Democracy Squad at GMU

Democracy Squad is a virtual organizing space for George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to promote positive civic engagement on campus. Participants commit to taking actions that reinforce democratic values and institutions in and around Mason nation.

We reinforce democracy by taking action to alleviate sources of democratic weakness. Democracy Squad does this in three main areas: address inequality (income, race healthcare, etc.), promote political representation (strengthen parties, increase voting rights, support reform efforts to expand the citizen-representative tie, etc.), and improve the information environment (promote events that share scientific and high quality information, etc.).

Organized by Professor Jennifer Victor, Democracy Squad participants commit to building a positive campus environment that promotes democracy. Democracy Squad is administered through Magnify, a social networking tool designed to help people solve collective action problems.

Sam Strathmann

My name is Samuel Strathmann, and I’m currently involved with the Global Politics Fellows Program. It emphasizes real world experience in conjunction with the knowledge gained in the classroom.

Democracy onAir’s mission to galvanize people into action is a goal that is necessary today more than ever. 159 million Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election. While polarization might have had the most to do with the turnout, it also showed that scores of people felt empowered to use their voice. Unfortunately, local and state elections rarely see good voter turnout, and certain demographics are known to have voter apathy. Democracy onAir’s progressive strategy to target a younger generation through social media is a tactic that can be used effectively. I also think that directly connecting George Mason students with their representatives is a great way to make them feel more heard. I believe that my passion and knowledge for the subject will help me learn more about the mission and contribute to the cause. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Nanayaa Obeng

As a global politics fellow at George Mason University, I believe I have the skills you are looking for.

As a person who believes in democracy and the importance of educating my fellow citizens, I am interested in the position of being an OnAir Content Curator for Virginia OnAir. This past election season was my first time voting in a Presidential Election. The feeling that I experienced from performing my civic duty is one that I will never forget. I think the work that Democracy OnAir does to inform the US public on federal, state, and local government politics is extremely important for media literacy. In the past few years, we have seen a growing distrust among the American public towards the media which can increase ignorance of important political decisions and decrease civic participation. That is why I am interested in working with an organization that is committed to promoting the democratic values that are integral to the United States democracy.

Jordan Toledo

My name is Jordan Toledo and I am a current undergraduate student at George Mason University majoring in international politics with a concentration in global governance and a minor in Spanish.

Being a member of Democracy onAir has given me the opportunity to read more about candidate information and important local, state, and federal matters that will affect me as young Virginia voter.

George Mason University

GMU has placed an emphasis on civic engagement in both its undergraduate and graduate programs and research initiatives.

Student programs include: Civic Learning and Community Engagement, Student Government, Roosevelt Institute, Democracy Squad at GMU, and Mason Leads.

Internships programs are provided for: Schar School undergraduate and graduate students, Global Political Fellows and Political Communication students.

 Kristen Wright is the Director of Civic Engagement within the Office of Undergraduate Education.

First Tuesday Speaker Series

Speakers:  Annie Holton, Peter Hart, Danny Diaz, Tom Davis, Terry McAuliffe, Karen Tumulty, Robby Mook, and Norman Ornstein

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday October 2, 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA

GMU onAir Chapter

The GMU Democracy onAir chapter is the first and model chapter for Virginia onAir and the lead university chapter for Virginia.

Undergrad student members are affiliated with a number of GMU schools, departments, and programs including: Schar School of Policy and Government, the Department of Communication, and the Film and Video Studies program. A undergrad student club/student organization is also being formed to work in tandem with the GMU onAir Chapter.

GMU grad students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Mason participate as chapter members. Virginia onAir Hub coordinators also started onAir chapters at VCU and Virginia Tech.

Democracy Squad at GMUDemocracy Squad at GMU

Democracy Squad is a virtual organizing space for George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to promote positive civic engagement on campus. Participants commit to taking actions that reinforce democratic values and institutions in and around Mason nation.

We reinforce democracy by taking action to alleviate sources of democratic weakness. Democracy Squad does this in three main areas: address inequality (income, race healthcare, etc.), promote political representation (strengthen parties, increase voting rights, support reform efforts to expand the citizen-representative tie, etc.), and improve the information environment (promote events that share scientific and high quality information, etc.).

Organized by Professor Jennifer Victor, Democracy Squad participants commit to building a positive campus environment that promotes democracy. Democracy Squad is administered through Magnify, a social networking tool designed to help people solve collective action problems.

Summary

Democracy Squad is a virtual organizing space for George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to promote positive civic engagement on campus. Participants commit to taking actions that reinforce democratic values and institutions in and around Mason nation.

We reinforce democracy by taking action to alleviate sources of democratic weakness. Democracy Squad does this in three main areas: address inequality (income, race healthcare, etc.), promote political representation (strengthen parties, increase voting rights, support reform efforts to expand the citizen-representative tie, etc.), and improve the information environment (promote events that share scientific and high quality information, etc.).

Organized by Professor Jennifer Victor, Democracy Squad participants commit to building a positive campus environment that promotes democracy. Democracy Squad is administered through Magnify, a social networking tool designed to help people solve collective action problems.

Why Democracy Squad?

Source: Professor Jennifer Victor website

This 5 minute video invites affiliates of George Mason University to join a Democracy Squad, a non-partisan effort to foster civic engagement and voting, during fall 2020.

There are three reasons it is important to organize the campus community to engage in politics:

  1. Over the past several years, partisan polarization has contributed to the decline of democratic norms. Political science has shown that democratic institutions fail when citizens and leaders fail to adhere to democratic norms. We can shore up democracy, its institutions and norms, by taking positive actions to reinforce them.
  2. Politics and policy at the federal level are are damaged and gridlocked. We can reinforce democracy by taking actions in our community.
  3. Modern American politics are ugly. Conditions are ripe for misinformation, conspiracy, and sometimes violence. As a campus community, it is important to be a model of positive civic engagement. Democracy Squad highlights partisan-neutral, positive civic participation.

What does Democracy Squad do?

Volunteers in Professor Victor’s Democracy Squad connect through Magnify, a social media application designed to facilitate collective action. Democracy Squad includes a collection of projects, big and small, to help facilitate positive civic engagement on campus. Democracy Squad members can join one another’s projects or event, or post their own. Examples include: attend an open panel or talk on campus, attend a local city council meeting, create an info-graphic about misinformation and post it on social media, create a chalk campaign to thank first responders and essential workers, and more!

Can small, individual acts really reinforce democracy?

Yes. How do I know that small, individual acts can reinforce democracy? Because it’s the only thing that ever has. When combined, small acts of individuals add up to collective action. When people reinforce democratic values, the democracy is strengthened.

What type of small acts are most effective at reinforcing democracy?

To support democracy, take actions that directly impact the sources of polarization: inequalityweak parties, and lack of shared information. The books listed below each category help to explain how trouble in these three areas have contributed to polarization. Taking action to correct these, can counteract polarization. Examples of current Democracy Squad projects that speak to these challenging areas are listed below.

