Politics Faculty

Our core faculty bring a wide range of approaches and disciplinary backgrounds to the study of politics. Graduate students may also benefit from working with our affiliated graduate faculty.

Melanie J. Springer
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Phone
    (831) 459-2421
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location 113 Merrill Academic
  • Office Hours Spring 2017: Tuesdays 9:30-11am, and by appointment
  • Mail Stop Merrill Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz California 95064
  • Courses Taught Poli 120B Society and Democracy in American Political Development, Poli 128 American Elections and Voting Behavior, Poli 190M Politics in the American States

Research Interests

American Political Development, Political History, Voting and Elections, State Politics and Policymaking, and Political Institutions.

Biography, Education and Training

Melanie Jean Springer received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 2006. She began her academic career at Washington University in Saint Louis, and joined the Politics faculty at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the Fall of 2013. She specializes in American Politics. Her research and teaching interests include American political development, political history, voting and elections, state politics and policymaking, and political institutions. Her book How the States Shaped the Nation: American Electoral Institutions and Voter Turnout, 1920-2000 was published in 2014 with the University of Chicago Press (Chicago Studies in American Politics). This work examines the effects of numerous state-level electoral institutions on 20th century voter turnout rates in the American states. Her research has also been published by Brookings Institution Press, and in Political Research Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and the Journal fo Community Engagement and Scholarship.