Simon Jackman

Simon Jackman 1

Simon Jackman (PhD 1995 Rochester) is Professor of Political Science and CEO of the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney (Australia).   From 1996 to 2016 he taught at Stanford’s Department of Political Science, with a courtesy appointment in Statistics; prior to Stanford he held appointments at the University of Chicago and Australian National University.   In 2013 Jackman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a past president and Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology.  From 2009-16 he was one of the Principal Investigators of the American National Election Studies.   He is the author of Bayesian Analysis for the Social Sciences (Wiley 2009) and many refereed articles on political behaviour, political methodology and political institutions.

Statement of Views:

Three related priorities underlie my candidacy for APSA Council.  

Our profession and the Association can and should respond to the “populist turn” in the United States and in other democracies where APSA members work and live.   The profession, the Association and its Council must demonstrate our commitment to a science of politics and government, not merely as a scholastic endeavor, but as an institution of democracy itself, highlighting the value of social science not just to policy-makers or political practitioners, but to civil society more generally.

The Association’s considerable resources --- its finances, its members --- should continue to be aggressively deployed to support future generations of scholars.   These efforts include helping younger members of the profession find research funding, especially as we enter a period in which the already tight Federal funding environment is likely to become even less generous for social scientists.   Can the Association’s support of refereed journals be improved, to create additional opportunities    Can the Association per se – not individual scholars, their universities or organized sections – take a larger role in developing novel approaches to communicating our research and teaching to key audiences, including a lay public?

Third, there has always been many political scientists working away from universities: in and around government and at think-tanks and other not-for-profits, but increasingly in for-profit research enterprises (survey research, political and policy consulting) and the tech sector.  The Association and its members could benefit tremendously from deeper and more meaningful engagement with these “applied” political scientists, both as a tangible demonstration of the value and relevance of our teaching, but also as potential research partners.