Research & Articles

My Research

My research agenda focuses on public policy using perspectives from a variety of disciplines, including media studies. In my work, I draw on historical, psychological, and sociological scholarship on social identities and race and ethnicity, to analyze three inter-related questions:

All three questions have direct implications for American democracy and our political institutions’ ability to protect and deliver social equality. When policies impose differential costs and benefits on various groups, this can produce further marginalization, by accentuating social and economic inequality. In return, such processes can weaken America’s democratic norms and institutions by opening political space for anti-democratic political groups, movements, and leaders.

I explore these questions through the study of two policy domains: immigration policy and gun policy. In different ways, both areas implicate Americans’ visions of what it means to be a true American, and who belongs and who doesn’t. Together, they delineate America’s republican vision of citizenship and highlight the deep contradictions between the country’s stated commitment to individual freedom and equality and its deeply-rooted anti-democratic practices.

More recently, I have extended my research agenda to include three other key issues that I view as related to but prior to public policy:

Partisan realignment and sorting have led to partisan polarization which is fueled by racial, ethnic, gender, and religious cleavages. In this environment, trust in government and our political institutions is driven not simply by government’s performance but by racial grievances and prejudices. Political elites play a key role in animating and accentuating such grievances, linking them to partisan identities. My work shows that party leaders have become so central to the public’s political decision-making, that partisan citizens have a hard time holding them accountable for undemocratic and even illegal behavior. At the same time, political leaders –and especially women and people of color—have become the target of threats and violence which has significant consequences for the future of American democracy.

The normative motivation for my work is a desire to expose and combat social and economic inequities by employing the tools of history, political science, and social science more broadly.

My Articles

Gun Politics

Sociological Inquiry, Vol 91(2)Filindra A., N.J. Kaplan, and B. Buyuker [grad student] (2021) “Racial Resentment or Modern Sexism?  White Americans’ Outgroup Attitudes as Predictors of Gun Ownership & NRA Membership,” Sociological Inquiry, Vol 91(2):253-286

Social Science Quarterly (online view), Vol 101(5)Filindra, A., L. Collingwood, and N. J. Kaplan (2020) “Anxious about Social Violence: The Emotional Underpinnings of Americans’ Support for Gun Control,” Social Science Quarterly (online view), Vol 101(5), 2101-2120

Trisler B. and A. Filindra (2019) The Effects of Propaganda on Marginal Members of Social Groups: The Case of Black Female Gun Enthusiasts. Palo Alto, CA: DigIntel Labs 

Filindra, A. and N. Kaplan (2016) “Racial resentment and white gun policy preferences in contemporary America,” Political Behavior, Vol. 38 (2): 255-275

DC Capitol Storming

Democratic Erosion

Political Behavior, Vol. 44 (1)Filindra A., L. Harbridge-Yong (2022) “How Do Partisans Navigate Intragroup Conflict? A Theory of Partisan Leadership Cues,” Political Behavior 44: 1437-58

Political Behavior, Vol. 44(2)Filindra, A. N. Kaplan, B. Buyuker (2022) “Beyond Performance: The Racial Antecedents of Whites’ Mistrust of Government,”Political Behavior, Vol. 44(2):961-79

Polity, Vol. 55 (1)Filindra, A. B. Buyuker, N. Kaplan (2022) “Do Perceptions of Discrimination against the Ingroup Fuel White Americans’ Mistrust in Government? Insights from the 2012-2020 ANES and a Framing Experiment,” Symposium on White Identity, Polity,Vol. 55(1): 137-167


Filindra A., R. Nassar [grad student], and B. Buyuker [grad student] (2022) “The conditional relationship between cultural and economic threats in white Americans’ support for refugee relocation programs,” Social Science Quarterly Vol. 103 (3): 686-698

