Christian Hosam is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include race and politics, with particular interests in Black elite politics, coalition and conflict between communities of color, public health, and the politics of representation. His dissertation focuses on the Congressional Black Caucus, particularly how the activities of the Congressional Black Caucus align with those of the Black community and how that relationship has changed over time His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of American Democracy, and the Institute for Governmental Studies. His research has been published or is forthcoming in Sociological Forum and Politics, Groups, and Identities. He is also the co-author of Latino Politics, 3rd. Edition w/ Professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla.
How does the legislative behavior of the Congressional Black Caucus explain the stubbornness of racial oppression? Can representation save us? I argue that the CBC had a mandate at its inception to be a force for radical action but their entry was simultaneous with racial realignment in Congress. However, to remain relevant to Black communities, the Caucus had to shore up their reputation as racial representatives even as the cross-cutting cleavages that often lead to bill passage were less likely to occur. To test the idea that the Caucus has had to both try to "represent the race" while being unable to broker deals in Congress, I use data drawn from the CongressData dataset to show that while the types of bills that the Caucus supports remains highly keyed in to issues of racial justice, the types of policies that they are able to marshall to passage are less and less impactful over time
Major(s): PHD Candidate, Political Science