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Faculty & Staff Directory

Michael Clark

Michael Clark

Comparative Politics (Western Europe, Political Parties, Political Representation, Elections, Political Behavior), American Politics

Office: Zulauf Hall 401


Overview of Scholarly Activity

Michael Clark (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara) is director of Graduate Studies and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science. His current research focuses on the role of valence issues in electoral politics, and he has recently examined how valence issues impact parties' vote shares in West European elections, and also how valence issues can affect parties' policy-positioning strategies. His broader interests involve exploring how the behavior of politicians affects voter decision-making and the process of democratic representation. With his co-authors, his research has also examined whether and how different types of political parties respond to shifts in public opinion, and with what consequences.

Selected Publications

Clark, Michael. Forthcoming 2014. “Does Public Opinion Respond to Shifts in Party Valence? A Cross-National Analysis of Western Europe, 1976-2002.” West European Politics.

Clark, Michael and Debra Leiter. Forthcoming 2014. “Does the Ideological Dispersion of Parties Mediate the Electoral Impact of Valence? A Cross-National Study of Party Support in Nine Western European Democracies.”  Comparative Political Studies.

Clark, April, and Michael Clark. 2013. “Examining Intolerance of Atheist Speech Over Time and Across Generations.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3 (5), 30-48.

Clark, April, and Michael Clark. 2013. “Mind the Gap: Public Attitudes on Crime Miss the Mark.” International Research Journal of Social Sciences, 2 (3): 1-11.

Clark, Michael. 2013. “Understanding Parties’ Policy Shifts in Western Europe: The Role of Valence, 1976-2003.”  British Journal of Political Science, accessed March 16, 2013. DOI:

Clark, April, Michael Clark, and Dan Monzin. 2013. “Explaining Changing Trust Trends in America.”  International Research Journal of Social Sciences 2 (1): 7-13.

Abney, Ronni, James Adams, Michael Clark, Malcolm Easton, Lawrence Ezrow, Spyros Kosmidis, and Anja Neundorf. 2013*. “When Does Valence Matter? On Heightened Valence Effects for Governing Parties During Election Campaigns.”  Party Politics 19 (1): 61-82. *Online 2011.

Clark, Michael. 2009. “Valence and Electoral Outcomes in Western Europe, 1976-1998.” 2009. Electoral Studies Vol. 28, No. 1: 111-122.

Adams, James, Michael Clark, Lawrence Ezrow, and Garrett Glasgow. 2006. “Are Niche Parties Fundamentally Different From Mainstream Parties?  The Causes and the Electoral Consequences of Western European Parties’ Policy Shifts, 1976-1998.” American Journal of Political Science 50 (3): 513-823.

Adams, James, Michael Clark, Lawrence Ezrow, and Garrett Glasgow. 2004. “Understanding Change and Stability in Party Ideologies: Do Parties Respond to Public Opinion or to Past Election Results?” 2004. British Journal of Political Science 34 (4): 589-610.

Belkin, Aaron, Michael Clark, Gigi Gokcek, Robert Hinckley, Tom Knecht, and Eric Patterson. 2002. “When Is Strategic Bombing Effective? Domestic Legitimacy and Aerial Denial.” Security Studies 11 (4): 51-88.


Contact Us

Department of Political Science
Zulauf Hall 415
Phone: 815-753-1011
Fax: 815-753-6302