1. Inequality (economic, racial, health, education, environmental, etc.). Polarization rises with inequality. Read more about how inequality contributes to democratic decline in these books:

2. Strong political parties have a moderating effect on political candidates. Strengthen parties that support democratic values. People are attracted to extremism and anti-democratic movements when they feel unrepresented. Change election laws to promote multi-partyism and generate more representation.

3. Bifurcated information environment contributes to polarization.

What has Democracy Squad done?

During the peak of the 2020 election season, George Mason University’s Democracy Squad boasted about 120 members who took more than 100 actions in 48 different local projects. Our movement was noticed by the Mason community and spread to other campuses, including University of Texas, Austin.

How do I join Democracy Squad?

Join Democracy Squad by creating an account on Magnify and joining the Democracy Squad organization on Magnify. You can then join a project that is already posted, or create your own project in Democracy Squad. Proposed projects will require approval from Professor Victor. Student generated projects are encouraged and should be consistent with the goals of Democracy Squad: encourage Mason Nation to take positive actions that reinforce democracy, reduce partisan polarization, and support democratic norms and values through civic engagement.

Click Here to Join Democracy Squad

You can also join Democracy Squad using Magnify invite code: “squadgoals.” Democracy Squad is open to any George Mason University student, staff, alumni, or faculty.

Sample Projects

Source: Democracy Squad Magnify page

Attend a Meeting: City Council of Fairfax

Magnify Page

Assignment

Choose a Fairfax City government meeting to participate in (virtually) from the list here: https://www.fairfaxva.gov/services/about-us/city-meetings

Write which meeting you’ll attend in the comments. Post a photo and any thoughts that you have about your experience afterwards!

Description

The City of Fairfax has a council/manager form of government. The mayor and six council members are elected every two years on an at-large, non-partisan basis. The current term expires 6/30/2022.

Participatory democracy requires participation. Sign up to listen to an upcoming city council meeting for the city of Fairfax, VA. Let us know which meeting you’ll be joining in the comments. Take a photo while you’re listening, and share your thoughts!

Register to vote or verify your registration

Magnify page

Assignment

Use this link citizen portal to register to vote in Virginia, or verify your registration:
https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation

Description

It will take you less than five minutes to complete this project. Register to vote or verify that you are registered to vote. Done!

A Healthy Community: Workout Together

Magnify page

Assignment

Can you build a healthy community? Democracy starts by building social cohesion. If you are a Mason student, sign up for an exercise class and invite your family or friends to join you. It’s a free resource. A healthy community is one that collaborates, whether that’s with voting or fitness. Sharing events bring us together.

Let us know what you’re doing and send us a photo in the comments!

Description

Are you a Mason student? In case you haven’t already signed up for this free benefit, BurnAlong is a free health and wellness app you have unlimited access to thousands of on-demand and live video classes spanning 45+ health and wellness categories (from cardio to yoga to dance to mindfulness to sleep to nutrition to financial wellbeing to prenatal to kids classes to classes for chronic conditions).

You can take classes alone or you can also invite up to 3 friends and family to join you in a live class – see and hear each other while taking classes together. Again, the service is available free of charge to you and your family members (you can add up to four family members under your account).

 

Run for Student Government

Magnify page

Assignment

Sign up to lead. Email sg@gmu.edu to register to run for student government! Leadership starts with you.

Description

Each spring, Student Government hosts an election for Student Body President, Vice President, and 30 Student Senator positions. The Student Body President and Vice President run as a combined ticket and students running for Senate can choose to run alone or with a “coalition” or group of other students (please keep in mind that each member must still be elected). For more information please email sgedc@gmu.edu.

 

Propose your own project or event in GMU Democracy Squad!

Magnify page

Assignment

To complete this assignment, propose a new project in GMU Democracy Squad. It can be an event about voting that you want to help promote, or an original idea you have about how to help Mason nation get ready to vote in 2020. Projects must be non-partisan and promote positive campus civic engagement. Post about your new project in comments below so we can see the movement grow.

Description

The more projects there are for students to complete, the more activity, energy, and engagement democracy squad will create. As the projects and engagement grows, more and more of Mason nation will be ready to vote in 2020.

Dr. Jennifer Nicoll Victor, organizer

Source: Personal Website

Jennifer Nicoll Victor
Associate Professor
Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Victor studies the U.S. Congress, legislative organization and behavior, social network methods, political parties, campaign finance, organized interest groups, and lobbying.  She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Political Networks (2017). She is the co-author (with Nils Ringe) of Bridging the Information Gap: Legislative Member Organizations in the United States and the European Union (U. Michigan Press 2013). Professor Victor has published research in the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political ScienceAmerican Politics ResearchParty Politics, Interest Groups & Advocacy, P.S.: Political Science and Politics, and elsewhere. In 2019 she was awarded George Mason University’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Professor Victor is a co-founding contributor to the political science blog “Mischiefs of Faction,” and is a contributing writer for GEN by Medium. Her public scholarship has also appeared in The New York TimesThe ConversationOUP Blog, and LSE US Politics blog. Professor Victor serves on the Board of Directors of the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, is the past president of the National Capital Area Political Science Association, and past Chair of the APSA organized section on Political Networks. She served as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress from September 2019 to January 2020. In 2005 she served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). From 2003-2012 she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She joined the faculty at George Mason University in 2012. Professor Victor holds a B.A. in Political Science from University of California, San Diego (Magna Cum Laude, 1997), and an M.A. (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Areas of Research

  • Campaign Finance
  • Elections
  • Interest Groups
  • Legislatures
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Social Network Analysis
  • U.S. Politics

Contact and e-profiles

Physical Address
George Mason University
Research Hall 343

Mailing Address
Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, 3F4
Fairfax, VA  22030

Direct: (703) 993-3202
Main: (703) 993-1400

Videos

The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress will hold a hearing titled “Promoting Civility and Building a More Collaborative Congress”

13:20 to 18:00 Opening Remarks by Dr. Victor
46:00 to 47:30 Earmarks
1:11:45 to 1:12:36 Congressional District partisanships
1:19:55 to 1:22:46 Willingness for civility
1:26:14 to 1:28:13 Campaign Finance

Download (PDF, 336KB)

BBC World interview regarding DNC convention

 

Professor Victor Explains the Politics of the United States Supreme Court

This video is part 12 in the new 24-part series “Understanding the US Government” by Professor Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Ph.D., for The Great Courses Plus. You can watch the rest of this series here:

Research

Books

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll, Alexander H. Montgomery, and Mark Lubell, eds. 2017. The Oxford Handbook of Political Networks. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press Inc. http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190228217.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780190228217

Ringe, Nils and Jennifer Nicoll Victor. 2013. Bridging the Information Gap: Legislative Member Organizations in the United States and the European Union. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (2013). 
https://www.press.umich.edu/5803596/bridging_the_information_gap

Book website and Database

 

Peer Reviewed Published Articles

Stein, Robert Stein, Christopher Mann, Charles Stewart III, with Zachary Birenbaum, Anson Fung, Jeb Greenberg, Farhan Kawsar, Gayle Alberda, R. Michael Alvarez, Emily Beaulieu, Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Frederick Boehmke, Joshua Boston, Barry C. Burden, Francisco Cantu, Rachael Cobb, David Darmofal, Thomas C. Ellington, Terri Fine, Charles J. Finocchiaro, Michael Gilbert, Victor Haynes, Brian Janssen, David Kimball, Charles Kromkowski, Elena Llaudet, Ken Mayer, Matthew R. Miles, David Miller, Lindsay Nielson, Yu Ouyang, Costas Panagopoulos, Andrew Reeves, Min Hee Seo, Haley Simmons, Corwin Smidt, Rachel VanSickle-Ward, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Abby Wood, Julie Wronski. “Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-County Study.” Political Research Quarterly, March, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912919832374.

