2013 Sheffrin Lecture in Public Policy


Date: Thursday, May 2
Time: 5:00pm reception, with lecture from 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: AGR Hall, Walter A. Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center

Partisan Polarization in American Politics

For a variety of reasons, ideological differences between the American national parties have been widening for several decades, and partisan divisions are now greater than at any time since the Civil War.  Although politicians and activists have led this transformation, ordinary voters have followed, and polarization is now deeply rooted in electoral politics.  Thus the intense partisan conflicts that have characterized the Obama presidency are likely to remain the norm for the foreseeable future.  

About the Speaker:

Gary C. Jacobson is a distinguished professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught since 1979.  He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1966 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1972. He specializes in the study of U.S. elections, parties, interest groups, public opinion, and Congress. He is the author of Money in Congressional Elections, The Politics of Congressional Elections, The Electoral Origins of Divided Government, and coauthor of Strategy and Choice in Congressional Elections and The Logic of American Politics, as well as more than 100 research articles.  His most recent book is A Divider, Not a Uniter: George W. Bush and the American People.

Jacobson has served on the Board of Overseers of National Election Studies (1985-93), the Council of the American Political Science Association (ASPA)  from 1993-94, the APSA’s Committee on Research Support, as Treasurer of the APSA (1996-97) and as chair of the APSA’s Elections Review Committee (2001-2002)  He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



The Sheffrin Lectures in Public Policy are possible thanks to a gift from former dean of the Division of Social Sciences, Steven M. Sheffrin, and his wife, Anjali. Co-sponsors are the Division of Social Sciences, the Department of Political Science, the Institute for Governmental Affairs, and the Herbert A. Young Society.

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