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James Druckman

Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science

PhD, Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 1999

James Druckman's research focuses on political preference formation and communication. His work examines how citizens make political, economic, and social decisions in various different contexts (e.g., settings with multiple competing messages, online information, deliberation). He also has explored the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policy, and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions.

Druckman has published more than 120 articles and book chapters in political science, communication, economic, science, and psychology journals. He co-authored the book Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation (University of Chicago Press) and co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science and the forthcoming Advances in Experimental Political Science. He has served as editor of the journals Political Psychology and Public Opinion Quarterly as well as the University of Chicago Press's series in American Politics. He currently is the co-Principal Investigator of Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS). He also sits on numerous advisory boards, organizing committees, prize committees, and editorial boards.

Druckman's work has been recognized with numerous awards including many best paper/book awards; he also has received grant support from such entities as the National Science Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Phi Beta Kappa. He also is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (pdf) and the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He further received Northwestern’s Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence. His teaching/advising has been recognized with the Outstanding Award for Freshman Advising, an Outstanding Faculty citation by Northwestern's Associated Student Government, and the Karl Rosengren Faculty Mentoring Award.

Druckman obtained his BA from Northwestern, majoring in mathematical methods in the social sciences and political science. He is also an Honorary Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Current Research

Partisanship. Druckman explores the cause and consequences of political polarization in the United States. This includes studies looking at how to measure polarization, and its impact on political norms and attitudes about COVID-19.

COVID-19. Druckman is involved in a large-scale collaboration to study COVID-19 on an a state level basis. 

Political and Science Communication. Druckman has various projects that explore how mass communication influences citizens' opinions. This includes work looking at the impact of partisan media, and how issue framing effects public opinion. Druckman also studies the hurdles and antidotes to effective scientific communication (e.g., with regard to climate change and other scientific issues).

Methodology and Epistemology. Druckman is working on projects focused on publication bias,  and experimental methods. This includes a book manuscript on how to think about experiments.

Sports Politics. Druckman is exploring various issues in college sports including attitudes about Title IX and student-athletes engaging in political protests. He also has related work on pain perceptions in the domain of sports.

Campaigns in a New Media Age: How Candidates Use the World Wide Web to Win Elections. Martin Kifer of High Point University, Michael Parkin of Oberlin College, and Druckman are studying the congressional elections and representation. This project has been ongoing since 2002 and involves the coding of nearly 2,500 candidate websites, along with surveys of campaigns and experiments on campaign effects.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Druckman. J., Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov, Matthew Levendusky and John Barry Ryan. Forthcoming.(Mis-)Estimating affective polarization. The Journal of Politics. 

Druckman. J., Robin Bayes and Toby Bolsen. Forthcoming. A Research Agenda for Climate Change Communication and Public Opinion: The Role of Scientific Consensus Messaging and Beyond. Environmental Communication. 

Druckman. J., and Elizabeth A. Sharrow, Forthcoming. “Public Opinion, Crisis, and Vulnerable Populations: The Case of Title IX and COVID-19. Politics and Gender. 

Druckman. J., Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov, Matthew Levendusky, and John Barry Ryan. Forthcoming. How Affective Polarization Shapes Americans’ Political Beliefs: A Study of Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Experimental Political Science. 

Druckman. J., Adam J. Berinsky, and Teppei Yamamoto. Forthcoming. Publication Biases in Replication Studies. Political Analysis. 

Druckman. J., Robin Bayes, Avery Goods, and Daniel C. Molden. Forthcoming. When and How Different Motives Can Drive Motivated Political Reasoning. Political Psychology. 

Druckman. J., and Richard M. Shafranek. Forthcoming. The Intersection of Racial and Partisan Discrimination: Evidence from a Correspondence Study of Four-Year Colleges. The Journal of Politics.

Druckman. J., and Jacob E. Rothschild. Forthcoming. Playing with Pain: Social Class and Pain Reporting among College Student-Athletes. The Sport Journal. 

Druckman. J., Jay J. van Bavel, Katherine Baicker, Paulo S. Boggio, …, Robb Willer. 2020. Using Social and Behavioral Science to Support COVID-19 Pandemic Response. Human Behavior 4: 460-471. 


Druckman, James N., and Donald P. Green, eds. Forthcoming. Advances in Experimental Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Druckman, James, and Lawrence R. Jacobs. 2015. Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation. University of Chicago Press. 

Druckman, James, with Donald P. Green, James H. Kuklinski, and Arthur Lupia, eds. 2011. Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press.