James Steur | PhD Candidate
University of Illinois
In my primary research agenda, I identify how forces beyond rationality—especially emotions—support or undermine democracy. In my dissertation, I examine the causes and consequences of political sadness for democratic citizenship and political behavior. The dissertation project is supported by funding from the Rapoport Family Foundation and the Princeton Dissertation Scholars Program through the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace & Justice at Princeton University.
In addition to my dissertation research, I am working on two co-authored research projects that examine how biology and emotions are factors beyond rationality that impact political behavior. In my first co-authored piece with Dr. Aleks Ksiazkiewicz, we develop a novel concept and measurement tool of chrononormativity: the idea that there are certain times of day to do certain activities. We examine how chrononormativity influences political ideology and political attitudes. In the second co-authored piece with my colleagues, Jair Moreira and Aleena Khan, we examine how vicarious contact between partisan leaders reduces affective polarization in the U.S. mass public. These projects have received funding from the Polarization Research Lab, Canadian Election Study, and the Cooperative Election Study (formerly the Cooperative Congressional Election Study).
This is a photo of me with Rep. Mike Marron, Legislative Assistant Marguerite Bailey, and fellow Legislative Fellow Ha Young Choi. I presented my research to Illinois elected officials and the University of Illinois Chancellor's Office as a Policy & Legislative Research Fellow.