American Politics


Alphabetical List of Experts on American Politics

Amy E. Black
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Congress
Background:
Amy E. Black is associate professor and chair of the Department of Politics & International Relations at Wheaton College (IL). A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Dr. Black earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at M.I.T.  In 2000-2001, Dr. Black served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, working in the office of Representative Melissa A. Hart (PA-04). Her most recent book is a textbook, Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives, edited with Douglas Koopman and Larycia Hawkins (Pearson Longman, 2011). Her other publications include Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics (Baker Books, 2008), From Inspiration to Legislation:  How an Idea Becomes a Law (Prentice Hall, 2007), and, with Douglas Koopman and David Ryden, Of Little Faith: The Politics of George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiatives (Georgetown, 2004).
Contact Information:
E-mail: amy.e.black@wheaton.edu
Phone: (630) 752-5980
Website: Wheaton College Faculty Page
H. Lee Cheek, Jr.
Areas of Expertise:
American politics, Political theory, Southern politics, Methodism
Background:
Dr. H. Lee Cheek, Jr., is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Athens State University in Athens, Alabama.  He received his bachelor's degree from Western Carolina University, his M.Div. from Duke University, his M.P.A. from Western Carolina University, and his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.  He has also been a congressional aide and a political consultant.  Dr. Cheek's books include Political Philosophy and Cultural Renewal (Transaction/Rutgers, 2001, with Kathy B. Cheek); Calhoun and Popular Rule, published by the University of Missouri Press (2001; paper edition, 2004); Calhoun: Selected Speeches and Writings (Regnery, 2003); Order and Legitimacy (Transaction/Rutgers, 2004); an edition of Calhoun's A Disquisition on Government (St. Augustine's, 2007); a critical edition of W. H. Mallock's The Limits of Pure Democracy (Transaction/Rutgers, 2007); a monograph on Wesleyan theology (Wesley Studies Society, 2010); and an edition of the classic study, A Theory of Public Opinion (Transaction/Rutgers, 2011).  He has also published dozens of scholarly articles in publications like the Journal of Politics, Methodist  History, International Social Science ReviewHebraic Political Studies, and is a regular commentator on American politics.  Dr. Cheek’s current research includes completing an intellectual biography of Francis Graham Wilson (I.S.I. Books), a study of the American Founding, and a book on Patrick Henry's constitutionalism and political theory.  Cheek is also an ordained United Methodist minister and former parish minister and U.S. Army chaplain..
Contact Information:
E-mail: lee.cheek@athens.edu
Phone: (256) 233-8114
Website: Personal Website
Kimberly H. Conger
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Religion and Politics, State and Local Government
Background:
Kimberly H. Conger is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Colorado State University.  She received her PhD from Ohio State University and taught at Iowa State University for several years before moving to CSU.  Professor Conger studies religion and politics, political activism, and state politics.  Her research has been published in Perspectives on PoliticsParty PoliticsState Politics and Policy Quarterly, and Political Psychology.  Her recent book, The Christian Right in Republican State Politics (Palgrave, 2009), examines the political goals and strategies of the state-level conservative Evangelical activists.  She has been quoted in numerous national and international news outlets  including NPR, The Kansas City Star, and the Times of India.  Professor Conger is currently at work on a book about religiously motivated activism - on both the right and the left - in the 2008 election.
Contact Information:
E-mail: kimberly.conger@colostate.edu
Phone: (303) 523-4721
Website: Colorado State University Faculty Page
Gary L. Gregg II
Areas of Expertise:
The American presidency, American political thought, modern conservative political thought, and imaginative literature and its relationship to politics.
Background:
Gary L. Gregg II, Ph.D., holds the Mitch McConnell Chair in Leadership at the University of Louisville where he also directs the McConnell Center and the Senator Mitch McConnell and Secretary Elaine L. Chao Archives.  He is the author or editor of nine books including The Presidential Republic: Executive Representation and Deliberative Democracy (1997), Vital Remnants: America's Founding and the Western Tradition (1999), Patriot Sage: George Washington and the American Political Tradition (1999), Thinking about the Presidency (2005), and Securing Democracy: Why We Have an Electoral College, Second Edition (2008).  He is also author of the young adult fantasy series of novels called The Remnant Chronicles, the first two of which have been published as The Sporran and The Iona Conspiracy.  He has appeared on national television and radio programs and is currently working on two books exploring the development and flourishing of the character of George Washington. 
