Politics Expert, USM alumna to present for University Forum


Courtesy Photo

Frances Lee.

Dr. Frances Lee, professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University and a 1991 University of Southern Mississippi (USM) alumna, will present “Congressional Policymaking in a Fiercely Competitive Era” Tuesday, Nov.15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center Ballroom on the Hattiesburg campus for the final University Forum presentation of the fall 2022 semester. Her presentation, which is free and open to the public, comes just a week after the midterm elections.

After graduating from USM with honors, Dr. Lee earned her Ph.D. in political science at Vanderbilt University; her research, which focuses on the inner workings of the U.S. Congress – including its successes and shortcomings – has earned her wide acclaim. The New York Times’ renowned politics analyst Ezra Klein once said that Lee’s scholarship “genuinely change[d] my understanding of how American politics works.”

In her 2016 book Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign, Dr. Leedetails how Congress is least effective when the parties are well balanced. She is also the author of Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles, and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate, along with articles in the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political SciencePerspectives on Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

“Dr. Lee is one of the nation’s leading experts on Congress and she has studied whether our government works best when one party controls both the Congress and the Presidency, or if it works best when the various branches of government are held by different parties,” said Dr. Andrew Haley, director of University Forum. “I invite members of the campus and local communities to join us for a glimpse into the future of American politics through Dr. Lee’s presentation; her insights will surprise you.”

University Forum is presented by the USM Honors College. For more information about University Forum, visit usm.edu/forum #universityforum.