Justin J. Norris

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science & International Affairs

I am a doctoral candidate in the department of political science. I study American elections, political behavior, public opinion, and American political institutions. I currently have a number of papers under review that examine the role of party loyalty on committee appointments in the US House of Representatives, the impact of electoral concerns on vote switching in the US Senate, and an examination of the differences between partisans and political independents as it relates to beliefs over the proper role of interest groups in the American political process. I have taught courses in introduction to American government, electoral behavior, political parties, and campaigns and elections.

  • M.A., University of Georgia 2012, Political Science
  • B.A., Minnesota State University 2010, Political Science
More About

Though I am from Oregon originally, I have spent the majority of my life in Minnesota and North Dakota. Before going to college I had the opportunity to work for a number of nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. Some of the titles I held while working for these organizations include: assistant to the chair (of a state legislative district), community outreach organizer, political strategist, communications director, campaign manager, and recount site manager. Since going to college, I have had the opportunity to help create and conduct a number of polls for the Public Affairs Institute at Minnesota State University Moorhead. I also had the opportunity to lobby the Minnesota state legislature and the United States Congress on matters related to higher education on behalf of the students attending college within the Minnesota state college and university system. In graduate school at the University of Georgia I have been the recipient of a number of scholarships, and have had the opportunity to present my research at a number of important conferences. I have also had the opportunity to teach courses in: introduction to American government, electoral behavior, political parties, and campaigns and elections.

Of Note
  • Excellence in Graduate Recruitment Assistantship Enhancement (2012-2013)
  • Charles S. Bullock, III Graduate Scholarship (2011)
  • Curtis Amlund Outstanding Political Science Student Scholarship (2010)
Research Interests

I am interested in studying a number of things, but in general it all relates to answering the question, why do political elites do what they do, and why do people listen to them? To answer this question more narrowly, I study Elite behavior, usually within an institutional setting like a candidate within a campaign, or a lawmaker’s behavior within Congress. I am also interested in explaining individual behavior, usually in the context of public opinion, or electoral behavior. In short, I study: voting and elections, political communication, public opinion, and political institutions.