Shawn W. Rosenberg

Professor of Political Science and Psychology & Social Behavior

Director, Graduate Program in Political Psychology

B.A., Yale University

M. Litt., Oxford University (Political Sociology); Harvard University (Psychology)

Phone: (949) 824-7143, 5361
Fax: (949) 824-8762

University of California, Irvine
4119 Social Sciences Plaza A
Mail Code: 5100
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Shawn W. Rosenberg

Political Psychology, Deliberative Democracy, Ideology, Social Theory, Social and Development Psychology
URLs Graduate Political Psychology Program
Selected papers available for download
American Association of University & College Libraries - Outstanding Academic Book Award
International Society of Political Psychology - Erik Erikson Award for Early Career Achievement
Appointments Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Netherlands
Visiting Fellow,University Center for Human Values, Princeton University
Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden
Postdoctoral Fellow, NSF Program in Political Psychology, Yale University
Professor Rosenberg is interested in political cognition, communication and alternative democratic practices. His approach to these questions reflects his background in psychology and political sociology and his training in empirical research and theoretical inquiry.

In his research Professor Rosenberg pursues three related fields. First, he has a general theoretical interest in the relation between the individual and society in the explanation of political phenomena. He has written on the conflict between sociological and psychological explanations of behavior and the need for a theoretical foundation for a social psychology of political life. Second, he has dealt with problems of conceptualization and empirical methodology. At various points he has critiqued the literatures on public opinion, political socialization, public choice and deliberative democracy. Third, he has been interested in the various ways in which psychological research can inform the study of political behavior. In this context, he has done research applying psychological methods to the analysis of candidate image formation, the ideological development of mass publics, and international relations.

With several of his graduate students, Professor Rosenberg is now involved in two research projects. One focuses on the relationship between cognition, communication and democracy. This involves experimental research on democratic deliberation and a reconsideration of democratic theory. The other project is on American national identity. The focus here is on how Americans understand their national identity and how this relates to their attitudes toward immigrants to the United States.

Professor Rosenberg has served as Chair of the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Section and as a Program Chair and a Member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Politial Psychology. He has given numerous invited lectures in Europe, Asia and North America.

Professor Rosenberg teaches courses on political psychology, social psychology, democratic theory and contemporary social and political theory.
Publications Deliberation, Participation and Democracy: Can the People Decide? (Editor) London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007
  The Not So Common Sense: How People Judge Social and Political Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
(Paperback version 2006 - available at )
  Reason, Ideology and Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.
  Political Reasoning and Cognition, (with D. Ward and S. Chilton). Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1988.
  "Can the People Govern? Citizen Competence and the Psychology of Deliberation" In S. Estlub & P. McLaverty (eds). Deliberative Democracy: Issues and Cases. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2014
  "Rethinking Democratic Deliberation: The Limits and Potential of Citizen Participation" Polity (2007) 39: 335-360.
  "Theorizing Political Psychology: Doing Integrative Social Science under the Condition of Postmodernity" Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, December 2003, pp.427-460
  "Against Neo-Classical Political Economy: A Political Psychological Critique," Political Psychology, 1995, pp.251-280
  "The Structure of Political Thinking," American Journal of Political Science, 1988, pp539-566.
  The Image and the Vote: The Effect of Candidate Presentation on Voter Preference. American Journal of Political Science, 30:1, pp 108-127.
American Political Science Association
International Society of Political Psychology
Other Experience Social Science Advisory Board,
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing 2001—2002

US Congressman James Corman

Adminstrative Assistant
Canadian Minister of Science and Technology Allastair Gillespie

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Last updated 11/07/2014