Learn more about: ‘Harmonizing Voices for Collective Action: The American Indian Chicago Conference’

Sonja Castañeda Dower

Project Title: Harmonizing Voices for Collective Action: The American Indian Chicago Conference

Sonja Castañeda Dower

Sonja Castañeda Dower is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Chicago and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska – Anchorage. In her research, she uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to explore how individuals and groups come to incorporate – or not incorporate – into political units, such as parties and states. Sonja is especially interested in strategies states use when trying to manage and assimilate diverse populations that can be resistant to incorporation. Her work thus concerns coordination and collective action problems and considers how phenomena surrounding these, such as social movements, can influence and interact with the design and function of formal institutions. Her research, for example, looks at Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination claims and movements, and the relationship between these and institutional arrangements, in Greenland, Sápmi (a region that traverses Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia), and the United States. Sonja holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago as well as a master’s in Politics and Education from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Project Collaborator: Scott Cooley, University of Chicago

Scott Cooley

Scott Cooley is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2021. Scott’s dissertation focused on the link between public opinion, national party platforms, and economic inequality. As part of this research, he built large datasets that include public opinion data, party platform positions, and federal policy outcomes. Scott has a particular interest in how historically disadvantaged groups – including lower-income citizens, racial and ethnic minorities, and indigenous people – influence public policy. His most recent work includes the construction and analysis of multiple datasets using a variety of archival sources related to the Indian Termination Era in the Unites States. Scott teaches courses in the Social Science Inquiry Sequence at the University of Chicago, in which students are exposed to a variety of social scientific techniques and gain an understanding of how empirical methods can be responsibly used to derive important policy implications.

About the APSA Advancing Research Grants for Indigenous Politics Recipients

The APSA Diversity and Inclusion Advancing Research Grants provide support for the advancement of scholars from historically racial and ethnic underrepresented groups and for research that examines political science phenomena affecting historically underserved communities and underrepresented groups and communities. In December 2021, APSA also awarded eight projects for the APSA Diversity and Inclusion Advancing Research Grants for Indigenous Politics for a combined amount of $20,000. Read about the funded projects.