Marc Hetherington

2018-05 - 2018-06

Visiting Professor, then Raymond A. Dawson Bicentennial Professor of Political Science

Vanderbilt University, then University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Marc Hetherington has taught the last 14 years at Vanderbilt University and is moving this summer to assume the Raymond Dawson Bicentennial Chair in Political Science at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  He studies the American electorate, with a particular focus on trust in government and the polarization of public opinion. He is the author of four scholarly books, the most recent of which, Prius or Pickup: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explains America’s Great Divide, is forthcoming in October. Why Washington Won’t Work (co-authored with Thomas Rudolph) won the Alexander George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology as the best book in the field of political psychology published in 2015. Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics (co-authored with Jonathan Weiler) won the Philip Converse Award in 2016 from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the APSA. Marc is a past recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association. He has published more than a dozen articles in a wide range of scholarly journals and also won several college and university teaching awards. 

Research interests

Public Opinion, Polarization, Ideology, Trust in Government, Survey Research

Visiting projects and objectives

“My central endeavor is working to develop a more complete conceptual understanding of and measure of what I call worldview.  In the US, scholars have – I believe – been misunderstanding the true nature of ideology.  Size of government is no longer the central organizing issue between the parties.  Indeed it is being eclipsed by something that is more visceral, more deeply held – a worldview.  In the American case, four questions about desirable qualities in children seem to unlock people’s worldview.  And my recent work demonstrates that these same questions have great potential to explain public opinion about the weightiest of political issues in Europe as well.  I hope to work in collaboration with scholars at Sciences Po and beyond in an effort to continue to work conceptually and empirically on these ideas.  In addition, I hope to continue to work on translating some of my ideas about the importance of trust in government to the European context as well.”