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The Politics of Personal Crisis: How Life Disruptions Shape Political Participation

May 1, 2024

Congratulations to UC Merced Political Science assistant professor Christopher Ojeda with Jamila Michener and Jake Haselswerdt on the publication of their new article The Politics of Personal Crisis: How Life Disruptions Shape Political Participation in Political Behavior

Economic risk and instability are urgent and central facts in the lives of increasing numbers of Americans. Though experienced as “personal,” the causes of life disruptions like unemployment, eviction, and loss of health insurance are also deeply political. In this paper, they build on existing “single crisis” studies to offer a comprehensive theoretical and empirical picture of how life disruptions shape political behavior. They use several large surveys to show that personal crises generally dampen turnout but sometimes spur other political acts. They also find that highly politicized crises (such as those related to COVID) boost all forms of participation. Their findings speak to the importance of considering life disruptions in the study of political behavior, particularly in an era when the lives of Americans are especially precarious. 

Read more HERE.