Our Research

Jasper Johns, Flag (detail)
Photo courtesy Steven Zucker via flickr

The Meanings of Democracy Lab's Research Team collaborates with Dr. Ruth Braunstein on a variety of research projects related to the contested moral and cultural foundations of American politics. Current projects focus on the moral meanings of taxpaying (including debates about the public funding of abortion) and battles over American identity and history. 

This is where we will post general updates on our research, and short research briefs by members of the Research Team!

Research News

Work with us in Fall 2023!

Are you interested in working with the Meanings of Democracy Lab? During Fall 2023, we are seeking Research Assistants to work on two different projects:  Mapping the Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism: – RAs on this team will assist Dr. Braunstein with the development of a database of groups and leaders working to combat Christian […]

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New research on public funding of abortion

In a research note published in the March 2022 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, lab director Ruth Braunstein, along with coauthors Andrew Whitehead and Ryan Burge review national public opinion data on public funding of abortion: Abstract: An abundance of research examines Americans’ attitudes toward abortion legality and morality with […]

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Coming Soon: “Taxpayer-Funded” Abortion?

During Fall 2021, our Research Team analyzed the debate surrounding the use of “taxpayer money” to fund abortion. From debates about whether the Hyde Amendment should be repealed to whether Planned Parenthood should be defunded, Americans across the political spectrum have turned their attention to this question. While Americans’ opinions on the matter map closely onto […]

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Students Sitting at Table

Meanings of Democracy Lab Launched

We are excited to announce the launch of the Meanings of Democracy Lab, founded and directed by UConn sociologist Dr. Ruth Braunstein. Several big questions animate how Americans engage in civic and political life: Who counts as a “real” American? What is required of a “good” citizen? Is American democracy flourishing or floundering? In today’s deeply […]

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