Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute

Recent Conferences and Public Talks

October 28, 1015

Speaker: Geoff Layman

Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Co-sponsored by the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute and the Department of Government

Professor Layman gave a public talk titled "The Politics of Irreligion: The Political Causes and Consequences of Growing Secularism in the U.S."

From the flier: "Summary: Over the last 25 years, the percentage of Americans claiming no religious affiliation has tripled (to over 20%) and the percentage of Americans who never attend religious services also has increased dramatically. In this project, we (David Campbell, John Green, and I) use a wide range of original data (including a four-wave panel survey of the American electorate, national-level survey experiments, and a new survey of secular activists) to examine the political consequences and causes of the rising tide of secularism in the U.S. In our assessment of the political consequences of growing secularism, we distinguish between "passive secularism" (or the absence of religiosity) and "active secularism" (or a positive commitment to secular perspectives). Using a new measure of "secular beliefs," we find that passive secularism is weakly related to policy attitudes and encourages political independence and apathy. In contrast, active secularism is strongly related to policy liberalism, creates strong ties to the Democratic Party, and spurs political engagement. Turning to causes, we argue (as have others) that growing secularism has been driven in part by politics. Specifically, the growing connection between religion on the one hand and conservatism and the Republican Party on the other hand has pushed many liberals, moderates, independents, and Democrats away from religion. We assess this hypothesis with experiments and panel data, finding strong support for it. Liberals and Democrats are more likely than conservatives and Republicans to react negatively to religious content in political campaigns, and they have been more likely to turn away from religion over time. In short, there truly is a politics of irreligion in the U.S. Politics has helped to drive the rise of irreligion and politics is affected profoundly by this rise."

September 30, 2015

Speaker: Beth Leech

Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

Co-sponsored by the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute and the Policy Agendas Project

Professor Leech gave a public talk titled "Agendas and Allies: Lobbying Subsity and Policy Success"

Summary of paper: "While popular accounts of interest groups in politics are full of stories that assert the influence of lobbyists and assume that influence results from an exchange of campaign funds for policies, systematic studies of the linkage between spending on campaign contributions (and even on lobbying itself) have had much more mixed results ...  Understanding why groups lobby and to what effect is central to understanding their role in the policy process. In contrast to the assumption that interest group advocacy efforts are an attempt to “buy” votes, this paper instead hypothesizes that lobbying and contributions are aimed in part at affecting the agenda status of issues of importance to the interest groups. It does so using an original survey of organized interests active in Washington, linked to data on lobbying expenditures and PAC contributions."

May 5, 2015

Speaker: Joanna Harrington

Professor of Law, University of Alberta, and Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Policy Studies

Co-sponsored by the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute and the Department of Government

Professor Harrington gave a public talk titled "Urgent Human Rights Situations and Interim Measures of Protection: Problems of Compliance, Legitimacy, and Effectiveness"

Abstract: "All international human rights bodies that receive and consider complaints include provisions within their rules of procedure to provide for the issuance of requests to offer protection in urgent cases of real risk to life and limb. Known as requests for 'interim', 'provisional' or 'precautionary' measures, these are requests for a temporary stay of proceedings at the national level while international proceedings are pending. Compliance, however, is a problem, leading the international human rights bodies to become more assertive that their requests for interim measures of protection have legal effect. In return, a number of democratic States have become more assertive in their refusals to comply, particularly in matters with a national security context. There is also a sense that some interim measures requests are issued too readily by at least some international human rights bodies, leading to greater State disregard, which in turn jeopardizes the very purpose of a protection measure for urgent cases of risk. Reflecting on reforms undertaken within the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2013, this lecture will also examine whether greater transparency and improved procedural rigor from the international bodies themselves could instill greater State confidence in the legitimacy, and thus effectiveness, of interim protection requests."

Bio: Joanna Harrington is Professor of Law at the University of Alberta. She teaches and researches in the areas of international law and constitutional law, including international human rights law and international criminal law. She has also served as a legal officer with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and before entering academia, she served as a legal adviser on matters of constitutional reform for a member of the British House of Lords. She is a co-author of a leading Canadian text on international law, and her articles have appeared in such journals as the American Journal of International Law, International and Comparative Law Quarterly and McGill Law Journal. She has also contributed to training programs in international law for judges, diplomats, military officers, and other government officials. She earned her Ph.D. in Law at the University of Cambridge.

April 24, 2015

Speaker: James F. Hollfield

Ora Nixon Arnold Professor of International Political Economy & Director of the Tower Center, SMU

Professor Hollifield gave a public talk titled "Managing Migration in an Era of Globalization"

Co-Sponsored by the Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, and the Center for European Studies

From the flier: "Today tens of millions of people cross borders on a daily basis and international migration is part of a broader trend of globalization. While trade and capital flows are seen as the twin pillars of globalization, migration often is overlooked.  Yet migration is a defining feature of the global era in which we live. It is the third pillar of globalization. Two hundred and fourteen million people live outside their country of birth, representing just over three percent of the world's population. Forty one million of those people reside in the United States. How can the United States and other immigrant-receiving countries manage migration? Economic forces push these countries towards greater opennes while security concerns and powerful political forces push them toward closure. These states are trapped in what I call a 'liberal' paradox -- in order to maintain a competitive advantage, they must keep their economies and societies open to trade, investment, and migration. But unlike goods and capital, the movement of people involves greater political risks. Immigration is largely a function of market forces and social networks, but to manage migration 'liberal' states must be willing to accept migration and grant rights to outsiders. In liberal democracies rights are the key to managing migration."

March 26, 2015

Speaker: Scott Blinder

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Professor Blinder gave a public talk titled "Numbers and Waves, the Illegal and the Skilled: The Effects of Media Portrayals of Immigrants on Public Opinion in Britain"

Co-Sponsored by Immigration Studies Initiative, Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, and the Department of Government

Summary: "Public perceptions of immigration often diverge from reality, but prior research has not established whether the media has a causal role in the construction of these perceptions. We examine how media portrayals―drawn from recent large-scale quantitative studies of the British national press―affect estimates of the size of immigrant groups, perceptions of who immigrants are, and immigration policy preferences. We report on an original survey experiment that tests the impact of prevalent media frames. We find that in some cases, even subtle coaxing can shift public conceptions of immigration toward more realistic understandings of the immigrant population, although many frames are not effective. We discuss these patterns with reference to theories of framing and its limitations."

November 20, 2014

Speaker: Fernando Torres-Gil

Professor of Social Welfare, Professor of Public Policy, and Director of the Center for Policy Research on Aging at UCLA

Co-sponsored by the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Professor Torres-Gil gave a public lecture titled "The Politics of Aging in a Diverse America: Accepting the New Reality"

From the flier: "As our country’s average age and immigrant population increase, it is worthwhile to understand the intersection of aging, diversity, economy, and policy. In his upcoming lecture, Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, who served as former Assistant Secretary for Aging under President Clinton, discusses the relationship between aging of society and the current debates around immigration reform."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Speakers: Jessica Lavariega Monforti (University of Texas Pan American) and Melissa Michelson (Menlo College, CA)

Co-Sponsored with the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, Department of Government, Center for Mexican American Studies, Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS).

Professors Lavariega Monforti and Michelson discussed their new book (co-authored with Maria Chavez, Pacific Lutheran University), Living the Dream: New Immigration Policies and the Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth (Paradigm Press, 2014).

As described by the publisher: "In 2012, President Obama deferred the deportation of qualified undocumented youth with his policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals forever changing the lives of the approximately five million DREAMers currently in the US. Formerly “illegal,” a generation of Latino youth have begun to build new lives based on their newfound “legitimacy.” In this book, the first to examine the lives of DREAMers in the wake of Obama’s deferred action policy, the authors relay the real-life stories of more than 100 DREAMers from four states."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Speaker: Randall Hansen, University of Toronto

Co-Sponsored with the Department of Government, Department of History, and Population Research Center

Randall Hansen (University of Toronto) discussed his recent book (co-authored with Desmond King, Oxford University), Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race and the Population Scare in 20th Century North America (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

From the publisher

“Sterilized by the State is the first comprehensive analysis of eugenics in North America focused on the second half of the twentieth century. Based on new research, Randall Hansen and Desmond King show why eugenic sterilization policies persisted after the 1940s in the United States and Canada. Through extensive archival research, King and Hansen show how both superintendents at homes for the ‘feebleminded’ and pro-sterilization advocates repositioned themselves after 1945 to avoid the taint of Nazi eugenics. Drawing on interviews with victims of sterilization and primary documents, this book traces the post-1940s development of eugenic policy and shows that both eugenic arguments and committed eugenicists informed population, welfare, and birth control policy in postwar America. Simply put, the anti-population growth movement, the Great Society programs, and the early choice movements were shot through with eugenicists and eugenic arguments.”


Randall Hansen is a political scientist and historian at the University of Toronto, where he has held the Canada Research Chair in Political Science since 2005. Hansen taught at the Universities of London (Queen Mary), Oxford (where he was a tutorial fellow at Merton College), and Newcastle (where he held an established Chair) before taking up his current position.  His fields of research are Twentieth Century History and Public Policy. He has authored two books, Citizenship and Immigration in Postwar Britain (Oxford University Press, 2000) and Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany 1942-1945 (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2008), co-edited three books, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on immigration and citizenship.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Speaker: Carl Berning

Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine, and PhD student at the University of Cologne (Germany)

"The Dynamics of Radical Right-Wing Populist Party Preferences and Perceived Group Threat: A Panel Analysis of Three Competing Hypotheses in the Netherlands"

Co-Sponsored with the Center for European Studies

Paper Abstract:

Existing cross-sectional research considers citizens’ preferences for radical right-wing populist (RRP) parties to be centrally driven by their perception that immigrants threaten the well-being of the national ingroup. However, longitudinal evidence for this relationship is largely missing. To remedy this gap in the literature, we developed three competing hypotheses to investigate: (a) whether perceived group threat is temporally prior to RRP party preferences, (b) whether RRP party preferences are temporally prior to perceived group threat, or (c) whether the relation between perceived group threat and RRP party preferences is bidirectional. Based on multiwave panel data from the Netherlands spanning the years 2008-2013, we examined the merits of these hypotheses using autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation models. The results show that perceptions of threatened group interests precipitate rather than follow citizens’ preferences for RRP parties. These findings clarify our knowledge of the dynamic micro-social mechanisms underlying RRP party preferences.


Carl Berning studied Sociology and Political Science at the University of Cologne, UC San Diego, and Utrecht University, NL. He graduated from the University of Cologne in 2011 (with the equivalent of an MSc in Sociology) and is a PhD student at Cologne.  Currently he is a visiting research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy (UC Irvine). Before his stay in Irvine, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Nijmegen, NL. He is a fellow of the research training group SOCLIFE  “Social Order and Life Chances in Cross-National Comparison” and granted a three year scholarship funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG), 2011-2014.

September 19, 2012

Speakers: Kenneth J. Meier, Texas A&M University & Amanda Rutherford, Texas A&M University

“Partisanship, Structure and the Quality of Representation: The Puzzle of African American Education Politics”

"The 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act concluded that electoral structures were significant determinants of minority representation. The research regarding electoral structures and representation of constituents, however, has produced conflicting results. This paper addresses two puzzles that remain in understanding black representation. The first puzzle examines whether or not the impact of at-large elections on African American representation has declined. The second puzzle examines how well black representatives do in gaining substantive benefits in different electoral structures – at-large elections versus single member districts. This paper provides a brief formal argument that links electoral structures to descriptive and substantive representation. It then moves to an empirical study using the 1,800 largest school districts in the United States (based on an original survey conducted in 2001, 2004, and 2008). We find that partisanship changes the relationship between electoral structures and race to benefit African American representation and that politics and partisanship influence the ability of political representatives to secure policy benefits."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Speaker: Lauren McLaren 

Associate Professor of Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham; Associate Editor, Political Studies

“National Identity and Perceptions of Political Systems in Europe”

“Early theories about support for political systems indicated that affection for one's national community should be related to attitudes to specific components of the nation-state's political system. However, we know very little about whether these are, in fact, related to one another. Using a rare survey that includes items measuring connection to national community, perceptions of what it means to be a country-national, and trust in various aspects of the political system, this paper shows that strong attachment to national community may help to produce positive perceptions of the political system, as predicted by these early theories. The paper also contends that in the modern age of mass immigration, emphasis on differing components of national identity is likely to have variable effects on perceptions of political systems and that official government policies toward newcomers moderate this relationship.”