Introduction to International Migration: Population Movements in the 21st CenturyFilindra A., B. Buyuker [grad student], and M. Tafolar [grad student] (2021) “National Migration Governance: Admissions & Immigration Control,” in Jeannette Money and Sarah P. Lockhart (eds.), Introduction to International Migration: Population Movements in the 21stCentury. New York: Routledge 

Health Behavior and Policy Review, 7(4)Rhodes, S. L. Mann-Jackson, E. Song, M. Wolfson, A. Filindra, M. Hall (2020) “Laws and Policies Related to the Health of U.S. Immigrants: A Policy Scan,” Health Behavior and Policy Review, 7(4):314-324

Regional Studies, Vol. 54(11)Filindra, A. and A. Manatschal (2020) “Coping with a changing integration policy context: American state policies and their effects on immigrant political engagement,” Regional Studies, Vol. 54(11): 1546-57

Filindra, A. (2019) “Is Threat in the Eye of the Researcher? Immigration Policy and Measurement,” Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 47(3): 517-543 

Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Vol. 22(3)Jacobsen, T.G., J.V. Isaksen, Filindra, A., J. Strabac (2016) “The Return of Prejudice in Europe’s Regions: The Moderated Relationship between Group Threat and Economic Vulnerability,” Nationalism and Ethnic PoliticsVol. 22(3): 249-277 

Social Science Quarterly, Vol 97(2)Pearson-Merkowitz S., A. Filindra and J. Dyck (2016) “When Partisans and Minorities Interact: Interpersonal Contact, Partisanship and Public Opinion Preferences on Immigration Policy Social Science Quarterly, Vol 97(2):311-324 

Buckinx, B. and A. Filindra (2015) “The Case against Removal: Jus Noci and Harm in Deportation Practice,” Migration Studies, Vol. 3(3):393-416

State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Vol. 13 (1)Filindra, A. and S. Pearson-Merkowitz (2013) “Stopping the Enforcement “Tide”: Descriptive Representation, Latino Institutional Empowerment and State-Level Immigration Policy,” (Research Note) Politics & Policy 41(December): 814-832 

Filindra, A. and S. Pearson-Merkowitz (2013) “Together in Good Times and Bad? How Economic Triggers Condition the Effects of Social Interactions between Groups,” Social Science Quarterly94(5 December):1328-1345 

Harvard Educational Review, Fall 2011, Volume 81 (3)Filindra, A., D. Blanding [grad student], and C. Garcia Coll (2011) “The Power of Context: State –Level Immigration Policy and Differences in the Educational Performance of the Children of Immigrants,” Harvard Educational Review, Fall 2011, Volume 81 (3):163-193

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Race and Ethnic Politics

Journal of Politics, Vol 84(4)Bonilla, T., A. Filindra, and N. Lajevadi (2022) “How source Cues Shape Evaluations of Group-Based Derogatory Political MessagesJournal of Politics, Vol 84(4): 1979-1996

Social Science Quarterly, 103(4)Levin, I., A. Filindra, J. Kopstein (2022) “Validating and testing a measure of antisemitism on support for QAnon and vote intention for Trump in 2020Social Science Quarterly, 103(4): 794– 809

Social Science Quarterly,  Vol. 103 (6)Filindra, A. and M. Kolbe (2022) “Latinx identification with whiteness: What drives it, and what effects does it have on political preferences?” Social Science Quarterly,  Vol. 103 (6): 1424-1439

Social Science Quarterly, 103(4)Filindra, A. and E.J. Fagan (2022) “Black, Immigrant, or Woman? The Implicit Influence of Kamala Harris’ Vice-Presidential Nomination on Support for Biden in 2020,” Social Science Quarterly, 103(4): 892– 906

ournal of Race, Ethnicity & Politics, 6(3)Buyuker, B.,* A. Jadidi D’Urso,* A. Filindra, N. J. Kaplan (2021) “Race Politics Research and the American Presidency: Thinking About White Group Identities and Vote Choice in the Trump Era and Beyond,” Journal of Race, Ethnicity & Politics, 6(3), 600-641