Ben Gaskins is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lewis & Clark College. He teaches both American and Comparative Politics, including religion and politics, mass media, public opinion, group politics, and political institutions. His research focuses mainly on the effect of religious commitment on opinion formation, voting behavior, and democratic citizenship. His work also looks at how citizens learn about politics and how they make political choices. His research has been published in The American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Politics & Religion, and The International Journal of Press/Politics.
POLS 102 Intro to Comparative Politics
Introduction to the central questions in comparative politics. Fundamental differences in the organization of states, democratic political institutions (presidentialism versus parliamentarianism, for example), and domestic social forces (for example, social capital, ethnic versus nonethnic identities). The impact of political organization on economic performance and social peace.
POLS 252 Public Opinion and Survey Research
The role of public opinion in the American political process; the problem of identifying the public and the extent to which this public exercises political authority; techniques of researching public opinion. Political socialization, formation of attitudes, group differences, mass opinion, elite opinion, direct action. Research design, data collection, scaling, analysis, and interpretation of data in the context of research on polling.
POLS 359 Religion and Politics
Measuring religiosity and how or if religious participation affects political participation. The role of the church as a political institution. Religious leaders as political leaders. Emphasis on religion in American politics.
POLS 400 Senior Thesis
Beard, T. Randolph, Robert B. Ekelund Jr., George S. Ford, Ben Gaskins, & Robert D. Tollison. 2013. “Secularism, Religion, and Political Choice in the United States.” Politics and Religion 6(4): 753 – 777.
B.A. in Political Science and Music, Furman University (2006)
M.S. in Political Science, Florida State University (2008)
Ph.D. in Political Science, Florida State University (2011)