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Erik J. Engstrom


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 2003
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Oregon, 1995
  • B.A., Political Science, Portland State University, 1993


Erik Engstrom is a political scientist specializing in the study of U.S. political institutions, political parties, and American political history. He is the author of Partisan Gerrymandering and the Construction of American Democracy (2013, University of Michigan Press) and co-author of Party Ballots, Reform, and the Transformation of America’s Electoral System (with Samuel Kernell, 2014, Cambridge University Press). His research articles have appeared in leading political science journals, including the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation.  

Research Focus

Professor Engstrom’s research focuses on the study of U.S. political institutions, political parties, and American political history. 

Selected Publications

  • Engstrom, E. J., & Roberts, J. (Forthcoming) The politics of institutional choice: evidence from ballot laws, Ohio State Law Review 
  • Engstrom, E. J., & Kernell, S. (2014) Party Ballots, Reform, and the Transformation of America’s Electoral System, Cambridge University Press 
  • Engstrom, E. J. (2013) Partisan Gerrymandering and the Construction of American Democracy, University of Michigan Press. 
  • Engstrom, E. J., Hammond, J. R., & Scott, J. T. (2013) Capitol mobility: Madisonian representation and the location and relocation of capitals in the United States, American Political Science Review 107 (May): 225–240.  
  • Engstrom, E. J. (2012) The rise and decline of turnout in congressional elections: Electoral institutions, competition, and strategic mobilization, American Journal of Political Science 56 (April): 373–386.  
  • Engstrom, E. J., & Vanberg, G. (2010) Assessing the partisan allocation of pork: Evidence from congressional earmarks, American Politics Research 38 (November): 959–985. 
  • Carson, J. L., Engstrom, E. J., & Roberts, J. (2007) Candidate quality, the personal vote, and the incumbency advantage in congress, American Political Science Review 101 (May): 289–302.  


Professor Engstrom regularly teaches courses on American political parties, the legislative process, and the American Politics Field Seminar (graduate).  


  • J. David Greenstone Prize, 2015, for the best book in Politics and History (with Samuel Kernell), awarded by the Politics and History section of APSA (for Party Ballots, Reform, and the Transformation of American Politics).  
  • Longley Prize for best journal article published on representation and electoral systems in 2005 (with Samuel Kernell), awarded by Electoral Systems and Representation section of APSA (for Manufactured responsiveness: The impact of state electoral laws on unified party control of the president and House of Representatives, 1840–1940). 
  • Spray-Randleigh Faculty Fellowship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 2003 & 2004.