Join UEA students & experts as the US election unfolds

Published by  Communications

On 23rd Oct 2020

Person peeling an 'I voted' sticker from a strip with USA flag in the background

Political experts and students from the University of East Anglia (UEA) will join universities from across the world in an online debate of the US presidential election on November 3. 

Hosted by the University of South Wales (USW), the 24-hour online show – Decision 2020 Academic Live Review – will feature academics and students from 12 universities.

The group from UEA’s School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies will produce a segment focusing on religion and the election. Professor of Faith and Global Politics Lee Marsden is leading the analysis with students Megan Free, Joe Eastoe, Ellie O’Donnell, Yingyan Qiu and Rebekah Wakefield.

Prof Marsden said: “This is an excellent opportunity for our Politics students to be involved in a meaningful way with an election that holds implications for the entire world, not just the United States. 

“The role of religion has always played a part in modern US presidential races, but perhaps more so since 2016, when the majority of evangelical Christians put their trust in political novice Donald Trump. In this election cycle, we are keeping a close eye on that trend, while examining whether people of faith – and Christians in particular – give their backing to Joe Biden.”

The broadcast will run in parallel with the US election, with USW Global Governance and Journalism students anchoring the broadcast and connecting student teams around the world. The UEA team will be broadcasting live at 1.30 to 3.00 GMT on Nov 4. The programme – including the UEA segment – can be viewed on: https://www.youtube.com/user/UniSouthWales

The other UK institutions involved in the live show include Birmingham University; the University of Stirling; City, University of London; Loughborough University; and SOAS University of London. Their experts will comment on US foreign policy and NATO; the role of religion in elections; the implication of the election result on global security; and power, privilege, race, and ethnicity.

Over the 24-hour broadcast universities from across the globe will explore other key election issues. The University of Otago in New Zealand will focus on climate change, the environment & the Pacific. Australia’s University of Sydney specialists will look at the mechanics of voting and media coverage of elections. A group from Pune University in India will focus on Senator Kamala Harris, who is Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate for vice president. University of São Paulo experts will look at the election’s impact on Brazil, and Cameron University of Oklahoma academics will analyse the impact of the outcome on US foreign policy.

Professor Bela Arora from USW is the academic lead on the project. 

Prof Arora said: “Each team will be working remotely from their own institutions and given a 90-minute segment in the show to comment on their particular subject and expertise.

“This can include videos to introduce themselves, one-to-one interviews, a panel discussion, and possible pre-recorded pieces with an individual talking a key theme of the election.”

The project is being run in collaboration with 3PH Group Production and media professionals and is being sponsored by the British International Studies Association, City University and the USW.

Susanne Weber, who has worked in international broadcasting for the BBC for more than 20 years, is taking on the role of executive producer and skills development lead.

Ms Weber said: “Throughout the event we’ll be keeping an eye on international rolling news coverage and looking for responses to the breaking headlines from those involved.”

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