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THE BLOG

On 1968: A Realigning Period

In his landmark 1955 article “A Theory of Critical Elections”, V.O. Key posited that certain U.S. elections result in dramatic reconfigurations of political parties, or realignments. During these elections – which are typically preceded by intense periods of political and societal discord – Republican and Democratic platforms shift dramatically and there is a realignment of voting blocs. Elections generally accepted as realignments are 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932 and 1968. Given that the 1968 realignment is commonly viewed as the last widely-accepted realignment and foundational to contemporary politics, understanding the events surrounding it is important if we are to gain a better sense of our current division.

Campus Speaker Disinvitations: Recent Trends (Part 2 of 2)

We are a little over a month into 2017 and already last year’s disinvitation outlier, Milo Yiannopoulos, has spurred a number of disinvitation attempts and event disruptions (see here, here, here, and here). Worse still is that violence has erupted at some of these events, including a shooting in Seattle and riots on the University of California’s Berkeley campus.

Given the current confrontational campus climate, part 2 of this blog looks at the actual effectiveness of politically motivated speaker disinvitation attempts. These analyses revealed that speaker disinvitation attempts from 2000 to 2016 came primarily from the left of the speaker and occurred most often for controversies over racial issues, views on sexual orientation, and views on Islam.