The National Science Foundation announced that Dr. Niambi Carter of Howard University’s Department of Political Science has received an NSF Build and Broaden Program award in the amount of $196,240.00 to conduct collaborative research on The Role of Elites, Organizations, and Movements in Reshaping Politics and Policymaking. An excerpt from this abstract is below:
Arguably, the current political climate is the function of three seemingly distinct, yet interrelated, ongoing phenomena: (1) a contentious, problem-laden political environment, (2) grassroots organizations driving unprecedented levels of engagement and turnout, and (3) national movements driving discourse, preferences, and reform around long-held policy grievances. The combination of contentious politics and an energized electorate can result in record turnout despite a raging pandemic. The PIs examine how these features of the American polity shape public and institutional political behaviors. The project aims to build a network, and supportive infrastructure, to better understand how political elites, organizations, and movements in key political locations work to drive participation, preferences, and policymaking.
The project examines two broad research questions. The first question is: How do organizations and social movements mediate political preferences and policy agendas amongst the mass public? Second, it is interested in the collaboration between organizations and social movements and how these interactions shape traditional and untraditional forms of political participation. The study draws on a comprehensive mixture of quantitative (surveys, survey experiments, voter data analysis, social media analysis, and social network analysis) and qualitative (ethnographic observations, content analysis, elite interviews, and focus groups) methodological approaches to answer these questions. This study examines political activities during two electoral periods in several transformative states and municipalities. The broader impacts of the study are numerous. First, it connects a network of scholars from a diverse set of institutions. The project builds critical infrastructure at partner institutions to facilitate data collection and analysis. Namely, it (1) builds mobile research labs designed to conduct rapid response surveys during protests and organizational rallies, and (2) establishes data analysis centers at two minority serving institutions, and (3) provides cutting-edge training, tools, and professional resources to students from marginalized and underserved groups.