Samuel L. Popkin

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Samuel L. Popkin (born 9 June 1942) is a noted political scientist who teaches at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1969. Popkin has played a role in the development of rational choice theory within political science. He is also noted for his work as a pollster.

Popkin has published in unusually diverse areas. His most recent book is The Candidate: What it Takes to Win (and Hold) the White House. Earlier he wrote The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns and co-authored Issues and Strategies: The Computer Simulation of Presidential Campaigns. He also co-edited Chief of Staff: Twenty-Five Years of Managing the Presidency.

When he was assistant professor of Government, in 1972, he was jailed for a week, for his refusal to answer questions before a grand jury investigating the Pentagon Papers case, during a hearing before the Boston's Federal District Court.[1] The Faculty Council later passed a resolution condemning the government's interrogation of scholars on the grounds that "an unlimited right of grand juries to ask any question and to expose a witness to citations for contempt could easily threaten scholarly research." [1]

He is equally well known for his work on peasant society, with particular reference to East and Southeast Asia, including The Rational Peasant: The Political Economy of Rural Society in Vietnam.

Popkin has also been a consulting analyst in presidential campaigns, serving as consultant on Bill Clinton's presidential campaign on polling and strategy, to the CBS News election units from 1983 to 1990 on survey design and analysis, and more recently to the Gore campaign. He has also served as consultant to political parties in Canada and Europe and to the Departments of State and Defense. His current research focuses on presidential campaigns and the relationship of public opinion to foreign policy.

He is married to Susan Shirk, Professor of Political Science at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Richard J. Meislin, Popkin Faces Jail Sentence In Contempt of Court Case, The Harvard Crimson, March 22, 1972.

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns
  • The Rational Peasant: The Political Economy of Rural Society in Vietnam
  • Candidates, Issues and Strategies
  • Chief of Staff: Twenty-Five Years of Managing the Presidency, co-editor with Samuel Kernell