David Mayhew

Political Scientist, Academic

1937 –


Who is David Mayhew?

David R. Mayhew is a political scientist and Sterling Professor in the Political Science Department at Yale University. He is the author of eight influential books on American politics. Mayhew has been a member of the Yale faculty since 1968. He has also taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, Oxford University, and Harvard University.

In Congress: The Electoral Connection, Mayhew argued that much of the organization of the United States Congress can be explained as the result of re-election seeking behavior by its members. In Divided We Govern, he disputed the previously accepted notion that, when Congress and the presidency are controlled by different parties, less important legislation is passed than under unified government. The book won the 1992 Richard E. Neustadt prize.

His most recent book, Partisan Balance: Why Political Parties Don't Kill the U.S. Constitutional System, contends that majoritarianism largely characterizes the American system. The wishes of the majority tend to nudge institutions back toward the median voter. Partisan Balance won the 2011 Leon D. Epstein Outstanding Award from the American Political Science Association.

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May 18, 1937
Also known as
  • David R. Mayhew
  • United States of America
  • PhD, Harvard University
    Political Science
    (Specialized in Government)
    ( - 1964)
  • Yale University
Lived in
  • Connecticut
    (1968 - )

on July 23, 2013


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