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Michael M Binder

Associate Professor

Political Science & Public Administration | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

American Politics, State Politics, Elections, Voting Behavior, Initiatives and Referenda


Ph. D. Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 2010
Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Summer Program in Quantitative Methods, 2006 & 2007
M.A. Political Science, San Diego State University, 2003
B.A. Political Science, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 1998



Honors, Fellowships and Awards

Stanford, Bill Lane Center, Hoover Institution Research Fellow 2010-2011 ($44,000)


Stanford, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Research Fellowship 2009-2010 ($26,000)

UCSD, Dean‟s Social Science Travel Grant 2010 ($250)

UCSD, Mark Twain Teaching Fellowship, 2004-2008

APSA Travel Grant 2008 ($300)

Best Graduate Student Paper in State Politics, APSA 2007

SDSU, College of Arts and Letters: Outstanding Faculty Service Award 2007

APSA and Pi Sigma Alpha: Outstanding Teaching in Political Science 2007

California State University: Social Sciences Research and Instructional Council, ICPSR Travel Grant 2007 ($1500)

UCSD, ICPSR Travel Grant, 2006 ($650), 2007 ($500)

SDSU, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts: Faculty/Student Mentoring Program Honoree, 2004

SDSU, Department of Political Science: Outstanding Use of Advanced Research Methods in the Graduate Program 2003 – 2004


University of North Florida

Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Publications & Presentations

Working Papers
“Party or Preferences? The Workingman‟s Party at the California Constitutional Convention of 1879”

“Getting it Right or Playing it Safe? Correct Voting, Confusion and the Status Quo Bias in Direct Democracy”

“Taxing Decisions: Confusion, Preferences and Vote Choice in Direct Democracy”
“The Value of Power: Assignment and Appointment in the US States”

“Shortcuts to Deliberation: How Cues Reshape the Role of Information in Direct Democracy Voting” (with Cheryl Boudreau and Thad Kousser), California Western Law Review, forthcoming.

“Engaged by the Initiative? How the Use of Citizen Initiatives Increase Voter Turnout” (with Matthew Childers) Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming.

“How GAVEL Changed Politics in Colorado?s General Assembly” (with Vlad Kogan and Thad Kousser) in State of Change: Colorado Politics in the Twenty-first Century, editors John Straayer, Robert Duffy and Courtenay Daum, University of Colorado Press, 2011.

“Constitutional Reform in California: The Surprising Divides” (with Tammy Frisby and Thad Kousser), California Journal of Politics and Policy:
Vol. 2, (2010) Issue 2, Article 5.

“Information, Misinformation and Political Participation” (with Kenneth White, Richard Ledet and C. Richard Hofstetter), The American Review of Politics, Vol. 27 (Spring 2006), pp. 71-90.

Presentations (selected)
“Direct Democracy and Ethno-linguistic Cues: Evidence from a Field Experiment”
Presented at MPSA Annual Meeting (April 2011)

“Ballot Measure Campaigns, Issues, and Turnout in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Elections”
Presented at MPSA Annual Meeting (April 2011)

“The Lifeblood of Politics: Campaign Spending and Correct Voting”
presented at MPSA Annual Meeting (April 2011)presented as APSA Annual Meeting (September 2010)

“Getting it Right? Correct Voting in Direct Democracy”
presented at State Politics and Policy Conference (May 2009)
presented as APSA Annual Meeting (September 2008)

“Taxing Decisions: Confusion, Preferences and Vote Choice in Direct Democracy”
presented at State Politics and Policy Conference (May 2008)

“Confusion, Information and Voting Errors in Initiative Races”
presented at APSA Annual Meeting (September 2007)
presented at State Politics and Policy Conference (February 2007)

“I Don‟t „No‟: Empirical Evidence of the Confused Voter in Initiative Elections”
presented at APSA Annual Meeting (September 2006)

“Scandalous Consequences: The Impact of Scandal on Trust in Government” presented at the WPSA 2005 Annual Meeting (March 2005)

“The Success of „Freshman Success‟: Assessing the Impact of Learning Communities” presented at the 2nd Annual APSA Conference on Teaching and Learning (February 2005)

“Misinformation and Political Participation: A Cause for Concern”
presented at the SDICCCA Regional Behavioral & Social Sciences Conference (September 2004)

Contact Information