Park University’s Hauptmann Lecture Series to Feature Speaker on the Tea Party, Civic Engagement

Theda Skocpol, Ph.D., the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, will be the keynote speaker at Park University’s 21st annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series event on Wednesday, March 27. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Helzberg Room of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., starting at 6:30 p.m. A reception will be held prior to the lecture beginning at 6 p.m.

Skocpol’s lecture topic will be on “The Tea Party and Civic Engagement in America.” Drawing on her extensive research on American democracy, Skocpol will discuss the most important changes in voluntary associations, interest groups and patterns of citizen participation in community life and national politics. In addition, she will review the rise of the Tea Party and what is next for American social movements and citizen engagement.

Skocpol’s research focuses on U.S. social policy and civic engagement in American democracy, including changes since the 1960s. She has recently launched new projects on the development of U.S. higher education and on the transformations of U.S. federal policies in the Obama era. She was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science in 2007 for her “visionary analysis of the significance of the state for revolutions, welfare and political trust, pursued with theoretical depth and empirical evidence.” The Skytte Prize is one of the largest and most prestigious in political science. It is awarded annually by the Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University, Sweden, to the scholar who has made the most valuable contribution to the discipline.

Her work covers an unusually broad spectrum of topics, including comparative politics (States and Social Revolutions, 1979) and American politics (Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States, 1992). Her books and articles have been widely cited in political science literature and have won numerous awards, including the 1993 Woodrow Wilson Award of the American Political Science Association for the best book in political science for the previous year.

The lecture series is named in honor of the late Park University professor emeritus of political science and public administration, Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D. Hauptmann taught at Park for more than 50 years, and he launched the University’s first graduate degree program in 1982. In 2001, Park’s School for Public Affairs was renamed the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs in honor of this remarkable educator. The Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series was established through the generosity of alumni, colleagues and friends of Hauptmann upon his 40th anniversary at Park University. The Lecture Series brings outstanding scholars to the Kansas City area to address topics related to Hauptmann’s three areas of study: international politics, public administration and democracy.

While the lecture is open the public, registration is requested as seating is limited. To register, e-mail or call (816) 584-6420. In addition, attendees can register via the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library’s website at

For more information about the lecture and the lecture series, co-sponsored by the Library, Consensus and the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, visit

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