Maneesh Arora

Assistant Professor of Political Science

  Research interests include race & ethnicity, public opinion, immigration, intergroup solidarity, methodology.  

Maneesh Arora is an assistant professor of political science at Wellesley College, where he teaches courses on American politics, immigration policy, campaigns and elections, and research methods. His research has been featured in scholarly journals like Perspectives on Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Politics, Groups, and Identities and media outlets like the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, the New School’s Public Seminar, and the London School of Economics Politics and Policy blog. His current book project is Parties and Prejudice: The Normalization of Antiminority Rhetoric in U.S. Politics.

Before arriving at Wellesley, Maneesh earned a Ph.D. in political science from UC Irvine in 2019. He grew up in Oregon and is an alum of the University of Oregon.

Current and upcoming courses

  • The institutions, processes, and values that shape American politics. The origins and evolution of the U.S. Constitution and the institutions it created: Congress, the executive branch, the presidency, the federal court system, and federalism. Analysis of "intermediary" institutions including political parties, interest groups, elections, and the media. Study of enduring debates over values in American politics, with particular attention to conflicts over civil rights and civil liberties.
  • The U.S. holds more elections than just about any other democratic nation, but voter turnout rates are relatively low. Elections in the U.S. have among the longest campaign seasons, yet it is unclear that campaigns even influence election results. How do we explain these seeming contradictions? We will engage with academic scholarship as well as the experiences of campaign organizers and activists to understand the role of campaigns in the United States. We will examine institutional factors such as political parties, redistricting, and access to participation in campaigns and elections. We will also explore the roles of personal identities and socioeconomic conditions, including race, gender, and class. The impact of voter apathy, civic education, and the interplay of national and local politics on the health of American democracy will also be analyzed. Students will participate in a hands-on project to understand more deeply the complexity of election campaigns.