What is the nature of current right-wing populism in the United States? In this talk, Cramer will draw on her extensive ethnography of rural voters in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin to help illuminate a politics of resentment she has observed in her fieldwork conducted over the past decade. She will explain the intensive and pervasive resentment toward cities and urban residents she has heard while inviting herself into the conversations of 39 groups of people across 27 communities, and explain how this perspective provided fertile ground for the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Katherine J. Cramer is Director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service and a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she invites herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, examines rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics (University of Chicago Press, 2016); it won the 2017 APSA Qualitative and Multi-Method Research section Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or using qualitative methods published in 2016 and was a finalist for the 2017 APSA Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs.