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The Capitol Connection
The College of Public Affairs and Education and the Center for State Policy and Leadership, University of Illinois Springfield
Political Science

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  • Ready for the New Normal: My Research Remote Presentation

    Dr. Crocker's thoughts on virtual conferences, the new normal?

  • Dr. Jason Pierceson

    LGBTQ Elected Officials & Candidates – Is Representation Fair and Equal?

    Political scientists have established that identity can influence representation by bringing issues to the policy process that were not previously addressed. Unfortunately, LGBTQ policy suffers from significant underrepresentation.

  • Dr. Robert W. Smith, Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration

    The Politics of a Virus

    Commentary on the political divide during the COVID 19 pandemic by Dr. Robert Smith, Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield on NPR Illinois.

  • Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris

    We Don’t Want to Hear about Kamala Harris’ Shoes

    When vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris delivers her prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, pay attention to the words used to describe her.  Unfortunately, commentators, opinionmakers and sometimes even news reporters have a bad habit of describing female politicians in ways they rarely or never do about male politicians.

  • People over Property Protest

    Power in Other Places: On Uprisings, Black Lives Matter, and Politics

    I have always been drawn to the politics of everyday people who act outside of and against conventional politics. This grounds my interest in the resurgence of Black Lives Matter uprisings. I am interested in those moments when presumptively “powerless” people mobilize and realize other powers than those of the established institutional apparatus of politics, an apparatus which includes the police, prisons, courts, and military.

  • Robert Rincon, Political Science and Global Studies Lecturer

    When Rhetoric Becomes Reality: Trump, Latinos, and COVID-19

    COVID-19, the global pandemic that resulted from it, and the insufficient U.S. response revealed a multitude of issues but none perhaps as pressing than the direct challenge to President Trump’s nationalist agenda and anti-immigrant rhetoric. As the nation prepares to vote with the effects of the pandemic still looming and President Trump seeking re-election, what must be called to question is the voracity with which he launched his “America first” campaign.

  • Photo of a ballot box

    Not Voting is Never an Option

    In my role as Dean of a College of Public Affairs, I am bound to the promotion of civic engagement, participation in democratic institutions, and encouraging citizens to vote and participate in our system of government.

  • Photo of polling place

    Election Day 2020: More than a Presidential Election

    Every four years, we elect a president based upon each candidate’s vision for the future and our assessments of who is most capable of addressing the issues facing the country.  As is common in most presidential elections, supporters of both candidates are calling this the most important election of their lifetime.  Of course, no matter how important the presidential election may be, it is not the only important decision voters have to make this year.

  • Protests on the Streets:  Seeing from the Lens of Goodness, photo of magnifying glass

    Protests on the Streets: Seeing From the Lens of Goodness

    A beautiful Arabic proverb teaches us that a vessel only spills that which it contains. If a cup of water falls, it will spill merely that which it holds. Our heart is also a vessel of sorts. If it harbors prejudice and hate, what it divulges is simply a manifestation of what was in it. But if it houses compassion and love, then it will accordingly release what it bears.

  • Why Presidents Use Executive Action to Pursue their Policy Goals

    At the start of each new presidential administration, particularly when a new party gains control of the White House, presidents use executive orders, and other forms of executive action including presidential memoranda and presidential proclamations, to implement many of their campaign promises. Unlike legislation passed by Congress, which requires the consent of both chambers of Congress and the president to become law, executive orders can be issued unilaterally by the president.

  • Photo of stepping stones across a stream

    My UIS Experience

    UIS has been an incredible steppingstone in building my future. UIS encouraged me to be open minded, adventurous, independent, and confident. These qualities led me to become the successful Attorney I am now.

  • Video: The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

    In case you missed this panel discussion on March 4th, watch the video of this UIS COVID Engaged Series, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education" with moderators Dr. Magic Wade, PSC, Collin Moseley, SGA Vice President, and Mackenzi Matthews, SGA Parliamentarian, with panelists Francie Diep, Chronical of Higher Education, Randy Witter, UIS Alumnus.

  • Dr. Adriana Piatti-Crocker in class

    VIDEO: Why Women's Descriptive Representation Still Matters: The Case of Argentina

    In this presentation, Dr. Piatti-Crocker explores the gender-diversifying effects that well-conceived and implemented gender quotas and parity laws have had in Argentina’s national and subnational legislatures. She examines how institutional factors  (electoral, party systems, quota design) have contributed to the relative success of quotas in Argentina, though more unevenly in its provinces due to wide-ranging institutional and cultural factors. 


  • Connor Krater: My Experience at UIS

    The reasons I chose the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) are simple. Coming out of high school, I wanted to become involved in Illinois state politics, as Illinois had been my home for my entire life. UIS offered me ample opportunity to get involved in the Illinois state capital and its associated internships while studying its politics.

  • Why the UIS Online Political Science Graduate Program Was Right for Me

    As a Wisconsinite planning a move to Chicago, finding a quality public university that was located in my new home state was my first priority. As a remote learner, I wanted to find a Master’s program that provided the same quality of instruction as in-person learning.

