David Leege provides insight on Religion and Politics in new book.

by Dennis Brown

Religion: In a year when religion and politics are inextricably tied, David Leege , professor of government, can provide deep insight into how religion and culture affect voter behavior. The director of Notre Dame’s Program for Research on Religion, Church and Society, Leege is the coauthor of the forthcoming book “The Politics of Cultural Differences” and the former chair of the board of overseers of the American National Election Studies from (1993-97).p. ? From “Divining the Electorate: Religion and Politicians,” forthcoming in Commonweal magazine: "Is there a religious vote? The answer is complex and ambiguous. First of all, politicians think there is a religious vote and that, in close elections, they must cater to it. Second, each party is currently in the process of abandoning the extremes ? for Republicans the “culture wars,” for Democrats, permissiveness ? that appeal to some religious or irreligious groups and repel others. Third, voter data suggest that faith-based voting occurs only at the margins of American elections. However, faith-based voting is central for some religious groups: African-American Christians since the ?60s and white Evangelical Protestants more recently. Finally, a creedal basis for voting is difficult to sustain in the United States where office-seekers use (and abuse) religious symbols, where civil religion remains the dominant form of political religion, where economic well-being, perhaps even greed, motivates voters more than their moral and religious beliefs, and where inter-group conflicts lie fallow only for short periods of time. It has never been easy to be a consistent Christian in American politics." Contact info: (219) 631-7809; leege.1@nd.edu p. Media: The interplay between politics and the modern media is the focus of study for Robert Schmuhl , professor of American studies and director of the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Schmuhl is the author of “Statecraft and Stagecraft: American Political Life in the Age of Personality,” “Demanding Democracy,” and “Indecent Liberties,” a new book that includes two essays especially salient to the current campaign season, “Being President When Anything Goes” and “Coping with Hyperdemocracy and Hypercommunications.”p. ? From “Indecent Liberties” ? “Interestingly, with CNN, C-SPAN, Web sites on the Internet, and many other sources, the average citizen has a virtually unlimited opportunity for access to data about every aspect of American democracy. Worries about coping with the information overload notwithstanding, the most compelling concern centers on the following question: Will individuals ? except for the self-interested engaged in politics and government ? take the initiative to study issues and ideas relevant to democratic deliberation? In recent years, as the number of televisions channels has grown and the use of the remote control operator has become more popular, the phenomenon of ?zapping? messages without immediate appeal has increased. Somehow or other, the slow-moving and complicated processes of public life will have to be perceived as worthy of continuing consideration, or the public knowledge central to purposeful action will suffer even greater decline.”p. Contact info: (219) 631-5128; schmuhl.1@nd.edu: schmuhl.1@nd.edu p. Popular/political culture: A professor of English, William O’Rourke is the author of “Campaign America ?96: The View from the Couch.” A chronicle of the 1996 presidential campaign, O?Rourke takes an acerbic look at the personalities, events, and issues of the campaign from the perspective of how the media has portrayed or distorted them. The book was published in paperback this year with an updated epilogue titled “From Monica to Milosevic, 1998-1999.”p. ? From “Campaign America ?96” (2nd edition) ? “One of the oddest things about the Senate trial of President Clinton is how little the Senate had to do with it, in public, at least. What the senators did or did not do was done behind the scenes and at the conclusion (other than the actual voting) behind closed doors ?. The Senate may be a powerful political body, but it revealed itself merely a mighty shell during the trial, as it tried to do, ultimately, as little as possible. And closing its doors to the public while it ?deliberated? might be the most unfortunate bit of symbolism of the entire scandalous affair ?.”p. Contact info: (219) 631-7377; o’rourke.1@nd.edu: o’rourke.1@nd.edu p. Presidency: The history of the American presidency and administrative organization are central to the work of Peri Arnold , professor of government. Author of the award-winning book, “Making the Managerial Presidency,” Arnold also serves as director of the Notre Dame Semester in Washington Program and the Hesburgh Program in Public Service.p. Contact info: (219) 631-5016; arnold.1@nd.edu: arnold.1@nd.edu p. Minority politics: Among the Notre Dame faculty who can address campaign issues of relevance to African-Americans and Latinos are:p. ? Rodney Hero , Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy, specializes in U.S. democracy and politics, especially as viewed through the analytical lenses of Latino and ethnic/minority politics. He is the author of “Latinos and the U.S. Political System: Two-tiered Pluralism” and “Faces of Inequality: Social Diversity in American Politics.”p. Contact info: (219) 631-7281; hero.1@nd.edu p. ? Gilberto Cardenas , director of the Institute for Latino Studies, conducts research in immigration, race and ethnic relations, and historical and comparative sociology. An assistant provost and the Julian Samora Chair in Latino Studies, he twice has been named one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the country.p. Contact info: (219) 631-3819; cardenas.7@nd.edu p. ? Alvin Tillery , instructor in government, studies American politics and comparative race and ethnicity, with a focus on how elections impact the ability of minority groups to function in America. His dissertation, “The American Regime and Black Consciousness of Africa: From Martin Delany to Jesse Jackson, Jr.,” examines the formation of a transnational identity among black Americans.p. Contact info: (219) 631-3676; tillery.2@nd.edu p. Gender politics: Christina Wolbrecht , Packey J. Dee Assistant Professor of Government, is the author of the recently released book, “The Politics of Women’s Rights: Parties, Positions, and Change.” She currently is working on a collaborative project that examines women’s voting behavior and its impact on the American political system in the period immediately following the granting of women’s suffrage in 1920.p. ? From “The Politics of Women’s Rights” ?“An examination of party positioning on women’s rights from 1952 to 1992 suggests that both parties have shifted their positions over time. Republicans sided with the equality feminists in the 1950s and early 1960s, while Democrats generally opposed the equality position in favor of the status quo, protective policy for women. The parties’ positions converged to a considerable degree in the late 1960s and early 1970s with both parties contributing to an unprecedented level of political activity and accomplishment on women’s rights. Yet Democratic and Republican elites soon diverged again. In the resulting alignment, Democrats stood on the side of women’s rights, while Republicans distanced themselves from feminism and pro-women’s rights policy. Not only were the parties on different sides than might have been predicted prior to 1970, but by 1992, they were far more polarized on women’s rights than ever before.”p. Contact info: (219) 631-3836; wolbrecht.1@nd.edu p. Congress:John Roos , professor of government, specializes in Congress, political theory, and politics and literature. He is the coauthor of “Housing and Public Policy: A Role for Mediating Structures.”p. Contact info: (219) 631-7556; roos.1@nd.edu p. Political behavior: The mechanisms by which mass political behavior affects public policy are central to the current research of Benjamin Radcliff, associate professor of government. He also examines electoral politics and democratic theory and, while primarily interested in the American political landscape, his work is cross-national in character.p. Contact info: (219) 631-5051; radcliff.1@nd.edu

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