Dr. McLaren received her PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Speaker: Marcela Garcia-Castanon
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Washington 

“A New Theory of Immigrant Political Socialization”

This talk will cover the core elements of the speaker’s dissertation on the mechanisms of immigrant political socialization in the United States. She argues that the experience of migration alters traditional political socialization patterns for immigrants. More specifically, she focuses on the intersection of the family as an agent of socialization and information resource when dealing with multi-language media resources.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Speaker: Victor Armony

2012 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Chair in Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Austin & Professor of Sociology at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) 

“‘What is Your Color or Race?’ The Politics of Ethnic Census Categories in Latin America”

The basic challenges faced by public institutions in recognizing and accommodating the identities of minority (or subaltern majority) groups are now common to most countries in the Americas. Cultural and ethnic diversity has become an important aspect of policy-making and public debate: complex issues such as immigration and naturalization reform, the application of antidiscrimination norms, the implementation and assessment of affirmative action, curriculum guidelines for education, language use and bilingualism, religious freedom and secularism, etc. require facing the question of “Who are we and who are them?” This talk will focus on the ways in which several countries in Latin America seek to identify the ethnic “Other” through a very particular institutional process: the construction of census categories. To what extent does naming the “Other” in official discourse become a controversial political and legal issue?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Speaker: Victor Armony

2012 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Chair in Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Austin & Professor of Sociology at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM)

“Quebec’s Nationalism against Canada’s Multiculturalism: Is Democratic Legitimacy at Stake?”

Canada, a highly decentralized federation with constitutionally enshrined bilingualism and multiculturalism, has the highest per capita immigration rate in the developed world. Despite this reality, and given Canada’s weak national identity, it is surprising that internal diversity has not generated any serious social or political rifts. However, the province of Quebec, with almost one quarter of that country’s population, has acquired a quasi-state status, a sort of nation within the nation. Supported by a majority of the French Quebecois people, the government of that province imposes restrictions on the choice of language of business and education, openly rejects multiculturalism, and enforces different selection and integration criteria for immigrants -- based on Quebec’s particular interests rather than Canada’s. In the face of such a context, an external observer might discern a deficit of liberal-democratic legitimacy on Quebec’s part. But by taking into account the larger historical, sociopolitical, and demographic context, it can also be argued that Quebec’s actions actually reflect the core of democratic sovereignty -- its foundations and its inherent contradictions.

April 29, 2011

Speaker: Anna O. Law, Associate Professor of Political Science, DePaul University

“Policy Making at the Margins: The Role of the Federal Courts in U.S. Immigration Policy.”

Co-sponsored with the Population Research Center and Department of Government

In the late spring of 2011, Anna Law spoke about her recent book, The Immigration Battle in American Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  As described by the author, "The book examines the role of the Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals in immigration policy making in the United States, while also advancing scholarly understanding about the differing functions of the two highest federal appellate courts over time.  The major premise of the study is that because the Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals operate in decidedly different institutional settings, these two courts decide immigration cases in dissimilar ways and that the varying approaches have implications for the immigrant litigants.  I argue that institutional settings can shape its occupants' goals, preferences, and perceptions about how they should be doing their jobs.  I find that immigrants have a better chance of winning their legal challenges at the U.S. Courts of Appeals than the Supreme Court.  This situation is not due to any Supreme Court xenophobia or animus against immigrants, but because that Court, shaped by its institutional setting, is inclined to treat individual cases in the framework of larger policy and political questions.  By contrast, the dissimilar institutional setting of the Courts of Appeals orient those judges toward error correction, which leads to a higher probability of success for immigrants.  The study, which uses multi-disciplinary and multiple methodological analysis, explores the ways in which law, policy, and legal institutions interact."

Dr. Law received her Ph.D. from the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003.


February 10, 2010

Speaker: Edwina Barvosa, University of California Santa Barbara

"Multiplicity Within & Paths to Immigrant Loyalty."

Co-sponsored with the UT Center for Mexican-American Studies

On February 10th, Edwina Barvosa (Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCSB) discussed issues of immigrant loyalty and identification in the United States. Dr. Barvosa discussed how the prevailing assumption in American life is that immigrants must assimilate to American mainstream culture and abandon any identification with their home countries in order to become loyal U.S. citizens. However, she finds that new theories about the multiplicity of the self and new data on immigrant national identity suggest that this presumption is false. Dr. Barvosa explained why the best paths to immigrant loyalty involve retaining immigrant identities within combinations of multiple identities that together allow effective identification with the United States.

