Democracy Expert to Talk Political Polarization at LSU’s Manship School

Sept. 20, 2018
photo: Mike WagnerBaton Rouge, LA
– The Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs will host democracy researcher, professor and author Mike Wagner, Ph.D., for “Beyond the Left-Right Divide: Conditional Mass Polarization in American Politics” on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Wagner will outline the growing divides within American politics over the past 40 years and offer analysis on how the public has responded to these changes.

“We find that roughly half of all Americans who have views that are consistently liberal or consistently conservative are almost as polarized as partisan officials in Washington, D.C. and the nation’s statehouses,” Wagner said. “The other half of our population have responded to polarization in completely different ways, and this event offers the opportunity to examine how polarization has affected politics in our country.” Wagner said.

Wagner approaches his work from a variety of perspectives, incorporating the study of political communication, political parties, journalism, public opinion, political psychology, political behavior, religion and politics, the presidency and biology.

Prior to his research and teaching on journalism, democracy and polarization, Wagner worked as a political journalist and campaign press secretary, giving him a unique insight into policy, public affairs and polarization. He currently works at The University of Madison-Wisconsin and is writing a book, Beyond the Left-Right Divide: How the Multidimensional Character of Mass Policy Preferences Affects American Politics.

The Manship School’s Reilly Center is hosting this event Sept. 25 from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Holliday Forum of LSU’s Journalism Building (at the corner of Fieldhouse Drive and North Stadium Drive). General attendance parking is available at the LSU Barnes and Noble bookstore (at the corner of Highland Road and Veterans Drive). Registration for this event is requested by not required.

Reporters on deadline needing a closer parking pass should e-mail for assistance (24 hours’ notice is requested). 


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented, and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.