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Marc J. Hetherington


Marc Hetherington is Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He studies the American electorate, with a particular focus on the polarization of public opinion. He is the author of three scholarly books, the most recent of which, Why Washington Won’t Work won the Alexander George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology, as the best book in the field of political psychology published in 2015. His second book, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics co-authored with Jonathan Weiler, won the Philip Converse Award in 2016 from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the APSA. Taken together, these two awards have led many to wonder what is wrong with his first book, Why Trust Matters. In 2004, Marc was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association. He has published more than a dozen articles in a wide range of top scholarly journals and also won several college and university teaching awards. 


Representative publications

  • Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (with Thomas J. Rudolph), University of Chicago Press, 2015.
  • Authoritarianism in Black and White: Testing the Cross-Racial Validity of the Child Rearing Scale (with Efren O. Perez). Political Analysis. 22(3): 398-412.
  • How Trust Matters: The Changing Political Relevance of Political Trust (with Jason A. Husser). American Journal of Political Science. 56(2012):312-325.
  • Hetherington, Marc J. "Putting Polarization in Perspective." British Journal of Political Science 39(2009): 413-448.
  • Hetherington, Marc J., and Jonathan Weiler. Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2009.    
  • Hethertington, Marc J., and Thomas J. Rudolph. "Priming, Performance, and the Dynamics of Political Trust." Journal of Politics 70(2008): 498-512.