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Reading the Tea Leaves: The Rise of Political Parties

Date: 12/10/2011

Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center,St. Paul,Twin Cities

Cost: $50


This Saturday morning seminar is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.


Throughout most of its history, American politics has been dominated by a two-party system. However, the U.S. Constitution is silent on the issue and, from time to time, third parties rally popular support among voters disenfranchised by the partisan positions of mainstream Democrats and Republicans. Candidates for the Green and Independence Parties such as Ralph Nader and Jesse Ventura occasionally garner surprising results on national and state ballots and are credited—or blamed—with influencing the outcome of major elections. Recently, polarization between the two major parties has increased, creating conflict and, at times, gridlock. While claiming not to aspire to third party status, the Tea Party has emerged as a new force in American politics, heavily influencing Republican Party politics, and is fully expected to continue to command attention during the 2012 Presidential election. Do these contemporary movements differ significantly from their political predecessors? Join a noted political scientist in a guided discussion of the history, evolution, and current state of American political parties. Tuition includes refreshments.

Instructor Kathryn Pearson, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, is associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the United States Congress, elections, political parties, women and politics, and public opinion. Prior to joining the University faculty, she served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in 2002-03 and worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for two members of Congress from 1993-98. She is a frequent media commentator on state and national politics.


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  • Name: College of Continuing Education Information Center
  • E-mail: cceinfo@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-4000
  • Sponsored by: College of Continuing Education

More information: http://z.umn.edu/492

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at cceinfo@umn.edu.

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