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The Department of Political Science Colloquium Series presents
"Cross-Racial Mobilization & Candidate Position-Taking: The Evolution of Hardline/Moderates Stances During the Second Reconstruction"
with Loren Collingwood, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Riverside
February 28, 2014
Social Science Plaza A, Room 2112
Collingwood’s work investigates candidate behavior during periods of emerging voter enfranchisement. Do candidates for public office contribute to the political incorporation of previously disfranchised groups? If so, under what conditions are candidates most likely to take policy positions that these emerging groups prefer? Collingwood develops a theoretical framework -- which he calls cross-racial mobilization (CRM) – to explain why candidates of a dominant group take policy positions favorable (or at least less hostile than their opposing candidates) to minority groups. Focusing on the Civil Rights Era, he analyzes the behavior of candidates running in U.S. Senate or Governor elections in the South. He argues that candidates primarily operate under a rational choice paradigm using four broad variables to determine both their policy positions and their public “tone” on racial issues: candidate characteristics (their own social identity and social dominance orientation, their opponent’s political reputation), dominant group characteristics among their electorate (white hostility), minority group characteristics among their electorate (self organization, size), and institutional characteristics (participatory barriers, electoral competition). Considering these variables, he codes candidates for their level of cross-racial mobilization during their campaign. The resulting evidence supports his theoretical assumptions (that candidates’ behavior reflects their calculated self-interest), although to varying degrees. He concludes that even under racially hostile time periods, some candidates will take policy positions favorable to racial minorities, thereby aiding minority group political incorporation.
For further information, please contact Graeme Boushey, firstname.lastname@example.org.