We work with America’s teachers and researchers to understand and improve the nation’s political and social discourse.

 
 

We work with America’s teachers and researchers to understand and improve the nation’s political and social discourse.

1
1

About NICD Research Network

Research is a crucial part of NICD’s mission.  Since the organization’s inception, NICD has sought to support research on civility in order to create a body of knowledge on the history of political discourse in American and ways to improve the nation’s political and social discourse.  The organization’s research staff and research network support scholars throughout the country in their research and teaching.  NICD also strives to conduct research on the effectiveness of its own program.

Our Research

Our Research

Research is a crucial part of NICD’s mission.  Since the organization’s inception, NICD has sought to support research on civility in order to create a body of knowledge on the history of political discourse in American and ways to improve the nation’s political and social discourse.  The organization’s research staff and research network support scholars throughout the country in their research and teaching.  NICD also strives to conduct research on the effectiveness of its own program.

NICD Convening

Find an Expert

The NICD Research Network includes over fifty scholars from a range of academic institutions, disciplines, and political perspectives who study political and social discourse.  The NICD Research Network serves as a forum for encouraging cross-disciplinary research on civility and incivility; for connecting academic researchers with practitioners and the general public; and for supporting new and innovative research.

Featured Research

Highlighting the work our Research Network has produced to enhance understanding and improve civil discourse.

NICD 2018 US Senate Debates
Featured

Civility in the 2018 U.S. Senate Debates

In 2016, the NICD Research Team, in collaboration with NICD’s Revive Civility initiative, developed a…
Featured

A Crisis of Civility? Political Discourse and its Discontents

In 2019 Routledge Press published A Crisis of Civility?, a collection of work by NICD…
Featured

Civility in State Legislatures

The NICD research staff has worked to develop a research project that complements NICD’s Next…

Research Staff

Robert Boatright
Research Director

Robert G. Boatright

Robert G. Boatright is Professor and Chair in the Department of Political Science at Clark University and the Director of Research at the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the effects of campaign and election laws on the behavior of politicians and interest groups, with a particular focus on primary elections and campaign finance laws and practices. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Getting Primaried: The Causes and Consequences of Congressional Primary Challenges (University of Michigan Press, 2013); Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform in the United States and Canada (University of Michigan Press, 2011); and the edited volume The Deregulatory Moment? A Comparative Perspective on Changing Campaign Finance Laws (University of Michigan Press, 2016). He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Carleton College.
Tim Shaffer
Principle Research Specialist

Tim Shaffer

Timothy J. Shaffer is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies and assistant director of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. He is also principal research specialist with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. As an interdisciplinary scholar and practitioner of deliberative democracy, civic education, civic studies, and group communication, Dr. Shaffer focuses on the role of professionals in institutional settings such as higher education, local government, and non-governmental organizations engaging communities through participatory and democratic processes. He serves as the associate editor of the Journal of Public Deliberation and as a country expert on deliberative democracy with the Varieties of Democracy research project based the University of Gothenburg. He has edited four books—Deliberative Pedagogy, Jumping into Civic Life, A Crisis of Civility?, and Creating Space for Democracy—and has also authored multiple chapters and articles on education, deliberation, the role of professionals, and the intersection of these themes on civic life. Dr. Shaffer presents his research regularly to academic and popular audiences. He received his PhD from Cornell University.
Keith Allred
NICD Executive Director

Keith Allred

Keith Allred became the Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse on January 1, 2019. He was recruited to lead NICD because he had recently launched CommonSense American, a new organization that brings Republicans, Democrats, and Independents together from across the country to find and champion solutions with broad support. Impressed by the successful five-year state pilot, leadership invited Keith to make NICD the platform for CommonSense American and to integrate it with NICD’s other programs to revive civility and enhance problem solving across the partisan divide.

The Common Interest, the state-level pilot organization, operated in Idaho from 2005 – 2009. Its major legislative achievements led the Idaho Democratic Party to make the unusual move of asking him, as an independent, to be their nominee for Governor in 2010.

Prior to returning home to pilot the citizens’ group, Keith became the first professor of negotiation and conflict resolution hired by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He started his academic career as a professor at Columbia.

Keith has also served in a variety of business leadership roles. Most recently, he was a partner at the Cicero Group, ranked the 12th best boutique management consulting firm in the world by Vault.com. Prior to Cicero, he served as COO of Health Catalyst. Keith’s leadership there played a critical role in attracting a major investment by Sequoia Capital. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Midas Gold, which trades on the Toronto Exchange (TSX: MAX).

Keith earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior from UCLA and BA in American History from Stanford. A fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up working summers on the family cattle ranch, Keith finished eighth in the world standings of the National Cutting Horse Association in 2017 after competing in the World Finals in Fort Worth. He and Christine are the proud parents of Anna (16), Dan (14), and Cate (11). The kids are still deciding if they’ve forgiven their parents for moving them from Idaho to DC this summer.