John Lapinski

Professor, Political Science; Director, Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies; Director of Research, Elections Unit, NBC News

John Lapinski, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies. He also serves as the Director of the Elections Unit at NBC News, which projects races for NBC and analyzes and produces election-related stories through exit polls for NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, and all of NBC’s digital properties. Dr. Lapinski earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2000, and previously was an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Yale University. His primary area of research is concerned with understanding national elections as well as lawmaking in Congress through empirical analysis. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science,Perspectives on Politics, the Journal of Politics, and the British Journal of Politics. He is the co-editor of a volume, The Macropolitics of Congress which Princeton University Press published (2006). His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, where he was a Resident Fellow for the 2004-05 academic year, the Dirksen Congressional Center, and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. Professor Lapinski was co-director with David Mayhew for the History of Congress Conference and served as co-director of the Macropolitics of Congress Conference.

Courses Taught

Instructor: John Lapinski
Course Section: 001
Day(s): Tuesday, Thursday
Time: 10:30am-12:00pm
Course Location: On-Campus
Course Description:

This course introduces students to the theories and practice of the policy-making process. There are four primary learning objectives. First, understanding how the structure of political institutions matter for the policies that they produce. Second, recognizing the constraints that policy makers face when making decisions on behalf of the public. Third, identifying the strategies that can be used to overcome these constraints. Fourth, knowing the toolbox that is available to participants in the policy-making process to help get their preferred strategies implemented. While our focus will primarily be on American political institutions, many of the ideas and topics discussed in the class apply broadly to other democratic systems of government. The class will be a mix of lecture and cases. Cases are on a diverse set of policy topics, with a goal of illustrating broad themes about the policy-making process rather than the specifics of certain policy areas.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829