The State of the Electorate: From Disagreement to Divisiveness in the American Polis
American Behavioral Scientist
Guest editor: William J. Miller
To be published in early 2012
As the 2010 Midterm election season concluded, America was left seemingly in a more polarized state than at any time in recent memory. With the emergence and influence of the Tea Party movement, the sharp divide between Americans on healthcare, the divisive effect of modern campaigns on splitting the general public, and then the shooting in Arizona (and subsequent public debate regarding the effect of Sarah Palin‚s cross-hairs map and use of the word targeting), we live in an America that is different than it was ten years ago. We see politicians and members of the public celebrating Chicago not getting the Olympics, protesting a president winning the Nobel Peace Prize, telling the president he lies, and lambasting House Republicans for wanting people to allegedly die quickly.
The irony is, however, that when we think about the American public, voters regularly clamor that they want more bipartisan work, yet continually elect officials that are not moderate. We need look no further than the 2010 Senate elections to see moderate officials (i.e. Russ Feingold) being voted out and more politically divisive candidates being sent in their place. The disconnect is clear and unfortunately divisive. This presence of divisiveness has split our country and now the question needs to be asked whether this is a short term electoral trend or a more deep rooted, concerning development that will continue to split our nation for years to come.
I am seeking submissions that are between 6,000 and 8,000 words. All submissions will be subject to double-blind peer review. There will be one issue of ABS devoted to this topic; however, if the number and quality of submissions deems it possible, there will be two issues.
I welcome submissions that take any angle related to polarization in America. Article concepts that would be of particular interest include:
1) Articles that provide a general overview of the causes/effects of polarization in America
2) Articles that look at the historical development of polarization in our country
3) Articles that assess citizen attitudes toward polarization
4) Articles that demonstrate the polarized nature of the American polis
5) Articles that examine divisive issues and their causes
6) Articles that examine the impact of particular political figures on polarization
7) Articles that discuss the 2010 election cycle and its potential impact on polarization
8) Methodological articles that examine the difficulties of measuring polarization
9) Methodological articles that look at the role survey research plays in measuring polarization
Submissions and questions should be submitted via email to Will Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org as a Microsoft Word file by August 5, 2011. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they come in. If you have any questions related to the issue or potential submissions, feel free to email the editor or call at (573) 979-7091.