and white born again Christians in 2020 
Ryan Claassen
28. Angry voters are (often) misinformed voters 
Brian Weeks
29. A Black, Latinx, and Independent alliance: 2020 
Omar Ali
30. Believing Black women 
Lindsey Meeks
31. The sleeping giant awakens: Latinos in the 2020 election 
Lisa Sanchez
32. Trump won the senior vote because they thought he was best on the economy – not immigration 
Peter McLeod
33. Did German Americans again support Donald Trump? 
Per Urlaub & David Huenlich

Candidates and the Campaign

34. The emotional politics of 2020: fear and loathing in the United States 
Karin Wahl-Jorgensen
35. Character and image in the U.S. presidential election: a psychological perspective 
Geoffrey Beattie
36. Branding and its limits 
Ken Cosgrove
37. Celtic connections: reading the roots of Biden and Trump 
Michael Higgins and Russ Eshleman
38. Kamala Harris, Bobby Jindal, and the construction of Indian American identity 
Madhavi Reddi
39. Stratagems of hate: decoding Donald Trump’s denigrating rhetoric in the 2020 campaign 
Rita Kirk and Stephanie Martin
40. Campaign finance and the 2020 U.S. election 
Cayce Myers
41. The Emperor had no clothes, after all 
Marc Hooghe
42. Trump’s tribal appeal: us vs. them 
Stephen D. Reese

News and Journalism

43. When journalism’s relevance is also on the ballot 
Seth C. Lewis, Matt Carlson and Sue Robinson
44. Beyond the horse race: voting process coverage in 2020 
Kathleen Searles
45. YouTube as a space for news 
Stephanie Edgerly
46. 2020 shows the need for institutional news media to make racial justice a core value of journalism 
Nikki Usher
47. Newspaper endorsements, presidential fitness and democracy 
Kenneth Campbell
48. Alternative to what?A faltering alternative-as-independent media 
Scott A. Eldridge II
49. Collaboration, connections, and continuity in media innovation 
Valerie Belair-Gagnon
50. Learning from the news in a time of highly polarized media 
Marion Just and Ann Crigler
51. Partisan media ecosystems and polarization in the 2020 U.S. election 
Michael Beam
52. What do news audiences think about ‘cutting away’ from news that could contain misinformation? 
Richard Fletcher
53. The day the music died: turning off the cameras on President Trump 
Sarah Oates
54. When worlds collide: contentious politics in a fragmented media regime 
Michael X. Delli Carpini
55. Forecasting the future of election forecasting 
Benjamin Toff
56. A new horse race begins: the scramble for a post-election narrative 
Victor Pickard

Social media

57. Media and social media platforms finally begin to embrace their roles as democratic gatekeepers 
Daniel Kreiss
58. Did social media make us more or less politically unequal in 2020? 
Dan Lane and Nancy Molina-Rogers
59. Platform transparency in the fight against disinformation 
Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Bente Kalsnas, Lucas Graves and Oscar Westlund
60. Why Trump’s determination to sow doubt about data undermines democracy 
Alfred Hermida
61. A banner year for advertising and a look at differences across platforms 
Markus Neumann, Jielu Yao, Spencer Dean and Erika Franklin Fowler
62. How Joe Biden conveyed empathy 
Dorian Davis
63. The debates and the election conversation on Twitter 
G.R. Boynton and Glenn W. Richardson
64. Did the economy, COVID-19, or Black Lives Matter to the Senate candidates in 2020? 
Heather K. Evans and Rian F. Moore
65. Leadership through showmanship: Trump’s ability to coin nicknames for opponents on Twitter 
Marco Morini
66. Election countdown: Instagram’s role in visualizing the 2020 campaign 
Terri L. Towner and Caroline L. Munoz
67. Candidates did lackluster youth targeting on Instagram 
John Parmelee
68. College students, political engagement and Snapchat in the 2020 general election 
Laurie L. Rice and Kenneth W. Moffett
69. Advertising on Facebook: transparency, but not transparent enough 
Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Patricia Rossini, Brian McKernan and Jeff Hemsley
70. Detecting emotions in Facebook political ads with computer vision 
Michael Bossetta and Rasmus Schmøkel

