Rooney Center faculty and students research a range of topics in American politics, advancing our understanding of American democracy across campus and around the world.  This important work is disseminated broadly through academic journals, books, talks and workshops, and through public engagement with the press.

While the Center’s research addresses American politics broadly, it has five focal areas of inquiry:

  • Representation and politics in legislatures: The dynamic relationship between how legislatures are designed and how legislators influence democratic outcomes in the United States.
  • The politics of democratic participation: Public opinion, civic engagement, communication, and political behavior in the United States.
  • The politics of democratic inclusion: The political incorporation and representation of an increasingly diverse population in the United States, especially Latinos.
  • Religion and American democracy: The role of religion—especially Catholicism, evangelical Protestantism, and minority religions, as well as America’s growing non-religious population—in the U.S. political system.
  • Politics, organizations, and psychology: Democratic attitudes, polarization, and the role of partisan politics in organizations.