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The Department of Political Science is a diverse group of active scholars dedicated to intellectual discovery and teaching excellence.

Department News and Announcements

  • Brooke Ackerly. 2018.  Just Responsibility: A Human Rights Theory of Global Justice. Oxford University Press.
  • Cindy D. Kam and Camille D. Burge.  2018.  “Uncovering Reactions to the Racial Resentment Scale Across the Racial Divide.”  Journal of Politics 80(1): 314-320.
  • Noam Lupu  and Kristin Michelitch. 2018. "Advances in Survey Methods for the Developing World." Annual Review of Political Science 21:1.
  • Jaimie Bleck and Kristin Michelitch. 2018. “Is Women’s Empowerment Associated with Political Knowledge and Opinions? Evidence from Rural Mali.” World Development.
  • Guy Grossman and Kristin Michelitch. 2018. "Information Dissemination, Competitive Pressure, and Politician Performance between Elections: A Field Experiment in Uganda." American Political Science Review, 1-22. doi:10.1017/S0003055417000648
  • Brooke Ackerly, José Miguel Cruz, Anna Carella, and Bishawjit Mallick. 2017. “Measuring Critical Theories of Human Rights,” in Interpretive Quantification, eds. J. Samuel Barkin and Laura Sjoberg, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 29-50.
  • Allison Archer and Joshua D. Clinton. 2017. “Changing Owners, Changing Content: Does Who Own the News Matter for the News?” Political Communication.
  • Oscar Castorena and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2017. Representing the National Economic Agenda in Latin America: Variation by Fat and Lean Times and Party Brands. Electoral Studies 45: 208-218.
  • David Bateman, Joshua D. Clinton and John Lapinski. 2017. “A House Divided? Roll Calls, Polarization, and Policy Differences in the U.S. House, 1877-2011.” American Journal of Political Science, 69(3): 698-714.
  • Mollie Cohen. 2017. “Protesting via the Null Ballot: An Assessment of the Decision to Cast an Invalid Vote in Latin America.”  Political Behavior, First Online, May:
  • Jon Hiskey and Mason W. Moseley. 2017. “Severed Linkages: Distorted Accountability in Uneven Regimes.” Comparative Political Studies.  Published online at
  • Cindy D. Kam and Marc J. Trussler.  2017.  “At the Nexus of Experimental and Observational Research: Theory, Specification, and Analysis of Experiments with Heterogeneous Treatment Effects.”  Political Behavior 39(4):789-815
  • Adam Seth Levine and Cindy Kam.  2017. “Organizations, Credibility, and the Psychology of Collective Action.” Political Communication, 34(2): 200-220..
  • Cindy KamAllison Archer, and John Geer.  2017.  "Courting the Women's Vote: The Emotional, Cognitive, and Persuasive Effects of Gender-Based Appeals in Campaign Advertisements.” Political Behavior.  39(1): 51-75. 
  • Noam Lupu and Leonid Peisakhin. 2017. “The Legacy of Political Violence across Generations.” American Journal of Political Science, 61(4): 836-851.
  • Guy Grossman, Kristin Michelitch, and Marta Santamaria. 2017. “Texting Complaints to Politicians: Name Personalization and Politicians’ Encouragement in Citizen Mobilization.” Comparative Political Studies 50(10): 1325-1357.
  • Jamie Bleck and Kristin Michelitch. 2017. “Capturing the Airwaves, Capturing the Nation? A Field Experiment on State-Run Media Effects in the Wake of a Coup” Journal of Politics 79(3): 873-889.
  • Mark D. Richardson, Joshua D. Clinton and David E. Lewis. 2017. “Elite Perceptions of Agency Ideology and Workplace Skill,” Journal of Politics, 80(1): 303-308.
  • Tariq Thachil. 2017. “Do Rural Migrants Divide Ethnically in the City? Ethnographic and Experimental Evidence From India.” American Journal of Political Science, 61, 4 (October): 908-926
  • Barber, Michael J., Brandice Canes-Wrone, and Sharece Thrower. 2017. “Ideologically Sophisticated Donors: Which Candidates Do Individual Contributors Finance?” American Journal of Political Science 61(2): 271-288.
  • Sharece Thrower. 2017. “To Revoke or Not Revoke? The Political Determinants of Executive Order Longevity.” American Journal of Political Science, 61(3): 642-656.
  • Sheahan Virgin. 2017. “Competing Loyalties in Electoral Reform: An Analysis of the U.S. Electoral College.” Electoral Studies,
    49: 38–48.
  • Matthew Hitt, Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman. 2017. “Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness.” American Journal of Political Science. 61(3): 575-590.
  • Lenka Bustikova and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2017. “Voting in New(er) Democracies.” Chapter in Arzheimer, Kai, Jocelyn Evans, and Michael S. Lewis-Beck. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour. SAGE Publications.
  • Mirya Holman, Jennifer L. Merolla, and Elizabeth Zechmeister. 2017. “Can Experience Overcome Stereotypes in Times of Terror Threat?” Research & Politics 4(1): 1-7.
  • Noam Lupu and Liz Zechmeister have been named advisers to an initiative called Social Science One, an independent research study which will investigate the impact of Facebook on democracy and elections around the globe.
  • We're proud to announce the winners of the department awards recognizing undergraduates this year -
    • The Avery Leiserson Award winner for best undergraduate paper is Mary Catherine Cook, the Alexander Heard Award winner for the graduating senior with the highest GPA among Political Science majors is Elizabeth Mary Winter, and the James L Ray Award winner for the Senior Political Science major who exemplifies outstanding service and leadership within the Political Science department and the University is Kelsey Marie Clinton.
  • Suzanne Globetti was recognized with the Robert H. Birkby Award as a professor of political science who exemplifies excellence in teaching marked by a commitment to inspiring undergraduate students in their pursuit for intellectual growth in the field of political science.
