Danielle ThomsenWelcome! I am an Assistant Professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. I received my Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2014. Before coming to Syracuse, I was a post-doctoral fellow in the Political Institutions and Public Choice Program (PIPC) at Duke University.

My research interests include American politics, political parties, U.S. Congress, and gender and politics. I just completed a book that examines the rise of partisan polarization in Congress, titled Opting Out of Congress: Partisan Polarization and the Decline of Moderate Candidates (New York: Cambridge University Press). The central argument is that the benefits of serving in Congress today are too low for moderates to run, further exacerbating the ideological gulf between the two parties.

Another aspect of my research analyzes contemporary patterns of women’s representation in politics and why the number of Democratic women in Congress has increased dramatically since the 1980s while the number of Republican women has barely grown.

My research has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, and State Politics & Policy Quarterly. I have received financial support from the National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the Dirksen Congressional Center. In 2015, I received the E.E. Schattschneider Award for the best dissertation in American politics.

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