Origins of the Culture War: Social Issues in State Party Platforms, 1960-2016
The recipient of the 2017 James W. Scott Research Fellowship, Matthew Carr, will give a talk entitled “Origins of the Culture War: Social Issues in State Party Platforms, 1960-2016,” at noon on Thursday, July 27 in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The presentation is free and open to the public.
During the late-20th century, social issues that previously had played little role in party division came to separate one party from the other. Republican and Democratic elites staked out opposing positions on a range of issues – including abortion, gay rights, the role of religion in the public sphere, and gun control – and party electorates today are sharply polarized over these issues. In his talk, Carr will explore Democratic and Republican political party platforms from 1960 to the present day, especially the emergence of abortion and gay rights as partisan issues.
Matthew Carr is a doctoral candidate in the political science PhD program at Columbia University. His areas of interest include American Political Institutions, Political Parties, and Policy Development. As part of the Fellowship program, Carr will participate in a week-long residency at Western, during which he will examine archival collections at CPNWS including the papers of former Washington-State Congressmen Al Swift, Jack Metcalf, and Frank Atwood; records of the American Civil Liberties Union – Whatcom County Chapter; and local and regional Democratic and Republican Party records.
The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowship is offered annually to scholars who conduct significant research using archival holdings at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources). Funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region, and a founder and first director of CPNWS.