Kenneth R. Mayer
Position title: Professor | American Politics
201D North Hall
Affiliated with Lafollette School of Public Affairs
Ph.D. in Political Science, Yale University, 1988
M.A. in Political Science, Yale University, 1987
B.A. in Political Science, University of California-San Diego, 1982
Australia, Campaign Finance, Election Administration, Elections, Political Institutions, Presidency, Unilateral Powers
His teaching and research interests are in American government and institutions (especially Congress and the Presidency), campaign finance, and election administration. His current research focuses on and evaluating the effectiveness of recent state-level campaign finance reforms, and election administration.
He is the author of With the Stroke of a Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential Power (Princeton University Press, 2001), The Political Economy of Defense Contracting (Yale University Press, 1991),The Dysfunctional Congress? The Individual Roots of an Institutional Dilemma (Westview Press, 1999, with David T. Canon), and Presidential Leadership: Politics and Policymaking,10th ed. (Roman and Littlefield, 2018, with George C. Edwards, III and Stephen J, Wayne).
His work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Public Administration Review, Election Law Journal, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Regulation.
Awards include: Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow award (College of Letters and Science (2012-2015); Jerry J. and Mary M. Cotter Award (College of Letters and Science, 2011-2012); Fulbright Distinghuished Chair in Political Science, Australian National University, Canberra ACT (2006); the Alliant Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award (UW System, 2006); the Vilas Associates award (College of Letters and Science, 2003-2004); and the 2002 Richard M. Neustadt Award, awarded by the Presidency Research Group of the American Political Science Association for the best book published on the presidency in 2001, for With the Stroke of a Pen).
He is active as an expert witness in campaign finance, redistricting, and voter ID litigation. Recent cases include Gill v. Whitford (Western District of Wisconsin, partisan gerrymandering, 2016); One Wisconsin Institute v. Nichol (Western District of Wisconsin, voting rights, 2016); Milwaukee Breanch of the NAACP et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. (voter ID case heard in Dane County, 2012); Baldus et al. v. Brennan et al (Eastern District of Wisconsin, redistricting litigation, 2011-2012); and McComish et al. v Brewer et al. (Arizona public election funding case, 2008-2009). He has also consulted on recount disputes and Voting Rights Act matters.
PS 904: Classics in American Politics Spring 2023
PS 104: Introductions to American Politics and Government Spring 2023
PS 511 Campaign Finance Fall 2019-2020
PS 408 The American Presidency Fall 2019-2020
PS 828 The Contemporary Presidency: Issues and Approaches Spring 2018-2019
PS 408 The American Presidency Spring 2018-2019
PS 511 Campaign Finance Fall 2018-2019
PS 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government Fall 2018-2019
PS 904 Classics in American Politics Spring 2017-2018
PS 904 Seminar-American Politics Spring 2017-2018
PS 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government Spring 2017-2018
PS 601 Proseminar: Election Reform in America Fall 2017-2018
PS 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government Fall 2017-2018
PS 408 The American Presidency Spring 2016-2017
PS 104 Introduction to American National Government Spring 2016-2017
PS 904 Classics in American Politics Spring 2015-2016
PS 408 The American Presidency Spring 2015-2016
PS 104 Introduction to American National Government Fall 2015-2016
Co-author, Robert H. Durr 2013 Award for the best paper applying quantitative methods to a substantive problem in political science Midwest Political Science Association
Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow, UW-Madison College of Letters and Science
Honored Instructor Award, UW-Madison Housing