MPSA Blog

From Soaking and Poking to Breaching Empathy Walls: Qualitative Research after Fenno

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University It is hard to say goodbye to Richard Fenno (1926-2020).  He was truly one of a kind. Fenno called his style of qualitative research “soaking and poking.”  More formally, it is known as participant observation.  Many…


No, we are not More Divided Than Ever

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University The other day, I was grading a student project when I noticed that they had written something that seems widely believed these days.  The student argued that Americans are more divided along party lines than ever before.…


A Boundary of White Inclusion: How Religion Shapes Perceptions of Ethnoracial Assignment

By Amanda Sahar d’Urso, Northwestern University The following blog post is a summary of the research that won the Midwest Political Science Association’s Lucius Barker Award (for research presented at the 2021 MPSA Annual Conference). Who do White Americans consider to be White? Is it simply a…


Who is it Okay to Punch? An Experimental Investigation of Support for Intolerance in the Form of Physical Violence

By Frank J. Gonzalez and Alexandra McCoy The following blog post is a summary of the research that co-won the Midwest Political Science Association’s Best Paper in American Politics Award (presented at the 2021 MPSA Annual Conference). The variety of ways in which we have seen political violence…


Blocking the Blockers: Charrettes, Urban Planning, and Deliberative Democracy

By: Adam Rego Johnson, The Graduate Center, CUNY The following blog post is a summary of the research that won the Midwest Political Science Association’s Best Paper by an Undergraduate Student Award (presented at the 2021 MPSA Annual Conference). The charrette is a participatory design tool for…


Practical Tips for Online Student Engagement

By James Steur, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Since the spread of COVID-19, many universities recognize that online teaching is here to stay. However, the online teaching environment poses its own set of unique challenges around the instructor’s teaching presence and…


Thoughts on the Future of Political Science

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University Well, #MPSA2022 is in the books. From my perspective, the first in-person MPSA conference since 2019 was a success. As I noted in my previous blog post, the political science conference is likely to see permanent changes…


Define Your Success: A Roundtable on Surviving Graduate School

By James Steur, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate school is an exciting time for students to explore their research interests and develop as a scholar. However, the experience also poses its own set of challenges: an intense workload, understanding statistical…


The Future of the Political Science Conference

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University The MPSA’s in-person conference is back!  After being canceled entirely in 2020 and held virtually in 2021, this year’s conference has returned to Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton.  Old haunts like the Parlor, State and…