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Task Forces

The APSA task forces seek to expand the public presence of political science by putting the best of political science research and knowledge at the service of critical issues that have major public policy implications, and by sharing with broader society what political scientists know about important trends and issues in areas of public concern. Presided over, and on topics chosen by, each APSA President, APSA task forces develop reports and recommendations that are then made available to APSA members and the public. Find completed task force reports here.

Task Force on Racial and Class Inequalities in the America (2015)

Rodney E. Hero, University of California, Berkeley, 2015 APSA President
Juliet Hooker, University of Texas, Austin
Alvin B. Tillery, Jr., Northwestern University
Melina Altamirano, Duke University
Keith Banting, Queen’s University
Michael C. Dawson, University of Chicago
Megan Ming Francis, University of Washington
Paul Frymer, Princeton University
Zoltan L. Hajnal, University of California, San Diego
Mala Htun, University of New Mexico
Vincent Hutchings, University of Michigan
Michael Jones-Correa, University of Pennsylvania
Jane Junn, University of Southern California
Taeku Lee, University of California, Berkeley
Mara Loveman, University of California, Berkeley
Raúl Madrid, University of Texas at Austin
Tianna S. Paschel, University of California, Berkeley
Paul Pierson, University of California, Berkeley
Joe Soss, University of Minnesota
Debra Thompson, Northwestern University
Guillermo Trejo, University of Notre Dame
Jessica L. Trounstine, University of California, Merced
Sophia Jordán Wallace, University of Washington
Dorian Warren, Roosevelt Institute
Vesla Weaver, Yale University

The Double Bind: The Politics of Racial and Class Inequality in the Americas 

The main goal of the task force, under the leadership of APSA President Rodney Hero, was to investigate the relationship between race and class in producing material, political, and social inequalities in the nations of the Americas. The task force also examined how the political systems in these countries work to foment and/or ameliorate inequalities that track with ethnic and racial identities and socioeconomic status. Read more about The Double Bind, and read the final report.

Task Force on Improving Public Perceptions of Political Science's Value (2014)
Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan, Task Force Chair
Brian Baird, Former Member of Congress & National Academy of Science Behavioral and Social Science Advisory Board
Adam Berinsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cheryl Boudreau, University of California, Davis
Khalilah Brown-Dean, Quinnipiac University
Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, University of Texas
James Druckman, Northwestern University
Melissa Harris-Perry, Wake Forest University & MSNBC
Sara Binzer Hobolt, London School of Economics
Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University & Chair of APSA Publications Planning Ad Hoc Committee
Bruce Jentleson, Duke University, Bridging the Gap
Rose McDermott, Brown University
Diana Mutz, University of Pennsylvania
Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College and the New York Times
Dan Schnur, University of Southern California & Communications Director 2008 McCain presidential campaign
Daron Shaw, University of Texas
John Sides, George Washington University & the Monkey Cage
Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania
Carol Swain, Vanderbilt University &
Joshua Tucker, New York University & the Monkey Cage
Lynn Vavreck, University of California Los Angeles & the New York Times

Task Force Advisors
John Aldrich, Duke University and APSA President
Kathleen Hall-Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania & Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center
Mala Htun, The New School for Social Research & recent APSA task force chair
John Ishiyama, University of North Texas and APSR lead editor
Howard Silver, Former Executive Director, COSSA
Kaare Strom, UC San Diego & Chair of APSA Committee on Publications

Let's Be Heard! How to Better Communicate Political Science's Public Value

Let's Be Heard! is organized into three sections: Section I includes in-depth interviews with publicly engaged political scientists and practitioners; Section II examines how to change the profession’s incentives for serving others; and Section III considers new ideas, approaches, and avenues toward broadcasting the value of political science. The contributors contend that political science can offer immense, life changing value to society, but its ability to have this impact depends on its ability to communicate its knowledge effectively. Read more about Let’s Be Heard, and read the final report here.

Task Force on Negotiating Agreement in Politics (2013)

