can't see the images? view this message online.

Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Midterm Elections Forecast

Karen Beckwith - Flora Stone Mather Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University

Justin Buchler - Assistant Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University

Andrew Lucker - Associate Director Center for Policy Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University

Friday October 22, 2010
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

What will happen in the election on November 2? Nothing good for the Democrats, it appears, but how good for the Republicans? Will the Republicans capture the U.S. House? The Senate? What will happen in Ohio? What explains the likely trends, and what could be the results for how our governments work?

It's a biennial Friday Lunch tradition: we gather Political Science faculty, they make their best guesstimates, and other participants get to challenge, ask for reasons and, perhaps, keep score. Aside from their overall forecasts, each of the participants will report on particular angles they will be watching for on election night.

Attention: Parking will not be available in the visitors parking lot next to Crawford Hall on October 22nd and October 29th. On other Fridays a few spaces are available for visitors with mobility concerns. Parking options for visitors from beyond campus include the Severance Hall parking garage on East Boulevard, the small lot on Adelbert Road just uphill from Euclid Ave, and other lots on campus.

More About Our Guest....

Karen Beckwith teaches primarily in the areas of U.S. politics, political movements, and, women, gender and politics. She has special interests in the United States and West Europe, particularly Britain and Italy.

Professor Beckwith was the founding editor, with Lisa Baldez (Dartmouth College) of Politics & Gender, the journal of the Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association. She has also been co-editor of the Gender and Politics Series of the Oxford University Press, and President of the Women and Politics Research Section. Her recent work includes organizing and editing a ten-article symposium on Toward a Comparative Politics of Gender: Advancing the Discipline along Interdisciplinary Boundaries, published in Perspectives on Politics in March, 2010; and co-editing Political Women and American Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Justin Buchler studies elections, with an emphasis on legislative elections. His primary line of research is about the effects of competitive elections on political institutions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, he argues that competitive elections create perverse incentives for candidates, and produce unrepresentative election outcomes. Thus, he argues that competitive elections are actually bad for democracy. His book, Hiring and Firing Public Officials: Rethinking the Purpose of Elections, is under contract and being revised for Oxford University Press. He has also published several papers on the topic, including The Social Sub-Optimality of Competitive Elections (published in Public Choice), which received the 2007 Gordon Tullock Prize. His other papers on the topic focus on redistricting.

Justin Buchler also writes about the use of spatial models to study elections. His papers address the role of party influence on candidate position-taking, as well as the impact of valence characteristics, such as competence and honesty.

Andrew Lucker studies state and local government politics and policies. He also studies the relevant strengths of the two major political parties in the United States at any given point and time. He is currently researching a book on American polling pioneer Samuel Lubell. Dr. Lucker also recently completed a chapter on the Ohio legislative process for an edited book on Ohio politics.

His first book, V. O. Key Jr., The Quintessential Political Scientist (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2001) focused on an extensive examination of the work and life of one of the most important American political scientists of the twentieth century, V. O. Key, Jr. (1908-1963). The research is based on Key's voluminous personal papers, interviews with his family, colleagues, and graduate students, plus thorough study of all of his published and unpublished writings, much of which is not readily accessible today.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 29: Special Inamori Center Event, as part of International Peace and War Summit: see

November 5: Max Mehlman, Professor of Law: Why We Need Death Panels.

November 12: Kelly McMann, Associate Professor of Political Science: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan and Its Implications for the War in Afghanistan.

November 19: Jessica Green, Assistant Professor of Political Science: Global Responses to Greenhouse Gases.

December 3: Paul Ernsberger, Associate Professor of Nutrition: Health At Any Size.

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. Overflow parking is also available in the Severance Hall parking garage on East Boulevard.

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

October 18, 2010

Upcoming Events

"America's Exhibit A" Hillary Rodham Clinton's Living History and the Genres of Authenticity

Dr. Sidonie Smith, Ph.D., Martha Guernsey Colby Collegiate Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, 5:30 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2010, Moot Court Room, CWRU Law School, 11075 East Boulevard Cleveland, Ohio. Free and open to the public

In the early 21st century, memoir culture, celebrity culture, and U.S. political culture have converged as Presidential wannabes publish memoir after memoir, thereby converting "a life" into money, message, and conduit for voter attachment. Hillary Clinton's best-selling autobiography Living History (2003) implicitly announced her Presidential bid, mobilizing personal storytelling to convince readers that this Senator and feminist First Lady could be President. Dr. Smith will explore how the genres of Clinton's Living History produce, or not, the authenticity effect of a "real Hillary," the convincing persona that is always at stake in the political field; and how both the narrating and narrated "Hillarys" do and undo the gendered idioms of political power.

Dr. Sidonie Smith is Martha Guernsey Colby Collegiate Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, and President of the Modern Language Association of America. She has published widely in the areas of human rights, women's studies, the study of autobiography, and feminist and postcolonial literature and theory. Her many books include Human Rights and Narrated Lives: The Ethics of Recognition (2004) and Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives, 2nd ed. (2010).

Thie program is sponsored by the Friends of the CWRU English Department and the CWRU Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. For more information please visit the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities web site.

"Under Color of Law"

Julian Bond, former Chairman, NAACP, Case Western Reserve University School of Law Frank J. Battisti Memorial Lecture, November 11, 2010, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Ford Auditorium, Allen Medical Library, Corner of Adelbert Road and Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH

Julian Bond, a world-renowned member of the U.S. civil rights movement, will speak on the role the law has played in both encouraging and thwarting that movement, beginning with the seminal Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education (1954). While Brown in many ways gave life to the civil rights movement in this country, Mr. Bond will discuss how legal developments continuing to the present day have served at times in fact to discourage progress in that movement. His presentation will include his personal involvement with legal developments in the civil rights movement and his own case involving his seat in the Georgia legislature -- a case that ultimately ended up before the Supreme Court.

October 2010













































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

If you would like to not receive this weekly e-mail or if you would like to submit items for inclusion please send a notice to

Visit the Public Affairs Discussion Group Web Site.

Center for Policy Studies | Mather House 111 | 11201 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7109 | 
Phone: 216.368.2424 | Part of the: College of Arts and Sciences
© 2010 Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, Ohio 44106 | 216.368.2000 | legal notice