Christopher Parker

Christopher S. Parker

Professor of Political Science, University of Washington

Connect with Christopher

About Christopher

Parker is a scholar of racial and ethnic politics, social movements, public opinion, and political behavior. Parker is the author of books and articles on social change, patriotism, and right-wing movements. Parker has published in the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and International Security, among other journals. He has received several honors for his research and writing, including the Ralph Bunche Award for the best book on ethnic and cultural pluralism (from the American Political Science Association). Parker is also a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Scholar (2005-2007). He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, and served in the military from 1982-1992.


In the News

Quoted by Ruth Graham in "What ‘Trump Studies’ is Telling Us," Politico, September 5, 2017.
Guest on KOMO News, August 14, 2017.
Opinion: "Trump’s Affirmative-Action Rollback: A Promise Kept," Christopher S. Parker, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 3, 2017.
Quoted by Danny Westneat in "UW Professor Got It Right on Trump. So Why is He Being Ignored?," Seattle Times, June 14, 2017.
Opinion: "The Real Reason Trump Won: White Fright," Christopher S. Parker, The Washington Post, November 17, 2016.
Guest on PBS, September 23, 2016.
Quoted by Michael Tomasky, Jack Meserve, and Sophia Crabbe-Field in "How to Debate Trump," Democracy Journal, September 23, 2016.
Opinion: "Why Colin Kaepernick is Like George Washington," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, August 30, 2016.
Opinion: "Does ‘Black Lives Matter’ Still Matter?," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, July 21, 2016.
Opinion: "Do Trump’s Racist Appeals Have a Silver Lining?," Christopher S. Parker, The American Prospect, May 19, 2016.
Opinion: "Why Bernie Will Burn Out in Dixie," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, February 25, 2016.
Opinion: "Race and Racism after Obama: Where Do We Go from Here?," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, January 13, 2016.
Opinion: "Dear Republicans: Do Your Patriotic Duty," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, December 14, 2015.
Opinion: "Ben Carson: Token Candidate," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, November 6, 2015.
Opinion: "How the GOP Circus Act Compromises American Democracy," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, October 14, 2015.
Quoted by David Segal in "Flat Wages Add to Allure of the ‘Anti-Politician’ in Reliably Red States," New York Times, October 10, 2015.
Opinion: "Ronald Reagan Would Hate You All: The Real History Today’s Right Wing Will Never Understand," Christopher S. Parker, Salon, September 30, 2015.
Opinion: "If Goldwater Can Win the GOP Nomination, Why Not Trump?," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, September 14, 2015.
Opinion: "Why the Silence of Moderate Conservatives is Dangerous for Race Relations," Christopher S. Parker (with Megan Ming Francis), The Conversation, August 10, 2015.
Opinion: "Will the Charleston Tragedy Serve as an Inflection Point for Race Relations?," Christopher S. Parker, The Conversation, July 7, 2015.
Research discussed by Peter Kelley, in "Tea Party Conservatives Differ on Foreign Policy," Futurity, October 24, 2014.
Quoted by Christopher Ingraham in "95% of Republican House Districts are Majority-White," The Washington Post, August 12, 2014.
Opinion: "The (Real) Reason Why the House Won't Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform," Christopher S. Parker, Brookings Institution, August 4, 2014.
Opinion: "A Suicidal Republican Civil War," Christopher S. Parker, Talking Points Memo Café, June 30, 2014.
Opinion: "Wither the Tea Party? The Future of a Political Movement," Christopher S. Parker, Brookings Institution, June 4, 2014.
Quoted by Molly Ball in "Why Everyone Loves to Blame the Tea Party," The Atlantic, March 19, 2014.
Quoted by in "Destroying the Destroyer," Washington Monthly, October 4, 2013.
Opinion: "Why Do People Join the Tea Party?," Christopher S. Parker, Talking Points Memo, July 16, 2013.
Opinion: "Tea Party Rise Will be Short," Christopher S. Parker, CNN Opinion, May 28, 2013.
Guest on Hardball with Chris Matthews, March 20, 2013.
Opinion: "Will the Tea Party Outlast Obama?," Christopher S. Parker, Democracy, Winter 2014.
Regular contributions by Christopher S. Parker to The Conversation: Race and Rage.


"Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America" (with Matt Barreto) (Princeton University Press, 2013).
Explains why people are attracted to the Tea Party, and the political consequences associated with the movement.
"The Tea Party in the Age of Obama: Mainstream Conservatism or OutGroup Anxiety?" (with Matt Barrteo, Betsy L. Cooper, Benjamin Gonzalez, and Christopher Towler). Political Power and Social Theory 22 (2011): 105-137.
"Symbolic versus Blind Patriotism: Distinction without Difference?" Political Research Quarterly 63, no. 1 (2010): 97-114.
Tests claims about whether or not Blind Patriotism (i.e., jingoism) is any different from Symbolic Patriotism (i.e., what America represents).
"Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle against White Supremacy in the Postwar South" (Princeton University Press, 2009).
Explains why black veterans – more so than non-veterans – were motivated to participate in the civil rights movement.
"A Black Man in the White House: The Role of Racism and Patriotism in the 2008 Presidential Election" (with Mark Sawyer and Christopher Towler). Du Bois Review 6, no. 1 (2009): 193-217.
Examines the extent to which racism and patriotism – themes associated with Obama’s candidacy – played a role in the outcome. Both did.