Suzanne Mettler

Current Fellow

Fellow: Awarded 2019

Field of Study: Political Science

Competition: US & Canada

Suzanne Mettler is the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University. Her current research examines crises of democracy throughout American history and what can be learned from them to illuminate the state of democracy today, the factors that endanger it, and how it can be revitalized. Her broader scholarly interests include public policy, American political development, political behavior and civic engagement, and inequality.

Mettler is the author of five books, most recently The Government-Citizen Disconnect (Russell Sage 2018); Degrees of Inequality: How The Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (Basic Books 2014); and The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Programs Undermine American Democracy (University of Chicago 2011). Her earlier books, Dividing Citizens: Gender and Federalism In New Deal Public Policy (Cornell University Press 1998) and Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation (Oxford University Press 2005) were each awarded the Kammerer Award of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the best book on US national policy. In addition, Dividing Citizens won the Derthick Award for a book that has made an enduring contribution to the study of federalism, and Soldiers to Citizens earned the Greenstone prize of the APSA’s Politics and History section. Mettler is also the co-editor of two books and has published many book chapters and articles in scholarly journals including the American Political Science Review and Perspectives on Politics. She has written shorter pieces for a broad audience for publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Monthly, and Foreign Affairs. With Larry Jacobs, she is conducting an ongoing panel study of public opinion on the Affordable Care Act, begun in 2010.

Mettler serves on the steering committee of the Scholars Strategy Network. Previously, she served as secretary of the American Political Science Association and president of the organization’s Politics and History and Public Policy sections. She has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 2017, Mettler initiated the American Democracy Collaborative, a group of scholars of American political development and comparative politics who are evaluating the likelihood of democratic deterioration in the United States.