November 4-6, 2009


Migration during an Era of Restriction

In early November of 2009, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, and other units at the University of Texas at Austin sponsored the conference "Migration during an Era of Restriction." The conference participants included researchers, policy analysts, and legal experts from the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and Peru. Through panel presentations and roundtable discussions, the conference sought to address the economic, social, and legal restrictions that affect international migrant populations in these regions. In doing so, they addressed migration developments in the United States and Europe as well as in sending communities around the globe. Specific topics included immigration policies, ethnic tensions, border controls, deportations, remittances, return migration, legal and human rights issues, and how removals affect sending nations. The conference also included a panel of graduate student paper presentations.

For more information, see the Conference Homepage

PDF downloadable file Download the Conference Program (PDF)

April 24-25, 2009


Latinos and the 2008 Elections

This conference is the seventh installment in a series of research projects that seek to understand the role of Latinos in national and state elections.

The first project, organized by former UT Professor Rodolfo de la Garza and former Department of Government graduate student Louis DeSipio, studied the 1988 presidential election. The 2009 conference examined the influence of Latinos in the 2008 campaign, both thematically and in key states. While many journalists, politicians, and pundits are discussing Latino population growth, its implications for elections and politics in the United States are not well understood. This conference therefore brought scholars together from across the United States to assess the impact of the Latino vote.

PDF downloadable file Download a flier for the conference (PDF, 186K)

PDF downloadable file Download a program for the conference (PDF, 102K)

February 27-28, 2009


Immigration and Public Opinion in the Western Democracies

Immigration is one of the key policy issues of our time. Millions of people are on the move globally, and the United States is in the midst of a fourth “Great Wave” of migration. However, the scholarly study of public opinion is not always adequate to the challenge of understanding this complex issue. This conference brought together scholars from North America, Australia, and Europe to better understand public views about immigration and government policymaking.

In 2012, Routledge will publish Immigration and Public Opinion (co-edited by Gary P. Freeman, Randall Hansen, and David L. Leal), which is based on papers presented at this event.

PDF downloadable file Download a flier for the conference (PDF, 186K)

PDF downloadable file Download a program for the conference (PDF, 103K)

April 11-12, 2008


Latinos and Public Policy in Texas

Understanding the growing Texas Latino/Hispanic population is of central importance to elected officials, government officials, journalists, educators, researchers, and other policymakers. This two-day conference examined the key policy issues facing Texas, the importance of these issues for Latinos, and the implications of Latino population growth for policymaking. Scholars from Texas and other states examined topics including education, health care, jobs and the economy, border issues, aging, mental health, criminal justice, and the environment.

The event was sponsored by the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute and the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston. The conference organizers were David Leal (UT) and Robert Lineberry (UH).

The participants included faculty and researchers from UT-Austin, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas Pan American, the University of Texas-El Paso, Texas State University-San Marcos, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Rice University, the University of Oklahoma, Florida International University, and Princeton University.

PDF downloadable file Download a flier for the conference (PDF, 152K)

PDF downloadable file Download a conference program (PDF, 150K)

October 11, 2007


"Language Policies in Canada and Quebec: Lessons for the USA"

Francois Vaillancourt
University of Montreal

On Thursday, October 11, Francois Vaillancourt of the University of Montreal spoke about language policies in Canada and the United States. He discussed the main aspects of language policies in Canada and Quebec; the status of French speakers in Quebec from 1960 to 2000; and what policy lessons the United States can draw from the Quebec and Canadian experience.

Dr. Vaillancourt is Professor of Economics at the University of Montreal and a 2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies at Kennesaw State University.

April 12-14, 2007


Economies of Class, Economies of Culture

This event was the second biennial conference of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR). The Institute sponsored two panels. The first panel was "Session 15: Economics and Policy I," which took place on Saturday, April 24, from 10:00am to noon. The second panel was "Session 21: Economics and Policy II," which took place on Saturday, April 24, from 3:45pm to 5:45pm. Both panels were moderated by Steve Trejo, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin.

A revised set of papers from these panels was published by Springer in 2010 as Latinos and the Economy: Integration and Impact in Schools, Labor Markets, and Beyond (David L. Leal and Stephen J. Trejo, editors).

