Jack Nagel

Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Dr. Nagel studies democratic theory, voting systems, social choice, and political participation. He has explored those themes with empirical research on the United States, New Zealand, and Britain. He is author of The Descriptive Analysis of Power, Participation, and many papers, including articles in the American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, World Politics, American Politics Quarterly, Public Choice, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Political Science, and elsewhere. Nagel has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Essex, a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, an NSF grantee, and an IRIS Scholar. He serves on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Political Science and Political Science. At Penn, he has served in several administrative roles, including Chair of the Political Science Department in 2000-03, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in 2004-08, and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences in 2009-11. Since retiring in 2012, he has been active in the Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty and served as its President in 2014-15.

Research Interests
  • Democratic theory
  • Elections
  • Political participation
  • Political power
  • Voting theory
  • Electoral systems and electoral reforms
Selected Publications

Representation: Elections and Beyond, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013 (co-edited with Rogers Smith)

"Evaluating Democracy in New Zealand under MMP," Policy Quarterly, 8:2, May 2012, pp. 3-11

"Centre-Party Strength and Major-Party Divergence in Britain, 1945-2005," British Journal of Political Science, (with Christopher Wlezien), 40:1, 2010, pp. 279-304.

“The Burr Dilemma in Approval Voting,” Journal of Politics, 69:1, February 2007, 43-58.

“Occam No, Archimedes Yes,” in Judith Bara and Albert Weale, eds., Democratic Politics and Party Competition, Routledge, 2006, pp. 143-57.

“New Zealand: Reform by (Nearly) Immaculate Design,” in Joseph Colomer, ed., Handbook of Electoral System Choice, London: Palgrave, 2004, pp. 530-43.

"Expanding the Spectrum of Democracies," in Democracy and Institutions: A Festschrift for Arend Lijphart, edited by Markus Crepaz, Thomas Koelble, and David Wilsford, University of Michigan Press, 2000, pp. 113-28.

"Social Choice in a Pluralitarian Democracy: The Politics of Market Liberalization in New Zealand," British Journal of Political Science, 28, April 1998, 223-67.

"Partisan Effects of Voter Turnout in Senatorial and Gubernatorial Elections," American Political Science Review, 90:4, December 1996, 780-93. (with John E. McNulty)

"Populism, Heresthetics, and Political Stability: Richard Seddon and the Art of Majority Rule", British Journal of Political Science, 23, April 1993, 139-74.

"Psychological Obstacles to Administrative Responsibility:  Lessons of the MOVE Disaster," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 10: 1, Winter 1991, 1-23.

Participation, Prentice-Hall, 1987.

The Descriptive Analysis of Power, Yale University Press, 1975.

CV (file)