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James Druckman

Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science
James Druckman

IPR Associate Director; IPR Fellow

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 100 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. 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

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, the intellectual evaluation of political behavior research, and experimental methods.

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 2,000 candidate websites, along with surveys of campaigns and experiments on campaign effects.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Druckman, J., and J. Valdes. 2019. How private politics alters legislative responsiveness. Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

Druckman, J., S. R. Gubitz, M. Levendusky, and A. Lloyd. 2019. How incivility on partisan media (de-)polarizes the electorate. The Journal of Politics

Druckman, J., S. Trawalter, I. Montes, A. Fredendall, N. Kanter, and A. Rubenstein. 2018. Racial bias in sport medical staff’s perceptions of others’ pain. The Journal of Social Psychology

Druckman, J., A. Howat, and J. Rothschild. 2019. Political protesting, race, and college athletics: Why diversity among coaches matters. Social Science Quarterly. 

Druckman, J., S. Trawalter, and I. Montes. 2019. Unbiased?: Race, gender, and sport effects in university medical staff’s perceptions of injured student-athletes. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education

Robison, J., R. Stevenson, J. Druckman, S. Jackman, J. Katz, and L. Vavreck. 2018. An audit of political behavior research. SAGE Open 8:1–14.

Druckman, J., J. Rothschild, and E. Sharrow. 2018. Gender policy feedback: Perceptions of sex equity, Title IX, and political mobilization among college athletes. Political Research Quarterly 71(3): 642–53.

Busby, E., and J. Druckman. 2018. Football and public opinion: A partial replication and extensionJournal of Experimental Political Science 5(1): 4–10.

Druckman, J., M. Kifer, and M. Parkin. 2017. Resisting the opportunity for change: How congressional campaign insiders viewed and used the web in 2016. Social Science Computer Review.

Druckman, J., M. Kifer, M. Parkin, and I. Montes. 2017. An inside view of congressional campaigning on the web. Journal of Political Marketing.



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

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