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University of Denver

Center on American Politics

American politics is more relevant to people's lives than ever before, and it has never been so important that people understand the changing norms and customs of the political system. The Center on American Politics supports deep community engagement and interdisciplinary research on crucial issues in American politics.

The mission of the Center on American Politics is to convene policymakers, political observers, and scholars to analyze and discuss important issues of our day in an informed, open, and nonpartisan manner.

The Center is chiefly focused on the two institutions most central to the integrity and responsiveness of American politics – elections and political parties. The Center assembles public conversations to provide voters, politicians, and the broad community with insights about electoral campaigns and party practices, synthesizing the practical experience of activists, consultants, journalists, and elected officials with the historical and systematic perspectives of a multidisciplinary range of scholars.

Civic Dialogues

As norms and institutions are evolving, it is important that the Center provides opportunities to engage the DU and greater community in conversations that enhance the understanding of America's political system. Examples of events:
» State gubernatorial debates
» Discussions with elected officials
» Panels on issues affecting local and national voters

Interdisciplinary Research

The Center on American Politics fosters research on issues of contemporary concern in American politics, including representation, democratic engagement, electoral behavior, and the health of governing institutions. Examples of postdoctoral and scholarly research include:
» Examination of the effects of patriotic campaign appeals
» Studies on campaign narratives and identity politics
» Surveys assessing voter attitudes on media and military actions

Seth Masket was appointed Director of the Center on July 1, 2017. Kimberly Chiew  and Michael Nalick  are the 2020-2021 faculty affiliates. Christopher Celaya was appointed as the two year Post Doctoral Fellow in 2020.


new Events:

Emotion, Expectancy, Aftermath: Examining voter responses to the 2016 and 2020 elections through a neurocognitive lens

Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 12pm-1:00pm MDT

The human brain has evolved to make predictions and evaluate outcomes against them, learning information, generating emotions, and adjusting behavior accordingly. By studying these processes in the context of election anticipation and outcome, we can test laboratory-based hypotheses against responses to a real-life, consequential event and consider implications for group-based civic behavior. I will present work examining emotion and autobiographical memory for the 2016 American election outcome as well as new work examining changes in emotion and media information-seeking behaviors as a function of prediction-outcome discrepancy for the 2020 American election.

Speakers include:

Dr. Kimberly Chiew

RSVP here.


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