CSSI Research Seminar: Kelsey Shoub

CICS 151

The Particular and Diffuse Effects of Negative Interactions on Civic Participation: Evidence from Responses to Police Killings

Local government needs the public to contact them to function. However, the prior experiences of local residents may instead lead them to disengage rather than to reach out. Indeed, prior research tells us negative personal bureaucratic interactions politically demobilizes. However, little is known about: (1) community, rather than personal, contact or (2) effects on more general civic participation and its reach (i.e., particular to the specific agency or diffuse across agencies) – and particularly their intersection. Here we focus on that intersection by questioning how police killings may inform the propensity of local residents to reach out to either the police or local government. To test this, we first turn to an observational study of Los Angeles, using data on community initiated contact, the LA Time's database on police killings, and demographic data from the ACS. As the propensity to reach out to the LAPD may already be at its floor before a killing, we then turn to a survey experiment, allowing us to reach a broader range of Americans. We find that engagement decreases locally following a killing, implying that community contact can inform civic participation more broadly.

Kelsey Shoub
Speaker Biography

Kelsey Shoub is assistant professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Additionally, she is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Effective Lawmaking, where she was previously a post-doctoral research associate located at the University of Virginia. Broadly, her research addresses two questions: (1) How do descriptive identities (e.g., race and gender) of officials and civilians intersect with context, such as policy and institutions, to shape outcomes; and (2) How does language relate to policy and perceptions of politics? She does so through a focus on race, gender, and policing; and the language used by elites. To explore these questions, she collects and analyzes large data sets using statistical and machine learning techniques, which she complements with experimental methods.

She is a co-author of Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Stops Tell Us About Policing and Race (Cambridge University Press, 2018, co-winner of the C. Herman Pritchett Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Law and Courts). Additionally, her work has appeared in Science Advances, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, among others. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018, where she specialized in both American Politics and Political Methodology.