Partisanship v. Pandemic: Common Enemy, Disjointed Response

WED, JUL 29, 2020 (1:14:34)

Times of crisis require governments to cooperate and coordinate large-scale responses. Yet Congress and the President are inherently partisan actors in a federal system — negotiating the competing pressures of obtaining concrete results for constituents, but not being seen as too accommodating of political rivals.

What are the main political takeaways from legislating in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic? How have motives of major actors shifted or changed and how has this impacted the federal response? Does President Trump still dominate the GOP? Also, what electoral outcomes might we see in November, given what current polling, favorability ratings and climbing COVID cases and deaths tell us?

Follow Along with the Suffolk University Survey Course
Listening assignment
How federal job vacancies hinder the government’s response to COVID-19
from Brookings Institution.

New survey shows U.S. public is ‘firmly opposed’ to reopening the economy immediately

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Civic Engagement Activity & Reflection
Students are required to engage in at least one civic / political engagement event of their choice during the course of the term and document this with a short reflection essay. The type of event you attend remotely is up to you. It can be a virtual town or city hall meeting with local or state representatives, a meeting of an activist group, etc. The reflection must draw on readings from the class and your own additional research. Members of the public who wish to share their reflections should post a link on Twitter and tag @GBHForumNetwork and @supolscilegal.

This Suffolk University lecture series, presented with the Ford Hall Forum and WGBH Forum Network, is designed as a broad examination of the themes of interest to political scientists and public policy experts. The series is part of a novel online course offered to incoming Suffolk students and made available to the public.

+ BIO: Julia Azari

Prof. Julia Azari is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University. She holds Ph.D., M.A. and M.Phil. degrees in political science from Yale University, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include the American presidency, American political parties, the politics of the American state, and qualitative research methods. Her research has been supported by the Marquette University Regular Research Grant, the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, the Gerald Ford Presidential Library Foundation Travel Grant, and the Harry Truman Library Institute Scholars Award.

Prof. Azari is a regular contributor at the political science blog The Mischiefs of Faction. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and in Politico.

+ BIO: Brian Conley

Brian Conley is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the program director of Applied Politics and Global Public Policy at Suffolk University.

+ BIO: Sarah Binder

Sarah Binder is a professor of political science at George Washington University and a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, specializing in Congress and legislative politics.

She is most recently the co-author with Mark Spindel of The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve (Princeton University Press 2017), which was awarded the Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize for the best book published in legislative politics in 2017 and the Gladys Kammerer Award for the best book published in 2017 on U.S. national policy. Her earlier books include Minority Rights, Majority Rule: Partisanship and the Development of Congress (Cambridge University Press 1997); with Steven S.Smith, Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the United States Senate (Brookings Institution Press 1997); Stalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock (Brookings Institution Press, 2003) (awarded the Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize) and with Forrest Maltzman, Advice and Dissent: The Struggle to Shape the Federal Judiciary (Brookings Institution Press 2009). Her work has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, and elsewhere.

Binder was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. She is also a political science editor at The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, a former co-editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly, and serves as president of the Midwest Political Science Association (2019-20).

Binder received her B.A. from Yale University in 1986 and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1995. She joined Brookings in 1995 and George Washington University in 1999.


Ford Hall Forum
Politics In The Time Of Global Pandemic