Williams College Included In $435K Research Grant03:24PM / Monday, April 09, 2007
Williamstown - The National Science Foundation has announced the award of a two-year research grant of $435,000 to the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, and Williams College for the study of responses to new political circumstances.
The project, titled "Deliberative Citizenship," will be undertaken by Professor of Political Science George Marcus at Williams College, Russell Neuman of the University of Michigan, and Michael MacKuen of the University of North Carolina.
It will analyze three possible responses to new political circumstances: whether to seek new information, or not; seek a balance of information from multiple perspectives, or not; and exhibits openness, or steadfastness to one's convictions.
"Some citizens cleave to strong partisanship, prejudging potential new information, filtering and interpreting it in accordance with strongly held beliefs," Marcus said. "Whether a political event, speech, or news story stimulates in us a thoughtful mulling over of alternatives or triggers an impulse to rally around a particular partisan flag depends on how issues are framed and linked with familiar linguistic and pictorial symbols, particularly those that signal threat or stimulate enthusiasm, anxiety, or aversion."
Author or co-author of many scholarly articles and six books, his "Political Tolerance and American Democracy," was awarded the Philip Converse Award in 2006 as the outstanding book in the field of elections, public opinion, and voting behavior. Another of his books, "Wit Malice Toward Some: How People Make Civil Liberties Judgments," was selected as the best book published in 1995 in the field of political psychology by the American Political Science Association.
Marcus' research focuses on political psychology and theories of democracy and methodology, and he has studied public opinion, the dynamics of electoral campaigns, and the relationship between issues and emotions in politics. His research has been supported by the Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, among others, including two earlier research grants from the National Science Foundation.
He is chairman of the Board of Directors of The Roper Center and a member of the editorial board of Political Psychology.
At Williams since 1967, Marcus teaches the courses, Power, Politics, and Democracy in America; Public Opinion and Political Behavior; and Political Psychology.
He received his B.A. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University. He did his postdoctoral work in the Psychology and Politics Program at Yale.