Popular culture and public critique

71. On campaigns and political trash talk 
Michael Butterworth
72. It’s all about my “team”: what we can learn about politics from sport 
Natalie Brown-Devlin and Michael Devlin
73. Kelly Loeffler uses battle with the WNBA as springboard into Georgia Senate runoff 
Guy Harrison
74. Made for the fight, WNBA players used their platform for anti-racism activism in 2020 
Molly Yanity
75. Do National Basketball Association (NBA) teams really support Black Lives Matter? 
Kwame Agyemang
76. The presidential debates: the media frames it all wrong 
Mehnaaz Momen
77. Live… from California, it’s Kamala Harris 
Mark Turner
78. Who needs anger management? Dismissing young engagement 
Joanna Doona
79. Meme war is merely the continuation of politics by other means 
Rodney Taveira
80. Satire failed to pack a punch in the 2020 election 
Allaina Kilby
81. Election memes 2020, or, how to be funny when nothing is fun 
Ryan M. Milner and Whitney Phillips

Democracy in crisis

82. Social media moderation of political talk
Shannon McGregor
83. The speed of technology vs. the speed of democracy 
Ben Epstein
84. The future of election administration: how will states respond?
Jennifer L. Selin
85. How the movement to change voting procedures was derailed by the 2020 election results 
Martin P. Wattenberg
86. From “clown” to “community”: the democratic potential of civility and incivility 
Emily Sydnor
87. Searching for misinformation 
David Silva
88. Relational listening as political listening in a polarized country 
Kathryn Coduto
89. QAnon, the election and an evolving American conservativism 
Harrison Lejeune
90. President Trump, disinformation, and the threat of extremist violence 
Kurt Braddock
91. The disinformed election 
Saif Shahin
92. Election 2020 and the further degradation of local journalism 
Philip Napoli

We hope you enjoy reading it.
Dan, Danielle, Filippo, Darren and Einar

Midwifery education publication published today

Congratulations to Prof. Sue Way, Dr. Luisa Cescutti-Butler and Dr. Michelle Irving on the publication today of their latest article ‘A study to evaluate the introduction of the Newborn Infant Physical Examination knowledge and skills into an undergraduate pre-registration midwifery education programme’ [1].  This paper published in  Nurse Education Today  uses the principles of FUSION, bring together Education (undergraduate midwifery education), Practice (examination of the newborn) and Research (evaluation study).  This paper adds to the growing list of publication on aspects of midwifery education by academics in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perintal Health (CMMPH).



Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



  1. Way, S., Cescutti-Butler, L., Irving, M. (2020) A study to evaluate the introduction of the Newborn Infant Physical Examination knowledge and skills into an undergraduate pre-registration midwifery education programme, Nurse Education Today,


New Open Access chapter: Real-Time, Real World Learning—Capitalising on Mobile Technology

Published today, a new Open Access text on Applied Pedagogies for Higher Education includes my chapter on Real-Time, Real World Learning—Capitalising on Mobile Technology.

This chapter explores the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies to promote active learning by students and to both mediate and enhance classroom instruction – a timely contribution in the current teaching climate. I also introduce the concept of Actually Active Learning, which not only motivates students to engage meaningfully in their learning but also encourages them to be physically active, increasing their physical activity levels – a significant element given current health trends.

Real-Time, Real World Learning—Capitalising on Mobile Technology

Walking interviews as an adapt for qualitative research in the time of Covid

There are many posts at the moment about moving qualitative research online, but this does not always work for some marginalised groups, for example those without access to computers or computing skills. One method may be going out walking with people. Tula Brannelly and Ruth Bartlett used this methodology in a project about GPS technologies with people with dementia and in their new paper argue that it enabled greater participation and positioned people with dementia as guides in the research. And yes, it was throughout the winter in England!

As this is a newly published paper, hot off the press, there are free imprints here:

UN Special Rapporteur commends Bournemouth University Mass Grave Research

Dr Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions suggests ‘technical standards are needed to help strengthen protection and preservation of mass grave sites’ and goes on to commend the efforts currently underway at Bournemouth University to produce such Guidelines [para 65]. Her report, presented to the UN on 27 October 2020, adopts the definition of mass graves offered by Klinkner and Smith in the forthcoming Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation [para 12].

