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Political Convention Experts


Political Convention Experts at UC Riverside

Expertise on Political Spouses, Role of Big Government in the War on Terror,
Third Parties and Voter Behavior, and Perceived Media Bias

(July 26, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —www.ucr.edu — University of California, Riverside faculty bring expertise in specialized areas of today’s political debate to enlighten stories about the role of political spouses, the role of big government in addressing issues such as the war on terror, how third parties and perceived media bias affect voter behavior.

  • POLITICAL SPOUSES
    Catherine Allgor, associate professor of history
    Given the strong policy stances of Teresa Heinz Kerry and the public disagreements between Lynn and Richard Cheney over gay marriage, Prof. Allgor can speak of the role of political women in the formation of U.S. government and the importance of the nation's First Ladies.

    After a career in the theatre, Catherine Allgor received her Ph.D. in 1998 with distinction from Yale University, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation on women and politics turned into her book, Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington City Help Build a City and a Government, published in 2000 by the University of Virginia Press. Professor Allgor has also written on politics, women, and religion for national publications, and her newest project is a political biography of Dolley Madison.
    Contact
    Telephone: (909) 827-1972
    Email: catherine.allgor@ucr.edu


  • ROLE OF BIG GOVERNMENT
    Max Neiman, professor of political science, director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Science Research
    The era of big government is, apparently, not over. In fact, big government will be asked to address many of the changes recommended by the 9-11 Commission, such as retooling intelligence agencies, tightening America’s borders, and developing a global diplomatic and public relations strategy to counteract radical Islamist ideology.

    His 2000 book, Defending Government: Why Big Government Works, documents the public's declining confidence in the system, and lays out the dangers of too much cynicism in the political process. “The disdain about government is, I think, based on misconceptions about its role in a democratic society,” he said, arguing that only an active and informed public can keep it from becoming an oppressive, unresponsive bureaucracy.
    Contact
    Telephone: (909) 827-4693
    Email: max.neiman@ucr.edu


  • THIRD PARTIES AND VOTER BEHAVIOR
    Shaun Bowler, professor of political science
    Of the political conventions, Prof. Bowler says, “The big issue remains geography. The national level stories — how well is Nader doing and the nationwide slices of the vote — mask the real story, which is where the votes are. And, in particular, can Kerry find a way to offset the edge in the Electoral College enjoyed by the President as a consequence of re-apportionment and the over-representation of some states relative to others, especially relative to California?”

    Bowler studies the effect of third party candidates on elections, including how voters sometimes make a “strategic” vote for a third-party candidate in the primary even if they will vote for a major party candidate in the general election. The co-author of Demanding Choices: Opinions and Voting in Direct Democracy, Bowler has studied elections all over the world.
    Contact
    Telephone: (909) 827-5595
    Email: shaun.bowler@ucr.edu


  • PERCEIVED MEDIA BIAS
    Martin Johnson, assistant professor of political science
    Johnson received his bachelor's degree in journalism before earning advanced degrees in political science. He is currently examining the ways in which the American public views the objectivity of the news media, and how an assumption of bias in the news media impacts the way people vote.

    Johnson has been quoted extensively in the media. In a story about Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 in the Christian Science Monitor, he said, “Who's going to go? People who want to see Moore take on Bush and the war on terror, and people who want to go so they can walk out! If anything, it will heighten the divisions and promote activism among the already-decideds.”
    Contact
    Telephone: (951) 827-4612
    Email: martin.johnson@ucr.edu


Catherine Allgor

Catherine Allgor

Max Neiman

Max Neiman

Shaun Bowler

Shaun Bowler

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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