LaFleur Stephens-Dougan

LaFleur Stephens-Dougan

Biography

Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University
Race-ing for Votes: How Candidates Use Negative Racial Appeals to Win White Votes
Hutchins Fellow
Academic Year 2017-18
 
 

LaFleur Stephens-Dougan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University.  She received her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Stephens-Dougan is a scholar of American politics, whose research interests include public opinion, campaigns and elections, and racial attitudes.  She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation’s Time-Sharing in Experimental Social Sciences Research Grant, as well as a grant from the Center for the Study of Public Policy in Diverse Societies. Her dissertation, “The Effectiveness of Implicit and Explicit Racial Appeals in a ‘Post-racial’ America” was awarded the 2014 Best Dissertation Award in Race and Ethnic Politics from the American Political Science Association.   Dr. Stephens' work has been published in William Mayer’s The Making of the Presidential Candidates 2008 and in the Journal of Politics.  

Project Description

Race-ing for Votes: How Candidates Use Negative Racial Appeals to Win White Votes

Although previous research has focused on the use negative racial appeals by White Republican politicians, this book explores the electoral incentives that exist for a wider range of politicians to use negative racial appeals about blacks for their political advantage. Using a series of survey experiments, case studies of real world elections, and analysis of campaign advertisements, I develop and systematically test a theory of racial signaling.  My theory of racial signaling states that candidates who are courting the electoral support of the median white voter, have an incentive to "signal" either implicitly or explicitly that they are not beholden to the interests of blacks, presumably at the expense of whites. The theory of racial signaling revisits and revises the theory of racial priming and deracialization theory.  Thus, contributing to a more nuanced understanding of the use of racial appeals in American politics. 


Academic Year 2017-18: Hutchins Fellow


 

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