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Professor Lawrence Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute

Lawrence Jacobs

Professor, Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies

Phone: 612-625-3384
Office: 137 Humphrey School
Center/Department: Center for the Study of Politics and Governance
(on leave fall 2011)

Areas of Expertise

Presidential and legislative politics; elections and voting behavior; public opinion and polling; American political history; Midwestern swing states; third party politics; Social Security and health care policy


Lawrence R. Jacobs is the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey School and the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. His center is a preeminent hub for political and policy analysis in the Midwest.

Dr. Jacobs has published 14 books and edited volumes and dozens of articles on elections, legislative and presidential politics, elections and public opinion, and a range of public policies including health care reform and American politics (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Politicians Don’t Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness (with Robert Y. Shapiro, University of Chicago Press). Dr. Jacobs co-edits the “Chicago Series in American Politics” for the University of Chicago Press.

His research has been recognized by a number of prizes. His book,Politicians Don’t Pander received the Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center for Press and Politics, the Neustadt Book Prize from the American Political Science Association, and the Distinguished Book Prize in political sociology from the American Sociological Association. In addition, his articles received awards from the American Political Science Association and International Communications Association. Dr. Jacobs also received a prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He chaired the Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy, which was convened by the American Political Science Association.

Dr. Jacobs has received grants from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others. In addition, he has conducted a number of program evaluations for Pew Charitable Trusts, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Stanford Knight Fellowships in Journalism and other programs.

Dr. Jacobs' research has been published and discussed in a number of mass media outlets including the BBC, National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio as well as ABC, NBC, CBS News, CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, and The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The Economist, The Washington Monthly, The Pioneer Press, The Star Tribune, The New Republic, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, the National Journal, and other outlets. He has made regular presentations at the National Press Club and is a Political Analyst for the CBS affiliate in Minnesota, WCCO.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses Taught

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For syllabi for the current or upcoming semester, please visit the University of Minnesota's Course Guide and look for the syllabus icon. If the syllabus is not there, contact the instructor directly. Syllabi are available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Stacey Grimes at or 612-626-1329 for assistance.

On leave during the 2011 calendar year.

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