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll, and Gina Yannitell Reinhardt. 2016. “Competing for the Platform: How Organized Interests Affect Party Positioning in the United States.” Party Politics, December, 1354068816678888. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068816678888.

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll and Gregory Koger. 2016. “Financing Friends: How Lobbyists Create a Web of Relationships among Members of Congress.” Interest Groups & Advocacy. On-line first 24 May 2016. doi:10.1057/iga.2016.5

Ringe, Nils, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, and Justin H. Gross. 2013. “Keeping Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer? Information Networks in Legislative Politics. British Journal of Political Science, 43(3): 601-628. (PDF)

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll. 2011. “Legislating versus Campaigning: The Legislative Behavior of Higher Office Seekers.” American Politics Research, 39(1): 3-31. (PDF)

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll and Nils Ringe. 2009. “The Social Utility of Informal Institutions: Caucuses as Networks in the 110th U.S. House of Representatives.” American Politics Research, 37(5): 742-66.. (PDF)

Koger, Gregory and Jennifer Nicoll Victor. 2009. “Polarized Agents: Campaign Contributions by Lobbyists.” PS: Politics & Political Science, 42(3): 485-488. (PDF)

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll. 2007. “Strategic Lobbying: Demonstrating how Legislative Context Affects Interest Groups’ Lobbying Tactics” American Politics Research, 35(6): 826-845. (PDF)

Bottom, William P., Gary J. Miller, Cheryl L. Eavey, and Jennifer Nicoll Victor. 2000. “The Institutional Effect on Majority Rule Instability: Bicameralism in Spatial Policy Decisions.” The American Journal of Political Science.   44(3): 523-540. (PDF)

 

Book Chapters and Non-Peer Reviewed Publications

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll. 2019 (forthcoming). “Lobbying Networks,” in The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Persuasion, Elizabeth Suhay, Bernard Grofman, and Alexander Treschel, eds. Oxford University Press: New York.

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll and Elsa T. Khwaja. 2019 (forthcoming). “Network Analysis: Theory and Testing”, in The Sage Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science & IR, Luigi Curini and Robert Franzese, eds. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Stein, Robert Stein, Christopher Mann, Charles Stewart III, with Zachary Birenbaum, Anson Fung, Jeb Greenberg, Farhan Kawsar, Gayle Alberda, R. Michael Alvarez, Emily Beaulieu, Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Frederick Boehmke, Joshua Boston, Barry C. Burden, Francisco Cantu, Rachael Cobb, David Darmofal, Thomas C. Ellington, Terri Fine, Charles J. Finocchiaro, Michael Gilbert, Victor Haynes, Brian Janssen, David Kimball, Charles Kromkowski, Elena Llaudet, Ken Mayer, Matthew R. Miles, David Miller, Lindsay Nielson, Yu Ouyang, Costas Panagopoulos, Andrew Reeves, Min Hee Seo, Haley Simmons, Corwin Smidt, Rachel VanSickle-Ward, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Abby Wood, Julie Wronski. (forthcoming) “Polling Place Practices,” in Kathleen Hale and Bridgett A. King, eds. The Future of Election Administration, Palgrave.

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll. 2017. “Unraveling 2016: Comments on Gelman and Azari’s 19 Things.” Statistics and Public Policy 4 (1): 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1080/2330443X.2017.1399846.

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll. 2016. “Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail.” The Forum 14 (4). https://doi.org/10.1515/for-2016-0042.

Ringe, Nils, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, and Wendy Tam Cho. 2016. “Legislative Networks,” in Oxford Handbook of Political Networks, Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Alexander H. Montgomery, and Mark Lubell, eds. Oxford University Press.

Van Thomme, Jack, Ringe, Nils, and Jennifer Nicoll Victor. 2015. “Explaining Reelection: Expertise, Influence, and Intergroups.” In Kaeding, Michael and Niko Switek (eds.): Die Europawahl 2014. Wiesbaden (Germany): Springer VS.

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll. 2012. “Gridlock Lobbying: Breaking, Creating, and Maintaining Legislative Stalemate.” In Interest Group Politics, 8th ed, Allan J. Cigler and Burdett A. Loomis, eds. Washington, DC: CQ Press. Reprinted in Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 6th ed., Samuel Kernell and Steven S. Smith, eds., Washington, DC: CQ Press (2015).

Epstein, Lee, Jeffrey A. Segal, and Jennifer Nicoll Victor. 2002. “Dynamic Agenda Setting on the U.S. Supreme Court: An Empirical Assessment.” Harvard Journal on Legislation, 39(2). (PDF)

 

Working Papers

Reinhardt, Gina Yanitell and Jennifer Nicoll Victor. “A Dynamic Theory of Political Parties: Party Positioning and the Success of Organized Interests.” Working Paper

Victor, Jennifer Nicoll, Stephen Haptonstahl, and Nils Ringe. “Multiplex and Longitudinal Legislative Networks and the Potential for Caucuses to Alleviate Partisan Polarization” Working Paper.

“Addressing congressional partisan polarization one caucus at a time,” with Nils Ringe.   Working paper.

 

Recent Conference Presentations

“Do viral political tweets promote discourse or belligerence?” with Eric Vorst, presented at the 12th Annual Political Networks Conference, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, May 29, June 1 2019.

Using Tension to Advance Your Career.” Invited address as Senior Distinguished Scholar at Visions in Methodology, Ohio State University, May 7, 2018.

Legislative Networks and Partisan Entrenchment,” presented at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago, Illinois, April 4-7, 2019, and Political Parties in Comparative Perspective, Villa Le Balze, Florence, Italy, March 22 & 23, 2018; presented at the Midwest Political Science Association meetings in Chicago, Illinois April 7, 2018; presented by invitation at the St. Louis Area Methods Meeting (SLAMM), Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, April 20, 2018.

