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2022 News


Elizabeth Shakman Hurd | Overturning Roe v. Wade is ‘about control, not religion’ expert says

May 4, 2022 – from Northwestern Now
According to a leaked draft opinion obtained by Politico, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Northwestern University has four political and legal experts available to discuss the historical and legal context of the potential decision and what it would mean for the future of abortion rights and the Court’s interpretation of the protections guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.


Alvin B. Tillery Jr. | Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to the Supreme Court: ‘A Watershed Moment’

April 8, 2022 – from Northwestern Now
“The confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court is a watershed moment in our nation’s history,” Tillery said. “It is also a major win for President Biden, who has now kept a campaign promise to a crucial Democratic constituency and expanded the diversity of the Supreme Court. While it is understandable why the majority of Americans who wanted Judge Jackson confirmed to the Supreme Court might see her elevation as a sign that the country is finally moving past the polarization that characterized the Trump years, this would be a mistake.


Traci Burch | Officer-Involved Killings and the Repression of Protest

March 17, 2022 – from Urban Affairs Review
This article explores the likelihood that officer-involved killings affect protest. Analyzing respondents to the Collaborative Multiracial Political Survey (CMPS) reveals no increases in protest activity between treatment groups exposed to officer-involved killings in their local area prior to participating in the survey and control groups who were exposed to officer-involved killings after survey participation overall. In fact, local exposure to Black victims appears to repress protest, but only among young Black respondents. This effect depends on the characteristics of the victim and the incident, as killings of low threat Black victims do not seem to repress protest.

Alvin Tillery | Senate unanimously passes historic anti-lynching legislation

March 8, 2022 – from WBEZ Chicago
After more than a century and 200 failed attempts, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that makes lynching a federal hate crime. The Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act was introduced by Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush and is expected to be signed by President Biden. Reset learns more about the legislation and what it means for the ongoing fight for racial justice in the U.S. GUESTS: Professor Alvin Tillery, director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy; and associate professor of political science and African American studies Rev. Wheeler Parker, cousin of Emmett Till


Alvin B. Tillery Jr. | Northwestern professor launches DEI business forum

February 23, 2022 – from Northwestern Now
The Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy (CSDD) at Northwestern University announced today (Feb. 23) the launch of a business forum that will connect academic researchers with industry leaders to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues arising in today’s global marketplace.The new CSDD Business Forum aims to provide business leaders with cutting-edge social science research to generate insights they can translate to their own DEI initiatives.

James N. Druckman | The January 6th, 2025, Project

February 21, 2022 – from The Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy
The January 6th, 2025, Project seeks to understand the social, political, psychological, and demographic factors that led to the January 6th, 2021, insurrection and continue to threaten the stability of our democratic system of government. Through our research, teaching, and public engagement, we hope to offer an assessment of the state of our democracy and insight into how to protect and strengthen it, with a special emphasis on how to prepare for the attack on our electoral system that will likely occur on January 6th, 2025.


Tabitha Bonilla | The Importance of Campaign Promises

January 24, 2022 – from Cambridge University Press
Campaign promises are a cornerstone of representative democracy. Candidates make promises to signal to voters their intentions in office and voters evaluate candidates based on those promises. This study unpacks the theorized pathway regarding campaign promises: not whether promises are kept, but what purpose promises serve, what they signal, and how they affect voter decision-making. The author explores the pathways and conditions influencing promises and finds that promises tend to have a polarizing effect on voters' opinions of politicians, attracting similarly-positioned voters and strongly repelling voters who disagree with a candidate's position. In addition, voters perceive promise breakers as less honest and less likely to follow through than candidates who more weakly took the same position.

Sally Nuamah | Political Mobilization Around Chicago School Closings Policy Brief

January 21, 2022 – from Institute for Policy Research
In 2012, the Chicago Public Schools board initiated the largest wave of school closures in U.S. history, shutting down 49 out of nearly 500 public schools. These schools were in predominately Black neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides. In the American Political Science Review, IPR political scientist and social policy expert Sally Nuamah and political scientist Thomas Ogorzalek document how the closures changed the political behavior of Black Chicagoans who lived in communities targeted for a school closure. Despite relatively low participation rates in the democratic process before the closures, these citizens—who are from some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods—increased their political engagement. Their research supports a model of place-based mobilization, or the process of citizens responding to policy change concentrated in their local community.

Chloe Thurston | Balancing optimal policy and real-world politics

January 14, 2022 – from Crain's Chicago Business
So far, Evanston's efforts have yielded a $400,000 fund to be used for grants of up to $25,000 for Black homeowners, who resided in Evanston between 1919 and 1969, that can be used for mortgages or home improvements. This has been lauded as a step toward recognizing and redressing the city's role in racial economic disparities. It's also been criticized for being overly narrow in its eligibility criteria.

James Druckman | Racial bias in perceptions of disease and policy

January 13, 2022 – from Sage Journals: Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
Narratives about Africa as dark, depraved, and diseased justified the exploitation of African land and people. Today, these narratives may still have a hold on people’s fears about disease. We test this in three (pre-COVID-19) experiments (N = 1,803). Across studies, we find that participants report greater worry about a pandemic originating in Africa (vs. elsewhere). In turn, they report greater support for travel bans and for loosening abortion restrictions. We then document these narratives in an archival study of newspaper articles of the 2015–2016 Zika pandemic (N = 1,475). We find that articles were more negative—for example, they included more death-related words—if they mentioned Africa. Finally, we replicate the experimental results within the COVID-19 context, using a representative sample (N = 1,200).

Alvin B. Tillery Jr. | Reflections on MLK Day

January 13, 2022 – from C Street Advisory Group
The holiday celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important moment of reflection for me each year. As an African American born three years after the movement Dr. King and others led to make America a multiracial democracy, the course of my life has been fundamentally shaped by the impact of his efforts. Without Dr. King’s work, I would have grown up in a different neighborhood, been educated in schools of lesser quality, and have had far less freedom to move in this society which is typically hostile to Black bodies.

Chloe Thurston | New Illinois Law Allows Homeowners to Remove Racist Language from Home Deeds

January 7, 2022 – from ABC Chicago
Chloe Thurston, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, authored a book on housing discrimination in the 20th century titled "At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination, and the American State.""If you have a house that was built before 1950, there's a pretty good chance that there's a restrictive covenant in the deed, particularly if that was a neighborhood that was historically predominantly white," she explained.

Alvin B. Tillery Jr. | Capitol Under Siege, One Year Later

January 5, 2022 – from Northwestern Now
“Perhaps the most disappointing thing that we have learned is that the American people are largely content to watch their democracy burn,” said political scientist Alvin Tillery, director of Northwestern’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. “Two years after the largest mass protest movement in American history in the name of #BlackLivesMatter and after watching incredibly brave young people strike out for Democracy in places like Hong Kong and Nigeria, the American people are greeting the continuing assault on our democracy with a resounding ‘meh.’ So, on this eve of the one-year anniversary of the Capitol uprising, my warning to Americans, particularly people of color, is that we are not safe.”
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