Conference webpage

PDF downloadable file Conference program (PDF file)

February 23-24, 2007

Seventh Annual Conference on State Politics and Policy

Policymaking in the American States: Causes and Effects

The Institute sponsored the Seventh Annual State Politics and Policy Conference on February 23-24, 2007 at the UT Thompson Conference Center. The conference featured over sixty research papers by over one hundred authors that covered a wide range of policy, governmental, and political science topics important to the American states. Scholars from all across Texas and the United States were in attendance, and the event was covered by "News 8 Austin."

Download a conference program (PDF, 20K)
or Visit the conference webpage for more information.

March 2-3, 2006


Immigration Policy after 9/11: U.S. and European Perspectives

In the spring of 2006, the Institute co-sponsored this conference on immigration policy with the UT Center for European Studies and the School of Law. Immigration policy in the United States and Europe went under the microscope after the terror attacks of 9/11. Since that time we have seen major changes in the bureaucracies that regulate immigration, but has that led to much of a change in the way that the borders are controlled, the numbers of immigrants coming into the country, asylum policy or immigrant integration? This conference examined this broad range of issues in order to gain a better understanding of if, how, and why these policies changed in the U.S. and Europe. The Chairs of the conference were Terri Givens (Center for European Studies, Government Department), David L. Leal (Public Policy Institute, Government Department) and Barbara Hines (Immigration Law Clinic, Law School).

A revised set of papers from this conference was published by Routledge in 2008 as Immigration Policy and Security: US, European, and Commonwealth Perspectives (Terry E. Givens, Gary P. Freeman, and David L. Leal, editors).

Visit the conference webpage for more information about the papers and participants.

February 11-12, 2005


Latinos and the 2004 Elections

This conference brought together political scientists from across the nation to explore the role of Latinos in the 2004 election. Each of the nine papers focuses on a particular state, ranging from California to Texas to Florida. The papers discuss how Latino communities were involved in presidential and other campaigns in these states and where and how they were able to influence election outcomes.

A revised set of papers from this conference was published in April 2010 by the University of Notre Dame Press as Beyond the Barrio: Latinos and the 2004 Elections (Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Louis DeSipio, and David L. Leal, editors).

PDF downloadable file Download a program (PDF, 79K)

January 26-29, 2005


SIGLO XXI: Latino Research into the 21st Century

In the winter of 2005, the Institute sponsored “Session 15: Immigration Politics and Policy” at the above conference. SIGLO XXI was the first biennial conference of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), which is a national consortium of university-based Latino research centers. By promoting and disseminating policy-relevant Latino-focused research, the IUPLR aims to foster new knowledge and greater understanding of the nation’s growing Latino population. This interdisciplinary conference featured papers primarily presented by faculty associated with IUPLR-affiliated institutions.

In 2012, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish Immigration Politics and Policy in the New Latino Century (co-edited by David L. Leal and Jose E. Limón), which is based on papers presented at this conference.

Visit the conference webpage for more information about the papers and participants.

December 10-11, 2004


The Politics of Latino Education

Education may be the most important policy issue for Latino communities, but the political dynamics that shape Latino school achievement and challenges are not well understood or always acknowledged. This conference therefore brought together an interdisciplinary group of political scientists, education scholars, and historians to discuss the political dynamics important to Latino education – dynamics that take place in school boards, in voting booths, in legislatures, in public opinion surveys, in reform proposals, and in the schools themselves.

A revised set of papers from this conference was published in 2011 by Teachers College Press (Columbia University) as The Politics of Latino Education (David L. Leal and Kenneth J. Meier, co-editors).

PDF downloadable file Download a program (PDF, 39K)

April 30-May 1, 2004


Latino Politics: The State of the Discipline

The Institute co-sponsored this event with the Project for Equity, Representation, and Governance (PERG) at Texas A&M University. The conference was designed to address a wide range of important and emerging Latino politics and policy topics. For instance, the papers addressed issues such as political representation, the bureaucracy, immigration, education, voting behavior, and public opinion.

A revised set of papers from this conference was published in October of 2007 by the University of Virginia Press as Latino Politics: Identity, Mobilization, and Representation, (Rodolfo Espino, David L. Leal, and Kenneth J. Meier, editors). It was reprinted in paperback in July of 2008. This was the first in a series of books to result from Irma Rangel Institute sponsored or co-sponsored conferences.

  • Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute

    University of Texas at Austin
    Mailcode A1800
    Austin, Texas 78712