Frank Baumgartner

Frank Baumgartner

Fellow: Awarded 2023
Field of Study: Political Science

Competition: US & Canada

Frank R. Baumgartner is the Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Baumgartner received his B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan (1980, ‘83, and ‘86). With collaborator Bryan D. Jones, he developed the punctuated equilibrium approach to the study of policy change as well as the Comparative Agendas Project, an international collaboration including hundreds of scholars.

He has also written influential books in the study of lobbying and interest groups and most recently has devoted attention to the quantitative study of identity-based disparities in criminal justice outcomes. In 2017, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science. While a Guggenheim Fellow, Baumgartner will work on a project entitled “Why the US Death Penalty Will Never Focus on the ‘Worst of the Worst.’” This work will start from a short list of cognitive and institutional factors and then demonstrate deductively why the death penalty cannot reasonably be expected to be fair. It will combine extensive statistical evidence demonstrating inequalities as well as narrative stories about cases that illustrate how these come about.

Photo Credit: UNC / Johnny Andrews

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