American Political Development

American Political Development (APD) is a growing subfield of American Politics with important links to other fields of political science, including comparative politics, public law, and political theory, as well as the disciplines of Sociology and History.

Its substantive inquiries range broadly, but at its core, APD scholarship consistently grapples with several big questions, including: the complexity of the American state; the dynamics of party change; the uneven process of democratization and how race has shaped American political institutions; the durability and variability of social and economic policies; the importance of business-government relations; and the mechanisms of institutional change.

APD scholars at Northwestern tackle such questions through a wide variety of approaches and methods, including quantitative, qualitative, comparative, and historical methods. Indeed, productive combinations with Comparative-Historical Social Science, the Institute for Policy Research, and the Political Parties Working Group lend APD at Northwestern a distinctive interdisciplinary flavor and contribute to its methodological rigor.

Our faculty also participate fully in the American Politics Workshop and the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Workshop in the Political Science department, and can often be seen at colloquia offered through the Department of Sociology, the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Buffett Center, the Center for Legal Studies, and the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies.

Anthony S. Chen is also co-editor of Studies in American Political Development, a main journal in the field.

Faculty members active in American political development include: