Louis H. Bolce


The Political Science Department is saddened to announce the passing of our friend and colleague Louis “Tracy” Bolce on November 24, 2017. Tracy, a native of Ohio, was educated at the University of Cincinnati (BA, MA, PhD).  His scholarship concentrated on public opinion, political parties, and elections. 

Tracy’s early work focused on urban riots and the emerging African-American middle class.  His American Political Science Review article with Abraham Miller and Mark Halligan, testing James Davis’ relative deprivation thesis’s applicability to the riots of the 1960s, generated a lively debate in that prestigious journal.

Tracy was a valued member of the Political Science Department at Baruch College since 1981. During his time at Baruch, he was involved in research projects addressing the determinants contributing to the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, African American voting behavior, and the Christian Fundamentalist factor in contemporary American politics.  Like his earlier work, these too found outlets in well regarded journals.  Their findings were widely disseminated by journalists in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, the Atlantic, and many others.

Tracy was a good colleague and friend, who took his departmental responsibilities very seriously. A dedicated teacher, he was known among his students for his patience and kindness. Around the Department, Tracy enjoyed stopping by colleagues’ offices to chat about academic issues, current politics, and life in general.  We will miss him.

We extend our condolences to Tracy’s wife, Natasha, and to his family in Ohio.

The family and colleagues of Professor Louis “Tracy” Bolce (Baruch Political Science Department) invite you to attend a Memorial Mass at Saint Agnes Roman Catholic Church on Friday, March 9th at 3:30 pm. 

St. Agnes is located at 143 East 43rd Street, between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue.


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Professor Louis Bolce taught American Government and Politics, Public Opinion, Political Parties and Elections, and Religion and Politics.  He had a long-standing research interest in the anti-Evangelical/Christian fundamentalist phenomenon in contemporary American politics and in the realignment of the American political parties along a secular(ist) Democratic vs. religiously traditionalist Republican fault line since the early 1990s. His co-authored article (with Gerald De Maio) for The Public Interest has been credited with introducing the “religion gap” metaphor into the lexicon of elite political journalism.  He published in the American Political Science ReviewPolitical Science QuarterlyPolityThe Public InterestAmerican Politics ResearchSocial Science QuarterlyPublic Opinion QuarterlyFirst ThingsCrisis Magazine, and Presidential Studies Quarterly.  He also co-authored book chapters for Religion, Politics, and American Identity and  From Pews to Polling Places: Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic, among others.  His research was discussed on NPR, the McLaughlin Group, and was noted in articles appearing in First Things, The Weekly StandardThe Wilson Quarterly,  Atlantic,  Economist,  Chronicles of Higher EducationLos Angeles TimesNational Review, Wall Street JournalUS News and World Report, and New York Times.  For more information on his academic activities, please see his Google Scholar site.

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