“The role of caucuses in partisan entrenchment in Congress,” presented at the 10th Annual Political Networks Conference, Columbus, Ohio, June 16, 2017 [PAPER] [SLIDES]; American Political Science Association Meetings, San Francisco, CA Aug 31 – Sept. 2, 2017. [PAPER] [SLIDES]

“Can Caucuses Alleviate Congressional Polarization?,” with Stephen Haptonstahl and Nils Ringe. Paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, January 7-9, 2016; Midwest Political Science Association Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 8-10, 2016; Political Networks Annual Conference and Workshops, St. Louis, Missouri, June 23-25, 2016. [Slides] [Paper]

“(Self)-Organizing the Legislature: Committees, LMOs, and Community Structures in EP and US Congress,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA, Sept. 2-5, 2015. [Slides] [Paper]

“Financing Friends: Legislators, Lobbyists, and the Pervasive Influence of Campaign Finance,” with Gregory Koger. Paper delivered on a panel at the 8th annual Workshops & Conference on Political Networks. Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. June 17-20, 2015. [Slides] [Paper]

“Legislative Member Organizations in a Comparative Perspective: Exploring the Bridging Nature of LMO Ties in Three Parliaments,” with Nils Ringe. Paper delivered on a panel at the meetings of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC. Aug. 28-31, 2014. [Slides] [Paper]

“(Self)-Organizing the Legislature: Committees, Intergroups, and Community Structures in the European Parliament,” with Nils Ringe. Invited paper presentation at “Political Networks in a Transatlantic Perspective Workshop.” July 14-15, 2014, University of Colorado, Boulder. [Slides] [Paper]

“(Self)-Organizing a Legislature: How lawmakers’ institutions reveal policy preferences and priorities”, with Nils Ringe. Political Networks Conference, McGill University, Montreal, Ontario, Canada.   May 29-May 31, 2014 [Slides] [Paper]

“Jane of all Trades, Master of None: The Representational Trade-off of Female Members of Congress.” Presented at the Annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 2-5, 2014. [Slides] [Paper]

“Coordinating the Congress: Explaining Caucus Persistence in the United States House,” with Nils Ringe. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, August 29-September 1, 2013. [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

“Multiplex Legislative Networks and the Power of Caucuses to Alleviate Partisan Polarization,” with Stephen Haptonstahl and Nils Ringe. Presented at the 6th Annual Political Networks Conference, Bloomington, Illinois (Indiana University), June 27-29, 2013. [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

“Solving Congressional Partisan Polarization one Caucus at a Time,” with Nils Ringe (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Meetings, Chicago, Ill, April 10-14, 2013. [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

“Competing for the Platform: The Politics of Interest Group Influence on Political Party Platforms,” with Gina Yannitell Reinhardt (Texas A&M University). Presented at the 2013 Southern Political Science Association Meetings in Orlando, Florida, January 3-6, 2013 [Paper] & Meetings of the American Political Science Association, New Orleans, LA. Aug, 30 – Sept. 2, 2012 (conference canceled due to hurricane) [Paper]

“Second Street Gangs: Ad Hoc Policy Commissions in the Senate,” with Kristen Coopie Allen, Ian Palmer Cook, and Zachary Auter (University of Pittsburgh). Presented at the 2013 Southern Political Science Association Meetings in Orlando, Florida, January 3-6, 2013 [Paper] [Presentation Slides] & Midwest Political Science Association Meetings, Chicago, IL April 10-14, 2013 [Presentation Slides] & 6th Annual Political Networks Conference, Bloomington, Illinois (Indiana University), June 27-29, 2013. [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

“Bridging the Information Gap: Legislative Member Organizations in the US & EU.” Presented with Nils Ringe at the 2012 Political Networks Conference in Boulder, Colorado, June13-16, 2012. [Presentation Slides]

“The Friendly Legislator: How Social Connections Affect Legislative Voting in the European Parliament.” Presented with Nils Ringe at the 2012 Meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 12-15, 2012 & 2012 Meetings of the American Political Science Association, New Orleans, LA. Aug, 30 – Sept. 2, 2012 (conference canceled due to hurricane) [Paper]

“Networking the House: Caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives.” Presented at the Political Networks Conference, Duke University (May 19-22, 2010), the Political Networks Conference, University of Michigan (June 17-19, 2011) [Paper] [Presentation Slides], and the American Political Science Assoc. Meetings, Seattle, WA (September 1-4, 2011). [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

“The Agreement Score: Legislative Networks and Ideology.” A working paper with Seth Masket (University of Denver), Betsy Sinclair (University of Chicago), and Gregory Koger (University of Miami). Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Meetings, Chicago, IL (April 18-21, 2010), the American Political Science Association Meetings, Washington, DC (September 2-5, 2010) and the American Political Science Association Meetings, Seattle, WA (September 1-4, 2011). [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

“Show Me the Money: Political Ambition, Specialization, and PAC Donations,” with Alex Morin (Texas A&M University, graduate student).   Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Meetings, Chicago, IL (April 18-21, 2010). [Paper]

“Ted Kennedy, Orin Hatch, and other Strange Bedfellows: A Network Analysis of Legislative Voting,” with Gregory Koger (University of Miami). Presented at the Visions in Methodology Conference, March 18-20, 2010, University of Iowa. [Paper] [Presentation Slides

Recommended Links

Updated August 13, 2014

Political Science

American Political Science Assoc.
APSA advocacy page
Midwest Political Science Assoc.
Southern Political Science Assoc.
Society for Political Methodology
Political Networks Section
European Political Science Assoc.
European Consortium for Political Research
Political Networks Paper Archive
INSNA (Sunbelt)
Legislative Studies Section
SSRN Political Science
NetSci
The Forum

 

Political Blogs

Mischiefs of Faction
Monkey Cage
Five Thirty Eight (Nate Silver)
Math of Politics (John Patty)
A Plain Blog About Politics (Jonathan Bernstein)
USAPP (American Politics and Policy, LSE)
Duck of Minerva (IR)
Brendan Nyhan
Enik Rising (Seth Masket)
Smoke-Filled Room
Wonkblog
FiveRupies
GeoSocial Analysis
DailyKos
Lawyers, Guns, & Money
Complexity and Social Networks Blog
Social Capital Blog

 

News- General

Washington Post
New York Times
National Journal
Politico
The Hill
C-Span
Roll Call
CQ Weekly

 

News—Elections

NJ: Political Connections
NJ: The Cook Political Report
NJ: Hotline
NJ: Race Tracker

 

Congress Research, Documents, Sources

Thomas/Congress.gov
Congressional ProQuest
Congressional Biographical Directory
Congressional Record
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
Congresslink
CRS Reports I
CRS Reports II
CRS Reports III
Congressional Bills
Congressional Hearings
Legistorm (staff salaries and financial disclosures)
Political Graveyard
GovTrack
Dirksen Center

 

Federal Government Sources

Federal Register
Federal Digital System
Annual Code of Federal Regulations
Presidential Documents
National Archives
White House
Supreme Court
House
Senate
Federal Government Guide
GMU Library Poli Sci Info Guide

 

