Conservative Bias in Perceptions of Public Opinion Among American Political Elites

The conservative asymmetry of elite polarization and the right-skewed “democratic deficit”—wherein policy is more conservative than majorities prefer on average—represent significant puzzles. We argue that such breakdowns in aggregate representation can arise because politicians systematically misperceive constituency opinion. We demonstrate this argument in US states, where conservative citizens are more […] Read more »

The New Party of No: How a president and a protest movement transformed the Democrats

… The Democrats have never been a natural opposition party, or a particularly effective one. Republicans from Reagan to the Tea Party broadly believed in reducing government, as the anti-tax activist Grover Norquist famously put it, “to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it […] Read more »

Is Facebook a site of political engagement for young people?

… The Civic Network project systematically compared young people’s use of social media for civic and political engagement in Australia, the USA and UK, using: in-person focus groups with affinity groups of student activists; online surveys of over 3600 young people aged 16-29, using original measures of political participation and […] Read more »

The Reluctant Activist’s Guide to Protest

Black Lives Matter. Occupy Wall Street. The Tea Party. Even before the nationwide protests in response to Donald Trump’s election, civil unrest was roiling American politics. Citizens who a generation ago might never have considered speaking out are taking to the streets, shouting down officials at town halls, and deluging […] Read more »

Large Majorities See Checks and Balances, Right to Protest as Essential for Democracy

Large majorities of the public, Republicans and Democrats alike, say open and fair elections and a system of governmental checks and balances are essential to maintaining a strong democracy in the United States. However, there is less consensus about the importance of other aspects of a strong democracy – notably, […] Read more »