Upending American Politics
Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance
Edited by Theda Skocpol and Caroline Tervo
Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and the Director of the Scholars Strategy Network. She is a past president of the American Political Science Association.
Caroline Tervo is a research coordinator in the Harvard Government Department who focuses on citizen grassroots organizing, state and local party building, and the local effects of federal policy changes.
Alexandra Caffrey graduated cum laude with a BA in government from Harvard University in 2019. Her chapter is derived from her Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize-winning senior honors thesis. She now works in Miami for Forward Florida Action, the voter registration organization Andrew Gillum founded after the 2018 election.
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. He is the author of State Capture: How Conservative Activists, Big Businesses, and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States-and The Nation (2019), as well as Politics at Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers Into Lobbyists (2018), winner of the Robert A. Dahl Award from the American Political Science Association. His research focuses on the political economy of the United States, with an emphasis on the intersections among businesses, unions, donors, and public policy.
Maximilian Frank is studying for an MA in American government at Georgetown University. He graduated from Harvard in 2019 with a BA in social studies, with a focus on populism in the United States and western Europe. His chapter is adapted from his 2019 undergraduate honors thesis, winner of a Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize from Harvard College.
Leah E. Gose is a PhD student in sociology at Harvard University interested in social policy, organizational sociology, and poverty theory. Her scholarship includes research on grassroots political organizations formed in response to the Trump presidency. She is currently studying community-based organizations and their local organizational ties as vital components of hunger relief efforts and the American social safety net.
Sally Marsh is a proud Michigander whose chapter is based on her 2018 Thomas Temple Hoopes prize-winning senior honors thesis at Harvard College, which is not connected to her current employment. After graduating with a BA in Government and History from Harvard, Sally returned home to join the 2018 campaign of Jocelyn Benson for Michigan secretary of state. Sally now serves as the director of special projects at the Michigan Department of State, focusing on implementation of recent constitutional amendments calling for citizen-led redistricting and the expansion of voting rights.
Eliza Oehmler, from Memphis, Tennessee, is a member of the Harvard College class of 2021. She is concentrating in sociology with a secondary field of study in global health and health policy.
Lara Putnam is University Center for International Studies research professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh, where she has been Department Chair since 2014. She writes about Latin American and Caribbean history; migration, kinship, and gender; and the impact of digital technology on historical research. Publications include The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960 (2002) and Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age (2013), as well as more than two dozen chapters and articles. Putnam's research on contemporary grassroots political organizing has appeared in Vox.com, New Republic, Washington Post, Washington Monthly, Democracy Journal, and beyond. She is active in grassroots organizing in Southwest Pennsylvania.
Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas professor of government and sociology at Harvard University. She has authored many books, articles, and reports; won major scholarly awards; and been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. She is a proud teacher of many Harvard students, and her ongoing research focuses on US conservatives and the Republican Party, the politics of health care policy, and citizen reactions to the Obama and Trump presidencies. Skocpol is also the director of the Scholars Strategy Network, a nationwide organization with more than a thousand members and forty chapters that makes the work of university researchers understandable to civic groups, policymakers, and the media.
Caroline Tervo is currently a research coordinator in the Harvard Government Department, working with Theda Skocpol and others on studies of citizen grassroots organizing, state and local party building, and the local effects of federal policy changes. A native North Carolinian, Tervo holds a BA in government from Harvard University. Her chapter is based on her 2018 senior honors thesis, winner of two college awards, the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize and the Seymour E. and Ruth B. Harris Prize.
Elizabeth Thom is a PhD student in government and social policy at Harvard University. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MSc from the University of Oxford, where she was a Thouron Scholar. Previously, Elizabeth worked at the Brookings Institution as a senior project coordinator and research assistant to E.J. Dionne Jr.
Vanessa Williamson is a senior fellow in governance studies at Brookings and a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. She studies the politics of redistribution, with a focus on attitudes about taxation. She is the author of Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes and the coauthor, with Theda Skocpol, of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.
Sophia Young graduated from Harvard University in 2019 with a BA in government and a secondary field of study in moral and political philosophy. She is continuing her research on gun violence prevention at the Brady Campaign in Washington, DC. Her chapter is based on her 2019 senior honors thesis at Harvard College.
Michael Zoorob is a PhD student in government at Harvard University from Nashville, Tennessee. He is interested in the politics of inequality and crime, and the role of organized groups in politics.