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Upcoming Events

Interdisciplinary Workshops on Politics and Policy

Wednesdays at noon, in-person at ISR-Thompson Room 6080 (except where noted). Read more about this year’s series.

Upcoming talks for 2024:

Jan. 24, Robert Brown, Spelman College
Mar. 6, Danielle Thomsen, UC Irvine
Mar. 20, Anna Grzymala-Busse, Stanford University
Apr. 10, D’Andra Orey, Jackson State University

ISR Insights Talk

Fair Enough? Support for Redistribution in the Age of Inequality
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 | noon ET

Charlotte Cavaillé will speak on wealth distribution at the ISR Insights Talk.

The Hanes Walton Jr. Lecture

Christian Davenport
The United Racisms of America: Conceptualizing, Measuring and Understanding Anti-Black Human Rights Violations, 1860-2010

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 | 4 p.m. ET
ISR-Thompson 1430

A great deal has been discussed about the different types and degrees of violence\discrimination directed against African Americans since they were brought to the United States. Unfortunately, the work on this topic has largely been fragmented. We thus have separate literatures on slavery, lynching, Jim Crow (old and new), police violence, disenfranchisement, incarceration, police violence and hate crimes. Despite suggestions that these are all manifestations of a singular underlying phenomenon, there is very little empirical effort directed toward testing such an idea. Drawn from a larger research project on the consequences of racial violence funded by the Research Council of Norway, the current talk explores whether and to what degree distinct forms of anti-Black human rights violations fit together in a coherent sense as well as how they vary across space and time. At the 2024 Hanes Walton Jr. lecture, Christian Davenport will present data that will not only shed much light on what was done to African Americans between the years 1860 and 2010 but will also facilitate systematic evaluations of when things began to get worse and better, what was the relative intensity of violations, how long did bad/good periods last, what are the legacies/consequences of anti-Black human rights violations as well as where efforts should be made to address PTSD, reconciliation and/or reparations. This effort will also assist in the creation of a grand accounting of what has taken place by allowing individuals throughout the United States to provide their stories and archival material regarding what they experienced.

The 2024 Miller-Converse Lecture

James L. Gibson, Washington University in St. Louis
Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern
ISR-Thompson, Room 1430

This event is part of the annual Miller-Converse Lecture Series.

Democracy’s Destruction? The 2020 Election, Trump’s Insurrection, and the Strength of America’s Political Institutions

Did Trump and his MAGAites inflict damage on American political institutions via election denialism and the assault on the U.S. Capitol? While most pundits and many scholars find this a question easy to answer in the affirmative, to date, little rigorous evidence has been adduced on Trump’s institutional consequences. Based on surveys of representative samples of the American people in July 2020, December 2020, March 2021, and June 2021, Gibson’s analysis examines in great detail whether American political institutions lost legitimacy over the period from before the presidential election to well after it, and whether any such loss is associated with acceptance of the “Big Lie” about the election and its aftermath. His highly contrarian conclusion is simple: try as they might (and did), Trump and his Republicans did not in fact succeed in undermining American national political institutions. The empirical evidence indicates that institutions seem to be more resilient than many have imagined, just as Legitimacy Theory would predict.

James L. Gibson is the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis. His book on this subject, Democracy’s Destruction? The 2020 Election, Trump’s Insurrection, and the Strength of America’s Political Institutions, is forthcoming from the Russell Sage Foundation, May 2024.