Ali A. Valenzuela writes and teaches about American electoral politics, with a focus on Latino public opinion, immigrant socialization, voter turnout in American elections, religion and politics, and the politics of race and ethnicity in the U.S.
His current research combines the use of nationally representative surveys with Census and electoral data to investigate contextual and political sources of Latino group identities. This work is complemented by qualitative field research investigating state and local representatives’ strategies of group mobilization and experimental research that test the consequences of identity-based political appeals on Latino voter turnout and support for public policies such as immigration reform. A third area of his research asks how regular churchgoing and characteristics of the church environment together influence Latino policy attitudes, interest in politics, and group attachments such as ethnic and party affiliation in the U.S. His research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, American Politics Research and Presidential Studies Quarterly.
In Fall 2012, Professor Valenzuela is teaching two seminar courses. One, open to undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors, is on Latino Politics in the U.S. and is cross-listed with Latino Studies and Latin American Studies and qualifies as an elective for American Studies (POL 423 / LAO 423 / LAS 423). The second, Identity Politics (POL 547), is intended primarily for Ph.D. students and the focus is on major racial, ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. context with some attention devoted to works from comparative politics on identity formation and change in developing country contexts.