Fall 2005

For the Record

Morris P. Fiorina Delivers 2005 Rothbaum Lecture

The Great Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in Contemporary America


      Professor Morris P. Fiorina, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delivered the 2005 Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government on October 10, 11, and 12 at the University of Oklahoma. The biennial lectures series, sponsored by the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center, is free and open to the public. 

      Under the general title "The Great Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in Contemporary America," Professor Fiorina delivered three lectures that drew a large crowd of students, faculty, and interested citizens each day. He will revise and extend the lectures for publication in the Rothbaum book series by University of Oklahoma Press.

      Professor Fiorina is the author or co-author of nine books and more than sixty articles or book chapters on various aspects of elections and representation, He has built an internationally distinguished record of research on legislative and electoral processes, and his work has influenced not only the scholarly understanding of the U.S. Congress and legislative institutions but also the methods used by legislative scholars.

      His work has often been provocative as well as seminal. Congress – Keystone of the Washington Establishment (Yale University Press, 1977) advanced a critical analysis of the modern Congress, which precipitated sharp debate among both academics and partisans. His most recent book, Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America, coauthored with Samuel J. Abrams and Jeremy C. Pope, was published by Pearson Longman in 2004 and is already in its second edition. The book has stirred debate among scholars and in the popular press.

     The Rothbaum Lecture series was endowed in 1981 by family members in honor of Julian J. Rothbaum (1913–2003), who was a successful businessman, a leader in Oklahoma civic affairs, an important supporter of the University of Oklahoma, and a lifelong friend of Speaker Carl Albert.  The lectures address two principles that were reflected in Mr. Rothbaum's own life: the importance of the relationship between education and public service in a representative democracy, and the importance of participation by private citizens in public affairs.


Rothbaum Lecturer Morris Fiorina with Carl Albert Center Director and Curator Cindy Simon Rosenthal, Joel Jankowsky (son of Julian and Irene Rothbaum), and OU President David L. Boren.

Morris Fiorina responds to questions from guests at a dinner in the university art museum on the first day of the Rothbaum Lectures.

Norman resident and retired business owner Harold Powell (left), Joel Jankowsky, and OU President David L. Boren (right) listen attentively to Fiorina’s lecture.

Morris Fiorina and Joel Jankowsky examine a new exhibit created by Carl Albert Center Archivists Erin Sloan and Carolyn Hanneman. One side of the exhibit pays tribute to Julian Rothbaum; the other side examines Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District for evidence of polarization.


Divided District?

Searching for Evidence of Polarization in Oklahoma's Fourth District

A new exhibit, created in conjunction with the 2005 Rothbaum Lecture, takes a close look at Oklahoma's Fourth District, comparing election returns and profiling recent members of Congress in an effort to determine whether Fiorina's theory holds true in this part of the Sooner State. You can view the exhibit online, and decide for yourself, at


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