Kirk, a professor of political science and policy studies at Elon, is the author of the 2021 book "Rising Star: The Meaning of Nikki Haley, Trump’s Unlikely Ambassador."
In his 2021 book, “Rising Star,” Professor Jason Kirk detailed the political path of Nikki Haley to become governor of South Carolina and later be tapped by President Donald Trump to be ambassador to the United Nations and a member of his cabinet.
Now Haley is in the middle of a bid to beat out the former president for the Republican presidential nomination, with the primary election in the state she once led as governor standing as the next test of her candidacy. Kirk has drawn upon his knowledge of Haley’s political acumen and experience to offer insights into how her path to becoming a presidential contender is impacting her candidacy in a column for the U.K. media outlet The Telegraph.
Published earlier this month, Kirk’s column titled “Nikki Haley – the Republican taking on Donald Trump to become president” details how Haley is drawing upon her time within the Trump administration as she takes on the former president.
From the column:
Ms. Haley has already been the future – or one possible future – of the Republican Party. As a young governor she was a “rising star”, and the thinking went that a candidate like her might hold the key to a post-Obama GOP intent on showing her party’s own diversity. A competence-first candidate, but a likeable and relatable one who could appeal to moderate Republicans, Independents, and even curious Democrats – the GOP’s own appeal to those who both voted for “Hope and Change” in 2008 and later fell in with the Tea Party backlash to follow. She was against both the Big Government response to the global financial crisis and the Bush-Cheney policies that had engorged and overextended the national security state in the Global War on Terrorism.
Read the full column for more details of Kirk’s analysis of Haley’s candidacy.
A professor within the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon, Kirk’s main scholarly interests are in the politics of India, with his doctoral dissertation on the evolution of World Bank assistance to India laying the foundation for his 2010 book, “India and the World Bank: The Politics of Aid and Influence,” published by Anthem Press. He developed an interest in Indian American political participation that would lead to his 2021 book, “Rising Star: The Meaning of Nikki Haley, Trump’s Unlikely Ambassador,” published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2023 Kirk coauthored a teaching text with Vikash Yadav of Hobart and William Smith Colleges titled “The Politics of India Under Modi: An Introduction to India’s Democracy, Economy, and Foreign Policy.”