Department of Political Science



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Christopher Z. Mooney is the W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics in the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mooney served as director of IGPA from 2013 through 2017, and from 2004-2013, he was an IGPA faculty member at University of Illinois at Springfield. Mooney studies comparative U.S. state politics, with special focus on state legislatures, and he is a noted expert on term limits. Since 2010, the American Political Science Association’s State Politics and Policy section has awarded the annual Christopher Z. Mooney Prize for the best dissertation the field. In 2012, Mooney was awarded that section’s Career Achievement Award, and in 2017, he was elected to a two-year term as its president.

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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