Robert Van Houweling

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests:
Congress, Political Parties, Voting Behavior, Spatial Models of Candidate Competition, Experimental Methods

Professor Van Houweling studies political behavior and legislative institutions in the United States. Both aspects of his research are driven by an interest in better understanding the representational linkages between electorates and officeholders. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan in 1993 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003. He worked as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Thomas A. Daschle of South Dakota from 1993 to 1995. He has published articles in a variety of political science journals, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and Studies in American Political Development.

Professor Van Houweling is engaged in two large ongoing projects. The first project, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, examines how citizens respond to various characterisitics of candidates policy positions, including their content, consistency, and ambiguity. The second project examines how modern congressional majority parties employ legislative tactics to weaken representational constraints on their members. One unique aspect of this Congress-focused work is that it uses surveys and survey experiments to better understand how the electorate provides incentives for, and constraints upon, the procedural strategies legislators adopt.


Robert Van Houweling, Department of Political Science, Affiliated Faculty
John Boehner shocked the political world Friday when he abruptly announced his impending resignation as Speaker of the House. From the House altogether, for that matter. The early betting is that he will be replaced as Speaker by conservative favorite Kevin McCarthy of California. The move was...
Robert Van Houweling, Department of Political Science, Affiliated Faculty
Many pundits are puzzling over the resilient attractiveness of Donald Trump to Republican voters. Jack Citrin and Morris Levy have a very informative post on the popularity of various aspects of Trump’s immigration policy. This is one of the only policy issues on which Trump has offered a policy...