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Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy

This broad multidisciplinary program traces how social, political, and institutional dynamics shape and constrain national policymaking in the United States and in comparison with other countries. Experts in political identity, public opinion, inequality, political parties, media, gender, and many others come together to debate and study political processes and institutions and their participants.

A Message From Daniel Galvin, Program Chair

Daniel Galvin

From the partisan divide on COVID-19 to systemic racial injustices to impediments to democratic participation, political institutions are being tested like never before. IPR faculty examine how political, social, and economic dynamics affect institutional operations and decision-making processes in the United States. Researchers analyze the interplay between political institutions, political behavior, and public policies.

Working Papers

Recently published articles and working papers in this program area include:

Nicholas Dias, James Druckman, and Matthew Levendusky. 2022. Myths of Censorship: The Realities and Misperceptions of “Cancel Culture” (WP-22-07).

Titan Alon, Matthias Doepke, Kristina Manysheva, and Michèle Tertilt. 2020. Gendered Impacts of Covid-19 in Developing Countries (WP-22-06).

Scott Carrell, David Figlio, and Lester Lusher. 2022. Clubs and Networks in Economics Reviewing (WP-22-05).

All Papers

Faculty Experts

Representing the fields of political science, economics, social policy, psychology, and sociology, faculty delve into the worlds of politics, institutions, and policymaking.

View all experts


Chicago Area Behavior Workshop

2022 Chicago Area Social and Political Behavior (CAB) Workshop

Friday, May 6, 2022

Guild Lounge, Scott Hall

601 University Place

Evanston Campus

Plans are for the workshop to be held in person, and we will be following Northwestern University's COVID-19 safety protocols for events.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 26. (Registration link coming soon.)


2022 CAB schedule
Time Speaker / Event
10:00 – 10:05 a.m. Welcome by James Druckman, Northwestern University and Institute for Policy Research (IPR)
10:05 – 11:05 a.m. TBA by Adam Berinsky and David Rand, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
11:05 – 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. TBA by Tabitha Bonilla, Northwestern University and IPR
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Mentoring Lunch
1:45 – 2:15 p.m. Junior Scholar Poster Session
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. TBA by Jake Bowers, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
3:15 – 3:45 p.m. Break
3:45 – 4:45 p.m. TBA by Sue Stokes, University of Chicago
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner


The 2021 Chicago Area Behavior Workshop is sponsored by Northwestern’s Political Science Department, Institute for Policy Research, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and NORC’s AmeriSpeak®Panel. 

Fighting Phantoms: Disagreement vs. Disdain in the American Body Politic

Eli Finkel, Professor of Psychology and Management and Organizations and IPR Associate

Debtors and American Political Development

Chloe Thurston, Assistant Professor of Political Science and IPR Fellow

Policy Brief: Discrimination in the Housing Market

Are government housing practices fair? After WWII, millions of Americans bought homes for the first time thanks to the standardization of 30-year mortgages. IPR political scientist Chloe Thurston explains how many minorities and women were shut out of the housing market due to discriminatory government policies and how they fought for homeownership through advocacy groups like the NAACP and NOW.

Download the brief