Articles by Jahnavi Akella

November 19, 2021

The Durability of a Straw Man

How straw men rely on the brain's tendency to take cognitive "shortcuts" and why they are so durable and effective.

By Jahnavi Akella
Published: November 19, 2021


June 15, 2021

The Makings of a Strongman

Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat details the common playbook populist strongmen use to rise to and hold on to power.

By Jahnavi Akella and Michael Gordon
Published: June 15, 2021


June 10, 2021

Combating Polarization and Defending Truth

Jonathan Rauch discusses overcoming polarization and the critical role norms and institutions play in defending truth.

By Jahnavi Akella and Michael Gordon
Published: June 10, 2021


January 21, 2021

Deconstructing Straw Men

Dr. Louis de Sassure discusses the social mechanics of straw men and why they can be effective, even when exposed.

By Michael Gordon and Jahnavi Akella
Published: January 21, 2021