The 2016 Elections in the U.S.: Is this any way to elect our leaders?

Note long: 
Gemeinsame Veranstaltung mit GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
13.10.2016 - 15:00 bis 17:00
A 5,6 Raum A 230/231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
MZES Public Lecture
Professor John H. Aldrich
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Duke University

This MZES Public Lecture is a joint event with GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences.

Abstract: To many of the pundits and political experts in the U.S., the events leading up to the 2016 general elections were dramatic, surprising, and unpredictable (and, of course, they may still be when results come in).  But in fact, by putting American elections into their political and historical context we will see that the range of what was unexpected is actually rather small.  Why we have closely contested elections for the U.S. House, Senate, and presidency, and yet why so few congressional seats and state delegations for electing the president are competitive describes the U.S. electoral and party system of the 21st century so far, and 2016 seems no different.  Even the (admittedly highly unusual) American system of selecting presidential nominees formed patterns that have appeared regularly in recent decades.  The real surprise to most commentators was "why Trump?"  The answer appears to be that his core is apparently supporting him not because of who he is but because of what has been unrepresented in American national politics for the last 30 years.  Who he is and what his candidacy might mean for America's two great parties are what is genuinely unexpected in the 2016 elections.

Biography: Professor John Aldrich (PhD Rochester) is the Pfizer-Pratt University Professor of Political Science, Duke University, the Chair of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) Planning Committee for Module 5, and is visiting Mannheim on the invitation of the GESIS Leibniz Institute. Professor Aldrich is a past President of the Southern Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the American Political Science Association, has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His works have appeared in leading political science journals including the American Journal of Political Science and the American Political Science Review and he is the (co)-author of several leading texts in the field of political behavior and methodology including Why Parties, Before the Convention, and Linear Probability, Logit, and Probit Models. His forthcoming work (2017, with John Griffin) is Why Parties Matter: Political Competition and Democracy in the American South 1832-2012.

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