Building More Effective Campaign Narratives through Social Science

Find out what the latest social science research tells us about how to engage people effectively and craft winning campaign messages and narratives.

A MobLab Live conversation with featured guests Kris-Stella TrumpAdam LevineFrederick Mayer and Noorulain Masood. Learn more about MobLab Live’s featured guests.

MobLab Live is hosted by Vanessa Williamson. Vanessa is a research scholar and a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. She is the coauthor of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.

Kris-Stella Trump

Kris-Stella Trump

Program Director of the Anxieties of Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council

Kris-Stella Trump is a political scientist and policy researcher whose academic research falls in the intersection of political psychology and behavioral economics: Trump has studied the psychology of income inequality, attitudes toward the welfare state, and reactions to Stimulus spending.

Trump is currently Program Director of the Anxieties of Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council. The Council encourages and disseminates research that asks whether the core institutions of established democracies—elections, mass media, political parties, interest groups, social movements, and, especially, legislatures—can capably address large problems in the public interest.

Adam Seth Levine

Adam Seth Levine

Associate Professor, Government Department, Cornell University

Adam Seth Levine’s research and teaching focuses on questions of political communication–how the language used to describe policies, social problems, and American politics more generally affects (a) the attitudes that people hold and (b) their political engagement.

Levine authored American Insecurity: Why Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction, published by Princeton Press in 2015. He is also the president of research4impact, a nonprofit organization that facilitates and promotes collaboration between scholars and practitioners.

Frederick Mayer

Frederick Mayer

Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Environment and Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy

Frederick “Fritz” Mayer is Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Environment and Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Mayer teaches courses on the political economy of public policy, globalization and governance, political analysis, and leadership.

Mayer’s research concerns the role of stories in politics. His book Narrative Politics: Stories and Collective Action (Oxford University Press, 2014) argues that shared stories are essential tools for enabling communities to overcome free riding and other obstacles to collective action. He is particularly interested in the role of narrative in global environmental politics

Noorulain Masood

Noorulain Masood

Founder, Center for Social Innovation in Developing Countries

Noorulain Masood has worked in international development for a decade. For the last five years, she has dedicated herself towards creating wiser and more effective leadership for social change. She has done this as part of teaching teams at Harvard University, as CEO of Teach For Pakistan, a non-profit that produces leaders for education, as Director, Research to Action at Collective for Social Science Research Karachi, and most recently as Founder/CEO of the Center for Social Innovation in Developing Countries. She is a student of Professors Marshall Ganz and Ron Heifetz at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a practitioner of meditation.

Vanessa Willamson

Vanessa Willamson

MobLab Live Host & Fellow, Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution

Vanessa Williamson is a Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings. She studies the politics of redistribution, with a focus on attitudes about taxation. She is the author of the new book Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes.

Williamson is also the author, with Harvard professor Theda Skocpol, of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, which examines how the Tea Party pushed the Republican Party farther to the right.

Williamson previously served as the Policy Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.