University of Texas at Austin
Department of Government
Public opinion, public policy, voter preferences and election campaigns
Christopher Wlezien is Hogg Professor of Government. He joins the faculty from Temple University. Previously he taught at Oxford University, where he was Reader of Comparative Government and a Fellow of Nuffield College. While at Oxford, he co-founded the ESRC-funded Oxford Spring School in Quantitative Methods for Social Research. Before that, he taught at the University of Houston, where he was founding director of the Institute for the Study of Political Economy. He holds or has held visiting positions at Columbia University, European University Institute (Florence), Instituto Empresa (Madrid), Juan March Institute (Madrid), University of Mannheim (Germany), McGill University (Montreal), Sciences Po (Paris), and the University of Manchester (UK). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1989 and his B.A. from Saint Xavier College (Chicago) in 1984. His primary, ongoing research develops a thermostatic model of public opinion and policy and examines the dynamic interrelationships between preferences for spending and budgetary policy in various domains. A cross-national investigation focusing on the US, the UK, and Canada is the subject of a book entitled Degrees of Democracy, published by Cambridge University Press. Wlezien edited a related book on Who Gets Represented?, which was published by the Russell Sage Foundation. His most recent paper in the area tests theories about the effects of federalism, executive-legislative imbalance, and the proportionality of electoral systems in 17 countries. His other major area of research addresses the evolution of voter preferences over the course of the election cycle. It has been the subject of numerous articles and a book, entitled The Timeline of Presidential Elections, published last year by the University of Chicago Press. His most recent paper in the area compares the historical performance of election prediction markets and pre-election polls.