As identity politics, partisan incivility, media, and special interests reshape both the country and the vote, this discussion considers the pivotal role of trustworthiness in maintaining a democratic society and whether elections as we know them have a future.
Moderator: Christopher Conover is a reporter and producer with Arizona Public Media who covers politics, the military, and the environment. Conover has more than 17 years of experience in broadcast news and has won numerous journalism awards, including a national Edward R. Murrow Award and an Emmy nomination.
Kate Kenski is an associate professor in the UA Department of Communication, specializing in political communication and public opinion. Before joining the UA, she was a senior analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the National Annenberg Election Survey team in 2000 and 2004. Kenski is the co-author of The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election, and her research has been published widely in journals, including the American Behavioral Scientist, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Women & Politics.
Samara Klar is an assistant professor of political science in the UA School of Government and Public Policy, where she studies how individuals’ personal identities and social surroundings influence their political attitudes and behaviors. Klar’s book, Independent Politics: How American Disdain for Parties Leads to Political Inaction, received awards from the American Political Science Association. In 2016, she founded WomenAlsoKnowStuff, a website that promotes women and their scholarship in political science. Klar has published her research in over a dozen journals and has been supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.
Carolyn Lukensmeyer is the executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, an organization housed in the UA School of Government and Public Policy that works to reduce political dysfunction and incivility in our political system. As a leader in the field of deliberative democracy, she works to restore our democracy to reflect the intended vision of our founding fathers. Lukensmeyer has previously served as founder and president of AmericaSpeaks, as a consultant to the White House chief of staff (1993-1994), and as the first female chief of staff to Ohio Governor Richard Celeste (1986-1991).