Past Events

May 23, 2014

Patrick Smith is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford's Center for Ethics in Society, having received his PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle in August 2013. Before studying at UW, he spent three years in the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His work is on social and political philosophy, with a special focus on the concept of domination. He is currently working on turning his dissertation, which investigates whether and how global governance institutions may rightfully exercise coercive power over states or their citizens, into a book. He was born and raised in Chicago, returning to my hometown to teach high school before graduate school.

May 21, 2014

This paper studies, theoretically and empirically, the role of overcon dence in political behavior. Our model of overcon dence in beliefs predicts that overcon dence leads to ideological extremeness, increased voter turnout, and increased strength of partisan identification. Moreover, the model makes many nuanced predictions about the patterns of ideology in society, and over a person's lifetime. These predictions are tested using unique data that measure the overcon dence, and standard political characteristics, of a nationwide sample of over 3,000 adults. Our numerous predictions fi nd strong support in these data. In particular, we document that overcon dence is a substantively and statistically important predictor of ideological extremeness and voter turnout.


May 19, 2014

A central debate in public opinion research concerns the role of partisanship in shaping citizens’ perceptions of real world conditions. While decades of work suggest that party identifiers rationalize their perceptions of the same reality, a recent line of research suggests that such rationalizations are inhibited when reality is clearly changing.

May 16, 2014

Nancy Rosenblum is the Senator Joseph Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government. Her field of research is political theory, both historical and contemporary political thought. On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship was published by Princeton University Press in 2008. It received the Walter Channing Cabot Fellow Award from Harvard in 2010 for scholarly eminence.

May 14, 2014

In the 2000 U.S. census, respondents were allowed to self-identify with more than one race for the first time. Today, the intermarriage rate is at an all-time high and multiple-race identifiers are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the country. Increases in race-mixing have raised important questions about minority group solidarity in American politics. Yet, due to challenges in studying the mixed-race population, we know little about the political opinions of multiple-race identifiers and from where those opinions emerge. Drawing on in-depth interviews and national survey data of over 37,000 multiracial respondents, this research provides insight into how mixed-race Americans develop their racial and political identities.

May 12, 2014
Throughout history, political alliances have been formed through marriage. We explore this phenomenon in Africa, where we offer a systematic investigation into the political implications of cross-ethnic marriages. We combine new data on the ethnic identity of leaders’ spouses with Afrobarometer data to investigate the nature of cross-ethnic marriage across 18 sub-Saharan African countries. We find that cross-ethnic marriages occur  frequently, about two-thirds of Afrobarometer countries in Rounds 3 and 4. Furthermore, spouse coethnics relative to those who share no ethnicity with either leader or spouse–are less supportive of their leader.
May 9, 2014

Professor Siegel’s writing draws on legal history to explore questions of law and inequality and to analyze how courts interact with representative government and popular movements in interpreting the Constitution—themes addressed recently in articles including: “The Supreme Court, 2012 Term.
For more, visit her webpage:




May 5, 2014

Does combat experience foster hardliner approaches to conflict, diminishing the likelihood of reconciliation? We exploit the assignment of health rankings determining combat eligibility in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to examine the eft ect of combat exposure on support for peaceful resolution of conflict. Given the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to global aft airs, and with no resolution to the conflict currently in sight, the question of the political consequences of combat becomes all the more pressing. We fi nd that exposure to combat hardens attitudes towards the rival and reduces support for negotiation and compromise.