Montana State University

MSU political scientists provide political analysis blog

February 24, 2011

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Members of the faculty of Montana State University's Department of Political Science are providing analysis of state, local and national politics in a blog, http://bigskypolitics.blogspot.com.

"We hope the blog will help Montanans as they wade their way through an increasingly confusing and partisan political world," said David Parker, professor of political science at MSU. "It aims to provide thoughtful, nonpartisan political analysis on current events at the state, national, and international levels."

Parker said the blog was actually started in 2008, but was recently "reinvigorated with new content and direction." He said that the faculty members believe that an objective, fact-based blog is needed in an era where media outlets "are increasingly catering to one political side or the other."

"Big Sky Political Analysis uses social science research to help generate thoughtful and meaningful political discussion above and beyond punditry."

Parker, who is a scholar of American politics with an emphasis on Congress and congressional elections, is one of seven bloggers on the site and he also manages the blog. He will be following closely and blogging about the Montana Senate and House races over the next 18 months.

Other faculty bloggers and their specialties include: Linda Young, an economist who focuses on international trade issues; Jerry Johnson, whose research centers on the political economy of tourism and the "New West;" Sara Rushing, a political theorist, who thinks and writes often about political discourse; Eric Austin, coordinator of MSU's Masters of Public Administration.

Other faculty experts who will contribute in the future to the blog include Liz Shanahan, who researches political narratives and environmental policy, and Paul Lachappelle, the department's community development expert.

"The political science department invites Montanans to visit the blog, share our postings with friends, and engage in political discourse with us," Parker said.

David Parker (406) 994-5163, dparker@montana.edu