CAPS Seminar: “The Koch Effect: The Impact of a Cadre-Led Network on American Politics”


Friday, February 12, 2016, 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Room K354, CGIS Knafel Building 1737 Cambridge Street

Theda Skocpol and Alex Hertel-Fernandez

In Washington, DC and the states, Republicans push unpopular policies – and sometimes also oppose legislation favored by prominent business groups. Why is that? New research highlights resource shifts on the U.S. right and the growing influence of the Koch network, a coordinated set of big donors, lobbying groups, and constituency organizations that now rivals America’s political parties. 

 Please join us for the CAPS Seminar with Theda Skocpol and Alex Hertel-Fernandez as they present “The Koch Effect: The Impact of a Cadre-Led Network on American Politics and Policy. This paper includes early results from a collaborative study of “The Shifting U.S. Political Terrain” under way at Harvard University. Further information and additional publications from the project are available here. Their research on the grassroots mobilizations by the Koch Network was also recently cited in The New Yorker

Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and the Director of the Scholars Strategy Network. Her current work focuses on recent transformations in U.S. Civic life, politics, and public policies. 

Alex Hertel Fernandez is a PhD candidate in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University, whose dissertation explores the development of cross-state policy networks on the right and left. In addition, he has published research on the politics of U.S. tax policy, unemployment insurance, and health insurance; and he is currently exploring efforts by U.S. employers to mobilize their employees into politics.