Scholar and teacher

of the politics of immigration, gender, and race.

Alexandra Filindra

I am an associate professor of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago.  I am also affiliated with the Latin American and Latino Studies Program and the Institute for Government and Public Affairs. My Ph.D. is from Rutgers University, and I served as a post-doctoral fellow at Brown University’s Taubman Center for American Institutions.  I have served as visiting research fellow at Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy and the Institute for Policy Research. I am also a fellow at UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP). Most recently, I was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (2019-2023). I am a past president of the American Political Science Association’s Citizenship and Migration Section and a former elected member of the Associations governing council.  

My upcoming book, Race, Rights, and Rifles: The Origins of the NRA and Contemporary Gun Culture will be published in September 2023 by the University of Chicago Press.

Latest Work

Gun Politics

My current research focuses on America’s gun culture. I explore the historical origins of Americans’ attachment to firearms—an element of American exceptionalism—and the social and political consequences of the proliferation of armed civilians in the public square.

Democratic Erosion

I also study the rise of threats and political violence against elected officials and their staff and how this affects democratic politics and representation. I want to know what citizens make of this phenomenon and whether partisanship and ideology divide us in how we explain and rationalize this threat to our democratic institutions.


Immigration serves as America’s engine of growth and is a cornerstone of its political worldview. At the same time, it is being used to divide us and teach us to fear each other. I study the determinants and first and second order consequences of American state-level immigration policy. I am do research on public opinion and immigration with a focus on the effects of xenophobia on Americans’ political and policy preferences.

Race and Ethnic Politics

The color line continues to be the problem of American politics well into the 21st century. My research demonstrates how our evaluations of political speech, and our understandings of racism are context dependent. I also study the role of White identity among Hispanic Americans and the influence of antisemitism in contemporary American politics.

Work in Progress

My research agenda includes book projects on gun politics and public opinion as well as political violence in America.  I also have continuing research projects on democracy and democratic erosion.

I want to hear from you.