As is ever the case in big elections, much of the analysis following the US midterms has centred on national figures and parties: who do the results bode well for? Which side has made advances? Who won?

Given the tension, and personalities, at the heart of US politics, these are not unreasonable questions. People around the world seek answers to them as they try to chart the course the world’s most powerful country will take in the years ahead. Reaction from academic authors across our network can be followed here. But I’ve chosen to lead today’s newsletter on an article that focusses on one specific issue: abortion rights.

Access to abortion was directly voted on in a number of states, and voters delivered a strong message following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that returned the issue of abortion access back to “the people” and the states. Linda C McClain and Nicole Huberfeld of Boston University consider what this week’s results in those votes, and in the elections more broadly, mean for women across America.

Elsewhere, our extensive coverage of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt continues, with an assessment of to what degree industrialised countries are responsible for climate change. And we carry a range of articles, as part of our “social media and society” theme, tied to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International

Voters in Michigan said ‘yes’ to Prop 3, a ballot protecting abortion rights. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

In first nationwide election since Roe was overturned, voters opt to protect abortion access

Linda C. McClain, Boston University; Nicole Huberfeld, Boston University

Abortion rights were on the ballot in five states during the midterm elections – all broke in favor of abortion-rights advocates.

In Saint-Louis (Senegal), in August 2021, a little girl observes the construction of a dyke against rising water levels due to global warming. John Wessels/AFP

COP27: how responsible are industrialised countries for climate change?

Michel Damian, Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA); Patrick Criqui, Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA)

The promise of US$100 billion a year for North-South solidarity is now a source of frustration for developing countries.

Twitter and Elon Musk: why free speech absolutism threatens human rights

Sarah Glozer, University of Bath; Emily Jane Godwin, University of Bath; Rita Mota, ESADE

Moderating content is a box that still needs to be ticked.