American Politics Placement Candidates
Andre P. Audette
Andre Audette is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at Notre Dame, where he defended his dissertation in June of 2016. His research focuses broadly on the impact of social identity on political inequality among individuals, in linkage or formal institutions, and in public policy, and has appeared in Political Research Quarterly and the Law & Society Review. He also has teaching experience at Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.
Andre’s dissertation, “The Religious Bases of Latino/a Political Participation,” examines how churches mobilize Latinos for political engagement. Political scientists have found that religiosity generates higher rates of participation, but Latinos (a highly religious social group) often participate in politics at lower rates than other ethnic or racial groups, even when controlling for socioeconomic status. This has led some scholars to suggest that Latinos’ historic affiliation with the Catholic Church reduces participation rates due to Latinos having fewer opportunities than Protestant groups to develop civic and political skills, such as speaking in public or organizing meetings. Utilizing national survey data and qualitative fieldwork in Latino-serving churches, Andre’s dissertation research argues that, while some denominational differences exist, churches as a whole are a highly effective way to incorporate new and marginalized groups into the political system through civic skill acquisition, political recruitment, and the mobilization of religious beliefs. As the number of Latinos in the United States continues to grow, this research suggests that religious and other voluntary organizations will play a vital role in giving Latinos political voice in American elections and policymaking.
In addition to his research, Andre has taught courses on research methods, political campaigns, and discussion sections of introductory American politics. Over the past two years, he has also served as a graduate associate at the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, where he trains new graduate teaching assistants and instructors, leads workshops on teaching and learning pedagogy, and works with faculty and graduate student teachers in developing evidence-based active learning techniques. Prior to his graduate work, Andre earned degrees in political science and Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas.