Mar 2 - Freedom Center Colloquium Series: Samara Klar


Thu, 03/02/2017 - 12:30 to 13:45

On Mar 2, the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom will host Samara Klar, Assistant Professor of Political Science here at the University of Arizona. Her talk is entitled "Why Americans Pretend They're Independent And Why It Matters." (Abstract below.)

Thursday, Mar 2, 12:30-1:45pm, in the Kendrick Room at the Freedom Center, Marshall 280 (right above Paradise Bakery).  Feel free to bring lunch.

For further information, please visit the Arizona Freedom Center at

"Why Americans Pretend They're Independent And Why It Matters"

Over the last 30 years, interested observers of American politics have remained fascinated with political independents. Media describe the large segment of the electorate who identify as independent as pivotal for electoral outcomes. Political scientists, on the other hand, do not share this view, instead concluding that independents are a "myth"--people who ultimately hold clear partisan beliefs and consistent preferences for partisan candidates. Yet we are still left with important questions: Why are independents so motivated to intentionally misrepresent their own partisanship? And could the motivations that lead individuals to avoid partisan labels also lead them to alter their political behaviors? I demonstrate the social desirability of identifying as independent and the significant consequences of this turn away from partisanship.


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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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