Victor Kramer Lecture Series

Victor William Kramer was born in Phoenix, Ariz. in September 1921 and lived in Phoenix his entire life.  He earned a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Santa Clara in California in August of 1943.  He was an Army Veteran of WWII and Korea, a member of American Legion Post #1, the Disabled American Veterans Phoenix Chapter 1 and the Military Order of the Purple Heart #463. Victor attended ASU from 1958 to 1961 as a graduate student studying political science.  He was a member of the Arizona Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta and a charter member of the political science honorary fraternity Pi Sigma Alpha at ASU.  He completed his master’s thesis and earned an M.A. in political science in 1961. 

Victor was a real estate broker and philanthropist in the metropolitan Phoenix community.  He was a Friend of KAET for 28 consecutive years, including the year of his passing.  He also supported ASU athletics.  He was a member of St. Mary’s church, the Arizona Club and the Phoenix Press Club.  Victor enjoyed music, books, stories and collecting coins.  He passed away on January 17, 2010 at the age of 88.  Through his estate, Victor made significant gifts that will benefit many organizations in the Phoenix area, including the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University.

Kramer’s donation is used to support political science seminars and speakers. Members of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society, will select appropriate speakers for the seminars.

Previous Lectures

Racial Profiling in US Traffic Stops: Assessing the Evidence - Frank R. Baumgartner | Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 Kramer Lecture featured Professor Frank R. Baumgartner, who has written extensively on the topics of public policy, lobbying, and framing in both U.S. and comparative perspectives. His most recent book is Suspect Citizens (Cambridge, 2018), focusing on racial differences in the outcomes of routine traffic stops. In 2019 he was recognized with the C. Herman Pritchett Best Book Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association (for Suspect Citizens), and with the Lijphart/Przeworski/ Verba Dataset Award from the APSA Section on Comparative Politics (for the Comparative Agendas Project).

Representation and Accountability, the Constituent’s Perspective - Stephen Ansolabehere  | Spring 2019

The Spring 2019 Kramer Lecture featured Professor Stephen Ansolabehere, the Frank G. Thompson Professor of Government and Director of the American Politics Program at Harvard University. Professor Ansolabehere's lecture “Representation and Accountability, the Constituent’s Perspective” discussed his ongoing research showing a consistent link between what people want from government and what legislators do on key votes within the U.S. Congress. He also showed that more competitive legislative districts often result in poorer representation since members of Congress are forced to represent more heterogeneous constituencies. 

Stephen Ansolabehere has published extensively on elections, mass media and representation, political economy and public opinion, especially concerning energy and the environment. He is a Carnegie Scholar, a Hoover National Fellow and a Truman Scholar and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is the director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard, as well as principal investigator of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

Relegating Uber - Kathleen Thelen  | Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 Kramer Lecture featured Professor Kathleen Thelen, a Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT and the President of the American Political Science Association. She spoke with faculty on the afternoon of October 26th on “The New Precariat: The United States in Comparative Perspective”. Her public lecture with students was later that night and was titled “Regulating Uber: The Politics of the New ‘Sharing’ Economy in Europe and the United States”.

Thelen’s work focuses on the origins and evolution of political-economic institutions in the rich democracies. Her two most recent books are Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity (Cambridge, 2014), and Advances in Comparative Historical Analysis (with James Mahoney, Cambridge 2015). Her awards include the Barrington Moore Book Prize (2015), the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award of the APSR (2005), the Mattei Dogan Award for Comparative Research (2006), and the Max Planck Research Award (2003). She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015 and to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in 2009. She has been awarded degrees honoris causa at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam (2013) and at the London School of Economics (2017).

I'll See It When I Believe It: How Voters Think and Learn About Elections - Arthur Lupia  | Fall 2016

The Fall 2016 Kramer Lecture featured Dr. Arthur Lupia, whose research focuses on decision-making and learning, civic competence, and legislative processes. His newest book, Uninformed: Why People Know so Little About Politics and What We Can Do About It  published by Oxford University Press, has been featured in multiple mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times and Washington Post. Dr. Lupia is also a founding member of DART, the Chair of the National Research Council Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Science, past principle investigator of the American National Election Study, founding principle investigator of Time Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences, and a founding principle investigator for the National Science Foundations Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models program.

Elections 2016 - Thomas E. Mann | Spring 2016

Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, was the inaugural speaker for the School of Politics and Global Studies’ Kramer Lecture Series on February 9th, 2016.  Mann’s lecture on elections covered the current state of the presidential candidates for each party, the myth of presidential power, what it means to be a political scientist and the current state of each political party. Mann expressed that political scientist should root for those who want to repair our broken political system.