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The Niskanen Center’s The Science of Politics podcast features up-and-coming researchers delivering fresh insights on the big trends driving American politics today. Get beyond punditry to data-driven understanding of today’s Washington with host and political scientist Matt Grossmann. Each 30-45-minute episode covers two new cutting-edge studies and interviews two researchers.
 
Making sense of the post-Trump political landscape… Both the Republican and Democratic parties are struggling to defend the political center against illiberal extremes. America must put forward policies that can reverse our political and governmental dysfunction, advance the social welfare of all citizens, combat climate change, and confront the other forces that threaten our common interests. The podcast focuses on current politics seen in the context of our nation’s history and the persona ...
 
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Americans love to hate Congress and legislators often seem to ignore public views. But it turns out constituents do judge their representatives on the policies they develop and pass. Carlos Algara finds that public approval of congress is responsive to the ideological views of the majority party, making it risky to stray too far from voters. And le…
 
As Republicans embraced anti-elitism under Trump, Democrats reacted by embracing the values of the upper-middle class. The result, according to historian Matt Karp is a party that often - intentionally or unintentionally - distances itself from the working class, which it used to champion. The professional class has made all opposition the "other,"…
 
Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory were implicated in the January 6th storming of the Capitol. Former supporters have even been elected to Congress. Is conspiracy thinking on the rise? Has it taken over the Republican Party? Joseph Uscinski finds little evidence that conspiracy theory beliefs are rising due to Trump or the pandemic. Instead,…
 
"One of the few things that both left and right can agree upon nowadays is that both the "establishment" and the meritocracy ought to be overthrown. But in all of these discussions, there's little awareness that there is a history and a scholarly literature behind these concepts. And all of that in one way or another draws upon the work of the soci…
 
Democrats have full control of government but the Senate filibuster is blocking large agenda items. How likely is reform and what would it look like? What does the filibuster's resilience say about the role of partisanship in policymaking? Sarah Binder of George Washington University and the Brookings Institution has long been tracking the filibust…
 
For years, Democrats have provided training and resources to women looking to run for office through organizations like EMILY's List. Republicans have not, and the current demographics of Congress show the results. That's one of the reasons sisters Kodiak and Ariel Hill-Davis helped to found Republican Women for Progress, which provides policy-mind…
 
Biden is abruptly shifting immigration and refugee policies from Trump, facing new blowback. Are public views rooted in anti-Latino racism or a broader American ethos? Mark Ramirez finds that anti-Latino attitudes are pervasive because Latinos are stereotyped as not living up to American values; these attitudes predict policy opinions and helped el…
 
William F. Buckley was a public intellectual, commentator, and founder of National Review, the magazine that arguably launched the modern conservative movement as we know it today. Would there even be a conservative movement without Buckley's leadership? And if so, is he responsible for the Trumpist turn Republican Party has taken? Does Buckley bea…
 
Advocates and legislators often want to generate media attention for their preferred legislation, but that does not help pass bills in Congress. Mary Layton Atkinson finds that media coverage focuses on legislation with partisan conflict and emphasizes process over policy substance. That tells voters that Congress is dysfunctional and full of extre…
 
During the Trump years, political commentator and strategist Linda Chavez held out hope that the more moderate elements of the Republican Party would make a resurgence. But the widespread denial of the 2021 election results was her breaking point, and she openly left the party. She could no longer associate with a group that embraced conspiracy the…
 
What motivated the rioters to buy plane tickets and storm the Captol? Was it a pre-meditated, organized coup or something more spur-of-the-moment? And what's the future of the Republican Party, given that so many base voters still support Trump? The Week's Damon Linker joins Niskanen's Geoffrey Kabaservice to discuss the intellectual, psychological…
 
Some Republican voters supported the January 6th storming of the capitol, raising fears that the U.S. will continue to escalate violent extremism, moving everyday partisans toward endorsement of violence against their political opponents. Nathan Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason find that partisanship leads a sizeable minority of Americans to support viole…
 
Violent right-wing extremism again came to America's attention in the Capitol insurrection, including organized militia groups and white supremacists. How did these movements build support, radicalize, and evolve out of the alt-right? Sam Jackson tracks the growth of the militia movement and its involvement in right-wing politics, helping to explai…
 
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