Subfield Coordinator: Gabe Lenz
The study of American politics at Berkeley brings together faculty and graduate students who seek to tackle the most important questions confronting U.S. government and democracy using diverse methodological approaches.
Among other topics, the faculty’s research agenda encompasses the quality and meaning of representation in contemporary American politics, the political implications of rising economic inequality, the politics of immigration and of minority group representation, the meaning of American national identity, the sources and implications of party polarization, the development of American bureaucracy and citizen interactions with public agencies including criminal justice institutions and the welfare state, and the balance of power among Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts. Our program trains students to employ a diverse methodological toolkit, including quantitative, historical/developmental, game theoretic, behavioral, and institutional approaches.
The Center for the Study of American Democracy, the Institute of Governmental Studies, The People Lab, and the Citrin Center for Public Opinion Research support lectures, workshops, and colloquia that foster this diverse intellectual community, including the American Politics Research Workshop, the Positive Political Theory seminar series, and the Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Colloquium. These research units also provide funding for graduate student research projects and for faculty-student collaboration. Faculty work closely with students to help each student carve out a research agenda that reflects his or her unique interests while addressing substantively and theoretically important problems.