Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI)




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Richard Hanania


Think tank

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The Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) is a right-of-center think tank which studies biases in the media, universities, and the scientific community. The organization primarily reports on bias against conservatives. CSPI provides research grants of $2,000-$15,000 to applicants to study incidents or trends of bias against conservatives. 1

The organization is also notable for its publication of research in opposition to COVID-19 lockdown policies. 2

Areas of Study

Center for Study of Partisanship focuses on five “areas of interest” that examine the rise of partisanship in the United States and bias against conservatives. 3

The “Great Awokening”

CSPI studies the impact of what left-progressive journalist Matt Yglesias (formerly of Vox) has called the “Great Awokening,” a strong leftward shift among American liberals on social issues, especially regarding gender, race, and sexuality. CSPI has argued that the origins and implications of this intellectual trend have been understudied, particularly the discrimination against conservatives in academia and the media that has resulted from it. 4

The Replication Crisis and Political Bias in Social Psychology

CSPI studies the “replication crisis,” an ongoing concern in the scientific community starting in the early 2010s that refers to the high rate at which scientific papers have failed to replicate, undermining their findings. The replication crisis has hit so-called “soft” sciences the hardest, particularly social psychology. 5

CSPI is exploring the connection between scientific studies that fail to replicate in social psychology and the lef-progressive political views which are common among social psychologists. CSPI has alleged that such biases may be making scientific research in social psychology less accurate. 6

The Tension Between Tribalism and Morality

CSPI has argued that tribalism and morality are the two primary driving factors behind political beliefs, though the organization has also claimed that these two factors are in conflict for most people. The organization conducts studies on how individuals reconcile this conflict. 7

Populism and Anti-Left Backlash as a Global Phenomenon

CSPI studies the rise of right-wing populist movements around the world, arguing that they rose in reaction to left-wing hegemony in Europe and the United States. 8

Racial Minorities and Political Psychology

CSPI studies allegedly underexamined aspects of political psychology among American racial minorities. For instance, CSPI claims that political analysts tend to ignore Hispanic and African American voters who support the Republican Party and allegedly face prejudice from the Democratic Party. CSPI seeks to research the political motivations of these ethnic minority groups. 9


In November 2020, the Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology published a report claiming that cultural factors outranked economic factors in driving American politics and elections. The report’s surveys revealed that supporters of former President Donald Trump tended to be motivated by cultural rather than economic issues, and that opponents of President Trump were more likely to favor his economic policies over his cultural outlook. The study contends that attempts to reorganize the Republican Party around populist economic policies would be unsuccessful and likely hurt the party’s electoral strength. 10

In March 2021, CSPI released a research report detailing trends of bias against conservatives in American, Canadian, and British universities. The report used surveys to discover that over 40% of American and Canadian school administrators would not hire a supporter of former President Trump, while one third of British administrators would not hire a supporter of Brexit. 90% of Brexit supporters and 80% of President Trump supporters working in universities did not feel comfortable publicly expressing their views. Though the report found that only a small percentage of left-leaning administrators and faculty support the “canceling” of conservatives, individuals with this view have outsized control over universities. The CSPI report found that this “hostile” and “authoritarian” climate has discouraged conservative students from entering graduate school and applying for academic jobs. 11

Also in March 2021, CSPI published “The Case Against Lockdowns,” an analysis of the available data on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries that used weaker or stronger lockdowns. The analysis found that there was little difference in the number of infections and deaths in countries, regardless of their lockdown policies. For instance, Sweden utilized little-to-no lockdowns and ended up with a comparable per capita number of deaths to the European Union’s average. CSPI argued that personal behavior had a far greater impact on COVID-19 transmission than laws, as vulnerable people would isolate themselves and less vulnerable people would ignore isolation tactics. As a result, the report found that lockdown laws had little-to-no effectiveness, but had considerable economic and behavioral costs. 12


  1. “Apply for Research Grants.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  2. Lemoine, Philippe. “The Case against Lockdowns.” CSPI. March 4, 2021. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  3. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  4. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  5. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  6. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  7. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  8. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  9. “Areas of Interest.” CSPI. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  10. Hawley, George. “The National Populist Illusion: Why Culture, Not Economics, Drives American Politics.” CSPI. November 30, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  11. Kaufmann, Eric. “Academic Freedom in Crisis: Punishment, Political Discrimination, and Self-Censorship.” CSPI. March 1, 2021. Accessed May 29, 2021.
  12. Lemoine, Philippe. “The Case against Lockdowns.” CSPI. March 4, 2021. Accessed May 29, 2021.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2020

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI)

    SAN GABRIEL, CA 91775-1127