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8 free political science webinars not to miss

The election may be over, but your political science education doesn’t have to be! Learn something new from a nationally renowned expert in one of these 8 on-demand November webinars.

From interpreting the election results to looking back at the mechanics of the presidential campaigns, this series will prompt you to think differently about US politics. Join expert hosts from institutions like New York University, Texas A&M University, Brigham Young University, The College of William & Mary, and elsewhere… and challenge your own assumptions about the political system. All webinars are available on-demand: watch whenever it’s convenient!

Interpreting the 2016 Election Results

Professor Paul Light, New York University

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Professor Light will assess the election results based on his own survey of what American want from government reform. Light will argue that the US is actually composed of not one, not two, but four different groups that seek changes through government reform. Many Americans are angry and disappointed with government, but they don’t necessarily want the same actions. Light’s insights about the future will build on arguments made in Magleby, Light, and Nemacheck’s Government by the People.

Paul Light is Professor of Public Service at New York University. Previously, he was Vice President for Governmental Studies at the Brookings Institution, a senior grantmaker at the Pew Charitable Trusts, and associate dean at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He has spent time on Capitol Hill, in the nonprofit sector, and in social entrepreneurship, and brings this multi-sector perspective to his work.

Election 2016: Fear and Loathing on Steroids

Professor Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma

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This session discusses the politics of the 2016 campaign, and whether this election is typical or exceptional. We’ll explore what the election for president and Congress mean for the future of public policy in the US, the Supreme Court, and the future conduct of electoral politics.

Keith Gaddie is President’s Associate Presidential Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He is author or co-author of 20 books, including the popular Pearson texts Politics in America and Georgia Politics in a State of Change. Gaddie has worked extensively in election law litigation and the news media.

Did Political Science Survive the 2016 Presidential Election?

Professor David Doherty, Loyola University Chicago

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Political scientists have spent decades studying modern American elections. But the 2016 presidential election season seems to have broken the mold of how we expect elections to play out. This session will consider how this election cycle has challenged political science theories. However, we will also discuss how, while some of its features seem unusual, others fit neatly within existing political science theories.

David Doherty, Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago, teaches courses on Public Opinion, Campaigns and Elections, and statistics. His research has appeared in journals including The American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Behavior.

Predicting the Presidency: What Lies Ahead?

Professor George Edwards, Texas A&M University

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Now that the presidential election is over, what lies ahead? Will the president be able to bridge the divide in public opinion and gain the public’s backing? Will he be able to win support for initiatives in Congress? We’ll attempt to answer these critical questions by answering a few questions of our own, and thereby be able to predict the next presidency’s success.

George C. Edwards III is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University, where he holds the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Oxford. A leading scholar of the presidency, he has written or edited 25 books on American politics. He edits Presidential Studies Quarterly and is general editor of the Oxford Handbook of American Politics series. Professor Edwards has served as president of the Presidency Research Section of the American Political Science Association, which has named its annual Dissertation Prize in his honor and awarded him its Career Achievement Award.

Thinking Institutionally in an Age of Trump

Professor Will Howell, University of Chicago

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Updated with 2016 Election Results and Commentary. Today, political observers routinely spout all manner of popular psychology to make sense of the rise of Donald Trump as a political phenomenon. There must be something about the man — his psyche, personal biography, unorthodox leadership style, or something else entirely — that explains how he captured the Republican presidential nomination and sent the Republican Party into a tailspin. That may well be true, but as explanations go, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. In this seminar, we will explore the ways in which political institutions continue to shape and inform executive contests, as they are played out in both elections and governance. We will also distill basic pedagogical lessons for engaging students of American politics when so much media attention remains fixated on Trump’s Twitter feed.

William Howell, Sydney Stein Professor of American Politics at the University of Chicago, holds appointments in the Harris School of Public Policy, the Department of Political Science, and the College. He has written widely on separation-of-powers issues and American political institutions, especially the presidency. Most recently, he is co-author (with Terry Moe) of Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government—And Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency (Basic Books, 2016): and author of the brand-new textbook An American Presidency: Institutional Foundations of Executive Politics (Pearson, 2016). More information about his research can be found at

The 2016 Election and the US Supreme Court

Professor Christine Nemacheck, College of William & Mary

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The 2016 election holds particular import for the US Supreme Court. Although the Court is always affected by the change of administration, it will be particularly impacted due to the vacancy that has already existed for over six months. This session will discuss the current nomination of Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court, its status in the wake of the election, and how the next president is likely to shape the institution.

Christine Nemacheck is Wilson & Martha Claiborne Stephens Associate Professor of Government and a Fellow with the Center for Liberal Arts at The College of William & Mary. Her research focuses on judicial selection and the role of the courts in a separation-of-powers system. She has received multiple awards for her teaching and research, including the Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching at The College of William & Mary. With colleagues Dave Magleby and Paul Light, she co-authored Government by the People.

The 2016 Presidential and Congressional Elections

Professor David Magleby, Brigham Young University

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The 2016 presidential election has defied conventional wisdom in many ways. To what extent are these unusual elements likely to recur again? For several election cycles, partisan control of the US Senate has been uncertain going into the general election, with 8-12 battleground races in play. How did 2016 compare to recent cycles in candidate recruitment, campaign spending and other factors? Finally, what are the 2016 election’s implications for governing?

David B. Magleby is nationally recognized for his expertise on direct democracy, voting behavior, and campaign finance. He received his BA from the University of Utah and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Political Science, and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. He has also edited or co-edited four books published by the Brookings Institution Press, studying campaign finance trends in the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. He is currently organizing the volume on the 2016 election. His other publications include Direct Legislation (1984), The Money Chase: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform (1990), The Myth of the Independent Voter (1992), and several editions of Government by the People, an American government textbook. He has served as Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association, Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, and past president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. This past academic year, he was a Rakham Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan.

What We Know … and Don’t Know About Presidential Elections

Professor Joanne Connor Green, Texas Christian University

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This session examines conventional political science wisdom about the factors influencing electoral behavior and presidential elections, and how the 2016 election has challenged this well-developed body of knowledge. Topics to be discussed include: campaign finance, role of the party elite vis-a-vis the party in the presidential nomination system, voter and elite partisanship and polarization, and paid vs. earned media.

Professor Joanne Connor Green studies the role of gender and money in American national elections and state politics. Her most recent research projects examine the impact of increased representation of women within state legislatures on state health care spending for vulnerable populations. She teaches classes in Campaigns and Elections, Women and Politics, Congress, Introduction to American Government, Research Methods, and public policy. She is co-author (with Dan Shea and Chris Smith) of Living Democracy and Government and Politics in the Lone Star State (with Tucker Gibson and Clay Robison).

Degrees Digital Magazine | Issue 9


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