Race and Ethnicity

Voting Can Be Hard, Information Helps

March 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

Melody Crowder-Meyer, Shana Kushner Gadarian , and Jessica Trounstine | How do voters make decisions about which candidates to support? This isn’t just a question we study as political scientists – it’s a question we confront as voters as well. In 2016, one of us had to vote for a presidential nominee by picking convention delegates on a ballot that did not clearly indicate which presidential candidate each delegate supported. In 2017, another one of us was asked to select 5 names from a list of 13 candidates for town board on a ballot with no additional information about the candidates – not even their party affiliations. In contrast, in both of those years, the one of us living in California chose among candidates – in both partisan and non-partisan races – on ballots including not just names but also “ballot designations” indicating candidate occupations and past experience in the office. Read More

Race and Legislative Responsiveness in City Council Meetings

April 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

Bai Linh Hoang | The local council is one important institution that provides opportunities for constituents to directly interact with their legislators.  In holding public hearings on specific policy proposals and reserving time for the public to comment on more general matters, city council meetings enable constituents to voice their concerns about community and municipal-related matters to elected officials.  However, we know little of the potential disparities in how legislators treat different racial and ethnic groups in these meetings.  Are there racial differences in the propensity of legislators to respond to and acknowledge a constituent’s concern?   Read More

Race and State in the Urban Regime

February 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By Domingo Morel | In most U.S. cities, local authorities are responsible for governance of the local public schools and managing the local water supply, among other things. However, in many U.S. cities, local residents and their local elected officials do not have decision-making authority over traditional local government functions. In cities like Detroit, New Orleans, and Newark, states control the local schools. In Flint, the state of Michigan has governance authority over the city’s water supply. These cities have experienced state takeovers of their local governments. Read More