Episode 25 - Prof. Larry Bartels - What Political Science Can Teach Us About Politics Today
Dr. Larry Bartels, the May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University and co-director of Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions
Vanderbilt University Professor Larry Bartels discusses his book, Democracy for Realists, with guest host and Governing Magazine writer John Buntin. Bartels also discusses what identity politics means and why politics today is more partisan than ever.
Topics by minute:
2:30 - "The Folk Theory of Democracy"
3:30 - How well informed are voters?
5:18 - Impact of the economy on voting behavior
7:40 - Thermostatic nature of American politics
11:13 - Voters blaming Presidents for natural disasters
14:20 - Are elections a game of musical chairs?
15:40 - Swing voters
17:05 - Partisanship as identity
18:30 - Religion and reinforcing identities
23:20 - Polarization
26:35 - Race and "collapse of liberalism"
29:21 - Shift beginning in 1964
31:15 - Racial backlash or "white southern identity?"
34:48 - Race and party affiliation post Obama
40:42 - Trump and the racialized lens
43:09 - What was most striking about Trump's campaign?
47:23 - How well do elections hold politicians accountable?
50:00 - Political engagement and groups contending for power
51:51 - Local elections and national partisanship
54:38 - Book recommendation
- "Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity" by Lilliana Mason
- "Ideology in America" by Christopher Ellis and James Stimson
- "Identity Crisis: the 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America" by Sides, Vavreck and Tesler
- "The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker" by Kathy Cramer
- "Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government" by Larry Bartels