American Politics Speaker Series

The United States is a crossroads. How can Americans connect to each other in deep and meaningful ways, despite holding drastically different political world views? What are the causes and consequences of our nation's historic levels of partisan polarization? Just how far can democratic backsliding go?
 
The American Politics Speaker Series (APSS) aims to bring together scholars who are doing research on these and other important questions. Hosted jointly with the Center for American Political Studies and chaired by Professors Maya Sen, Benjamin Schneer, and Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, each session will highlight a scholar whose research is at the forefront of the study of American politics. 

Upcoming and Previous Events

2022 May 06

The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Election and the Challenge to Democracy

12:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200N, Room 226, Cambridge, MA — Registration Required

For many people, everything in Washington seems stuck: Democrats and Republicans disagree on all fronts, few in Washington want to cooperate with the other side, election results are closer than ever, outcomes turn on a coin flip, and each side thinks its candidate won. How did we get here — and can minds be changed?

This talk highlights data from The Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project —a 500,000-interview election study — to explore what happened in the 2020 presidential election and what it portends for the future of American politics. The talk will...

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2022 Apr 22

CANCELLED - American Political Speaker Series: Jennifer Cryer

12:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

TBD

Join us for an American Politics Speaker Series seminar with Professor Jennifer Cryer of the University of Southern California as she discusses her research.

This event is open to Harvard-ID holders.

The Ash Center encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its events. Should you wish to enquire about an accommodation, please contact our events team at info@ash.harvard.edu prior to...

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2022 Apr 08

POSTPONED - Think Structurally, Act Individually? Assessing the Role of Racial Sympathy on Political Behavior

12:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

Event postponed

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are postponing this event. 

Racial sympathy, defined as white distress over Black suffering, is an understudied but influential, force in American public opinion. It is associated with white support for a wide range of racialized policies, such as redistribution, affirmative action, and criminal justice. This presentation considers the behavioral consequences of this unique racial attitude. Does racial sympathy manifest into political behavior? To answer this question, ...

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2022 Mar 25

American Politics Speaker Series: The Unequal Landscape of Civic Opportunity in America

12:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

Virtual, Registration Required

The ability of the global community to address some of its most pressing challenges, from climate change to the coronavirus pandemic, has been stymied by public unwillingness to engage in measures (such as vaccines or climate mitigation activities) designed to support the common good. Scholars have speculated that dense civic infrastructure in a community may make people more likely to adopt publicly-oriented behaviors, but empirical research on this point remains unclear. History shows that civic infrastructure can...

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