Dan Pemstein

Associate professor of Political Science


Dan Pemstein is an associate professor of Political Science. He is a comparative political economist and methodologist who specializes in measurement and builds statistical tools to answer substantive, policy-relevant, questions about political institutions. While much of his work examines the interplay between legislative behavior, political careers, and party organization, his research also increasingly focuses on digital politics and policy, criminal justice policy, and the political economy of development. Pemstein's research appears in outlets such as Cambridge University Press, the Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, and Comparative Political Studies, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, International Growth Centre, Facebook, Google, and a variety of other funders.

Proposed Faculty Fellow Activities 

As a Challey Fellow this year, Dr. Pemstein will focus on research in two primary areas. First, building on recent fieldwork in Malawi and Nepal, he will investigate how voters in consolidating democracies evaluate, reward, and punish candidates’ clientelist and public-goods focused electoral appeals, improving our understanding of the relationship between electoral institutions, good governance, and economic development. Second, he will expand his research program in digital politics and policy, developing a recent award-winning article on digital content regulation and censorship in democracies into a book-length project. This project engages crucial questions about how political considerations affect the regulatory burden that states place on digital content providers. On the instructional side, Pemstein will develop a graduate seminar, "New Institutionalism in Political Science," which will form part of the core of a new graduate certificate in New Institutionalism in Social Science, and will be available to students in Fall 2020.

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