Contact Information:
E-mail: ggregg@louisville.edu
Phone: (502) 852-8811
Website: University of Louisville Faculty Page
Mark David Hall
Areas of Expertise:
The American founding, religion and American politics, and the First Amendment religion clauses.
Background:
Mark David Hall is Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science at George Fox University.  He has written or co-edited The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson, 1742-1798 (1997); The Founders on God and Government (2004); Collected Works of James Wilson, 2 vol. (2007); The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life (2009); The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding (2009); America’s Forgotten Founders (2011), and Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).  He has also written more than fifty journal articles, book chapters, reviews, and sundry pieces.  He is currently co-editing Faith and the Founders of the American Republic and co-authoring a book tentatively titled America's "Godless" Constitution, Deist Founders, and other Myths About Religion and the American Founding.  He will serve as president of Christians in Political Science from 2010-2012 and is a member of the Board of Governors of Veritas Christian School.
SpeakingProfessor Hall is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Did America Have a Christian Founding?"
"Jeffersonian Walls and Madisonian Lines: The Supreme Court's Use of History and the First Amendment's Religion Clauses"
"The Old Puritan and a New Nation: Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic"
Contact Information:
E-mail: mhall@georgefox.edu
Phone: (503) 554-2674
Website: George Fox University Faculty Page
Douglas L. Koopman
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Congress
Background:
Dr. Douglas L. Koopman is Professor of Political Science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, teaching in American political institutions and doing research on Congress and religion in American politics.  His most recent book is Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (Pearson, 2010), a reader offering historical and contemporary perspectives on the role of religion in American public life.  He is co-author of Of Little Faith: The Politics of George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiatives (Georgetown University Press, 2004), and several other works.  His first book was Hostile Takeover: The House Republican Party, 1980-1995 (Rowman and Littlefield, 1996) about the era leading up to the Republican congressional takeover of 1994.  Koopman has been the program director of Calvin College’s Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, interim director of its Center for Social Research, and the college’s William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar-in-Residence.  From 1980 to 1995, Koopman worked in both the House and Senate in personal, committee, and leadership staff roles.
Contact Information:
E-mail: dkoopman@calvin.edu
Phone: (616) 526-6706
Website: Calvin College Faculty Page
John J. Pitney, Jr.
Areas of Expertise: 
American Politics, Congress
Background:
John J. Pitney, Jr., is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. He received his B.A. in political science from Union College, where he was co-valedictorian. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at Yale, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. From 1978 to 1980, Dr. Pitney worked in the New York State Senate. From 1983 to 1984, as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association, he worked for Senator Alfonse D’Amato of New York and the House Republican Policy Committee, chaired by Representative Dick Cheney of Wyoming. From 1984 to 1986, he was senior domestic policy analyst for the House Republican Research Committee. He joined the Claremont McKenna College faculty in 1986. From 1989 to 1991, during a leave of absence, he worked at the Research Department of the Republican National Committee, first as deputy director, then as acting director. He has written articles for PoliticoThe Weekly StandardThe Wall Street JournalThe Christian Science Monitor, and Roll Call, among others. His scholarly works include The Art of Political Warfare, published in 2000 by the University of Oklahoma Press.  With Joseph M. Bessette, he is coauthor of American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship (Cengage, 2010).
Contact Information:
Phone: (909) 607-4224
Corwin E. Smidt
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Religion & Politics
Background:
Corwin E. Smidt is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Henry Institute at Calvin College.  A graduate of Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.  He is the author, editor, or co-author of fourteen books and has published widely in a variety of sociology and political science journals.  He has recently completed The Disappearing God Gap? Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election (Oxford University Press, 2010), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics, (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Pews, Prayers, and Participation: The Role of Religion in Fostering Civic Responsibility (Georgetown University Press, 2008).  Corwin was a founding member of the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association and has served as its Executive Director.  He currently serves on the governing council of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.  He has served an investigator on five national surveys on religion and politics conducted during past presidential elections.   He has been quoted in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and many other major newspapers.