In her report Dr Callamard stresses the importance of respectful, indiscriminate and dignified handling of human remains from mass grave sites. The AHRC funded Mass Grave Protection for Truth & Justice Project investigates how best to safeguard, protect and investigate mass graves to ensure truth and justice for survivor populations. Research by BU scholars Klinkner, Davis and Smith in relation to mass graves, international criminal investigations, and the right to the truth is referenced seven times in the report.

Mass grave investigation research has a tradition at Bournemouth University. In 2008, a publication directed by scholars at Bournemouth University presented a first compilation of the experiences and lessons learned from the scientific investigation of mass graves. The Bournemouth Protocol, due to be published before the end of 2020, will offer a much needed, original instrument combining international law (international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law) governing the protection and investigation of mass graves with practical consideration and ramifications for stakeholders on the ground that seek to protect, manage and, where possible, investigate those sites.

Computer Animation and Social Agents – CASA2020 International Conference launch on 13/10/2020

Bournemouth University will host the CASA2020 international conference this year. It will be officially launched on 13th October 2020. The conference programme can be downloaded from the conference website Because of Covid-19, we will host this conference fully online using Zoom platform, and most of the speakers have pre-recorded their presentation and uploaded into our YouTube Channel. The link to each presentation can be found from the programme document. There are also live sessions from 13 to 15 Oct including invited Keynotes, brief introduction for each paper and Q/A discussions.

All the sessions are open to public, welcome everybody to join us! The open ceremony starts from 1pm on 13th Oct 2020.

The CASA2020 conference team


The PhD examiner

Being asked to examine a PhD thesis is a honour for most academics.  As an examiner you always learn something new.  If not about the topic itself, you may learn different ways of applying a research method or new theoretical explanations or even new ideas for supervising your own PhD students.  It is a joy to have an in-depth scientific discussion with a dedicated and motivated candidate. Usually the candidate is a little nervous, especially at the start of the viva, and I see it as one of my tasks as an examiner to help the candidate to relax a little.

Today I had the pleasure of being one of the examiners for a PhD at the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands).   The PhD candidate (now Dr.) Franka Cadée was a little nervous according to her supervisors, although it did not show during the viva.

Interestingly, enough I also felt nervous!  Before today I had examined 50th PhD thesis in seven different countries.  However, I probably had not felt this nervous since my own viva nearly three decades ago.  Why was I nervous?  First, although I am Dutch and I have studied in the Netherlands and the UK, I had never attended a PhD examination in the Netherlands.  And PhD examinations really do differ between the UK and most northern European countries, especially the public defence of the thesis by the candidate in front of examiners, colleagues, friends and family.  Secondly, the candidate today is the president of the ICM (the International Confederation of Midwives).  Of course, this does not make any difference in the examination process, this candidate was treated the same as any other student would have been.  Thirdly, and most importantly, the ICM had globally advertised the public defence of Dr. Cadée’s thesis to midwives, maternity policy-makers, member of International Non-Governmental Organisations and maternity care providers and invited ‘everybody’ to watch on ZOOM.

I really think it was the latter that made me more nervous than the much more private UK PhD viva with perhaps five or six people in a small class room, or, these days, on ZOOM.

Finally, my congratulations to Dr. Franka Cadée on the successful defence of her thesis Twinning, a promising dynamic process to strengthen the agency of midwives.


Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)


World Mental Health Day, October 10th

Dr. Ann Luce, Associate Professor in Journalism and Communication in FMC is providing one of two Keynotes at, “The Summit: A Suicide Prevention Conversation 2020” in Africa, tomorrow, Saturday 10th October, 11am-2pm, to mark World Mental Health Day. The topic of her paper is: “Reporting Suicide Cases: A Media Guide to Language and Structure.”

The second Keynote, delivered by by Prof. Andrew Ezadduayan Zamani from Nasarawa State University will discuss the pressing need for evidence-based suicide prevention research in Africa and how to improve information systems in suicide prevention. This FREE online conference is open to all. Please register here:

On Monday, 12th October, 12-1:30pm, Dr. Luce will speak on a panel organised by the Ethical Journalism Network on the topic of Responsible and Ethical Reporting of Suicide and Mental Health in the Media, where she will discuss her new Suicide Reporting Toolkit for Journalists and Journalism Educators.

Introducing the event is Hannah Storm, CEO of the EJN. Moderating the event is James Longman from ABC News in the United States. Also on the panel is Kelly McBride, Senior Vice President of the Poynter Institute in Florida, USA; Richard Addy, Former Chief Advisor to the BBC Deputy Director General and Dr. Sallyanne Duncan, senior lecturer in media ethics at University of Strathclyde.

