Contact: Meredith Dickenson or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7654

March 18, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- J. Matthew Wilson, assistant professor of political science, will deliver the Spring 2002 Maguire Public Scholar Lecture presented by SMU Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 21.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception at 3:30 p.m. will precede the lecture, which will be in the Georges Auditorium in the Crow Building, Cox School of Business, Room 175, 6214 Bishop Blvd. For more information, contact the Maguire Center at 214-768-4225.

In his lecture "Moral Vision and the New American Politics," Wilson will discuss the emergence of moral issues as a force in U.S. elections, and how over the past three decades they have replaced economic themes with the two major parties. He will trace when moral issues began to take on more significance in U.S. politics, outline their present influence, and speculate on the political future of a society divided by irreconcilable moral visions.

Wilson has taught at SMU since 1999. He received his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. in political science from Duke University, where he wrote his dissertation Group Identity and Political Behavior in the United States. Wilson's research focuses on political behavior, psychology and methodology, as well as the relationship between politics and race and politics and religion. He currently is working on two books, one dealing with how voters assign credit or blame for social and political events, the other examining the political behavior of American Catholics.

A $2.5 million gift to SMU from Dallas oilman Cary M. Maguire established the Maguire Center in 1995. Since its inception, this universitywide center has hosted conferences on business ethics, managed care, media ethics, philanthropy, contracts and promises, urban politics and college athletics. The Maguire Center serves as a forum for the exploration of the common good and brings together, with resources and opportunities for ethical reflection, those who confront issues of ethical importance.