SpeakingProfessor Smidt is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"The Changing Role of Religion in American Presidential Elections"
"Religion and Engagement in American Civic and Political Life"
"The Changing Role of Protestant Clergy in American Public Life"
Contact Information:
E-mail: smid@calvin.edu
Phone: (616) 526-6233
Website: Calvin College Faculty Page
Carol M. Swain
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Public Policy, Race, Class & Gender
Background:
Carol M. Swain (B.A., Roanoke College, 1983; M.A., Virginia Polytechnic & State Univ., 1984; Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1989; MSL, Yale, 2000). Professor Swain has authored award-winning books including Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress (Harvard University Press, 1993, 1995: reprinted University Press of America, 2006). Black Faces won the Woodrow Wilson prize for the best book published in the U. S. on government, politics, or international affairs in 1994, and was cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Johnson v. DeGrandy, 512 U.S. 997 (1994) and twice by Justice Sandra Day O' Connor in Georgia V. Ashcroft, 539 U.S. (2003). 
Her books include The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration (Cambridge University Press, 2002) that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2003, edited with Russ Nieli), and most recently Debating Immigration (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Her latest book is: Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise (Forthcoming, Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2011)
She is widely recognized as an expert on race relations, immigration, black leadership, and evangelical politics. Her media appearances include BBC Radio, NPR, CNN's Andersen Cooper, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox’s Hannity, PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The Washington Journal,  and ABC's Headline News, Her op-eds have appeared in numerous newspapers. These include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and USA Today. 
SpeakingDr. Swain is available to lecture on topics related to her areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Why Birthright Citizenship No Longer Serves America's Needs"
"Can We Save America by Reviving Patriotism and Faith in the Judeo-Christian God?"
"From GED to Ph.D.: The Carol Swain Story"
Contact Information:
E-mail: carol.swain@vanderbilt.edu
Phone: (615) 310-8617
Website: Personal Website
Paul J. Wahlbeck
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics; Courts & Law; Judicial politics; Supreme Court decision making; strategic behavior; institutional development; quantitative empirical methods; positive political theory
Background:
Paul J. Wahlbeck (J.D., 1986; Ph.D., 1993) is a Professor of Political Science at George Washington University.  His research and teaching focus on judicial politics and research methods. He has conducted research on legal change, oral argument before the Supreme Court, strategic interaction among justices, and institutional development. He is co-author of Crafting Law on the Supreme Court: The Collegial Game (Cambridge University Press, 2000). His work has appeared in many journals, including the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political ScienceJournal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly. He served as Director of the Law and Social Science Program at the National Science Foundation from 2001-2003 and Director of the Political Science Program at NSF in 2006.
Contact Information:
E-mail: wahlbeck@gwu.edu
Phone: (202) 994-4872
Website: George Washington University Faculty Page
Jennifer E. Walsh
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, State and local government, crime and sentencing policy, executive branch decision making, constitutional jurisprudence
Background:
Jennifer E. Walsh is a Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Azusa Pacific University.  She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and an M.A. in Politics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University.  An expert in crime policy, Jennifer’s recent publications include Three Strikes Laws (Greenwood Press, 2007) and “To Do Justly and Love Mercy: Using Scripture to Guide Criminal Justice Policy” in Is the Good Book Good Enough? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).  In 2009, she was an invited speaker before the New Zealand parliament on pending sentencing legislation and is frequently consulted by the media on matters of crime and justice, state and local government, and American politics.  In June 2011, she was invited to participate in a faculty seminar on Religious Freedom and the Rule of Law in Shanghai and Beijing, China.  Currently, Walsh is working on a book chapter examining the influence of race, ethnicity and gender in presidential appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court and an article analyzing the impact of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) on the freedom of religion.
SpeakingProfessor Walsh is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"The Christian Response to Crime"
"Mandatory Prison Sentences:  Benefits and Consequences"
"Executive Discretion:  Does it Undermine our System of Checks and Balances?"
Contact Information:
E-mail: jwalsh@apu.edu
Phone:  (626) 815-6000 x3502
Website: Azusa Pacific University Faculty Page

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