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Parker, Christopher. Winter 2009. “When Politics Becomes Protest: Black Veterans and Political Activism in the Postwar South.” Journal of Politics. 71: 113-131.

Recent narratives of the civil rights movement document black veterans’ contributions to the movement’s success,
often attributing their efforts to their military experience. While this attribution makes sense intuitively, alternative
explanations for black veterans’ mobilization are not fully explored in existing work. For instance, black veterans
were often among the most active members in many of the civil rights organizations from which insurgency was
launched. Therefore, we cannot rule out the possibility that black civic institutions, not military service per se, drove
black veterans’ activism. Furthermore, if military service did lead to political activism, we lack a microlevel
mechanism to explain the means by which it did so. In this article, I show that military service did motivate black
veterans’ activism independent of their membership in black civic institutions or feelings of group solidarity and
theorize a mechanism by which it did so.

Parker, Christopher. May 2009, online. “Symbolic versus Blind Patriotism: Distinction without Difference?,” Political Research Quarterly.

Patriotism is an important predictor of political attitudes and preferences. Nevertheless, the complexity of patriotism remains unresolved, especially as it pertains to blind and symbolic patriotism. Symbolic patriotism represents a relatively abstract, affective attachment to the nation and its core values. Blind patriotism, in contrast, is more concrete, indexing uncritical support for national policies and practices. While the concepts appear analytically distinct, their political consequences are often similar, leading one to question whether the distinction is real. The results offer some support for maintaining conceptual differences between blind and symbolic patriotis

Parker, Christopher (with M. Sawyer and C. Towler). Spring 2009. “A Black Man in the White House?: The Role of Racism and Patriotism in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Du Bois Review. 6: 193-217. 

Race and patriotism were recurring themes during the 2008 presidential campaign that were used to highlight differences between Barack Obama and his opponents. Yet we know little about how racism and patriotism ultimately affected support for Obama among Whites. Appeals to working-class Whites, a lot of which were thinly veiled allusions to Obama's race and perceived lack of patriotism, also figured prominently in the campaign. Accordingly, this paper explores how racism and patriotism shaped support for Obama, as well as the extent to which the effect of each is moderated by class. We find that rising symbolic racism dampened his support among Whites, as did patriotism. Moreover, we find the effects of patriotism on support for Obama were contingent upon class.

Parker, Christopher. “New Weapons for Old Problems: Conventional Proliferation and Military Effectiveness in Developing States.” International Security 23:4 (1999).

In the wake of the Cold War, much concern has been expressed over the tremendous growth in the international arms trade. Christopher Parker of the University of Chicago seeks to clarify the consequences of increased arms sales to developing countries. Parker maintains that the critical issue is not the quantity of modern conventional weapons and technology transfers, but the ability of states to assimilate them effectively into their arsenals.

Work In Progress

Will the Real Americans Please Stand Up?: The Tea Party and Contemporary Right-Wing Extremism in the United States (with Matt Barreto)

2010 -
Ralph J. Bunche Book Award, APSA
2005 - Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Fellow, University of California, Berkeley/UC San Francisco (2005-2007)
2004 - Best paper award in the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics section, APSA

Radio Interview(s)
2010 - How Black Veterans Fought for Civil Rights