Scholar Profiles

Matthew Xu

Campus: Duke

Hometown: West Windsor, NJ

Pronouns: he/him/his

What are you curious about and what do you hope to explore during your time as a Scholar? 

I want to explore the intersection between human nature, politics, and society. This is because I want to learn about how our evolutionary biology plays a role in modern issues such as political polarization. I believe that this contextualization of societal problems is critical for creating solutions. Building upon this, I want to learn more about how perceived monoliths affect political narratives, policy-making, and outcomes. More specifically, I’m interested in applying this knowledge to immigration policy, where I’ve seen first-hand how rhetoric can drive outcomes.

I also look forward to connecting the past, present, and future. I want to examine issues such as the implications of great-power competition through the lens of Cold War foreign policy. I want to debate the ethics of genome editing with different historical moral frameworks. I want to analyze the impacts of political violence on democracy through the history of the late Roman Republic. However, what I’m looking forward to the most are ideas that I’ve never heard of that will baffle and challenge me during RLSP.

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