The panel will be hosted on Zoom and is free to join:

Meeting ID: 975 4748 2061
Passcode: 795262

COVID-19 affects research into other diseases

A systematic review published late last week assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on on-going and new clinical trials and research on a range of diseases [1]. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a series of public health policies, including lock down, that have crippled the healthcare systems of many countries. These measures hugely impact on study participants, care providers, researchers, trial sponsors, and research organizations conducting clinical trials. This pandemic has a substantial impact on the trial sites as they experience difficulty in the continuation of trial activities which eventually hampers the progress of the trial and delays study timelines. Most sites are struggling due to delayed subject enrolment, shortfalls in monitoring, and risks of compromised data integrity, and this situation also has a negative impact on the start of future. Researchers are also concerned regarding the delay or cancellations of trials in the pandemic, which will have financial consequences for research organizations/human resources.

According to one survey, about two-thirds of the respondents have stopped or will soon halt subject enrolment in ongoing clinical trials, one-third halted randomization, and fifty percent of respondents are delaying or planning to delay the studies.  Adopting new approaches and understanding the key risk indicators will help managers support trial sites with flexibility and ingenuity. For instance, switching patient site visits to new-trial virtualization, and telemedicine to interact with patients will help manage current clinical trials also beneficial for the post-pandemic era.



  1. Sathian B, Asim M,  Banerjee I, Pizarro AB, Roy B, van Teijlingen ER, Borges do Nascimento IJ, Alhamad HK.  Impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials and clinical research: A systematic review. Nepal J Epidemiol. 2020;10(3); 878-887


Black History Month & Black Lives Matter

The recent experiences of barrister Alexandra Wilson (see: provide further evidence of everyday racisms in UK. Examples of discriminatory treatment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people span decades; the extent is beyond the symbolic intervention of Black History Month. However, it would be amiss, at this time, not to share research about Higher Education.

Dr Nicola Rollock’s research for UCU (see: documents the current situation in the UK as follows:

“There are only 25 black female professors* in the UK – they make up just 0.1% of all professors, compared to white men who represent two-thirds (68%) of professors. Dr Nicola Rollock (for UCU) interviewed 20 of the 25 at length about their experiences of higher education.

Respondents spoke of a culture where the route to professorship lacks transparency and values only certain forms of knowledge and achievement.

Some complaints – including huge workloads, the blurring of personal and work lives and an obsession with meeting targets – will resonate with many working in academia. However, the report provides a powerful insight into the extra pressures black women have to deal with, and try to manage.

Respondents talked about their experiences of explicit and passive bullying, clumsy stereotyping and the mentally draining strategies they need to devise and implement at speed just to cope. One professor explains how after “over preparing as usual” for a meeting she is still introduced by a senior white colleague as the student representative.

The report says improvements for black academics are not possible unless there is a fundamental shift in how race and racism are understood. UCU said universities need to rise to the challenge set out in the report not just to ensure support is there for the few black women who make it to professorial level, but to overhaul their promotion structures so there is genuine equality of opportunity.

Dr Nicola Rollock made the point: ‘Institutional statements expressing commitment to equality and diversity lack sincerity in the context of the findings’.

‘We need to look at how to transform a system that black female professors say is riddled with unfairness and bias. That starts with an overhaul of promotion structures to ensure genuine equality of opportunity.’ (Matt Waddup, UCU).”

New CMMPH nutrition paper published

Congratulations to FHSS authors on the publication of their paper “A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK” which has been published in the scientific journal Nutrients [1].  The authors highlight that a poor diet quality is a major cause of maternal obesity. They investigated investigate a priori and a-posteriori derived dietary patterns in childbearing-aged women in the United Kingdom. An online survey assessed food intake, physical activity (PA), anthropometry and socio-demographics.  A poor diet quality was found among childbearing-aged women; notably in the younger age category, those of white ethnicity, that were more physically inactive and with a lower socioeconomic background.

The article is Open Access and freely available (click here!).




  1. Khaled, K.; Hundley, V.; Almilaji, O.; Koeppen, M.; Tsofliou, F. (2020) A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK. Nutrients 202012, 2921.