Scholar Spotlight: Kay Lehman Schlozman and Samara Klar

  • American Democracy
  • Revitalizing U.S. Democracy
  • Civic Engagement
J. Joseph Moakley Endowed Professor of Political Science, Boston College
Assistant Professor of Political Science, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona

Our Scholar Spotlight features not one, but two scholars who won awards this week from the American Political Science Association’s section on Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior.

Kay Lehman Schlozman, an expert in citizen participation, won the Warren E. Miller prize for her impact on social science research. Samara Klar, who focuses on political identity, was a co-winner of the Emerging Scholars Award, presented to top scholars who are within 10 years of a PhD.

Kay Lehman Schlozman

J. Joseph Moakley Endowed Professor of Political Science, Boston College

SSN Key FindingsUnequal Citizen Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

Schlozman is a political scientist specializing in the ways that American citizens take part in politics and institutions and processes that link them to public officials – citizen participation, interest groups, and parties and elections, campaign finance – with particular emphasis on the ways that such institutions and processes affect the political voice of the disadvantaged. In addition, she has expertise in gender politics and in the ways citizens use the Internet and social media for political ends.

Samara Klar

Assistant Professor of Political Science, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona

SSN Key Findings: What Happens When Democrats and Republicans Discuss Partisan Issues?

Klar’s research focuses on how citizens' social and political identity groups influence their political preferences. She argues that individuals associate with many groups at once and, at times, these identities may align with competing sides of policy debates. In these instances, she finds (using experimental studies) that the identity facing the greatest perceived threat most strongly influences political preferences. When two groups both face threats, however, they both fail to exert influence. In other work, Klar examines political engagement among Americans who identify as "political independents" and she demonstrates, with large-scale survey data, that those who value "independence" as an important political identity are highly engaged in American politics. Elsewhere, she looks at the influence of gender and parenthood in political decision-making. In her ongoing research, Klar uses surveys and experimental methods to study the consequences of partisan conflict on public engagement with politics. Klar is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including funding from the National Science Foundation. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Political Psychology.

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