DATA Sources

Legislative Explorer (interactive lawmaking)
The Legislative Effectiveness Project
Cong. Roll Calls: VoteviewWaPo Congress Votes
Advocacy and Public Policymaking
Federal Lobbyist Online Registration
Lobbying Disclosure—House
Lobbying Disclosure—Senate
LittleSis
Charles Stewart’s Data Page
Americans for Democratic Action
Congressional District Data
American National Election Studies
Cooperative Congressional Election Study
Presidential Atlas
ICPSR
GDELT Event Database
Polidata
GDP Forecast
ODUM Dataverse
Economagic
District Shape Files
Congressional Bills Project
Chapel Hill Expert Survey (EU)
Harvard Dataverse
The Koblenz Network Collection
UCI Network Data Repository
Stanford Large Network Dataset Collection (SNAP)
Global Media Freedom Data (1948-2012)

 

Campaigns, Elections, and Campaign Finance

Center for Responsive Politics: Opensecrets
Follow the money
Fundrace
Database on Ideology, Money in Politics, and Elections (DIME)
Campaign Finance Institute
Federal Election Commission
Political Money Line
Gallup
Polling Report
Pollster
Election Passport
Campaign Finance Limits (by law)

 

Software, Statistics, Analysis, and Math

R (for everything)
Stata (for traditional statistical analysis)
Stack Overflow (for all kinds of software, coding help)
Yoshikoder (for content analysis)
JFreq (for word counting)
LaTex, BiBtex, Starter
Wolfram MathWorld
Khan Academy
Opossem (Social Science Education in Methodology)
Social Observatory Coordinating Network
Gary King’s Software Page

 

Network Analysis

Hanneman and Riddle (textbook)
UCInet
Pajek
NodeXL (for Excel based network analysis)
Statnet (for network analysis)
StOCNET
PNet
Senate Social Graph
Harvard Program on Networked Governance
Center for Complex Network Research (Northeastern U.)
Complexity in Social Networks Blog
Stanford Network Analysis Project
Yale Institute for Network Science
Duke Network Analysis Center
Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS)
Tnet

 

Writing

George Mason Univ. Writing Center
UW Madison Writing Center
Guide to APSA Style
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Grammar Girl

 

Inspirational and Informative TED Talks

Can Government be Innovative?
30 is not the new 20
How great leaders inspire action?
Do schools kill creativity?
Why we have too few female leaders
The happy secret to better work
Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce
The hidden influence of social networks
Andrew Solomon: Love, no matter what
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

 

Interactive and Instructive

Election Simulator
Marketplace Budget Hero
Implicit Associations Test
Indebted
Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
Generate Sampling Distributions
The Redistricting Game
Games with a Purpose
Political Compass
Wordle

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Sam Strathmann 1Sam Strathmann

My name is Samuel Strathmann, and I’m currently involved with the Global Politics Fellows Program. It emphasizes real world experience in conjunction with the knowledge gained in the classroom.

Democracy onAir’s mission to galvanize people into action is a goal that is necessary today more than ever. 159 million Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election. While polarization might have had the most to do with the turnout, it also showed that scores of people felt empowered to use their voice. Unfortunately, local and state elections rarely see good voter turnout, and certain demographics are known to have voter apathy. Democracy onAir’s progressive strategy to target a younger generation through social media is a tactic that can be used effectively. I also think that directly connecting George Mason students with their representatives is a great way to make them feel more heard. I believe that my passion and knowledge for the subject will help me learn more about the mission and contribute to the cause. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Summary

My name is Samuel Strathmann, and I’m currently involved with the Global Politics Fellows Program. It emphasizes real world experience in conjunction with the knowledge gained in the classroom.

Democracy onAir’s mission to galvanize people into action is a goal that is necessary today more than ever. 159 million Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election. While polarization might have had the most to do with the turnout, it also showed that scores of people felt empowered to use their voice. Unfortunately, local and state elections rarely see good voter turnout, and certain demographics are known to have voter apathy. Democracy onAir’s progressive strategy to target a younger generation through social media is a tactic that can be used effectively. I also think that directly connecting George Mason students with their representatives is a great way to make them feel more heard. I believe that my passion and knowledge for the subject will help me learn more about the mission and contribute to the cause. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

About

Sam Strathmann

Web

Websites

LinkedIn

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Nanayaa Obeng 1Nanayaa Obeng

As a global politics fellow at George Mason University, I believe I have the skills you are looking for.

As a person who believes in democracy and the importance of educating my fellow citizens, I am interested in the position of being an OnAir Content Curator for Virginia OnAir. This past election season was my first time voting in a Presidential Election. The feeling that I experienced from performing my civic duty is one that I will never forget. I think the work that Democracy OnAir does to inform the US public on federal, state, and local government politics is extremely important for media literacy. In the past few years, we have seen a growing distrust among the American public towards the media which can increase ignorance of important political decisions and decrease civic participation. That is why I am interested in working with an organization that is committed to promoting the democratic values that are integral to the United States democracy.

Summary

As a global politics fellow at George Mason University, I believe I have the skills you are looking for.

As a person who believes in democracy and the importance of educating my fellow citizens, I am interested in the position of being an OnAir Content Curator for Virginia OnAir. This past election season was my first time voting in a Presidential Election. The feeling that I experienced from performing my civic duty is one that I will never forget. I think the work that Democracy OnAir does to inform the US public on federal, state, and local government politics is extremely important for media literacy. In the past few years, we have seen a growing distrust among the American public towards the media which can increase ignorance of important political decisions and decrease civic participation. That is why I am interested in working with an organization that is committed to promoting the democratic values that are integral to the United States democracy.

About

Nanayaa Obeng

Web

Websites

LinkedIn

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Jordan Toledo 1Jordan Toledo

My name is Jordan Toledo and I am a current undergraduate student at George Mason University majoring in international politics with a concentration in global governance and a minor in Spanish.

Being a member of Democracy onAir has given me the opportunity to read more about candidate information and important local, state, and federal matters that will affect me as young Virginia voter.

Summary

My name is Jordan Toledo and I am a current undergraduate student at George Mason University majoring in international politics with a concentration in global governance and a minor in Spanish.

Being a member of Democracy onAir has given me the opportunity to read more about candidate information and important local, state, and federal matters that will affect me as young Virginia voter.

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George Mason statue & JCGeorge Mason University

GMU has placed an emphasis on civic engagement in both its undergraduate and graduate programs and research initiatives.

Student programs include: Civic Learning and Community Engagement, Student Government, Roosevelt Institute, Democracy Squad at GMU, and Mason Leads.

Internships programs are provided for: Schar School undergraduate and graduate students, Global Political Fellows and Political Communication students.

 Kristen Wright is the Director of Civic Engagement within the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Summary

GMU has placed an emphasis on civic engagement in both its undergraduate and graduate programs and research initiatives.

Student programs include: Civic Learning and Community Engagement, Student Government, Roosevelt Institute, Democracy Squad at GMU, and Mason Leads.

Internships programs are provided for: Schar School undergraduate and graduate students, Global Political Fellows and Political Communication students.

 Kristen Wright is the Director of Civic Engagement within the Office of Undergraduate Education.

