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Faculty Spotlight

Nazita Lajevardi, Assistant Professor


Nazita Lajevardi is a political scientist and attorney working on issues related to race and ethnic politics, political behavior, voting rights, and immigration. Her primary research lies at the intersection of political representation and behavior and examines how the sociopolitical behaviors and attitudes of political elites and mass publics lead to the underrepresentation of racial and religious minorities. Through the application of quantitative methods and through the development of rigorous theoretical approaches, her research aims to understand how these groups fare under American democracy.

Her specialization, in particular, is on Muslim Americans, and in the bulk of her work, she evaluates their status in American democracy. In her dissertation, she developed a scale of the U.S. public's attitudes towards U.S. Muslims called Muslim American Resentment ("MAR"), which has since been employed in several published works to date. MAR has been shown to have been a previously underexplored factor shaping support for Trump in the 2016 election (Lajevardi and Abrajano, forthcoming), be related to old-fashioned racist beliefs about U.S. Muslims (Lajevardi and Oskooii, 2018), and operate as an important control when assessing shifts in attitudes towards the Muslim Ban (Collingwood et al., 2018).

Currently, she is working on her book project, which assesses how legislators, the media, and the masses have discriminated against Muslim Americans and also the consequences for Muslim Americans' perceptions of their inclusion in American democracy.