Samara Klar

Samara Klar, Ph.D., University of Arizona

Thursday, June 27, 2019, 2:30-3:30, The Arizona Senior Academy Building

Making sense of today’s political world is not easy. Many dismiss political parties as irrelevant. Rigid partisanship in our Congress is contagious, and voters seem irreparably divided as never before.  Samara Klar, an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy, will try to help us better understand where we are today and where we are headed. 

Professor Klar’s scholarship focuses particularly on what influences people to vote as they do, and how disdain of political parties leads to inaction. Tribalism based on where you live, what you work at, how much education you have may define our voting patterns in a rigid and unproductive way.

Dr. Klar is a prizewinning scholar with a B.A. from McGill University in Quebec, an M.A. from Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She has served as a press officer at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, an analyst at ABC News and MSNBC, and as an American Political Science Association (APSA) congressional intern.

Her Ph.D. thesis, “The Influence of Identities on Political Preferences,” describes how “identity” and social surroundings influence political attitudes and behavior. That earned her an APSA “Best Dissertation Award” in 2014.

That was only the beginning of recognition of her seminal research and writing. Awards have followed Dr. Klar at every stage of her academic career. She was named a Distinguished Junior Scholar by the APSA, received its Best Book Award in Experimental Political Science in 2017 for her co-authored book, Independent Politics, and has been hailed as an “Emerging Scholar.” In her short professional life, Dr. Klar has had a significant number of articles in professional journals, as well as appearing in The New York Times.

We can look forward to Dr. Klar’s helping us understand American politics today as well as tomorrow and, hopefully, 2020.

Written by Norman Sherman, Academy Village Volunteer


June 27: “Is America Hopelessly Polarized?”