About

Source: Wikipedia

George Mason University (Mason, GMU, or George Mason) is a public research university in Fairfax County near Fairfax City in Virginia. In 1956, the Commonwealth of Virginia authorized the establishment of a Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia and the institution that is now named George Mason University opened in September 1957. It became an independent institution in 1972. It has since grown to become the largest four-year public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The university is named after the Founding Father George Mason, a Virginia planter and politician who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights that later influenced the future Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Mason operates five campuses in Virginia (Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Loudoun, and Front Royal), as well as a sixth campus in South Korea.

The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. It is particularly well known in the fields of economics. Two Mason economics professors have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics: James M. Buchanan in 1986 and Vernon L. Smith in 2002.

Twitter

Web

Website, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn

Student Programs

University-wide Community Engagement

Webpageaengage.gmu.edu/

Community Engagement is about partnership between George Mason University and its surrounding communities. These mutually beneficial partnerships impact our teaching and learning, our scholarship, and our outreach efforts that strive to improve the human condition and support the public good at home and abroad.

Our mission is to be an exemplary “engaged university” by “preparing our students to thrive in a global context by infusing global awareness, citizenship values, and learning opportunities across all fields, and we will partner with other organizations in solving global problems where our impact will be highest.”

Mason is committed to “engagement with the world”. It is our hope that students and faculty become engaged citizens “ethically orientated and committed to democratic ideals; respectful of individual differences, rights, and liberties; knowledgeable of important issues affecting the world; focused on the well-being of others; and committed to building a just society”.

Students as Volunteers

Patriot Experience

Volunteer Fairfax

Connect Northern Virginia

Weekends at Mason

Mason Student Organizations

Civic Learning and Community Engagement

University Life webpage

University Life Offices that provide opportunities for Civic Learning and Community Engagement

Student Government

The Student Government (SG) office is in the Student Involvement section of the HUB on the Fairfax Campus. SG divisions include the Executive Branch, the Student Senate (Legislative) Branch, and the Elections and Disputes Commission. The Executive Branch includes Executive Boards such as the Parking Appeals Board, Student Funding Board, and the Student Dining Board.

Students are encouraged to attend meetings and share their views:

  • The Executive Branch meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. For locations and updates, check the calendar.
  • The Student Senate meets Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Find meeting locations in the calendar.
  • The Student Funding Board meets Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in the Student Involvement office.

For more information, call 703-993-2909.

Roosevelt Institute

Roosevelt @ Mason seeks to empower students with the resources and environment to become effectively involved in the policy process at the campus, local, state, and national levels. The Roosevelt Institute engages in policy research, analysis, and writing to increase youth voices at all levels of the policy process. Roosevelt @ Mason promotes communication and coordination with community members, stakeholders, and policymakers in order to create real policy-oriented solutions. The ultimate goal of the organization is to facilitate progressive policy innovation in the local political process.”

Roosevelt @ Mason is George Mason University’s largest and most active nonpartisan student policy organization.

Mason 360 page
Facebook page
Twitter 

 

Democracy Squad at GMU

Democracy Squad is a virtual organizing space for George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to promote positive civic engagement on campus. Participants commit to taking actions that reinforce democratic values and institutions in and around Mason nation.

We reinforce democracy by taking action to alleviate sources of democratic weakness. Democracy Squad does this in three main areas: address inequality (income, race healthcare, etc.), promote political representation (strengthen parties, increase voting rights, support reform efforts to expand the citizen-representative tie, etc.), and improve the information environment (promote events that share scientific and high quality information, etc.).

Organized by Professor Jennifer Victor, Democracy Squad participants commit to building a positive campus environment that promotes democracy. Democracy Squad is administered through Magnify, a social networking tool designed to help people solve collective action problems.

See this post for more information

Mason Leads

Source: Website

This is a site where you’ll discover a wide range of leadership programs and initiatives for members of our campus community. Leadership is a common thread that connects the entire Mason community. Our commitment is to engage our students, faculty, staff and alumni in creating a socially conscious, civically engaged, and global campus community through leadership at all levels of our institution. Every day on Mason’s distributed campuses around the world you’ll encounter hundreds of individuals engaged in leadership through formal and informal positions and experiences.

MasonLeads Mission Statement

To inspire the development, emergence, and recognition of leadership throughout the Mason community by:

  • Raising campus-wide awareness of leadership opportunities for our students, faculty, staff, and community
  • Encouraging student, faculty and staff participation in leadership development
  • Forming a cross-disciplinary community of leadership scholars at Mason
  • Focusing on the diverse talents and strengths of all involved in leadership
  • Publicizing and celebrating acts of leadership throughout the Mason community
  • Building a culture at Mason that values leadership at all levels of the institution

George Mason’s MasonLeads formulated a set of leadership assumptions, core values, and competencies for faculty, staff, students, and alumni to consider in their own exploration and practice of leadership.  For example, we believe you do not need to have a formal title to engage in a leadership process or to assume leadership responsibilities.  Through self-reflection and reflective practice, we are confident that members of our campus community will make a difference through their leadership.  We embrace a set of core leadership values and common competencies founded on the ideas that leadership is learned and that leadership development is a lifelong journey.  These leadership assumptions, core values, and competencies are designed to be considered and used as an integrated whole.

Internships

Schar School Undergraduates

Undergraduate Internship Program
Webpage

Schar graduate

Webpage

The Schar School of Policy and Government Internship Program provides an opportunity for students to gain professional experience and skills that will complement their academic program and enhance their career opportunities. The program also is intended to support area organizations by allowing employers to work with graduate students in an effort to increase recruiting success.

The internship program is open to all degree seeking Schar School Master’s students who have completed a minimum of 9 credits of required coursework with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. Students in the MPP and ODKM programs who do not have at least two years of relevant professional experience are required to complete a three-credit internship.

The Schar School Career Services does not place students in internships but is available to assist students with the search process. Additionally, the Schar School CareersNow contains information on available internships.

Please contact Duane Bradshaw, or Brian Bar to discuss strategies in finding internships and full time positions.

Global Political Fellow

webpage

The internship is a key component of the Global Politics Fellows program.  The coursework is conveniently scheduled to allow students more time for a substantive internship.  Students will intern three days a week, for twenty to twenty-five hours a week.  This schedule increases the number of internships available to our Fellows and usually allows them to take on more responsibility.  This makes Global Politics Fellows more of an asset for their host organization and gives the student enhanced learning opportunities.  Internships are also great networking opportunities to learn more about a potential career field and gain contacts one can use when looking for a summer job and for their future job search after graduation.

Students will obtain their own internship with the help and support of the Fellows program and the Career Center.  Internship host sites will likely include local and federal government offices, foreign embassies, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations and think tanks.  Internship duties often focus on advocacy, program support, communications, research and community outreach.  Most internships will be unpaid, but students are also encouraged to pursue internships that offer a small stipend or a paid internship.

Global Politics Fellows will follow all of the current guidelines and requirements for internship credit set for George Mason University’s GLOA 495 and GOVT 496 courses.

