What motivates a nonvoter to participate in politics? Why do some individuals donate so much money to political candidates and organizations? What motivates a registered Democrat to vote for a Republican candidate? Why would a college student choose to register for the Republican Party when the rest of her family are registered Democratic? This book addresses these questions with the larger goal of identifying what may be the most critical determinant of political behavior. Specifically, in contrast to common portrayals of political actors as atomistic, citizens’ political actions depend largely on their social interactions. Making sense of citizens’ political decisions requires a sustained understanding of their social networks.
The Political Data Science Lab conducts research on society’s most pressing social problems by developing and applying cutting-edge research methodology. Our alumni have jobs at world-class universities, in industry, and in government.