Sean Diament

Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics
  • Expertise


    Sean Diament’s research and teaching interests broadly encompass the politics of poverty, political inequality (including class, race, gender, migration, and spatiotemporality), power and conflict, American political development (ideas and institutions), the U.S. Congress, representation, policymaking and public policy (primarily social welfare and health), political geography, social epidemiology, multi-method research, and political science epistemological construction and pedagogy.

    His dissertation and first book project entitled Dividing the Poor explores how poor people were virtually represented by largely non-poor lawmakers during the pathbreaking New Deal period in Congressional history. Understanding the varied conceptions of the poor through Congressional discourse sheds light on how lawmakers selectively incorporated some of the poor into the nascent welfare state while excluding others. This conscious division of the poor consequently restructured the American polity for generations, lifting some out of penury while entrenching the poverty conditions of others. Thus, the work showcases the conscious role of politics in the perpetuation of poverty in the United States.

    Professor Diament recently completed collaborative research with students through Pomona's generous Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Summer 2023. The project investigated the heretofore unexplained role of the U.S. Congress in legislating Jim Crow—a system of racial hierarchy through “separate but equal” segregation. Primary source research revealed scores of heretofore under-excavated Jim Crow laws in the period from 1860 to 1960. These laws fall into seven policy tracks spanning education policy in the District of Columbia, public land grants for state colleges, statehood admission, bathing pools in D.C., national defense employment, school lunches, and hospital construction. Overall, the project uncovers that racialized statebuilding through Jim Crow is a nuanced and conflicted story, simultaneously breaking through Solid South Democratic opposition to deliver needed benefits to African Americans in the South, while further entrenching structural racism within American political institutions and public policy provision on an even greater scale than previously understood.

  • Work


    Diament, Sean M., Ayşe Kaya, and Ellen B. Magenheim. 2022. “Frames That Matter: Increasing the Willingness to Get the Covid-19 Vaccines.” Social Science & Medicine 292: 114562 (1-10).

    Diament, Sean M. 2021. “[Book Review of] Let Them Eat Tweets.Political Science Quarterly 136 (4): 767-767.

    Diament, Sean M., Adam J. Howat, and Matthew J. Lacombe. 2018. “Gender Representation in the American Politics Canon: An Analysis of Core Graduate Syllabi.PS: Political Science & Politics 51 (3): 635-640.

    Diament, Sean M., Adam J. Howat, and Matthew J. Lacombe. 2017. “What is the ‘Canon’ in American Politics? Analyses of Core Graduate Syllabi.” Journal for Political Science Education 13 (3): 256-278.

    Diament, Sean M. 2013. “The Pragmatic Idealist: An Exposition and Review of Alan Cranston – Senator from California: Making a ‘Dent in the World’ by Judith Robinson.” California Journal of Politics and Policy 5 (4): 755–767.

  • Education


    Ph.D., Northwestern University

    M.A., Northwestern University

    B.A., University of California, Berkeley

    IGETC fulfilled, El Camino College

    Recent Courses Taught

    • POLI 3: Introduction to American Politics
    • POLI 89A: Power! Across Space, Time and Culture
    • POLI 131: Unbridled Power? The U.S. Presidency
    • POLI 189F: Political Inequality in the U.S.
    • POLI 189G: Negotiating the U.S. Policyscape

    • ID1: Power! Across Space and Time

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    • Pomona College: Awarded Faculty and Student Conference Travel Grant ('23); Granted Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) Research Assistants (’23); Wig Teaching Innovation Grant (’23); Faculty Large Research Grant (’22-’23)
    • Swarthmore College: Faculty Research Support Grant (’21-’22; ’20-’21); Project Pericles Up to Us Voting Modules, Senior Fellow (’21-’22) and Fellow (’21)
    • Northwestern University: Department of Political Science Teaching Certificate (’17); Political Science Department Committee Sponsorship to the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (’16); Political Science American Field Exam, Pass with Distinction (’15); Northwestern TGS Travel Grant for the American Political Science Association annual meeting (’15); Political Science Department Methods Training Grant for Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (’15); Graduate Fellow in Legal Studies (GFILS) (’15-’22); Institute for Policy Research Graduate Research Assistant (’14-’15); Minar Memorial Summer Research Grant (’18; ’16; ’14); Northwestern University Fellowship (’17-’18; ’13-’14)
    • University of California, Berkeley: Graduated with High Distinction (’12); UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) Fellowship (’11); Cal Alumni Association Leadership Award (’10); Full Undergraduate Scholarship (’10-’12)
    • El Camino College: El Camino College 2010 Presidential Scholar of the Year, Finalist (’10); ECC Honors Transfer Program, Award of Achievement & Award of Academic Excellence (’10); University of California, Berkeley Transfer Alliance Project/Jack Kent Cooke Summer Enrichment Fellowship (’09); El Camino College Dean’s List (’07-’10)