About the UCLA Department of Political Science:
In 2016, the UCLA Department of Political Science celebrated ninety-six years of teaching, research, and public service within one of the nation’s finest universities. Instruction in political science began in September 1920 with one assistant professor, Dr. Charles E. Martin. Today, the department is considered one of America’s best, recently ranked 8th in the nation by researchers at Princeton University. Among the department’s many strengths, we have gained notable distinction in political economy, electoral behavior, comparative politics -- including the politics of developing nations -- and political theory.
The department’s greatest resource is its distinguished faculty. The faculty’s teaching and research continue to put the program at the forefront of its field. The department’s primary goal remains focused on providing the best possible education for students seeking to develop an expertise in the field of political science by instilling solid skills in research and analytic reasoning.
Ethnic divisions have been shown to adversely affect economic performance and political stability, especially in Africa, but the underlying reasons remain contested, with multiple mechanisms potentially playing a role. We utilize lab experiments to isolate the role of one such mechanism — ethnic preferences — which have been central in both theory and in the conventional wisdom about the impact of ethnic differences. We employ an unusually rich research design, collecting multiple rounds of experimental data with a large sample of 1,300 subjects in Nairobi; employing within-lab priming conditions; and utilizing both standard and novel experimental measures, including implicit association tests. The econometric approach was pre-specified in a registered pre-analysis plan. Most of our tests yield no evidence of coethnic bias. The results run strongly against the common presumption of extensive ethnic bias among ordinary Kenyans, and suggest that other mechanisms may be more important in explaining the negative association between ethnic diversity and economic and political outcomes.
In Rancière’s Sentiments Davide Panagia explores Jacques Rancière’s aesthetics of politics as it informs his radical democratic theory of participation. Attending to diverse practices of everyday living and doing—of form, style, and scenography—in Rancière’s writings, Panagia characterizes Rancière as a sentimental thinker for whom the aesthetic is indistinguishable from the political. Rather than providing prescriptions for political judgment and action, Rancière focuses on how sensibilities and perceptions constitute dynamic relations between persons and the worlds they create. Panagia traces this approach by examining Rancière’s modernist sensibilities, his theory of radical mediation, the influence of Gustave Flaubert on Rancière’s literary voice, and how Rancière juxtaposes seemingly incompatible objects and phenomena to create moments of sensorial disorientation. The power of Rancière’s work, Panagia demonstrates, lies in its ability to leave readers with a disjunctive sensibility of the world and what political thinking is and can be.