Profile picture for user Robert Parks Van Houweling

Robert Van Houweling

Associate Professor
510 643-6678
764 Social Sciences Building
Office Hours
Mon 2:30-4:00 PM
Personal Statement

Professor Van Houweling studies political behavior and legislative institutions in the United States. Both aspects of his research are driven by an interest in better understanding the representational linkages between electorates and officeholders. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan in 1993 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003. He worked as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Thomas A. Daschle of South Dakota from 1993 to 1995. He has published articles in a variety of political science journals, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and Studies in American Political Development.

Professor Van Houweling is engaged in two large ongoing projects. The first project, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, examines how citizens respond to various characterisitics of candidates policy positions, including their content, consistency, and ambiguity. The second project examines how modern congressional majority parties employ legislative tactics to weaken representational constraints on their members. One unique aspect of this Congress-focused work is that it uses surveys and survey experiments to better understand how the electorate provides incentives for, and constraints upon, the procedural strategies legislators adopt.

Research Interests
Political Parties
Voting Behavior
Spatial Models of Candidate Competition
Experimental Methods
B.A., Political Science, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Harvard University



University of Califorina, Berkeley, Political Science Department, 2006 -  Present

  • American Field Seminar (Ph.D. Seminar)
  • Legislative Institutions (Ph.D. Seminar)
  • Introduction to Political Psychology (Ph.D Seminar)
  • Introduction to American Politics (Undergraduate Lecture)
  • Congress (Undergraduate Lecture)


University of Michigan, Political Science Department and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, 2002 - 2004


  • Legislative Institutions (Ph.D. Seminar)
  • Poltical Environment of Policy Analysis (MPP Lecture)
  • Legislative Policy Process (MPP Seminar)


Stanford University, Political Science Department, 2001 - 2002


  • Congress (Undergraduate Lecture)
  • Political Parties (Undergraduate Lecture)