2011

2011 Feb 16

Rebuilding Queensland After the Floods

4:15pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226, Cambridge, MA

Ed Blakely, University of Sydney

About the Seminar
As 2010 drew to a close, flood waters were washing across much of the state of Queensland, Australia. By the time they had subsided, they had affected an area larger than France and Germany combined, killed dozens of residents, and inflicted serious damage on remote towns and major cities alike. Just a month later, Cyclone Yasi smashed into north Queensland, straining resources and compounding the suffering already experienced across the state. In this talk, Dr. Blakely will draw upon lessons learned from post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans to explore the challenges that lie ahead as Australia looks to rebuild the flood- and storm-ravaged state. Refreshments will be provided.... Read more about Rebuilding Queensland After the Floods

2011 Feb 10

Muslim and American? How Religiosity and Mosques Foster Incorporation into American Politics

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Dr. Karam Dana, Harvard Kennedy School
Dr. Matt Barreto, University of Washington

About the Seminar
Previous scholars have argued that Islam as a religion and a culture is incompatible with liberal, democratic American values. Not only is Islam inconsistent with the West, but it poses a direct conflict according to some scholars. This viewpoint has been popularized in American and European media and by government officials who declare fundamentalist Muslims as enemies of freedom and democracy. However, there is no evidence that the grounds of conflict are based on religious ideology. Are the most devout Muslims really opposed to political incorporation in the U.S., or are other traditional non-religious factors such as socioeconomic status and acculturation more important in understanding political alienation? To date, nearly every study of Islam and Western values has been qualitative, anecdotal, or philosophical in nature, leaving most questions unanswered, at least empirically. Using a unique national survey of Muslim Americans, we find that more religiously devout Muslims are significantly more likely to support political participation in America – in contrast to prevailing wisdom. We conclude that there is nothing inconsistent with Islam and American democracy, and in fact, religiosity fosters support for American democratic values.... Read more about Muslim and American? How Religiosity and Mosques Foster Incorporation into American Politics

2011 Feb 09

The Anti-Immigrant Right & the Future of Political Polling

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Pop Center, 9 Bow Street, Cambridge, MA

Matt A. BarretoMatt A. Barreto, University of Washington

About the Seminar
In 2010 Republicans received a swell of support that gave them a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, however they fell short of taking the Senate. Beyond the 60 seat GOP pickup in the House, the big news story of Election 2010 was the Democrats holding on to the Senate, against all odds, and to the bewilderment of most pollsters.

What explains the Democrats’ success, and the polls failure in multiple U.S. Senate contests? Quite simply: the Latino vote. Research from Latino Decisions shows very clearly that the extreme anti-immigrant stance taken by many Republicans drove down their share among Latino voters to historic lows, and that further, traditional pre-election and exit polls failed to accurately predict or capture this pattern.... Read more about The Anti-Immigrant Right & the Future of Political Polling

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