Department of Political Science



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Christopher Z. Mooney is the W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He served as director of IGPA from 2013 through mid-2017. He studies comparative U.S. state politics, with special focus on state legislatures and is a noted experts on term limits legislation. From 2001 to 2007, Mooney was the founding editor of the top academic journal in his field, State Politics and Policy Quarterly. In honor of his scholarly contributions to the study of state politics, in 2010, the State Politics and Policy organized section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) endowed the Christopher Z. Mooney Award, awarded annually for the best PhD dissertation in the field. In 2012, that section of the APSA bestowed its Career Achievement Award on him.

The main focus of Mooney’s research involves the study of state politics and policy in the United States. In particular, Mooney’s work deals with state legislatures,, lawmaking, and morality policymaking. He is currently working on a long-term project exploring how state legislators think about cause and effect in public policy. He also is the co-author of one of the leading undergraduate textbooks in his field, State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform, published by Wadsworth/Cengage.

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James Kuklinski’s primary interests include the nature and quality of citizen decision-making, the relationship between public opinion and legislative policymaking, and the use of experiments in social scientific research.


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Brian Gaines's research deals with all aspects of elections, electoral rules, and public opinion. Some of his recent work has dealt with campaign-finance fraud, pros and cons of convenience voting, inference from survey experiments, and assessing bias in electoral maps, and has appeared in such outlets as the American Statistician, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly.  He has published op eds in many newspapers in Illinois, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Wall Street Journal. He follows politics in the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, and, to a lesser extent, Europe and Australia. Two of his major projects at present are a multi-nation survey about parties and partisanship and a study of public opinion about fairness in taxes.

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