Elections 2012: University experts weigh in on the issues

The 2012 election season is promising to be one of the most unpredictable cycles in recent history. Experts from across The University of Texas at Austin will weigh in here on the politics and the issues: the economy, the environment, demographics, immigration, energy and social change.

Faculty will analyze, examine and provide their perspectives through a series of articles and videos starting with the primaries and taking you through the general election. Check back often, you never know what will happen next.

Watch the most recent video in the series "The voting trends of women":

Read the most recent essay in the series "Tuning in to politics" by assistant professor of communication studies Natalie Stroud:

Natalie Stroud


Last Tuesday afternoon, presidential candidate Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, clearing the way for Mitt Romney to grab the Republican nomination. This makes it all but official: general election season is upon us.

If prior research is any guide, the approaching presidential election will serve an important function: bringing people back into the fold of politics, the news and partisanship.

Although some of this is decidedly good news, we should be mindful of the potential pitfalls and what we might do as we get closer to Election Day. Continue reading this story ...


On religion and politics

Tom Tweed


Faculty member Tom Tweed discusses religion, its role in politics and its impact on this year's election season with James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin. (Originally published Mar. 27.)

Can Romney reach the real South?

Paul Stekler


Professor and Radio-Television-Film Department Chair Paul Stekler discusses how Mitt Romney and the Republican Primary candidates have fared in the South with James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin. (Originally published Mar. 08.)

Older election-related videos:

ESSAYS and OPINION PIECES from our faculty

"Prophetic politics" by Journalism Professor Robert Jensen:

Robert Jensen


Does God take sides in the elections? Is there a voters' guide hiding in our holy books? Should we pray for electoral inspiration?

Secular people, and many progressive religious folk, tend to answer "no." Because religious fundamentalists so often present an easy-to-caricature version of faith-based politics even to the point of implying that God would want us to vote for certain candidates it's tempting to want to banish talk of the divine from politics.

But a blanket claim that "religion and politics don't mix" misunderstands the inevitable connection between the two. Whether secular or religious, our political judgments are always rooted in first principles claims about what it means to be human that can't be reduced to evidence and logic. Should people act purely out of self-interest, or is solidarity with others just as important? Under what conditions, if any, is the taking of a human life justified? What is the appropriate relationship of human beings to the larger living world? Continue reading this story ...

Older election-related essays: