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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:

Revamping Communication: How can we discuss politics to maximize learning and minimize animosity?

Thursday, January 28, 2021 | 12pm-1:30pm MST

Politics has permeated much of American life. In a society where everything is politicized, even the most mundane conversations can quickly become contentious. Not only does this drive interpersonal animosity and distrust, but also coincides with contention over contrasting factual realities. But is this new state of affairs inevitable? Are there steps we can take, as individuals, to try to combat these new trends? An expert panel of communications scholars and practitioners share their knowledge and experience about how we can avoid animosity and make our discussions more fruitful.

Speakers include:

Katie Knobloch (Colorado State)
Mathew Levendusky (University of Pennsylvania)
Julia Minson (Harvard University)
Michael Neblo (Ohio State)
Robin Teater (Healthy Democracy, 2016-2020)

Watch recording here.  Access Passcode: ppIaR$x2

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