Senior Lecturer, Griffith Business School
Dr Karen Stenner completed her doctoral dissertation in Political Psychology and American Politics at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She taught at Duke University (1996-1998), and Princeton University (1998-2005), before returning to her hometown of Brisbane and joining Griffith in 2009. Stenner has broad interests in both American and comparative politics, often relying on cross-national data to test general theories of political behaviour that span time and place. She has particular interest in psychological predispositions regulating racism, intolerance of difference, and preference for freedom and democracy. In her latest research she argues that different populations around the world -- due both to enduring psychological predispositions, and shifting demographic constraints -- vary widely in their interest in, and capacity to sustain democratic arrangements. This research raises fundamental questions about the effectiveness of Western interventions around the world, and the extent to which our foreign policy is being driven -- with great cost, and little benefit -- by an irrational faith in the 'religion' of democracy.
- Political psychology, especially racism and intolerance of difference; gender socialization and political leadership.
- American Politics, especially political and electoral behaviour, and the roles played by fear, threat and insecurity.
- Comparative Politics, especially cross-national and inter-ethnic analyses of anti-democratic orientations, and the constraints they impose on democratic 'success'.
- Stenner, K 2009, 'Three Kinds of "Conservatism"', Psychological Inquiry, vol. 20, pp.142-159.
- Stenner, K 2009, "'Conservatism', Context-Dependence, and Cognitive Incapacity", Psychological Inquiry vol. 20, pp.189-195.
- Stenner, K 2005, The Authoritarian Dynamic, Cambridge, New York.
Conference and Seminar Papers
- Stenner, K 2011, 'Democracy Without Democrats: What Happens to Democratic Systems Without Democratic Peoples?', Invited seminar for The United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 21 April.
- Stenner, K 2010, 'Cross-National Analyses of Authoritarianism and Racial Inequality', Workshop on Inequality, jointly hosted by The United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, and Harvard University, Committee on Australian Studies, Sydney, 7-8 June.