Communication Internships

Webpage

The Communication Department at George Mason University encourages and supports students who wish to complete an internship in a range of communication related positions, while earning academic credit. Internships act as a bridge to the workforce by offering students opportunities to gain valuable work experience, and obtain the tools needed to enter a professional environment.

The internship program pairs career management course work with the internship learning experience. Communication majors and minors spend approximately ten hours each week during the semester working with a sponsored on-campus or off-campus organization. Interns perform communication related supervised work. Positions can be paid or unpaid. The course can be taken a second time for academic credit.

The Washington, D.C. region has a wide range of internship opportunities. Students can work with a large corporation, small company or association. Communication internship related fields include: journalism, social media, marketing, public relations, sports, health, science, government, politics, public policy, education, research, human resources, administration, radio and television production.
Past and present internships include: national and local radio and television broadcast facilities, major and local newspapers, magazines, public relations companies, major sports teams, public school systems, George Mason University, industry corporate headquarters, non-profit organizations, national associations, foundations, health organizations, political campaigns, the U.S Congress, military organizations, the White House, and many national and local government organizations.. Mason students are highly regarded by area employers.

Academic Programs

Schar School of Policy & Government

Website:  schar.gmu.edu/

Email:  schar@gmu.edu
Phone
:  703-993-2280
Address:Founders Hall, Fifth Floor
3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201

Social Media:  Twitter  Facebook  Instagram   YouTube  LinkedIn

WebWikipedia

Undergraduate Student Services:
Robinson Hall A201, MS 3F4
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-1400
Email: gvip@gmu.edu
Fax: 703-993-1399

George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government prepares undergraduate and graduate students to be leaders and managers who solve problems and advance the public good in all sectors and levels of government—in the United States and throughout the world.

Our graduates apply the knowledge and skills gained in our classrooms at some of the most prestigious companies, consulting firms, nonprofits, multinational organizations, and government agencies in Washington, DC, and beyond. Decision-makers and the public use our faculty’s research to both understand and develop policy in a variety of areas.  In addition, we are committed to public service in our professions and in regional, national, and global communities.

Located where policy happens—just 3 miles from the Pentagon, 4 miles from The White House, and 6 miles from the U.S. Capitol Building—students are connected to jobs, internships, networking, and experiences that can only be found in the Washington, D.C., area.

It’s policy in action. Learning from professors with real-world experience, students gain the applicable skills and the practical knowledge to lead government agencies and nonprofit organizations, develop public policies and programs, create innovate consulting solutions, or provide expert policy analysis. Schar School alumni apply what they learned in the classroom to pursue fulfilling and meaningful careers. Graduates are doing consequential work at leading employers including the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations, the National Endowment for Democracy, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, and many others.

 

Social Action & Integrative Learning (SAIL)

website

Social Action & Integrative Learning (SAIL), housed within the School of Integrative Studies, is an evolving community of Mason students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community partners who are active and passionate collaborators in effecting positive social change. SAIL fosters integrative, innovative, and experiential learning opportunities on campus, regionally, and globally that educate and activate towards a more equitable, just, nonviolent, and sustainable world.

Mason Impact

Websitehttps://provost.gmu.edu/initiatives/mason-impact

The Mason Impact offers a bold and challenging approach to academics, preparing you to tackle global questions and issues. You’ll look at your studies with a different perspective. There are four areas of focus:

  • Research and Creative Activities: You aren’t content to just hit the books; you want to create new knowledge through research, ingenuity, and imagination.
  • Community Engagement and Civic Learning: You’re passionate about working to generate social change, whether in a small community, the nation, or the world.
  • Entrepreneurship: You see a problem as an opportunity to discover a solution, start a business, or create a prototype.
  • Global Activities: Your vision isn’t limited to what you see; you’re ready to leap beyond borders, to expand your knowledge, to become a true citizen of the world.

By completing a Mason Impact Project, you will be tackling a global question and may be eligible to receive funding to do so. We’ll treat you like a professional researcher, because with our help, you’ll be one. If your research topic qualifies, you might get funding for your project. And when you graduate, you’ll get a special notation on your transcript, telling the world about your accomplishments.

Minor in Political Communication

Webpage

The interdisciplinary minor in political communication is offered jointly by the Schar School of Policy and Government and the Department of Communication. This minor is available to all Mason undergraduate students with the exception of communication majors pursuing a concentration in political communication.

Political communication explores the interaction among members of the public, the media, advocacy groups, and politicians in a democratic society. This minor uses a diverse approach to questions of how mass and interpersonal communication influence democratic functioning, including (1) how political actors use strategic messaging to persuade and mobilize the public, (2) how citizens make sense of these messages and their impact on engagement, deliberation, efficacy, knowledge, and participation, and (3) the role of the mass media in facilitating or hindering this relationship. Political communication includes explicitly political activities like voting and political campaigns. It also encompasses any issue of public debate or deliberation, including culture and social movements.

Research Centers & Initiatives

Center for Business Civic Engagement

Webpage

Mission

The mission of the Center for Business Civic Engagement is to study the impact of the application of business theory and principles to government to determine if government can be both more effective and efficient for its stakeholders.

Civic Engagement Principles

Transparency

Government is a result of taxpayers voluntarily giving government money earned. Government has a responsibility, especially in this “tech age,” to be transparent so every citizen can see where every dollar is spent and what results have been achieved with the investment of he or her tax dollars. Transparent government results in both more effective and efficient government.

Accountability

Government plays a significance force in the lives of everyday people. With this use of power, there comes an accountability requirement. Every elected official is accountable to constituents, not just on Election Day, but everyday of the year. Government must work, and it must work in an efficient way.

Stewardship

Government officials must be exceptional stewards of resources, as resources come from hard-working individuals, entrepreneurs, and corporations. Stewardship should not be diminished because of politics.

Metrics Measurement

Constituents expect to see a return on their investment, a quantitative or qualitative way to justify the commitment of resources, money, labor and time. Government programs should have metrics to measure their effectiveness and their efficiency.

Civility

How can business engagement or business models maintain a civility among its diverse and inclusive populations? Can competitive business models help government reduce its level of hyper-partisanship?

Effective Business Advocacy

What tools can make business advocacy more effective in assuring elected officials on the economic impact of laws and regulations? How can businesses ensure their perspective is heard and part of the discussion on the tax and regulatory culture? What are the unintended consequences for the Free Enterprise system when business views are neither communicated or heard?

 

The Center for Leadership and Community Engagement

Webpage

The Center for Leadership and Community Engagement facilitates mutually beneficial partnerships between the Mason community and community organizations.  We support these evolving relationships to ensure they contribute to both community development goals and student learning objectives.

  • Support for faculty integrating community based learning pedagogy into their courses
  • Point of contact for community organizations seeking mutually beneficial partnership with George Mason University faculty and students
  • Opportunities for students to earn course credit through their leadership and engagement in the local community
  • Alternative Break service-learning trips
  • Scholarship on community based learning pedagogy, student leadership development and the intersection of leadership, civic engagement and student learning
  • Co-sponsorship of campus events that promote community engagement and leadership development opportunities for students
  • Minor in Leadership Studies
  • Minor in Nonprofit Studies

We can help you make the connection between student learning goals and the opportunity to make a positive difference in our community.  For more information, visit: clce.gmu.edu.

