Russell Dalton

Biography

Biography

Russell Dalton is a professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine. His research and teaching focuses on the role of citizens in the political process, and how democracies can better address public preferences and the democratic ideal. He has authored or edited more than twenty books and more than a 150 research articles. Dalton has been awarded the Developing Scholar Award by Florida State University, a Fulbright Research Fellowship, Scholar-in-Residence at the Barbra Streisand Center, German Marshall Fund Research Fellowship, the POSCO Fellowship at the East West Center, and the UCI Emeriti Award for Faculty Mentorship. He was founding director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at UC Irvine.

His early work examined the German transition to democracy following the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany Transformed was published by Harvard University Press and documented the transformation of the postwar political culture. He also authored Politics in Germany (now available as an online text) and a series of books and journal issues on German elections. He has continued to study the evolution of public opinion in contemporary Germany, and is one of American's leading scholars on German public opinion and elections.

A second thematic focus is the process of value change in advanced industrial societies. The emergence of green political movements, feminist groups and other social movements began to transform the politics of Western democracies, and change the relationship between citizens and the state. This research led to a series of books and research articles, such as Challenging the Political Order and The Green Rainbow. He is also author of the best-selling textbook, Citizen Politics that compares political behavior in the US, Britain, France and Germany.

When the Third Wave of democratization began in the 1990s, his research turned to the role of citizens in the democratization process. One project compared citizen environmental mobilization in the formerly secret city of Cheyabinsk, Russia to environmental protest downwind of the Hanford nuclear facility in the United States, Critical Masses. Other research examined the East German transition to democracy following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. He is now researching citizen attitudes in the emerging and consolidating democracies of Asia, Citizens, Democracy and Markets around the Pacific Rim, and the role of citizens in new democracies in other global regions.

His current research examines the changing norms of citizenship in the United States and other advanced industrial democracies, and how these norms are reshaping the democratic process in positive and negative ways. This has produced The Apartisan American: Dealignment and Changing Electoral Politics (CQ Press, 2012) and The Good Citizen (CQ Press, 2009). A related research program focuses on comparative electoral politics based on the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. The first book from this project is Citizens, Choice and Context (2011) and a second book is Parties and Democratic Linkage (2012), both with Oxford University Press.

Dalton received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and was an undergraduate at UCLA. He currently teaches at the University of California, Irvine and previously taught at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Cologne, the University of Mannheim, and the East West Center in Honolulu. Dalton has also appeared in six Hollywood feature films. He spends his leisure time studying American popular culture and traveling to Hawaii.

'My name is Dalton Russell.
I've told you my name -- that's the who...
I've set in motion plans for the perfect bank robbery -- that's the what...'

Opening line in The Inside Man (Sony Pictures 2006).

April 2012