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James Druckman Named Walder Award Winner

Political scientist explores political preference formation and communication

EVANSTON, Ill. --- James N. Druckman, the Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, has been named the 13th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.

This award, established in 2002 by Joseph A. Walder, M.D., and given annually by the provost, recognizes excellence in research at Northwestern. 

Druckman’s research explores political preference formation and communication. More specifically, he is interested in how people make political, economic and social decisions and how those decisions might vary depending on aspects of communications and contextual features. He also studies web-based political campaigns and how policy makers use public opinion to make decisions.

This work has been funded by prestigious organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and Phi Beta Kappa.

Druckman has published more than 75 articles and book chapters on topics in political science, communication, psychology and economics, and recently completed a forthcoming book on public opinion and elite responsiveness (University of Chicago Press). His writing has won more than 15 best book/paper awards.

Druckman currently serves as the co-principal investigator, with Northwestern sociologist Jeremy Freese, of Time-Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences. He previously served as editor of Political Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly and the University of Chicago Press book series titled “Chicago Studies in American Politics.

“All of this has been accomplished by an age that most would call ‘mid-career,’” Weinberg dean Sarah Mangelsdorf said. “Jamie’s professional maturation is just one of his impressive qualities. He is a tireless luminary in his discipline.”

On campus, Druckman is highly regarded as a teacher and advisor. He has received the Outstanding Award for Freshman Advising and an Outstanding Faculty citation by Northwestern’s Associated Student Government.

A graduate of Northwestern, Druckman completed a dual degree in mathematical methods in the social sciences and political science before earning his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to returning to Northwestern, he was a faculty member at the University of Minnesota for nearly six years.

In addition to Druckman’s appointment in WCAS, he serves as associate director and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. He is also Honorary Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. 

Joseph Walder, who established the Walder Prize, earned a doctorate and medical degrees from Northwestern. Northwestern historian T.H. Breen received the first Walder Award in 2002.

A complete list of Walder Award recipients can be found online.