  • Kaitlen Cassell and Drew Engelhardt were recently awarded Summer Research Grants by Vanderbilt University to carry out research for their dissertations.
  • Adam Wolsky recently received a Center for Latin American Studies Summer Research Grant to carry out pre-dissertation research this summer.
  • Amanda Clayton’s paper with co-authors Jennifer Piscopo and Diana O'Brien, entitled "All Male Panels? Representation and Democratic Legitimacy" was awarded the 2017 MPSA Sophonisba Breckinridge Award for best paper on the topic of women and politics. 
  • Suzanne Globetti was awarded the 2017 Harriet S. Gilliam Award for Excellence in Teaching from Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science.
  • Jon Hiskey was awarded the 2017 Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teach from Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science.
  • Alan Wiseman recently received the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguised University Professor Award during Vanderbilt's Spring Faculty Assembly.
  • Kristin Michelitch received the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship for her research collaborating with a Ugandan civil society organization to hold politicians accountable for job performance. The main paper from this work “Information Dissemination, Competitive Pressure, and Politician Performance between Elections: A Field Experiment in Uganda” has appeared in the discipline’s flagship journal, the American Political Science Review, in 2018An additional paper, Texting Complaints to Politicians: Name Personalization and Politicians’ Encouragement in Citizen Mobilization” was published in Comparative Political Studies in 2017, and more papers are to follow.
  • Congratulations to Allison Anoll  and Larry Bartels for winning two of the top awards of the International Society of Political Psychology this summer! Allison received the Best Dissertation Award in the field of Political Psychology for her dissertation entitled “Race, Place, and Political Action: How Social Norms and Segregation Shape Participation in America.” Larry, along with co-author Christopher Achen, received the David O. Sears Book Award for the best book published in the field of Mass Politics in the previous year for their book Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government.
  • Graduate student Anna Carella received the Rising Star Award from Tennessee United for Human Rights for her work locally and in other parts of the world to help others in need and with Advocates for Women’s and Kids’ Equality (AWAKE).
  • Noam Lupu was awarded the Jack Walker Award at the 2016 APSA meetings for his article “Brand Dilution and the Breakdown of Political Parties in Latin America,” published in World Politics. The Jack Walker Award is given by the Political Organizations and Parties Section of APSA for “an article published in the last two calendar years that makes an outstanding contribution to research and scholarship on political organizations and parties.
  • Congratulations to Alan Wiseman - the Legislative Effectiveness Project will expand, funded by a $200,000 grant from The Madison Initiative. The project was created by Prof. Wiseman and Craig Volden of the University of Virginia.
  • Elizabeth Zechmeister, professor of political science, was honored with the Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching by The College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt.
  • Carrie Russell, senior lecturer in political science, received the Harriet S. Gilliam Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Senior Lecturer or Lecturer. The award was given by Vanderbilt Arts and Science students and faculty peers.
  • Kristin Michelitch's research appeared in Vanderbilt's article, "Study: Transparency, competition key to improving legislators’ performance"
  • Bruce Oppenheimer recently appeared on News Channel 5’s Inside Politics to discuss the government shut down, tax legislation, and the upcoming midterm elections.
  • John Geer and Josh Clinton held a press conference in December as part of the release of the latest results from the Tennessee Poll, a project housed in the Department of Political Science.
  • James Booth was invited to speak at the American Philosophical Association Annual Meeting in January on “Why Monuments Matter.” James also will give a lecture entitled “Addressing Historical Injustice” to the University of Virginia’s Department of Political Science in February 2018.
  • Josh Clinton was invited to participate in the Russell Sage Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Conference on the Social, Political, and Economic Effects of the Affordable Care Act in New York.
  • An article by Mitch Seligson and Orlando Pérez, entitled “Hondurans are in the streets because they don’t believe their election results” appeared in the online blog Monkey Cage on December 19, 2017.
  • Jon Hiskey was invited to participate in a two-day workshop entitled “Protecting the Rights of Individuals Fleeing Conflict: The Role of Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals,” sponsored by the Committee on Human Rights of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, D.C., December 7-8, 2017.
  • Along with many of the department’s faculty, a large contingent of our graduate students will be heading to Chicago in April for the 76th annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference. Among those presenting papers at the meeting will be Adam Wolsky, Oscar Castorena, Drew Engelhardt, Bryce Williams-Tuggle, Claire Evans. James Martherus, Maggie Deichert, Michael Shepherd, HeeJu Jang, Marc Trussler, and Scott Limbocker
  • Dave Lewis was named President of the Southern Political Science Association for 2018.


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