Current Research

The Local Voices Network, is a community-powered public conversation network that we are implementing in Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts and Alabama, that fosters constructive public conversations that deepen our understanding of one another. I am working with Cortico, a non-profit collaborator with the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab, to create this network by melding the power of human stories with technology designed for the LVN.

The Political Impact of Social and Economic Change makes use of a panel study begun by political scientist Kent Jennings in 1965 of a national cross-section of people who were high school seniors at the time. Larry Bartels (Vanderbilt University) and I are making use of the 4 waves of data collected through 1997 as well as in-depth interviews of several dozen of these respondents that we are conducting to better understand the way people have responded to social and economic changes since the 1960s. We believe this will help us all better understand contemporary politics. Recent conference papers on this project include:

Communication Ecologies, Political Contention, and the Crisis of Democracy, is a team effort with a group of graduate students and my faculty colleagues Lew Friedland, Dhavan Shah, Michael Wagner, Bill Sethares and Karl Rohe at the UW-Madison, and Chris Wells at Boston University to understand the structure of the communications environment in Wisconsin and its effects on social and political outcomes within the past decade.