Pandemic Politics: The Deadly Toll of Polarization in the Age of COVID


Friday, February 18, 2022, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Virtual event, registration required

The COVID-19 crisis has created more casualties than any war or public health crisis in American history, but the scale and grim human toll of the pandemic were not inevitable. In this talk, Professor Shana Kushner Gadarian of Syracuse University will examine how the politicization of COVID-19 led ordinary citizens to prioritize partisan concerns over the common good—and let political “teams” rather than sound science dictate their behavior.

Drawing on a wealth of new data on public opinion to show how pandemic politics has touched all aspects of our lives—from the economy to race and immigration—Professor Gadarian puts America’s COVID-19 response in global perspective and reveals how politicizing pandemic response has profound and troubling implications for public health and the future of democracy itself.

Shana Kushner Gadarian is the Merle Goldberg Fabian Professor of Excellence in Citizenship and Critical Thinking at Syracuse University and the coauthor of Anxious Politics. Sara Wallace Goodman is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of Citizenship in Hard Times. Thomas B. Pepinsky is the Walter F. LaFeber Professor of Government and Public Policy at Cornell University and the coauthor of Piety and Public Opinion.

This event will be held virtually and is open to Harvard-ID holders.

Click here to register

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 prior to the event. 

About the Series

The American Politics Speaker Series (APSS) aims to bring together scholars who are doing research on important questions related to American democracy. 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.