Rich Haesly

Rich Haesly

I am an Associate Professor of Political Science here at California State University, Long Beach. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I have been at CSULB since 2001, where I was a lecturer for one year and was subsequently hired for a tenure-track position starting in 2002.


My primary research interests are in nationalism and national identities. My dissertation research emphasized the nature of Welsh and Scottish national identities in a climate of changing British identities and nascent European identities. This research project yielded several publications and has led me to develop a theory of “bounded imagined communities,” which I believe helps us to make the study of nationalism and national identities more political, rather than primarily historical.

I am currently working on a research project (in collaboration with my colleague, Dr. Liesl Haas), which investigates American national identities, with a particular emphasis on how these identities influence individuals’ policy preferences. This project has a number of related strands:

— “My Neighbor’s Keeper: Religious Identity, Community Membership and the Formation of Policy Preferences”

Our research explores the impact of community memberships on policy preference formation.  We hypothesize that individuals’ policy choices are fundamentally influenced by their identification with various communities, both local and national. For many Americans, church membership represents their primary local community, but this religious identification is embedded within, and inseparable from, the larger American society of which it is a part. Our research examines the role of church membership in encouraging individuals to develop policy positions on national issues, and we explore the conditions under which religiously active Americans are willing to alter their policy preferences. We will conduct focus groups with ten congregations in Los Angeles County and Orange County, CA. This forms part of a larger, book-length project on community membership, national identity and policy preference that will include a wide range of American communities.

We received funding from the American Political Science Association’s Small Grant Award for this project.

Recent Publications:

“Nationalism” Encyclopedia of American Political Culture Michael Shally-Jensen ed. (Invited contribution; in preparation).

Arthur Jones, Richard Gordon and Richard Haesly (2012). “International and Comparative Study of Best Practices” In Brian Fitch and Anthony Normore, eds. Education-Based Incarceration and Recidivism: The Ultimate Social Justice Crime Fighting Tool. Information Age Publishing.

2013: Book Review of Negotiating National Identities: Between Globalization, the Past and the Other. Reviewed for Nations and Nationalism 19 (1): 190-191.

2012: Book Review of Celtic Politics: Politics in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Reviewed for British Politics Group Quarterly #146.


My teaching interests are equally varied. While at CSULB I have taught (and continue to teach) the following courses:

Undergraduate Courses:

POSC 100 Intro to American Government
POSC 210 Issues in American Government (“How Democratic Is the United States?”)
POSC 220 Issues in Global Politics (“The Role of the US in a Changing World”)
POSC 300 Scope/Methods in Political Science
POSC 463 Nationalism and National Identities
POSC 479 Seminar in Comparative Politics (“Human Rights and Human Wrongs”)

Graduate Courses:

POSC 500 Foundation/Scope in POSC
POSC 610 Comparative Politics Graduate Seminar


I am also active in various activities in our department, college, university, the profession of political science and higher education more broadly. I am particularly interested in issues related to international education, research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and the role of liberal arts education in the larger society.