In the weeks leading up to Election Day–and in the days and weeks following–Barnard's faculty experts were featured in several news outlets about the candidates, the outcome, and the United States' political process.
In an op-ed in The New York Times, Prof. Jennifer Finney Boylan, the Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence, pushed back against the accusation that Hillary Clinton lost in part because of the Democratic party’s focus on transgender civil rights. She points out that Clinton “hardly campaigned as an LGBT firebrand,” and that in any event, LGBT Americans have real and serious cause for concern that the rights they have gained over the last eight years will be taken away through anti-LGBT legislation.
Prof. Sheri Berman, whose work as a professor of political science focuses on the rise of fascism in early 20th century Europe, lent her expertise to two articles in The New York Times about President-elect Trump’s threats to jail his political opponent and his potential unwillingness to accept the election’s outcome if he did not win. She also discussed the chilling implications for a democratic government if he followed through on either of those threats. Following the election, Prof. Berman spoke with the Council for European Studies in an article about the rise of populism, first in Europe and now in the United States, and the effects that the movement could have for democracy. She later contributed to an article in The Christian Science Monitor, noting the similarities between the election of Trump, a populist, and the rise of populist movements in Europe, which have formed around various senses of ethnic nationalism and xenophobia.
Prof. Michael Miller, whose political science research focuses on American elections, contributed to several news stories about how voters assess candidates. A Deseret News piece on reacting to scandals noted that both candidates had infidelity scandals tainting their campaigns, and that research has been unable to prove whether voters can separate personal and professional assessments. He was also interviewed for a Washington Times investigation of the role of super PACs, in which he noted that the distaste that voters and donors had for both candidates often took shape in the form of donations to anti-candidate super PACs.
Prof. Rajiv Sethi, an economist who studies finance, inequality, crime, and communication, wrote a guest column for India Today about identity-based voting coalitions and the effects of globalization and automation. Voting is an expression of one’s sense of self, he argued, as well as an expression of solidarity with one’s fellow voters. As such, Prof. Sethi said this election has brought to light the deep social divides among the American population due to the damage that technological progress and globalization has done to small industrial towns.
Prof. Mark Carnes, who specializes in modern American history and is the founder of the Reacting to the Past curriculum adopted by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide, contributed a short analysis of presidential power to the University of Washington's radio station KUOW. He notes that while a Republican majority in Congress may allow President-elect Trump to take liberties with the powers of his office, the Constitution does impose limits on those powers, and challenging those limits could cause a Constitutional crisis.
Post-Election Panel and Town Hall: On Wednesday, November 9, more than 500 students, faculty members, and staff attended a standing-room-only Post-Election Panel and Town Hall in the Diana Center Event Oval. Provost Linda Bell moderated a panel of four professors from the political science and economics departments, who shared their expertise on the political process, polling, and the cultural and social issues at play in the historic election. Prof. Kate Krimmel noted that the polls may have been wrong partially because of incorrect sampling, while Prof. Michael Miller theorized that the Democrats’ loss despite President Obama’s high approval ratings means that this was an election about personal identity. Prof. Kimberley Johnson emphasized the impact that the recent diminution of the Voting Rights Act had on voter turnout, and Prof. Belinda Archibong declared a time of transition where citizens must carefully scrutinize their expectations of government.
For more information or to contact one of Barnard’s faculty experts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org