Melissa Merry

Melissa Merry
University of Louisville | UL · Department of Political Science

PhD

About

28
Publications
2,282
Reads
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321
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
266 Citations
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Additional affiliations
July 2009 - present
University of Louisville
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2009 - November 2015
University of Louisville
Position
  • Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Publications

Publications (28)
Article
While UN reports indicate increasingly dire consequences of climate change, the political will to initiate rapid decarbonization is lacking, as nations fail to meet targets set by international agreements. Given these developments, this paper investigates the role of climate dread and fatalism in the discourse about climate science. We examine the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
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Article
This study uses the Narrative Policy Framework to examine President Trump's tweets about immigration policy from 2011 to 2020. Based on a content analysis of 1733 tweets, I show that Trump's policy narratives centered on the villain character type, though the actual villains varied over time, and that the hero character became increasingly prominen...
Article
Research suggests that framing climate change as a national security issue can shape opinion about climate change. This research is less clear about what exactly constitutes a “national security frame” and what aspects of this frame are most persuasive. We use a survey experiment to compare the relative effects of three types of national security f...
Chapter
Kentucky’s proposed Medicaid reforms, initiated in 2016 and blocked in federal court in 2018 and again in 2019, elicited an extraordinary volume of public input on the value of Medicaid (publicly-funded health insurance for low-income individuals). Personal statements from current and former Medicaid consumers, through written comments submitted to...
Article
Objective A significant portion ofthe American public does not accept the current overwhelming scientific consensus about the anthropogenic causality of climate change. This issue has been politicized and is now highly partisan. Because the military is the most trusted public institution in the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency...
Article
Resumen en While much scholarship has explored the framing of gun policy, the bulk of that work has focused on general themes or arguments made in support or opposition to gun control. This study offers a more nuanced examination of the framing in the gun policy debate, utilizing the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) to identify rhetorical and polit...
Article
This research examines the role of the devil shift and angel shift in interest group rhetoric using the case of gun policy. The Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) suggests that the devil shift—whereby political actors characterize their opponents as more malicious and powerful than they actually are—is common in intractable policy debates. Through an...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of interest groups in the formation of online echo chambers and to determine whether interest groups’ use of social media contributes to political polarization. Design/methodology/approach This study used a content analysis of nearly 10,000 tweets (from 2009 to 2014) by the Brady campaign to...
Article
This study examines interest groups' framing of gun policy issues via an analysis of nearly 10,000 tweets by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association spanning from 2009 to 2014. Utilizing the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF), I investigate the extent to which interest groups use social media to construct policy...
Article
This study examines the extent to which interest groups utilize Twitter to engage in interactive communication and the potential of such communication to serve organizational goals such as mobilization, fundraising, and expanding support for groups’ causes. Based on a content analysis of 5,000 tweets by environmental organizations in the context of...
Article
The blowout of the Deepwater Horizon and subsequent underground oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is considered by many to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Interest groups, public officials, and media organizations have spent considerable time documenting the economic and ecological impacts of this spill as well as the cau...
Article
This article examines how environmental organizations utilized the microblogging website Twitter to engage in political advocacy during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Using a content analysis of tweets, blogs, email, and press releases, it is demonstrated that environmental groups responded more quickly to the disaster and offered more s...
Article
Studies in political science and communication note that interest groups simplify and dramatise issues in order to gain public support. Through a focus on US environmental organisations, this negative assessment is re-evaluated by examining the influence of two sets of factors on groups’ communication styles: communication forum and group character...
Article
This study evaluates environmental groups' responses to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, looking specifically at the 'causal stories' groups tell about the disaster. Using content analysis of email communications, press releases, and blog entries sampled between April 20 and Sept. 20, 2010, I assess how environmental organizations assign blame/...
Article
This study evaluates interest group activity on the Internet, addressing two sets of questions. First, has the Internet allowed small or poorly funded groups to compete equally with well-resourced organizations? Second, to what extent do group characteristics explain their online activities? Using a sample of 200 environmental groups, I evaluate wh...
Article
While there is a growing literature on weblogs (or "blogs"), most studies focus on a few high profile blogs, or on blogs written by individuals. This study assesses the little-researched area of organizational blogging through a content analysis of blogs by 40 national-level environmental organizations. I examine the general purposes that these blo...
Article
Although emotional appeals are commonplace in political rhetoric, they are often viewed as manipulative and therefore threatening to democratic governance. Interest groups, in particular, have been blamed for relying on emotionally charged rhetoric to achieve fundraising objectives. Through a focus on 210 national-level environmental organizations,...
Article
This study develops two theoretical propositions regarding the ways that interest groups respond to focusing events and evaluates those propositions in the context of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Using content analysis of email communications, press releases, blog entries, and congressional testimony, I...

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