Dr. Amy WidestromDr. Amy Widestrom

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Amy Widestrom came to Arcadia in 2012 after teaching for three years at California State University – Long Beach. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and before that earned her B.A. in English and theater from Oberlin College.

Professor Widestrom specializes in American political behavior, urban politics and policy, residential segregation, income inequality, and civic participation. In her forthcoming book Democracy Displaced: Economic Segregation in America (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming 2014) Professor Widestrom explores the civic and political consequences of residential economic segregation in American cities. Democracy Displaced addresses how economic segregation—the residential separation of rich and poor individuals into different neighborhoods—affects civic engagement, including voting behavior. Segregation along economic lines shapes the civic environments of communities and promotes a class gap in political engagement where the wealthy participate more while the poor participate less.

In addition, she is working on a series of articles about the political factors that contribute to economic inequality at the state level. Focusing on issues of political disaffection and disenfranchisement, broadly, her next research project will focus on the political effects of mass incarceration in the United States. Among Professor Widestrom’s other publications include contributions to volumes focusing on the Tea Party and the 2010 midterm elections, the history of American cities, and educational programs in prisons and jails.
In the classroom, Professor Widestrom teaches various courses on American politics, policy, and institutions as well as a Global Cities course that examines comparative urban policy. She also regularly teaches in the First-Year Seminar Program, offering seminars on American electoral politics and the politics of food.

Professor Widestrom has been the recipient of several awards, including a Brookings Institution Research Fellowship and an American Political Association Congressional Fellowship in 2008-09, when she worked for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs as the nation worked to recover from economic crisis.

Select Publications

Amy Widestrom. Democracy Displaced: Economic Segregation in America (forthcoming Fall 2014, The University of Pennsylvania Press).

Amy Widestrom and Christopher Dennis. 2011. “”A Deep Blue Hole”?: California, the Tea Party, and the 2010 Midterm Elections,” in Key States, High Stakes: Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and the 2010 Midterm Election, ed. Charles S. Bullock, III. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Amy Widestrom. 2011. “Buffalo, NY, 1854 - 1877,” “Buffalo, NY, 1877 - 1896,” and “St. Louis, MO, 1941 - 1952,” all in Cities in American Political History, ed. Richardson Dilworth. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.

Pues, Sylvester, David R. Werner, and Amy Widestrom. 2011. “The History and Politics of Correctional Education,” and “Prison Education: The Inmate as Student,” both in Education-Based Incarceration and Recidivism, ed. Anthony Normore and Brian Fitch. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

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