Expert to Speak on ‘Understanding U.S. Politics Today’ at UMass Amherst


DATE:           Tuesday, Sept. 11

TIME:            Media availability by appointment 1-3 p.m.

WHAT:          Harvard government and sociology researcher Theda Skocpol

WHERE:       904 Campus Center, UMass Amherst

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Public Engagement Project (PEP) at UMass Amherst, the organization has invited Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, to be its featured speaker. She will be available to reporters interested in her views on politics in the United States today, in particular implications for higher education, before her talk later in the day.

Skocpol’s research focuses on U.S. social policy and civic engagement in American democracy, including changes since the 1960s. She recently launched new projects on the development of U.S. higher education and on the transformations of U.S. federal policies in the Obama era.

Over the last two decades, Skocpol’s research has primarily focused on health care reform, public policy and civic engagement amidst the shifting inequalities in American democracy. Among the many books she has authored or co-authored are “Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life,” “Health Care Reform and American Politics,” and “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.”

Over the past 10 years, PEP has worked to expand the engagement of scholars in many spheres outside the academy. Through campus-wide programming, faculty fellowships and networking opportunities, PEP has helped faculty develop skills and capacities they need to inform public policy, enrich public debate and contribute to the public good.