The 2016 U.S. Election: Polarization, partisanship, and populism



This event is sold out.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to bad weather and resulting flight cancellations, one of our speakers, Professor Christopher Achen, will be unable to attend the presentation. 


A stand-by line will begin forming at 5:30pm. If any seats become available just prior to the presentation, those standing by will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. If no seats become available, there will be overflow seating available in an adjacent lounge where you can view the presentation on a monitor. 


The presentation will also be live streamed. To access the webcast, visit:


On Wednesday, January 11th, Samara Canada and the School of Public Policy and Governance present an evening with two leading American experts, in conversation with Andrew Coyne, who will discuss the results of the recent U.S. election and the prospects for democracy. Get answers to these pressing questions:
  • What deep and long-term trends were at play in the election, including polarization of public opinion and role of identities like class, race and gender?  
  • What do Americans expect from the Trump presidency? What should they expect?
  • What does this election tell us about deeper problems with American democracy?

Speakers include:

  • Jocelyn Kiley, Associate Director of Research, Pew Research Center
  • Christopher Achen, professor at Princeton and co-author of Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Governments

In conversation with Andrew Coyne, national affairs columnist for Postmedia.

This event is generously supported by the Centre for the Study of the United States and the Munk School of Global Affairs.

Doors at 5:30pm. Event 6:00-7:30pm.


Our speakers


JOCELYN KILEY is associate director of research at Pew Research Center, where she primarily focuses on U.S. public opinion about politics. She is a principal investigator on the Center’s work on political polarization, trust in government and its election and public policy polling. Prior to joining Pew Research Center in 2008, Kiley worked in research and evaluation for media and governmental organizations. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her academic work primarily concerned issues of racial and ethnic political identity in the U.S., as well as the role of the media in shaping public opinion. Kiley regularly discusses the Center’s findings with the news media and outside audiences.


CHRISTOPHER ACHEN’s research interest is Political Methodology, particularly in its application to empirical democratic theory, American Politics, and International Relations. He is the author Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Governments.

Professor Achen was the first president of the Political Methodology Section of the American Political Science Association, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and Princeton's Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. He received the first career achievement award from The Political Methodology Section of The American Political Science Association in 2007. He is also the recipient of an award from the University of Michigan for lifetime achievement in training graduate students. Recent academic placements of graduate students for whom he was the principal dissertation advisor include Stanford, Duke, and the London School of Economics.


Our moderator


ANDREW COYNE is national affairs columnist for Postmedia. His work has also appeared in Maclean's, The Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, The Walrus, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. He is a Fellow of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto and holds a Master’s in Economics from the London School of Economics.


About the partners




SAMARA CANADA is dedicated to reconnecting citizens to politics. Established as a charity in 2009, Samara has become Canada’s most trusted, non-partisan champion of increased civic engagement and a more positive public life.

Samara's research and educational programming shines new light on Canada’s 

democratic system and encourages greater political participation across the country to build better politics, and a better Canada, for everyone.   
A samara is the winged “helicopter" seed that falls from the maple tree. A symbol of Canada, it is also a reminder that from small seeds, big ideas can grow.




The SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AND GOVERNANCE is a vibrant centre for scholarly investigation and an important hub for cross-community collaboration and creative problem solving within the broader policy community. Our School understands and responds to the need in Canada for an innovative form of education to build the professional and academic capacity necessary to address the public policy challenges of the 21st century.

The School is a hub for policy discourse, bringing researchers, practitioners, and community members together in order to 

contribute to policy debates, development, and discussion across many areas of expertise, both nationally and internationally. It offers a rigorous two-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) programan undergraduate major, and executive education.

January 11, 2017 at 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Pl
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7
Google map and directions

Will you come?