Experts

Katy Harriger

Professor of Political Science

Harriger is an expert on political participation and voting among college-age people. She is also an expert on federal special prosecutors.

Biography

Research on young people and civic engagement demonstrates that they are very turned off by the extreme partisan polarization that characterizes American politics, says Harriger. Will young voters turn out in 2016? She studies political participation and voting among young people and is the co-author of a new multi-year study showing that college students who participate in public deliberation and learn to talk with those with differing viewpoints, are more politically Read More »

Research on young people and civic engagement demonstrates that they are very turned off by the extreme partisan polarization that characterizes American politics, says Harriger. Will young voters turn out in 2016? She studies political participation and voting among young people and is the co-author of a new multi-year study showing that college students who participate in public deliberation and learn to talk with those with differing viewpoints, are more politically involved later. She can also comment on women in politics and whether or not a woman can be elected president. She has also researched the changing composition of the Supreme Court. Harriger is the co-author of Speaking of Politics: Preparing College Students for Democratic Citizenship through Deliberative Dialogue and three other books. Inspired by the Watergate hearings of her college years, Harriger has also studied the use of federal special prosecutors in American government and is the author of The Special Prosecutor in American Politics. Will young voters turn out in 2016? Can a woman be elected president?

Media Appearances

Sanders’s message stands to resonate long after election

The New York Times / Bloomberg News

April 3, 2016

Katy Harriger, a political scientist at Wake Forest University who has studied the youth vote, thinks that Mr. Sanders has the capacity to keep them mobilized on issues like campaign financing and economic inequality. That engagement could carry to the off-year elections, when the participation of young voters traditionally drops off. “He has tapped into something very real and has credibility with a lot of these young voters,” Ms. Harriger said.

Generation gap? Not for Bernie Sanders

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

February 7, 2016

Recent polls show that Mr. Sanders is capturing the hearts, the minds and — most importantly, the votes — of young adults like her in New Hampshire and across the country. “Young voters are disillusioned with the political process, and Sanders is perceived as an outsider,” said Wake Forest University political scientist Katy Harriger. …“For older voters, the word socialism has a lot of connotations that are negative, but younger voters don’t get that. The term doesn’t hold the same ideological weight.”

Want politically active adults? Start them young

Greensboro News & Record

February 7, 2016

Senior T.J. Smith and political science professor Katy Harriger were interviewed about young voters. Harriger commented on her latest research that shows that learning to talk about controversial issues while in college can inspire young adults to be more engaged citizens even 10 years later.

Mike Huckabee: Supreme Court 'can't overrule' other branches of government

Politifact

May 29, 2015

The Supreme Court, however, only has the ability to interpret laws-- not to draft or enforce them. So the president is obligated to enforce the law as determined by the courts, said Katy Harriger, a professor of constitutional law at Wake Forest University...

The Hillary Clinton conundrum: Two words women-in-business groups aren't ready to utter

BizWomen

April 16, 2015

It could just be a matter of timing, said Katy Harriger, a professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University. The primaries are still a year away. "Journalists are interested in it," Harriger said, "but it doesn’t surprise me that an organization that has a primary purpose that isn’t political isn’t out in front of this. All of a sudden, the campaign is off to the races. … They're catching up."...

Recent killings by police increase calls for independent probes

McClatchyDC

December 16, 2014

“Before special prosecutors were used at the federal level, there was a lot of state experience with them, and it’s not unusual to use some kind of model where, if there’s a perception of bias, you create a special prosecutor’s office” or provide another avenue for outside investigation, said Katy Harriger, a professor of politics and constitutional law at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C...

Deacon Profile: Katy Harriger

Old Gold & Black

August 29, 2013

Katy Harriger is a professor and chair of the politics and international affairs department. Dr. Harriger graduated magna cum laude from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. both with distinction from the University of Connecticut...

Articles

College students and deliberation: A benchmark study

Deliberative democracy is often seen as a potential antidote to political alienation in the United States. This paper focuses attention on the potential of deliberation for citizenship training in the academy. We review literature on political alienation among college ...

Can the Independent Counsel Statute Be Saved?

For the second time in its twenty-year history, the independent counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act face an uncertain future. We are closer than we have ever been to a bipartisan consensus that the statute should be allowed to expire in June 1999. The ...

The History of the Independent Counsel Provisions: How the Past Informs the Current Debate

The current "feeding frenzy" around the campaign finance scandal invites us to reflect upon the importance of the past. The independent counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act are the product of a particular time and sequence of events that determined their shape and continue to influence their implementation...

Damned If She Does and Damned If She Doesn't: The Attorney General and the Independent Counsel Statute

Attorney General Janet Reno's controversial decision not to seek appointment of an independent counsel to investigate the campaign finance scandal high-lights the enduring tension between politics and the law, and particularly, the impact of that tension on the ...

Separation of Powers and the Politics of Independent Counsels

As a part of its post-Watergate reform efforts, Congress created an independent counsel arrangement in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. After Richard Nixon fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in the October 1973 Saturday Night Massacre, ...

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More Information

Areas of Expertise

  • American Constitutional Law
  • The Separation of Powers
  • Government Ethics
  • Independent Counsel & Special Prosecutors
  • The Supreme Court
  • Women and Politics

Education

University of Connecticut: Ph.D., Political Science and Government

University of Connecticut: M.A., Political Science and Government

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania: B.A., Political Science

Contact

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