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Thomas Halper
American politics, constitutional law

David Jones
American politics, the U.S. Congress, and methodology, political behavior, legislative politics

Keena Lipsitz
Political communication, political behavior, and democratic theory

Ruth O'Brien
American political development, social movements, intersectionality and identity politics, and American political thought/theory

Frances Fox Piven
political movements, electoral politics, the welfare state

Andrew Polsky
American politics, government and American political development

Stanley Renshon
political psychology, American politics, political behavior

Kenneth Sherrill
American politics, public opinion, gay & lesbian politics

Charles Tien
American politics, congress, quantitative research methods, representation of minorities and women in the U.S. Congress


American Politics

American politics focuses on five subfields: national institutions, processes and behavior, political thought, federalism and intergovernmental relations, and constitutional law and judicial politics. Students begin their study by taking a wide ranging core course, American Politics, that surveys these subfields, covering classic works and new cutting edge material and highlighting controversies in the literature. At the same time, students may choose from foundation courses as the Presidency, Congress, and Constitutional Law, and later move on to research seminars on topics including political polarization, public opinion and electoral behavior, and American political development.

The American politics faculty, intellectually and methodologically diverse, understands that students are also intellectually and methodologically diverse. Since one approach will not fit all, students are encouraged to explore the field to discover the theoretical and substantive problems they find most intriguing. Specific interests of the faculty include the nation's response to poverty, American political development, the political psychology of presidential leadership, disability policy in the workplace, judicial reasoning, political polarization, political psychology, civil liberties, and American political development.

This subfield features studies in these areas:

  • American political thought
  • National institutions
  • Constitutional law and judicial behavior
  • Political processes and behavior (voting, parties, and public opinion)
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Federalism and intergovernmental relations