Where do mass politics come from?
My work focuses on the way in which institutions—most notably states and parties—influence the evolution of mass politics by giving political meaning to underlying social distinctions. To the extent that the resulting political distinctions are shaped by the setting within which political action unfolds, questions regarding the emergence and concatenation of local cleavage structures across time and space are integral to understanding the evolution of mass politics and the creation of partisan divides. These types of interests have led me to examine topics such as state and party formation in United States Constitutional Convention of 1787; the relationship between market-building and the spatial dynamics of third-party mobilization in the American West during the late-19th century; and the association between state-building and the formation of the political field. In the process of pursuing these questions, I have also become interested in developing new methods for examining contextual data, drawing inspiration from approaches such as multilevel modeling, as well as techniques associated with spatial and relational data analysis.
Slez, Adam and John Levi Martin. 2007. "Political Action and Party Formation in the United States Constitutional Convention." American Sociological Review 72: 42-67.