Harvard Professor Theda Skocpol Visits JCU

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Theda Skocpol

Theda Skocpol

The Guarini Institute for Public Affairs was honored to welcome Dr. Theda Skocpol from Harvard University for a special lecture entitled “Obama, the Tea Party and the Future of American Politics” on February 20th 2014.

Dr. Skocpol (Ph.D., Harvard, 1975) is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. In 2007, she was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science for her “visionary analysis of the significance of the state for revolutions, welfare, and political trust, pursued with theoretical depth and empirical evidence.” Skocpol’s research focuses on U.S. social policy and civic engagement in American democracy, including changes since the 1960s. Her current projects study the transformations of U.S. federal policies in the Obama era.

In her lecture, Dr. Skocpol discussed the changing attitude of the American population towards Obama and his presidency. Dr. Skocpol explained how and why Republicans gained such massive support after 2008, and what caused such fierce opposition to arise against Obama and his administration.

Dr. Skocpol, who has recently published a book entitled The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (2012, with Vanessa Williamson), focused her research on the political role of the Tea Party. The conservative political movement known for promoting a reduction in U.S. national debt by cutting government spending and taxes is perhaps the most evident example of the changing attitude of the American population towards Obama. Dr. Skocpol concluded her lecture by briefly exploring the future of American politics, followed by an open question-and-answer session.