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

Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Godless Democrats and Pious Republicans: Party Activists and the Mythical God Gulf

Ryan Claassen, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science at Kent State University
Friday December 5, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Observers of U.S. politics have noticed big differences in voting behavior between people who claim to be active in church and those who are not active; between those who claim to belong to a faith and those who do not; and between people of different faiths. In the 2012 exit polls, respondents who never attend religious services favored Obama by 62 to 34%. Those who attended more than weekly favored Romney by 63 to 36%. If one confines analysis only to white voters, the differences were even larger.

We can trace religious divisions between the parties back to the nation's founding – when the Federalists and then the Whigs were the "church" parties and the Jefferson and Jackson Democratic-Republicans were more congenial to those who liked to drink their whiskey and wanted to be left alone by the moralizers. But how strong is the religious divide, really? Professor Ryan Claassen will explain his more skeptical view, from his forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Ryan Claassen teaches a variety of courses in the areas of quantitative research methods, American politics, and political behavior - at both the doctoral and undergraduate levels. His research spans several literatures including political participation, citizen competence, public opinion, election administration, religion and politics, interest groups, and racial and ethnic politics; however, the common thread is political engagement. In the broadest sense, he investigates whether engagement shapes the capacity of individuals and groups of individuals in the American public to effectively contribute to public opinion and compete democratically. Professor Claassen's forthcoming Cambridge University Press book assesses campaign activism among religious and Secular partisans. Professor Claassen also has a book under advance contract with Yale University Press (with Steve Hook) exploring citizen competence in the realm of public opinion about foreign policy. His work has appeared recently in American Politics Research, The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Political Science Education, Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, and Public Opinion Quarterly.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Upcoming Programming

The Friday Public Affairs Discussions will resume on January 16, 2015. As we work on creating the schedule for "Spring" semester, we will send out a preliminary version during the holiday break.

2015 will be the 80th anniversary of the passage of one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the nation's history: the Social Security Act. Whether you see it as vital "social insurance' or a threatening "entitlement," we all should agree that any legislative changes to the program, as part of budget deficit politics or for other reasons, would be one of the most important results of the new Congress. Cleveland's Center for Community Solutions invites you to reflect on the meaning and importance of those two words - "social security" - as you watch their new video, “America’s Social Contract: 80 Years of Social Security.” To view the video, click here.

I will discuss Social Security at one of our early programs, though not necessarily January 16. Wishing all a healthy and happy holiday season and New Year.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

December 2, 2014

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

Upcoming Events

Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America

A Global Currents Lecture with James W. McGuire, Ph.D., Professor of Government, Wesleyan University, Tuesday February 24, 2015, 12:15 - 1:45 p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A, Case Western Reserve University, 11308 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH. This program is made possible by the generous support of Ms. Eloise Briskin and sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies.

Why do some societies fare well, and others poorly, at reducing the risk of early death? In his award-winning book, Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America, Professor McGuire shows that the public provision of basic health care and other inexpensive social services has reduced mortality rapidly even in tough economic circumstances, and that political democracy has contributed to the provision and utilization of such social services, in a wider range of ways than is sometimes recognized. His conclusions are based on case studies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, as well as on cross-national comparisons involving these cases and others.

Jim McGuire earned his B.A. from Swarthmore and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Peronism Without Peron (Stanford, 1997) and of articles and chapters on Argentine politics and labor unions; Latin American social policies; transitions from authoritarianism; and economic growth, income inequality, and mortality decline. Wealth, Health and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge, 2010) was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 and won the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research in 2011. At Wesleyan, Professor McGuire is also a member of the Latin American Studies Program and a recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

December 2014













































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail 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: 216.368.6730 | Part of the: College of Arts and Sciences
© 2014 Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, Ohio 44106 | 216.368.2000 | legal notice