Neil O'Brian

Neil O'Brian's picture

Job Candidates

Congress, political parties, polarization, public opinion, institutions
Academic Subfields: 
American Politics

Graduate Students

Personal Statement: 

My research focuses on political parties, Congress, polarization and representation. 

My dissertation uses original archival research, secondary accounts, and under-utilized public opinion data to understand the role of the mass public and racial realignment in shaping today’s party system in the United States. I argue contemporary polarization is rooted in long-standing issue connections between racial attitudes and other policy views among ordinary voters.

Prior to attending UC Berkeley, I taught middle-school math with Teach for America. I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Case Western Reserve University in 2011. 


One-Party States and Legislator Extremism in the U.S. House, 1876-2012. 2019. The Journal of Politics.

Income Inequality and Congressional Republican Position Taking, 1913-2013. 2019. The Journal of Politics.

Before Reagan: The Development of the Partisan Divide on Abortion. Forthcoming. Perspectives on Politics.

Dissertation Committee Chair: 
Eric Schickler
Academic Advisors: 
Gabriel Lenz
Robert Van Houweling
Sarah Anzia