Partisanship in the House-Electoral Politics
A keen observer of partisan trends in the House of Representatives, Lucas is acutely aware of the impact of contemporary issues, rules, and elections on the actions of America's legislative chambers. He has observed that, while partisanship in the House has increased and the two political parties have become more ideological in character, they still face challenges in addressing and representing important aspects of American political culture.
In his dissertation, "Partisan Polarization in the House of Representatives: Changes in Issues, Voters or Representatives?" Lucas examined three possible explanations for the increased partisanship:
** issues that divide the parties have become more apparent and have lead to changes in congressional agendas (political agenda)
** district ideology has become more significant in the selection of representatives (candidate selection) or
** representatives have become more responsive to their party's ideology than to their constituency (representative behavior).
His research has indicated that the modern divide between the two parties has roots in both the actions of elected representatives (representative behavior) and the ideological preferences of their constituencies (candidate selection).
Lucas continues to be interested in and knowledgeable about the role of contemporary political parties in the American legislative process. His current research focuses on the ability of moderate ideological factions to shape the actions of the Democratic and Republican Parties in the House of Representatives.
A student and instructor of political parties and partisanship at HWS, Lucas explains in a variety of venue the challenges of political parties as dependent on the wishes of voters and the capabilities of political leaders.
Lucas served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the summer of 2005, working in Congressman Charles Rangel's personal office, covering military, voting rights, and environmental issues.
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
DeWayne Lucas joined the faculty at Hobart and William Smith in 2000. He received his B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and both his M.A. and his Ph.D. at Binghamton University. His dissertation, "Partisan Polarization in the House of Representatives: Changes in Issues, Voters, or Representatives?," examines explanations behind the increased levels of partisanship in Congress since the mid-1980s.
Prior to the fall of 2000, Lucas had served as an instructor at Hobart and William Smith and, previously, as a teaching assistant and an instructor at Binghamton.
Lucas' professional affiliations include the American Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and the Northeastern Political Science Association.
During the 2004-05 academic year, he served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-15 of Manhattan, covering military, voting rights and environmental issues. Lucas' recent publications include a chapter, "Same-Sex Marriage in the 2004 Election" in a book titled "The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage;" and collaborative pieces on modern party factionalism including "The Ideology of Moderate Republicans in the House" and "Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives 1994-2002." His current research examines the role of various ideological groups within the Republican and Democratic Parties of the House of Representatives.
During the 2008 presidential primary season, he participated with Professor of Political Science Iva E. Deutchman and Political Science Instructor Andrew Milstein in two well-received community forums that drew standing-room-only crowds at Irene's Coffee House and were sponsored by the HWS Chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy.
Lucas also led the discussion, "Election 2008: Making Sense of It All," as part of a series on the elections at the Wood Library on North Main Street in Canandaigua.