Christopher Sebastian Parker (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2001) is the Stuart A. Scheingold Professor of Social Justice and Political Science in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. His first book, Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle Against White Supremacy in the Postwar South (Princeton University Press, 2009), winner of the American Political Science Association's Ralph J. Bunche Award, takes a fresh approach to the civil rights movement by gauging the extent to which black veterans contributed to social change. A second book, Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America (Princeton University Press, 2013, with Matt Barreto), explores the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of the Tea Party. This book won the American Political Science Association's award for the best book in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Another book (with Matt Barreto), also in progress, The Great White Hope: Donald Trump, Race, and the Crisis of American Democracy (University of Chicago Press, under contract), examines the causes, and political consequences of Trump’s election. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, Annual Review of Political Science, Annual Review of Sociology, and the Du Bois Review. Parker’s work has also appeared, or been featured in, the New York Times,, the Washington Post,, the American Prospect, Talking Points Memo, The Brookings Institution,, and The Conversation. He has also appeared on MSNBC, PBS, C-SPAN, anf the History Channel. He resides in Seattle with his dog, Brooklyn.


"Change They Can't Believe In offers valuable empirical data on the Tea Party, and its focus on supporters' antagonism toward Obama is critical to understanding the movement."

Michael O'Donnell, New Republic

[A] rigorous scholarly investigation of the tea party. . . . Parker and Barreto make the case that tea party supporters are driven above all by 'anxiety incited by Obama as President.' Intuitively, this may already make sense to many readers, but the authors muster the evidence in support, dividing and subdividing different categories of political activity and belief to arrive at a firm basis for their conclusion. . . . [S]upported by reasoned facts in place of political passions.

Kirkus Reviews

[Parker and Barreto's] statistically informed analysis helps us understand the Tea Party's priorities, its fervor, and its contempt for compromise.

Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post

In Change They Can't Believe In, Parker and Barreto examine the emergence of the Tea Party in the wake of the Obama presidency. . . . In addition to marshaling a great deal of original data, the authors capably place the Tea Party movement in a historical context.