U-M Political Science Faculty and Alumni lead the conversation on race, justice, and the current contention in the US and abroad:



Christian Davenport:

Find more from Christian here.

Christian Davenport is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan as well as a Faculty Associate at the Center for Political Studies and Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). His primary research interests include political conflict (e.g., human rights violations, genocide/politicide, torture, political surveillance, civil war and social movements), measurement, racism and popular culture. Additionally, he is interested in peace and peace making - particularly understanding what it is, how it can be measured and what can be done to create/sustain/expand it. 

Shea Streeter:

An interview with Shea Streeter: ‘Almost nothing’ about response to George Floyd’s death surprises University of Michigan fellow studying racial politics of police violence

Shea Streeter is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. Her research examines how race and gender shape the ways that people experience, perceive, and respond to incidents of violence. Starting in the fall of 2021, Streeter will become an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.

Hakeem Jefferson:

Jefferson (PhD, U-M Political Science, 2019) organized and moderated, "Race and the Criminal Justice System: Where Do We Go From Here?" The conversation includes other leading scholars on race, policing, punishment, and the American criminal justice system.

You may view the discussion here.

Jefferson is quoted in The New York Times article, "One Big Difference About George Floyd Protests: Many White Faces."

Hakeem J. Jefferson is an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University. As a researcher, he is concerned chiefly with questions related to identity and the multi-faceted ways that identity structures all aspects of our social and political lives. He is particularly interested in the politics of stigmatized groups, and his scholarly efforts have focused primarily on understanding diversity in the politics of Black Americans.

Andrea Benjamin:

Benjamin (PhD, U-M Political Science, 2010) contributed an article to The Washington Post titled, "Polls show strong support for the protests — and also for how police handled them."

Andrea Benjamin is originally from Northern California and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include Race and Politics, Local Elections and Voting behavior, and Public Opinion. Her first book, Racial Coalition Building in Local Elections: Elite Cues and Cross-Ethnic Voting https://www.amazon.com/Racial-Coalition-Building-Local-Elections/dp/1108733425, explores the potential for Black and Latino Coalitions in local politics. Using the Co-Ethnic Elite Cues Theory, the book shows that Blacks and Latinos rely on endorsements from co-ethnic leaders when casting their ballots. This is especially true when race and ethnicity are salient in the campaign. This book was published by Cambridge University Press. Andrea is currently working on a project about representation in local politics. You can follow her work here.


The Conflict & Peace, Research & Development (C&P, R&D or CPRD) group organized a discussion session titled, "Current Contention in the US" via Zoom.

The Conflict & Peace, Research & Development (C&P, R&D or CPRD) group comprises individuals and activities broadly concerned with political conflict/violence (e.g., genocide, civil war, human rights violation, terrorism, protest, torture, domestic spying and everyday resistance) and peace (e.g., community building, inter-group relations and negotiation). The range of topics is purposefully conceived in as encompassing a manner as possible.

Davin Phoenix:

Phoenix (PhD, U-M Political Science, 2015) contributed an article to The New York Times titled, "Anger Benefits Some Americans Much More Than Others."

Davin Phoenix is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, where he specializes and teaches courses in African American politics, political participation, public opinion, and local politics. His research broadly focuses on how race interacts with various spheres of U.S. politics to shape the attitudes, emotions and behavior of both everyday people and elites. He has authored and co-authored papers and manuscripts examining issues such as: how race influences individuals’ emotional responses to cues of policy threat and opportunity; how minority mayors build coalition strategies, and their impact on minority participation; and the intersection of race and religious views on individuals’ social welfare policy preferences.