Research & Scholarship

Our faculty research topics ranging from elections, to migration, to international politics, to religion and race in politics. They present and publish their research through academic conferences, journals, books and news media. Our undergraduate students have many opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research and public projects.

DU undergraduate research

Partners in Scholarship

To encourage greater student-faculty research partnerships, our department has sponsored more than 15 student-faculty PinS (Partners in Scholarship) projects.

Through the Undergraduate Research Center, undergraduates can find funding to support a research project with a faculty member, get summer research grants, travel to an academic conference or participate in the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

If you are interested in partnering with a faculty member on original research, talk to your political science advisor.

In this podcast interview with the New Books Network, Professor Seth Masket, PhD, discusses his book "Learning From Loss: The Democrats, 2016-2020." Masket's book explores how Trump's victory and the Democratic loss in 2016 spurred changes in the party's approach to campaigning and the nomination process for the 2020 election. Using multiple research methods, including extensive interviews, campaign finance analysis and historical context, Masket's book explores and interrogates the many narratives that emerged from the 2016 election.

Listen to Masket's Interview
Screenshot of Seth Masket's podcast interview

Faculty Research Grant Recipients

  • Joshua Wilson

    National Science Foundation Grant

    Joshua Wilson was awarded a National Science Foundation Grant for his project "The Efficacy of Support Structures for Legal Mobilization." 

    Sociolegal scholarship has shown how law schools and training programs provide necessary resources for movements seeking to influence the law, but this scholarship has done less to show how new movements can best access these institutions and what they offer. This project closely studies the contemporary Christian legal movement and its connections to legal education and training in order to respond to this important policy and scholarly question.

    This NSF grant helped Wilson fund Lauren Yehle's work as an undergraduate research assistant for the project and funded Wilson's 2020 book "Separate But Faithful: The Christian Right's Radical Struggle to Transform Law and Legal Culture."

  • Elizabeth Sperber

    Project Launch Grant, Global Religion Research Initiative

    Elizabeth Sperber was awarded a Project Launch Grant from the Global Religion Research Initiative. Sperber will combine this grant with a PROF grant from the University of Denver to examine how membership in different Christian communities influences political attitudes and engagement in the officially Christian state of Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia).

    Given recent trends in the politicization of different branches of Christianity in the region—such as Pentecostal and other Born-Again Christian groups—the study's findings will be relevant for the promotion of human rights, economic development and religious freedom in sub-Saharan African countries more broadly.

  • Nancy Wadsworth

    Dean's Award for Excellence

    Nancy Wadsworth was awarded the Dean's Award For Excellence. Wadsworth will use this award to further her research on youth activism.

  • Jing Sun

    Dean's Award For Excellence

    Jing Sun was awarded the Dean's Award For Excellence. Sun will use this award to work on a new book on Asian politics.

In the 2020 Livingston Lecture, Professor Joshua Wilson, PhD, discussed the book "Separate But Faithful: The Christian Right's Struggle to Transform Law and Legal Culture," which Wilson co-authored with Amanda Hollis-Brusky, PhD. Wilson and Hollis-Brusky further discussed their book in a podcast interview with the New Books Network. The book explores how Christian conservative activists have sought to shape American law by electing Christian judges and lawyers, and evaluates whether these efforts have succeeded using a support structure pyramid model.

View Wilson's Lecture

Listen to the Interview with Wilson and Hollis-Brusky

still of Josh Wilson's podcast interview

Faculty Publications and Presentations

  • Jesse Acevedo

    Jesse Acevedo

    Acevedo's article "Migrant remittances and demand for redistribution" appeared in Studies in Comparative International Development, volume 55, 2020.

  • Sara Chatfield

    Sara Chatfield

    Chatfield and co-author John Brooks published their article "Mind the gap: Examining the role of gender in campaign staffing and compensation" in Electoral Studies, volume 67, 2020.

  • Lisa Conant

    Lisa Conant

    Conant's book chapter, "The Court of Justice of the European Union," appeared in The Palgrave Handbook of EU Crises in 2021.

  • Laurel Eckhouse

    Laurel Eckhouse

    Eckhouse and two co-authors published their article "No justice, no peace: Political science perspectives on the American carceral state" in a special issue of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, volume 5, special issue 3, 2020.

  • Seth Masket

    Seth Masket

    In 2021, Masket and co-author Hans Noel published their book "Political Parties" with W.W. Norton.

  • Elizabeth Sperber

    Elizabeth Sperber

    Sperber and Erin Hern's book chapter, "Pentecostalism, Partisanship and Civic Engagement," appeared in the edited collection Religion and Politics in Post-Colonial Zambia, published in 2020.

  • Jing Sun

    Jing Sun

    Sun published his book, "Red Chamber, World Dream: Actors, Audience, and Agendas in Chinese Foreign Policy and Beyond," in 2021 with University of Michigan Press.

  • Nancy Wadsworth

    Nancy Wadsworth

    In 2020, Wadsworth and co-author Aleš Črnič published their article "Invented religion, the awakened polis, and sacred disestablishment: The case of Slovenia’s 'Zombie Church'" in Politics and Religion.

  • Joshua Wilson

    Joshua Wilson

    Wilson and co-author Amanda Hollis-Brusky published their book "Separate but faithful: The Christian right’s radical struggle to transform law and legal culture" with Oxford University Press in 2020.