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American politics cannot be studied at UCSD in isolation from the work being done by comparativists, international relations specialists, and theorists. American specialists within the program attempt to facilitate discussions with others by embedding discussions of American institutions and practices into broad theoretical and comparative perspectives.

The research group strives to work at the intersection of American institutions and American behavior. Each strives to answer questions that push understanding of American politics from both the bottom up and the top down.

The faculty within the department include specialists on most aspects of American politics. We have a strong and sizable group of scholars studying race, ethnicity and politics in the US, including Marisa Abrajano, LaGina Gause, Zoli Hajnal, and Tom Wong, as well as in other countries (see Comparative Politics). Marisa Abrajano has published widely on racial and ethnic inequalities in the political system, particularly with political participation, voting and campaigns, and the mass media. LaGina Gause specializes in U.S. political institutions and political behavior with a focus on racial and ethnic politics, inequality, protest, and representation. Pamela Ban is a leader in the use of novel data sources to study the dynamics of American political institutions such as Congress, interest groups, and federal policy-making. Ben Noble researches the U.S. presidency and executive-legislative separation of powers using text-as-data methods. James Fowler is a leader in the fields of social networks and political genetics. Thad Kousser is a leader in the field of state politics. Seth Hill has published widely on representation, campaigns, and elections.

Students in American politics are required to take the core course sequences in both principles and methods in addition to two core field seminars (see Field Requirements for more detail). The department offers graduate seminars on American topics such as American Political Behavior, American Political Development, Subnational Government, Racial Politics, Immigration, Advanced Statistical Methods, and Game Theory. Workshops in American Politics introduce students to new scholarship presented by faculty and visiting scholars and permit advanced graduate students to present their research.

American Politics Faculty

  • Marisa A. Abrajano, Professor. PhD, NYU. American politics
  • Pamela Ban, Assistant Professor, PhD, Harvard University. American politics and political economy
  • Amy B. Bridges, Emeritus Professor. PhD, University of Chicago. American politics, urban politics
  • Steven P. Erie, Emeritus Professor. PhD, University of California, Los Angeles. American politics, urban politics
  • James H. Fowler, Professor, Political Science and Medicine. PhD, Harvard University. American Politics, Methodology
  • LaGina Gause, Assistant Professor. PhD, University of Michigan. American politics
  • Zoltan L. Hajnal, Professor. PhD,University of Chicago. American politics, ethnic politics
  • Daniel C. Hallin, Adjunct Professor, Communications. PhD, UC Berkeley. Political Behavior, politics of mass communication
  • Seth J. Hill, Professor. PhD, UCLA. American politics, political methodology, representation, voting behavior, and campaigns and elections
  • Peter H. Irons, Emeritus Professor. PhD,Boston University. JD Harvard University. Public law and politics
  • Gary C. Jacobson, Distinguished Emeritus Professor. PhD, Yale University. American politics, Congress, elections
  • Samuel Kernell, Distinguished Emeritus Professor. PhD,UC Berkeley. American politics, presidency
  • Thaddeus B. Kousser, Professor. PhD, UC Berkeley. Legislatures and Legislative Elections, California Politics
  • Richard G. Kronick, Adjunct Professor, Family and Preventive Medicine. PhD, University of Rochester. Health policy
  • Sanford A. Lakoff, Emeritus Professor. PhD, Harvard University. Political thought, science and public policy
  • Benjamin Noble, Assistant Professor. PhD, Washington University in Saint Louis. American Politics, political methodology, presidency, legislatures, separation of powers.
  • Agustina Paglayan, Assistant Professor. PhD, Stanford University. Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Public Policy, American Politics, Quantitative and Archival Methods
  • Samuel L. Popkin, Emeritus Professor. PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Voting Behavior, comparative politics