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RSF Bulletin

New Book: Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change

As immigration from Asia and Latin America reshapes the demographic composition of the U.S., some analysts have anticipated the decline of conservative white evangelicals’ influence in politics. Yet, Donald Trump captured a larger share of the white evangelical vote in the 2016 election than any candidate in the previous four presidential elections. Why has the political clout of white evangelicals persisted at a time of increased racial and ethnic diversity? Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change, a new book by political scientist Janelle Wong (University of Maryland), examines a new generation of Asian American and Latino evangelicals and offers an account of why increased demographic diversity has not contributed as much as might be expected to a political realignment.

Asian Americans and Latinos constitute about 15 percent of evangelicals, and their churches are large and fast growing. While evangelical identity is associated with conservative politics, Wong draws from national surveys and interviews to show that non-white evangelicals express political attitudes that are significantly less conservative than those of their white counterparts. Black, Asian American, and Latino evangelicals are much more likely to support policies such as expanded immigration rights, increased taxation of the wealthy, and government interventions to slow climate change. Yet, despite their growing numbers, non-white evangelicals—particularly Asian Americans and Latinos—are concentrated outside of swing states, have lower levels of political participation than white evangelicals, and are less likely to be targeted by political campaigns. Wong sheds light on an understudied constituency that has yet to exert its potential political influence. Her book has been cited by the Washington Post, the New Republic, NPR KPCC, and the American Prospect.

Read more or purchase a copy of the book.

Deadline Reminder: Visiting Scholar Applications for 2019-2020 Academic Year

The deadline for applications for visiting scholar fellowships for the 2019-2020 academic year is June 28, 2018 at 2pm ET/11am PT. The Visiting Scholar program, established over thirty years ago, is a unique opportunity for social scientists to pursue research projects that investigate essential questions on social, economic, and political life in the U.S. while in residence at RSF. The program fosters the exchange of ideas in a vibrant interdisciplinary environment and promotes collaborations between researchers. Applications are reviewed by outside experts; final selections are made by RSF trustees.

View further information on the program, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

New Presidential Authority Grants Approved in Core Programs and Special Initiatives

The foundation has approved two Presidential Authority grants in the Behavioral Economics program; two in the Future of Work program; three in the Social Inequality program; one in the special initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration; two in the special initiative on the Social, Economic, and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act; and a conference grant for an upcoming issue of RSF journal.

View the full list of new Presidential Authority grants.

2018-2019 Visiting Journalists and Visiting Researchers

RSF is pleased to announce the appointment of four visiting journalists and three new visiting researchers for the 2018­­-2019 academic year. The visiting journalists are Rich Benjamin, author of Searching for Whitopia; Cara Fitzpatrick, currently a Spencer Fellow; Larissa MacFarquhar, a staff writer at the New Yorker; and Alexis Okeowo, a staff writer at the New Yorker currently on hiatus. The visiting researchers are Andrei Cimpian (New York University), Rosemary Taylor (Tufts University), and Tom Tyler (Yale University).

Read the full announcement.

RSF Launching New Grants Management System in Summer 2018

Beginning in late July 2018, RSF will manage all grants through Fluxx, a cloud-based platform designed to make the funding process more transparent and easier for applicants, grantees, and external reviewers to navigate. Further information on applying for funding from RSF using Fluxx will be emailed to you closer to the launch date. Note: All visiting scholar applications for the 2019-2020 academic year will be processed and reviewed through the current system, accessible via RSF’s website.

Please contact us at if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime.

Funding Opportunities: Future of Work; Social Inequality; Behavioral Economics; and Special Initiatives

RSF is accepting letters of inquiry until August 20, 2018, at 2pm ET/11am PT in the Future of Work, Social Inequality, and Behavioral Economics programs, as well as the special initiatives on Non-Standard Employment, Integrating Biology and Social Science Knowledge, and the Social, Economic, and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act.

View all funding deadlines and application guidelines. Note that these letters of inquiry must be submitted through Fluxx.

*Please note that RSF will not accept new applications for Small Grants in Behavioral Economics until August 1, 2018, when Fluxx is operative.

Works in Progress: Nathan Kelly and Katharine Donato

At RSF, visiting scholar Nathan Kelly (University of Tennessee) studied the relationship between economic and political inequality and examined the extent to which high levels of economic inequality might produce an “inequality trap,” or a cycle in which economic inequality reinforces itself by changing how the political system functions. In an interview, he outlined the factors that contribute to this feedback loop and discussed prospects for breaking out of the inequality trap. Read the interview.

Visiting scholar Katharine Donato (Georgetown University) explored immigrant incorporation in the U.S., focusing on how federal laws, policies, and practices might better accommodate migrant children. In an interview, Donato explained how the ongoing crisis at the border fits into a longer history of child migration to the U.S. and discussed the extent to which policymakers might achieve a compromise on immigration policy at a time of political polarization. Read the interview.

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