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Task Forces

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 here.

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, 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.


Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century (2008)

Dianne Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame, APSA President 2007–2008
Luis R. Fraga, Co-chair, University of Washington
Terri Givens, Co-chair, University of Texas at Austin
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 in the 21st Century

Task Force assessed the practice of political science to determine whether it is living up to its full potential as a scholarly discipline to enrich the discourse, broaden the understanding, and model the behavior necessary to build strong nation-states in a rapidly changing world where population shifts and related issues regarding race, ethnicity, immigration, and equal opportunity structure some of the most significant conflicts affecting politics and policymaking.


The report concludes that political science, the discipline devoted to the study and teach­ing of power and its consequences, has the capacity to build more inclusive scholarship, approaches to teaching, and paths to professional development if it takes an honest and transparent look at itself. Specific recommendations are made to guide the discipline and profession to make progress along each of these dimensions of scholarly activity.


Learn more about the report and read it here.


Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism (2007)

Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University, Chair
Margaret Levi, APSA President 2006–2007
Robert H. Bates, Harvard University
Jeannine Bell, Indiana University
Christian Davenport, University of Maryland
Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute
Fen Hampson, Carleton University
Stathis N. Kalyvas, Yale University
David D. Laitin, Stanford University
University of Washington, Seattle
Jack S. Levy, Rutgers University
T. David Mason, University of North Texas
Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University
Marc Ross, Bryn Mawr College
Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca, Juan March Institute - Madrid
Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott, Eastern Michigan University
Barbara F. Walter, University of California - San Diego
Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University


The objective of the APSA Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism is to assess the contribution of political science to the understanding of how trends in civil violence affect domestic and international political order and to share findings with the public. Read the draft reports here by clicking the links below. Read about the report here.


How Political Violence Ends: Paths to Conflict Deescalation and Termination

Consolidating Peace and Mitigating Conflict in the Aftermath of Violence


Task Force on Interdisciplinarity (2009)

Robert Axelrod, University of Michigan, APSA President 2006–2007
John H. Aldrich, Duke University, Chair
Lisa Anderson, Columbia University
Karen Beckwith, Case Western Reserve University
Lawrence Bobo, Stanford University
Matthew C. Moen, University of South Dakota
Kristen Renwick Monroe, University of California, Irvine
Charles R. Plott, California Institute of Technology
Kenneth Prewitt, Columbia University
Philip Tetlock, University of California, Berkeley


Interdisciplinarity: Its Role in a Discipline-Based Academy

The purpose of this project is to advance interdisciplinarity in the social and behavioral sciences and humanities by identifying, examining, and recommending best practices for its development. The potential for transformative results from innovative interdisciplinary initiatives across the social and behavioral sciences, if they could be implemented and sustained, is widely noted. There are specific examples of success. But the challenges of mounting or expanding interdisciplinary work have too infrequently been met—whether for research administrators, for funders, for scholars and teachers, and for graduate students.


Learn more about the report and read it here.


Task Force on US Standing in World Affairs (2009)

Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University, APSA President, 2008–2009
Jeffrey W. Legro, University of Virginia, Chair

International Organizations/Society
Martha Finnemore, George Washington University (Group Head)
Daniel Drezner, Tufts University
John Ikenberry, Princeton University
Barbara Koremenos, University of Michigan
Erik Voeten, Georgetown University

Jack Snyder, Columbia University (Group Head)
Victor Cha, Georgetown University
Maya Chadda, William Patterson University
Giacomo Chiozza, Vanderbilt University
Marc Lynch, George Washington University
Kathleen McNamara, Georgetown University
Etel Solingen, University of California, Irvine

US Polity
Peter Trubowitz, University of Texas (Group Head)
Matthew Baum, Harvard University
Meena Bose, Hofstra University
Margaret Hermann, Syracuse University
Henry Nau, George Washington University
Stephen Krasner, Stanford University


US Standing in the World: Causes, Consequences, and the Future

What is standing and how has it varied? What causes standing to rise and fall? What impact does standing have on U.S. foreign policy? This task force answers these questions by synthesizing what we now know about U.S. standing and/or identifying what we need to know to understand better a topic of clear national and international importance.


Learn more about the task force and read the report here.


Task Force on Difference, Inequality, and Developing Societies (2008)

John Echeverri-Gent, University of Virginia, Chair
Leslie Elliott Armijo, Portland State University
Marc Blecher, Oberlin College
Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University
Valerie Bunce, Cornell University
Kiren A. Chaudhry, University of California-Berkeley
John W. Harbeson, The Graduate Center and City College, City University of New York
Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Bronwyn Leebaw, University of California-Riverside
Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, University of Chicago, Ex Officio
Loren Ryter, Cornell University
Aseema Sinha, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Susan L. Woodward, The Graduate Center, City University of New York


The Persistent Problem: Inequality, Difference, and the Challenge of Development

This report, from the APSA Task Force on Difference, Inequality, and Developing Societies, highlights the complex, multidimensional nature of inequality in the era of globalization, and documents that despite the impressive strides by nations like China and India, absolute inequality between the richest and poorest countries is greater than ever before in history. This report’s central argument is that, under conditions of high inequality, elites—both international and within individual nations—may create socially sub-optimal institutions and policies, and they may resist changes that promote development but threaten their dominance.


Read the report here.


Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy (2004)

Lawrence R. Jacobs, University of Minnesota, Chair
Benjamin R. Barber, University of Maryland-College Park
Larry M. Bartels, Princeton University
Michael C. Dawson, Harvard University
Morris Fiorina, Stanford University
Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University
Hugh Heclo, George Mason University
Rodney E. Hero, University of Notre Dame
Claire Jean Kim, University of California-Irvine
Suzanne B. Mettler, Syracuse University
Benjamin I. Page, Northwestern University
Dianne M. Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame
Kay Lehman Schlozman, Boston College
Theda Skocpol, Harvard University


American Democracy in an Age of Rising Inequality

The APSA Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy was established in 2001 to gather what political scientists and other scholars know about the ways in which recent trends in inequalities impact democratic participation and governance in the United States, and to consider how changing patterns of participation and policy influence inequality along various dimensions.


Learn more about the task force and read the report here.

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