Aaron King

Oct. 17, 2017

In today’s political climate, it’s safe to say that Aaron King has got his work cut out for him. As an assistant professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs, King thrives on introducing students to concepts that may challenge their world view.

“With a topic like politics, everyone has got a strong feeling about something,” he said. “Students often come to class with an agenda, their minds made up. While in the classroom, my goal is to make them think.”

Thinking, King said, is the key to compromise. His encourages students to consume political phenomena in a different way, not forgetting their beliefs, but changing the way they evaluate local, state, national and global concerns.

“Too many people believe that politics are very simple,” King said. “I want students to find the value in acknowledging that sometimes there’s not an obvious answer. These are tough, complicated issues. If you go into politics knowing that, it makes it a little bit more palatable.”

With 2017 being a municipal election year, one of the most important things voters can do, he said, is to be actively engaged.

“When people disengage from politics, they are leaving it to the people who are engaged,” he said. “Don’t choose to take yourself out of it. Your contribution can make a real difference.”

King’s research has focused on a variety of political topics from “nit-picky procedural stuff” to congressional elections and representation. With every election, his fascination with politics continues to grow.

“I can’t think of a field that is more relevant, or antagonizing, or dramatic than politics,” King said with a smile. “So for me to be able to try to study that and try to figure out what the heck is going on and why – is a lot of fun. What better time to be studying what’s going on than now?”

-- Christina Schechtman