Almanac of Virginia Politics

Webpage

The Virginia Almanac project at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government provides an informative record of legislative sources, key decision-makers, and the legislative process. The new online edition outlines the basic framework of Virginia politics by providing the raw data for analyzing the record of members of the General Assembly. As a historical tool the Almanac is useful to lobbyists, libraries, civic activists, and researchers. This easily accessible source is an indispensable tool for those who want to know the who, what, when, and how of Virginia politics.

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First Tuesday Speaker Series @MasonFirst Tuesday Speaker Series

Speakers:  Annie Holton, Peter Hart, Danny Diaz, Tom Davis, Terry McAuliffe, Karen Tumulty, Robby Mook, and Norman Ornstein

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday October 2, 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA

About the Speaker Series
Initial article from Mason News  Sept. 7, 2018

From Mason News September 24, 2018
By Damian Cristodero

Steven Pearlstein believes the main reason that many people, particularly students, are skeptical about politics is because of their information—or lack thereof.

“Because of what they’ve read or heard, they have a misconception about what campaigns and politics are about,” he said, “about why campaigns behave the way they do, about why voters vote the way they do.”

The Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University is trying to change that with his First Tuesday speaker series, so named because the series leads to Election Day, which is Nov. 6, the first Tuesday of the month.

Held in conjunction with Pearlstein’s Honors College seminar (HNRS 131 Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives), the Tuesday series in Fenwick Library’s Main Reading Room on the Fairfax Campus features speakers immersed in contemporary politics. Those include former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, now a Distinguished Visiting Professor in Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government; Mason alumnus Danny Diaz, who was Jeb Bush’s campaign manager; and Washington Post political columnist Karen Tumulty.

“When they actually see a real human being talk, it humanizes [political experts] in a way and makes you a lot less cynical,” said Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at The Washington Post. “You can also pick up a lot of information about what’s important in campaigns, how people who are involved think about it. But you need to see that. I can tell [students], but it wouldn’t mean anything. They have to see it.”

Experiences are the driver of Pearlstein’s class, which operates without a textbook—though, in a real sense, Pearlstein said, “The textbook is being written in real time every week by The Washington Post and The New York Times and Politico and CNN and Fox News. [The students] have to go read this stuff.”

In one exercise, students are matched with individuals in the community who have differing political views. Once a week, students speak with their partners. Those conversations are then explored in the classroom.

The First Tuesday speaker series, which is also open to faculty, staff and the community (coffee and donuts are served, by the way), enhances the course work.

Mason Visiting Professor Anne Holton, former secretary of education for Virginia and wife of Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., spoke about the emotional rollercoaster a family goes through during a political campaign. Peter Hart, one of the nation’s top analysts of public opinion, explained how political polls reflect the mood of the moment and should not be thought of as election predictors.

“These talks are very cool,” said Nick Steinmetz, a sophomore majoring in government and international politics. “It’s [about] understanding politics and understanding campaigns in a much more fleshed-out, nuanced way. It opens up views I didn’t think about.”

“It’s just a great series to be doing in a community that is politically engaged, as is this one,” Holton said. “I was thrilled to be part of it.”

First Tuesday Speaker Series @Mason

Mason Visiting Professor Anne Holton, former Virginia secretary of education and wife of Sen. Tim Kaine, spoke with Robinson Professor Steven Pearlstein about how political campaigns impact the family of a candidate. Photo by Damian Cristodero.

Tom Davis

George Mason University rector and former GOP congressman from Virginia

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday October 2, 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA
Aircaster: Jim McLean, Information Technology Services and Mason onAir

Terry McAuliffe

Mason Distinguished Visiting Professor and former governor of Virginia

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday October 16, 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA
Aircaster: Cruz Sanchez, Mason Cable Network and Mason onAir

Karen Tumulty

Washington Post political columnist

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday October 23 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA
Aircaster: Cruz Sanchez, Mason Cable Network and Mason onAir

Robby Mook

Former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday October 30, 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA
Aircaster: Cruz Sanchez, Mason Cable Network and Mason onAir

Norman Ornstein

Co-author of the book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

Moderator: Steve Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am EDT
Day: Tuesday November 13, 2018
Place: Fenwick Library Reading Room, George Mason University, Fairfax VA
AircasterJim McLean and Mason onAir

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Mason onAirGMU onAir Chapter

The GMU Democracy onAir chapter is the first and model chapter for Virginia onAir and the lead university chapter for Virginia.

Undergrad student members are affiliated with a number of GMU schools, departments, and programs including: Schar School of Policy and Government, the Department of Communication, and the Film and Video Studies program. A undergrad student club/student organization is also being formed to work in tandem with the GMU onAir Chapter.

GMU grad students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Mason participate as chapter members. Virginia onAir Hub coordinators also started onAir chapters at VCU and Virginia Tech.

Summary

The GMU Democracy onAir chapter is the first and model chapter for Virginia onAir and the lead university chapter for Virginia.

Undergrad student members are affiliated with a number of GMU schools, departments, and programs including: Schar School of Policy and Government, the Department of Communication, and the Film and Video Studies program. A undergrad student club/student organization is also being formed to work in tandem with the GMU onAir Chapter.

GMU grad students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Mason participate as chapter members. Virginia onAir Hub coordinators also started onAir chapters at VCU and Virginia Tech.

About

Contact

Email: Democracy OnAir

Locations

Fairfax Campus
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Web

Mason Votes

Videos

David Bulova Town Hall
Virginia onAir
Published on March 3, 2019
By: Virginia onAir

When:    Saturday February 2nd at 9:00 to 11:00 am
Where:   Fairfax City Hall Council Chambers at 10455 Armstrong Street (parking in rear of City Hall offices)
Web:       Recorded by Nic Barta for Virginia onAir edited by Ny-jhee Jones.

Summary of the event – Go to this post.

Activities

Chapter members commit to curating at least one politician’s profile post – an elected official or candidate. Curating these posts include:

  • Communicating with a politician or their staff to insure profile content is accurate, current, and comprehensive
  • Adding news and events
  • Receiving emailed questions from post viewers and recording the politician’s answers in their profiles
  • Moderating post comments and suggestions
  • Assisting politicians with streaming their video updates then archiving them in the posts they are curating
  • Producing video interviews of politicians and voters in the district they are curating

Chapter members also can assist with organizing, streaming, and editing chapter events such as town halls, debates, forums, and candidate days.

Benefits

Beyond helping to reinvigorate a more civil and vibrant democracy in their state, chapter members will:

  • Have the same benefits as people and organizations that purchase premium memberships including a full member profile post and the ability to author or co-author issue related posts
  • Be able to network Virginia elected officials and political organizations
  • Acquire and develop their political communication and media skills
  • Gain experience and credibility to pursue job opportunities including with Democracy onAir and other democracy promoting organizations
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