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Joshua Thorp

American Politics & Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title: “Body Politic: Disability and Political Cohesion”

Committee: Vincent Hutchings (chair), Donald Kinder, Robert Mickey, Annie Heffernan, Leonie Huddy

Summary: My research focuses on the politics of disability in the United States and other advanced democracies. I am particularly interested in stereotypes and social cognition, the formation and behavioral implications of political identities, and the psychological foundations of political cohesion and cooperation. I study these and other topics using a range of methodological techniques, including survey and experimental methods, text analysis, and comparative-historical analysis. My dissertation and book project (Body Politic: Disability and Political Cohesion) examines the political psychology of disability in the United States. Using original national surveys and experiments, I develop and validate a new measure of disability as a subjective political identity, and demonstrate the far-reaching consequences of this identity for political behavior, policy attitudes, and intergroup relations. In a related research program, I investigate public attitudes toward citizens with disabilities in the United Kingdom (with Jac Larner, Cardiff University). Using survey experiments and observational data, we examine how correcting misperceptions about people with disabilities shapes public attitudes toward redistributive policies for disabled citizens. This research is funded by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. I am a recipient of the Rapoport Family Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant, the Gerald R. Ford Fellowship, and the Converse-Miller Fellowship in American Political Behavior at the Center for Political Studies.

You can contact me at: jrthorp[at]umich[dot]edu