  • UIS Model United Nations Program - A Standout Experience

    A stand-out experience that I have had while studying Global Studies at the university has been being a part of National Model United Nations, a simulation of the United Nations.

  • Why Should You Consider A Political Science Bachelor’s Degree at UIS?

    I learned about politics when I asked for a new bike at age seven.  First my mom, and then my dad, asked me if the other parent had agreed to this life-changing purchase.  I was running interference between my parents. I could tell that my mom was supportive of my quest for a bike, so I teamed up with her to convince my dad. A few days later, I was a happy little girl with a shiny new bike.  Come study politics with us at UIS to learn how individuals, societies, and states cooperate and compete with each other to get what they want.

  • Photo of international flags in the UIS Public Affairs Center

    How Do Foreign Policy Experts Think About Allies?

    A new experiment by researchers from the University of Illinois at Springfield, the University of Chicago, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs finds that policy experts care about formal alliances. But even alliance relationships have limits.   How Do Foreign Policy Experts Think About Allies?  a blog post by Sibel Oktay, Paul Poast, Dina Smeltz, and Craig Kafura, for the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs.

  • Photo of Dr. Matthew Geras, Assistant Professor of Political Science

    CPAA Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Geras, SPIA

    CPAA Faculty Spotlight on Dr. Matthew Geras, Assistant Professor of Political Science in the UIS School of Politics and International Affairs, whose teaching and research focuses on U.S. elections and American political institutions, including Congress, the presidency, and political parties.

  • Dr. Magic Wade pictured with her dog in front of a painted mural of a fox on a brick wall

    CPAA Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Magic Wade, SPIA

    CPAA Faculty Spotlight on Dr. Magic Wade, Associate Professor of Political Science in the UIS School of Politics and International Affairs, whose research focuses on state labor laws, teachers unions, and public safety unions and more recently, on criminal justice, public safety, and urban politics.

  • Photo of Ukrainian flag backlit by the sun

    March Public Affairs Minute - Ukraine and Why It Matters at UIS

    In our College, the impetus behind creating our new School of Politics and International Affairs (SPIA) was to recognize the importance of our political environment at home and abroad.

  • Photo of a roll of "I Voted" stickers

    Continuing America’s Laboratory of Democracy Through State and Local Electoral Innovations

    A recurring finding among researchers is that American voters have grown dissatisfied with the electoral system in America.  This post discusses alternative voting systems and related research conducted by the staff and faculty of the Center for State Policy and Leadership which was recently published in American Politics Research, a peer-reviewed academic journal.

  • Book cover: Before Bostock: The Accidental LGBTQ Precedent of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, Jason Pierceson.  Photo of Dr. Jason Pierceson, Professor of Political Science

    Conservative Judges and Transgender Rights After Bostock v. Clayton County

    In a book recently published by the University Press of Kansas, Before Bostock: The Accidental Precedent of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, I explore the background of the recent landmark LGBTQ rights case of Bostock v. Clayton County (2020).

  • A map of Illinois Congressional Districts after the 2020 Census highlighting Disctrict 13

    The 2022 Midterm Elections and Illinois 13

    Election Day is fast approach. This year, many members of the UIS community, those who are registered to vote in Illinois’s 13th congressional district, will have the relatively unique opportunity of electing a new representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Image of "I Voted" stickers on a white background

    2022 U.S. Senate Elections

    This semester in PSC 407: Campaigns and Elections, political science students at UIS have been researching some of the most competitive and high-profile congressional elections taking place in 2022. Here is some of their analysis.  

  • Photo of UIS taking a Pre-Law Center sponsored trip to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2020

    Making My Case

    Scott Pyles, a political science graduate student in the UIS School of Politics & International Affairs, discusses his experience arguing a case before the Illinois Supreme Court last week.

  • Photo of a union rally.  Photo credit:  Patrick Perkins on

    The Workers’ Rights Amendment Passed in Illinois. How?!

    On November 9, 2022, the Illinois Constitutional Amendment 1, also known as the “Workers’ Rights Amendment,” was approved by the majority of the 4.1 million voters who cast a ballot in the election, however, the passage of the amendment was not a foregone conclusion.

  • Text:  Politics of Respectability

    Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson defies respectability politics: Is a paradigm shift underway?

    The recent election of Brandon Johnson as Chicago’s new mayor has been the center of attention in the US this week. This outcome raises questions about the existence of a paradigm shift in urban politics.

  • Photo:  sculpture of a hand gun with the barrel tied in a knot.  Photo by Maria Lysenko on

    Elevated Gun Violence in U.S. Cities of All Sizes

    Observes political science professor, Magic M. Wade, “Gun violence is not merely a red state or blue city problem, it is a worsening, widespread phenomenon affecting American communities everywhere.”

  • Hand holding up sign that says, "Indigenous rights are human rights".

    An Existential Threat to the Indian Child Welfare Act

    Passed by Congress in 1978, The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) faces an existential threat from the current Supreme Court case Haaland v. Brackeen.