Ohio State Newark Professor to Discuss Essentialism and the Hope for Change
Are societal problems puzzles to solve or phenomena to be endured, like a hurricane or earthquake? Nathaniel Swigger, associate professor of political science, will discuss his latest research on how much people believe government can address policy problems and make change happen, and why this matters for our nation at an upcoming Faculty Talks Outside the Box lecture on Friday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. in room #175 of the John. L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center.
“I started studying this topic because I began to notice, in both media reports and in my own students, more and more people seem to think that societal problems or institutional arrangements are somehow natural and unchangeable. We spend a lot of time asking people what government should do because, in my opinion, most political scientists have taken it for granted that government can do things,” said Swigger. “But if someone has an ‘it is what it is’ attitude toward society and social problems, then that will have an impact on the kinds of candidates they support, how they see themselves, how they engage with politics or whether they engage with politics at all.”
Swigger will discuss how when faced with societal problems like the opioid crisis, climate change or the gender wage gap people differ on which policies best resolve it. People also differ on whether or not they believe it is even possible to fix the problem. He will note what his research shows about the impact of people’s beliefs on whether the government can do anything about such societal problems.
During Faculty Talks Outside the Box, Ohio State Newark professors discuss recent research in their fields as it relates to our community and answer questions. All talks are free and open to the public. The Warner Center is located at 1219 University Drive, Newark, Ohio.
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.