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From the CPS Blog

Rising inequality isn’t driving mass public support for redistribution: Charlotte Cavaillé’s ‘Fair Enough? explains why not.

Fair Enough?

In the past, excessive economic inequality has ended… badly. As Charlotte Cavaillé points out in her new book that studies the public’s reaction to rising inequality, “only mass warfare, a state collapse, or catastrophic plagues have significantly altered the distribution of income and wealth.” Will this time be different?. Read more on Cavaillé’s new book– a “theoretical and empirical tour de force” — from the CPS blog.


This year’s CPS Wednesday seminar series has an exciting lineup of speakers.

Hanes Walton Jr. Lecture

Christian Davenport will give the Hanes Walton Jr. lecture at ISR on Feb. 1, 2024, at 4 p.m.

Miller-Converse Lecture

The next Miller-Converse Lecture will be held March 21, 2024.

The Mark Tessler Symposium

African continent

Featured Project

Local Patterns of Election-Related Violence and Peace

This project leverages election observer missions and local election results to inform the challenges of building sustainable peace in Africa. The resulting data sets will allow academics and practitioners to analyze the relationship between elections and violence and to identify local factors – such as public infrastructure and services – that can inform efforts to promote sustainable peace in Africa. Anne Pitcher is co-PI, with Grant Masterson.

Learn more about the project

Fair Enough

Featured Publication

Fair Enough: Support for Redistribution in the Age of Inequality

Fair Enough? proposes and tests a new framework for studying attitudes toward redistributive social policies. These attitudes, the book argues, are shaped by at least two motives. First, people support policies that increase their own expected income. Second, they support policies that move the status quo closer to what is prescribed by shared norms of fairness. In most circumstances, saying the “fair thing” is easier than reasoning according to one’s pocketbook. But there are important exceptions: when policies have large and certain pocketbook consequences, people take the self-interested position instead of the ‘fair’ one. Fair Enough? builds on this simple framework to explain puzzling attitudinal trends in post-industrial democracies including a decline in support for redistribution in Great Britain, the erosion of social solidarity in France, and a declining correlation between income and support for redistribution in the United States.

Read more about the book.

Celebrating 50 years of the Center for Political Studies

The Center for Political Studies marked its 50th anniversary with a celebration featuring a keynote address by Arthur Lupia. Many alumni and faculty also shared their reflections on what the center has meant to them. Click here to view a recording of the event and statements about CPS.

Words that respondents recall hearing about Trump

CPS News

Next Generation Scholar Hwayong Shin Launches Research Career Studying Public Opinion

Hwayong ShinPosted Sept. 11, 2023. Next Generation scholar Hwayong Shin earned a trifecta of Next Generation fellowships during her time at CPS, launching the start of her research career studying public opinion. Read more.

Vincent Hutchings Receives the 2023 Hanes Walton, Jr. Career Award

Vincent HutchingsPosted Sept. 1, 2023. Vincent Hutchings has been presented the Hanes Walton, Jr. Career Award by the American Political Science Association (APSA), a recognition of distinguished scholarship in political science that has contributed to understanding racial and ethnic politics and the conditions under which diversity and intergroup tolerance thrive in democratic societies. Hutchings has had a tremendous influence on the field of political science, and his contributions have made a lasting mark on the study of racial and ethnic politics and public opinion as well as the professional trajectories of his students.  The APSA award committee cited Hutchings’ accomplishments through not only his own pioneering scholarship and theoretical innovations around racial prejudice and political psychology and attitudes, but also by building up the key infrastructures to support these advances. Read more.

The Economist Features Ron Inglehart and the World Values Survey: Beliefs around the World are Diverging

photo of Ron InglehartPosted August 18, 2023.  The World Values Survey– the world’s biggest social-research network, is indicating that despite development around the world, differences in thinking around the world are widening. The Economist features the work of the late Ron Inglehart in this issue.  Read more from The Economist.

Joshua Thorp, Next Generation Converse-Miller Scholar, Wins 2003 Eldersveld Prize

Joshua ThorpPosted July 1, 2023. The University of Michigan’s Political Science department has named PhD candidate Joshua Thorp the winner of the 2003 Eldersveld Prize for the best paper presented at a professionally-sponsored conference. The Graduate Affairs Committee announced the award this week for Thorp’s paper, “Body Politic: Disability and Political Cohesion.” Joshua Thorp is a Next Generation scholar and winner of the Converse-Miller fellowship in American political behavior for 2022. His research focuses on political psychology in the United States and other developed democracies, with a particular focus on the politics of disability. Thorp’s dissertation examines disability as a dimension of political identity in the United States. Based on this work, Thorp wrote a blog for CPS, “Does Disability Shape Political Identity?” that can be read here.

The Work of CPS's Jowei Chen Key in Supreme Court Ruling, Affirming Voting Rights Act

Jowei Chen

Posted June 27 2023.  University of Michigan political science professor Jowei Chen, affiliated with the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research, was cited throughout the Supreme Court’s Allen v. Milligan decision. His work with Harvard Law’s Nicholas Stephanopolous—an amicus brief submitted in the case and their Yale Law Journal article on “The Race-Blind Future of Voting Rights”—provided a critical evidence base for the decision that was an unexpected affirmation of the Voting Rights Act. Read more from CPS and Michigan News.

Christian Sandvig of CPS wins the ICA 2023 Public Policy Research Award

Christian Sandvig

Posted May 31, 2023. Christian Sandvig of the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research won the 2023 Outstanding Public Research Award of the International Communication Association (ICA) at last week’s ICA Conference in Toronto. Sandvig and a group of collaborators were honored for their research on “algorithm auditing,” a technique for detecting illegal behavior by online platforms and artificial intelligence. That research led to a Supreme Court decision in 2021 that cleared barriers for journalists and researchers to use the investigative technique online. Read more from CPS.

CPS hosts Stanley Feldman for 2023 Miller-Converse Lecture on authoritarianism and elections

Posted March 27, 2023. Stanley Feldman, professor of political science at Stony Brook University, gave the 2023 Miller-Converse Lecture, speaking on the increasing correlation between authoritarianism and partisan affiliation in the United States over the last 30 years, as well as the implications of this trend for future elections. Read more from the Michigan Daily.

Two CPS projects selected for grants in joint program focused on rural life

Rural landscapePosted March 2, 2023. Rural areas around the globe face distinct challenges and four new projects bring social scientists and engineers together to improve understanding and develop solutions. CPS’s Brian Min and Sabina Tomkins will both co-lead projects as part of a joint pilot program between the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) and College of Engineering (CoE). Read more from ISR.

CPS Remembers Barb Opal

Barbara OpalPosted Jan. 25, 2023. Barb Opal, who proudly spent her entire career in ISR’s Center for Political Studies (CPS), passed away on Thursday. She had worked with every director of the Center dating back to CPS founder Warren Miller. The memorial service will be Saturday, Feb. 11 at 12:30. Read more

Mark Tessler's New Open Access Book to Kindle Social Science Research in the Arab World

Mark Tessler BookPosted Oct. 10, 2022.  A new book by CPS’s Mark Tessler on the design and conduct of social science research in the Arab world has the potential to expand the reach and impact of social science research that contributes to informed social advancement.  Social Science Research in the Arab World and Beyond: A Guide for Students, Instructors, and Researchers has been released by Springer Publishers in its Sociology series; Qatar University Press has translated the book and is publishing the Arabic edition.  Read more and get the open access book