Jane Mansbridge, Harvard University, APSA President, 2012–2013, co-chair
Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University, co-chair
Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University
André Bächtiger, University of Lucerne
Max Bazerman, Harvard Business School
Sarah Binder, George Washington University
Emile Bruneau, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Max Cameron, University of British Columbia
Andrea Campbell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Simone Chambers, University of Toronto
Thomas Edsall, Columbia and New York Times
John Ferejohn, Stanford & New York University
Morris Fiorina, Stanford University
Robert Frank, Cornell University
Fen Hampson, Carleton University
Torben Iversen, Harvard University
Alan Jacobs, University of British Columbia
Robert Keohane, Princeton University
Andrew Kydd, University of Wisconsin
Geoffrey Layman, University of Notre Dame
James A. Leach, University of Iowa School of Law
Frances Lee, University of Maryland
Ashley Leeds, Rice University
George Lowenstein, Carnegie Mellon University
Julia Lynch, University of Pennsylvania
Thomas Mann, Brookings Institution
Nolan McCarty, Princeton University
Michael Minta, University of Missouri
Robert Mnookin, Harvard University Law School
Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University
Kimberly Morgan, George Washington University
Daniel Naurin, University of Gothenburg
John Odell, University of California, Co-Chair
David Rand, Yale University
Christine Reh, University College London
Laurie Santos, Yale University    
Rebecca Saxe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eric Schickler, University of California, Berkeley
Melissa Schwartzberg, Columbia University
James Sebenius, Harvard University
Janice Gross Stein, University of Toronto
Cass Sunstein, Harvard University Law School
Yael Tamir, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design
Dennis Thompson, Harvard University
Dustin Tingley, Harvard University, Co-Chair
Sonia Wallace, Rutgers University
Barbara Walter, University of California, San Diego
Mark E. Warren, University of British Columbia
Melissa Williams, University of Toronto
Cornelia Woll, Sciences Po
I. William Zartman, Johns Hopkins University
Jonathan Zeitlin, University of Amsterdam

Available as a publication of Brookings Institution Press here.

Task Force on Political Science, Electoral Rules, and Democratic Governance (2012)

Mala Htun, Univeristy of New Mexico, Task Force Chair
G. Bingham Powell, Jr., University of Rochester; President, APSA, 2011–2012
John Carey, Dartmouth College
Karen E. Ferree, University of California, San Diego
Simon Hix, London School of Economics
Mona Lena Krook, Rutgers University
Robert G. Moser, University of Texas, Austin
Shaheen Mozaffar, Bridgewater State University
Andrew Rehfeld, Washington University in St. Louis
Andrew Reynolds, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ethan Scheiner, University of California, Davis
Melissa Schwartzberg, Columbia University
Matthew S. Shugart, University of California, Davis

Political Science in the 21st Century (2011)
This report examines the profession of political science to determine whether it is living up to its full potential as a scholarly discipline by enriching the discourse, broadening the understanding, and modeling the behavior reflective of vibrant democracy. Is political science positioned to embrace and incorporate the changing demographics, increasing multicultural diversity, and ever-growing disparities in the concentration of wealth present in many nation-states? Can political science do so within its research, teaching, and professional development?
Read online now.

Task Force Leadership
Dianne Pinderhughes, APSA President (2007-2008), University of Notre Dame
Luis R. Fraga, Co-chair, University of Washington
Terri Givens, Co-chair, University of Texas at Austin

Task Force Members
Manny Avalos, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
David Covin, Cal State University, Sacramento
Lisa Garcia Bedolla, University of California, Berkeley
Francis Hagopian, University of Notre Dame
Juan Carlos Huerta, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Vincent Hutchings, University of Michigan
Michael Jones-Correa, Cornell University
Taeku Lee, University of California, Berkeley
Mark Sawyer, University California at Los Angeles
Sherri Wallace, University of Louisville
Fae Korsmo, National Science Foundation, Federal Liaison

Political Science, Electoral Rules, and Democratic Governance

This report shows that context modifies the effects of electoral rules on political outcomes in specific and systematic ways. It explores how electoral rules shape party systems, the inclusion of women and minorities, the depth and nature of political competition, and patterns of redistribution and regulation. It considers institutional innovations that could promote political equality. Finally, the report describes the diverse ways that political scientists are producing an impact on the world by sharing and applying their knowledge of the consequences of electoral rules and global trends in reform.

Read more and access the report here.

Task Force on Democracy, Economic Security, and Social Justice in a Volatile World (2009)

Michael Goodhart, University of Pittsburgh, Chair
Carole Pateman, University of California, Los Angeles, 2010-11 APSA President, Ex Officio Task Force Member
Archon Fung, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Varun Gauri, World Bank
Siri Gloppen, University of Bergen (Norway)
Louise Haagh, University of York (UK)
Patrick Heller, Brown University
Enrique Peruzzotti, University Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina)
Anja Rudiger, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (New York)
Hans Peter Schmitz, Maxwell School of Syracuse University
Guy Standing, University of Bath (UK)
Brian Wampler, Boise State University
Susanna Wing, Haverford College

Democratic Imperatives: Innovations in Rights, Participation, and Economic Citizenship

The Task Force on Democracy, Economic Security, and Social Justice in a Volatile World was convened amidst the convulsions triggered by the global economic and financial crisis of 2008. The tumult had already spread far beyond the economy, with bank bailouts sparking popular outrage that shook democratically elected governments in many countries. Today, the repercussions of the crisis are still being felt, from turmoil in the euro-zone to a sputtering global economy and growing popular rejection of the politics of austerity. Meanwhile, global inequality is increasing, poverty remains stubbornly high, and evidence is mounting that traditional aid and development programs are not working.

Read more about the report and access it here.

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