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Bridging the Political Divide

We held a fascinating conversation on March 23rd, 2021 between four very different political science professors. Their backgrounds focus on Religion and Politics, Racial and Ethnic Politics and Historical and Constitutional Law.

We discussed all of the different aspects of what polarizes us as a nation. If you missed it, this video is available to watch on our YouTube channel. From looking at the dynamics of our neighborhoods, the moral and legal questions that lead us and the makeup of our faith and religion in the country, you are able to get a great view of what politically divides us and how we can work through this.

We'd like to thank our panel, Dr. Laura Olson, Dr. William Lasser, Dr. Todd Shaw, and Dr. Scott Segrest our MC , for their wisdom and knowledge.


olsonLaura R. Olson is Thurmond Professor of Political Science and Director of the Ph.D. program in Policy Studies at Clemson University. She has been a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Italy, president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and editor-in-chief of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Her research focuses on contemporary religion and politics with emphases on public opinion and civic engagement. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals including Political Research Quarterly and Social Science Quarterly. She has also published nine books, most recently Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices (Routledge, 2018).






william lasserWilliam Lasser, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, has directed the Clemson University Honors College since 2009. A graduate of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lasser is the author of numerous books and articles on law and American politics, including The Limits of Judicial Power: The Supreme Court in American Politics (University of North Carolina Press) and Benjamin V. Cohen: Architect of the New Deal (Yale University Press). He has taught courses in constitutional law, American government, and political theory at Clemson and in 1993 was the recipient of Clemson’s Master Teacher Award.






shaw todd cTodd Shaw has been on faculty since 2003 and has appointments both in UofSC's Department of Political Science and the African American Studies Program. He was appointed the College of Arts & Science Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies by Dean Mary Ann Fitzpatrick in August of 2012. He served as the Interim Chair and then Chair of the Department of Political Science from 2017 to 2019. Until July 2021, he is serving as the Interim Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Social Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences. He researches and teaches broadly in the areas of African American politics, urban politics and public policy, as well as citizen activism and social movements.






scott segrest photoThe MC is Major Scott Segrest from the Citadel: Dr. Segrest is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Citadel. He is the author of America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense, a philosophical analysis of the role of common sense in politics as understood by two influential schools of American philosophy, Scottish Common Sense and Pragmatism. He has also published articles and book chapters on political radicalism and jihadist ideology.

Dr. Segrest teaches American politics, political theory, political ideologies, and religion and politics.