The Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, organised a talk by Prof. John Portz, Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University, Boston, Mass, USA on the upcoming US election that has evoked global curiosity. The lecture was held on 19 April 2024 in the Seminar Hall. Prof John Portz is currently a Fullbright-Nehru Distinguished Scholar affiliated with the Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. The talk was chaired by Dr S Shaji from the Department. Dr Sneha, also from the Department, was the discussant of the event.

Dr Shaji opened the event by pointing out how 2024 is ‘the year of elections. Several countries across the world are on the cusp of elections. The US election is an event that is eagerly followed since it has implications across the world. Dr Shaji also hinted at the impact the US election is likely to have on the Indian scenario, given the upcoming elections here.

Prof Portz, in his lecture, tried to give an overview of the US election. He started by giving a brief idea description of the candidates and the election process. He moved on to explain the campaign strategy and flagged the key issues that will determine the fate of the candidates in the coming elections. He spent some time discussing the money that was spent in the elections in the previous years, a much-debated and discussed topic currently in the Indian scenario. Subsequently, he discussed the impact that third-party and independent candidates have on the outcome of the election and concluded by sharing his thoughts on the coming election.

Dr Sneha Banerjee initiated the discussion after the session through her thought-provoking questions. Her questions included the issues of representation, the health of democracy, the effect of mass protests, abortion debates, voting machines and election expenditure among others. The excitement about the election was palpable amongst students and scholars. The lecture was followed by an engaging Q&A. Prof Portz appreciated the engagement. The session was concluded by a brief vote of thanks from Prof Kham Khan Suan Hausing, the coordinator of the event.

Contributed by – Shreya K Sugathan, Department of Political Science