Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

As the U.S. presidential election approaches, it often seems like the real issues get buried amid sound bites and campaign promises. Join UW–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs, Department of Political Science, and Wisconsin Alumni Association from the comfort of your own home for three Real Town Halls. During these 90-minute livestreamed events, nationally renowned experts will discuss key issues and answer audience questions.

The events are free, but registration is required for access. 

Beyond Health: The Social Impacts of COVID-19

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7–8:30 p.m. CDT

Watch video of the event

Moderator: Susan Webb Yackee — La Follette School of Public Affairs director and professor of public affairs and political science

Panelists:

  • J. Michael Collins — professor of public affairs and human ecology, Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance
  • Jason Fletcher — professor of public affairs and sociology
  • Denia Garcia — assistant professor of public affairs
  • Sarah Halpern-Meekin — associate professor of human development, family studies, and public affairs

Foreign Relations, Trade, & Policy in 2021 & Beyond

Monday, Oct. 12, 7–8:30 p.m. CDT

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Moderator: Susan Webb Yackee — La Follette School of Public Affairs director and professor of public affairs and political science

Panelists:

  • Menzie Chinn — professor of public affairs and economics
  • Mark Copelovitch — professor of political science, public affairs, and international relations
  • Tana Johnson ’01 — associate professor of public affairs and political science
  • Jon Pevehouse — professor of political science and public affairs

The Electoral Process

Monday, Oct. 26, 7–8:30 p.m. CDT

Register for this event

Moderator: Kathy Cramer ’94 — professor of political science and Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science

Panelists:

  • Barry Burden — professor of political science, director of the Elections Research Center, and Lyons Family Chair in Electoral Politics
  • Mike Wagner ’07, MS’08 — professor and Louis A. Maier Faculty Development Fellow in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Rob Yablon ’99 — assistant professor of law and affiliate of the Elections Research Center

 

MODERATORS AND SPEAKERS

Barry Burden is a professor of political science, director of the Elections Research Center, and the Lyons Family Chair in Electoral Politics. His research and teaching are based in American politics, with an emphasis on electoral politics and representation. He is coeditor of The Measure of American Elections (Cambridge University Press, 2014), author of Personal Roots of Representation (Princeton University Press, 2007), and coauthor of Why Americans Split Their Tickets: Campaigns, Competition, and Divided Government (University of Michigan Press, 2002).

Menzie Chinn is a professor of public affairs and economics. His research examines the empirical and policy aspects of macroeconomic interactions between countries. He has been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve Board, the European Central Bank, and the Banque de France.

J. Michael Collins is a professor of public affairs and human ecology, and he is the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance. He studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings, and investment choices. He is involved in studies of household finance and well-being supported by leading foundations and federal agencies.

Mark Copelovitch is a professor of political science, public affairs, and international relations. He studies international political economy and international organizations, with a focus on the politics of international trade, international finance, the International Monetary Fund, and European integration. He is the author of The International Monetary Fund in the Global Economy: Banks, Bonds, and Bailouts (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Kathy Cramer ’94 is a professor of political science and the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science. Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she uses methods like inviting herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her award-winning book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, brought to light rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics. It was a go-to source for understanding votes in the 2016 presidential election (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

Jason Fletcher Jason Fletcher is a professor of public affairs and sociology. He focuses his research on examining social network effects on health outcomes, combining genetics and social science research, and evaluating the impacts of health policies. His book (with Dalton Conley)—The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Reveals About Ourselves, Our History and Our Future—was published by Princeton University Press. He is the director of the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at UW-Madison.

Denia Garcia is an assistant professor of public affairs. Her work examines the role of space and organizations in shaping how inequalities are experienced and reproduced. Garcia also studies participatory budgeting, race, and skin color in the United States and Latin America, and access to public benefits among urban families using quantitative methods.

Sarah Halpern-Meekin is an associate professor of human development, family studies, and public affairs. She is a sociologist who uses qualitative and quantitative methods to study romantic relationships and low-income families’ finances, as well as government policies directed at both of these areas. Her current research includes examining how social poverty (lacking adequate relational resources) shapes people’s well-being and decisions.

Tana Johnson ’01 is an associate professor of public affairs and political science. Her research uses interviews, analyses of original data, archival research, formal models, and computer-assisted textual analysis to examine big-picture issues, particularly in the area of international relations. She examines the operations and design of international institutions, especially those affiliated with the United Nations system.

Jon Pevehouse is a professor of political science and public affairs. His research interests lie in international relations, international political economy, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, and political methodology. He examines the relationship between domestic and international politics. He is the author, with Joshua Goldstein, of International Relations, the leading textbook on international politics.

Mike Wagner ’07, MS’08 is a professor and the Louis A. Maier Faculty Development Fellow in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research, teaching, and service are animated by the question, “How well does democracy work?” Wagner approaches this question from a variety of perspectives, incorporating into his work the study of political communication, political parties, journalism, public opinion, political psychology, political behavior, religion and politics, the presidency, and biology.

Susan Webb Yackee is director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs and a professor of public affairs and political science. Her research and teaching interests include the U.S. public policymaking process, public management, regulation, administrative law, and interest group politics.

Rob Yablon ’99 is an assistant professor of law and an affiliate of the Elections Research Center. His research interests include political and election law, constitutional law, federal courts, and statutory interpretation. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge William Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.