Plutzer, Eric 1958-
Plutzer, Eric 1958-
Born September 14, 1958, in New York, NY. Education: Washington University, A.B., 1980, Ph.D., 1987.
Indiana University, Bloomington, postdoctoral fellow, 1987-89; Iowa State University, Ames, assistant professor, 1989-94; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, associate professor, 1994-2005, professor of political science and sociology, 2005—, academic director, 2006—.
American Political Science Association, American Sociological Association, American Association of Public Opinion Research.
Received grants from the Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation.
Your Research: Data Analysis for American Government and Politics (computer file), software by Kenneth E. Hinze, West Publishing (St. Paul, MN), 1994.
(With Michael B. Berkman) Ten Thousand Democracies: Politics and Public Opinion in America's School Districts, Georgetown University Press (Washington, DC), 2005.
Contributor to books and academic journals. Served as associate editor for Politics and Gender and on the editorial board of several academic journals, including American Journal of Education, American Politics Research, Politics and Gender, and Social Science Quarterly.
Eric Plutzer is a professor of political science and sociology at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, where he has taught since 1994, beginning as an associate professor. He also serves as an academic director, a position he has held since 2006. Before that, Pluter was an assistant professor of political science from 1989-94 at Iowa Sate University in Ames. Some of the courses he has taught over the years have included "Introduction to American Government," "Political Opinion," "Analysis of Survey Data," and "American Political Behavior." He graduated with both an A.B. and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, and went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at Indiana University in Bloomington. Over the years, Plutzer has received research grants for various projects from the Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, and the American Association of Public Opinion Research. In addition to his work as an educator, Plutzer has contributed writing in his areas of expertise to numerous books and academic journals, and he has served as associate editor for Politics and Gender and on the editorial board of several academic journals, including American Journal of Education, American Politics Research, Politics and Gender, and Social Science Quarterly. Plutzer has published two books during his career: Your Research: Data Analysis for American Government and Politics, which was published in 1994, and Ten Thousand Democracies: Politics and Public Opinion in America's School Districts. For Your Research, Plutzer was responsible for writing the workbook, while Kenneth E. Hinze created the software that accompanied the workbook.
Published in 2005, Ten Thousand Democracies is a collaboration between Plutzer and fellow Pennsylvania State University political scientist Michael Berkman. Through extensive research, the book aims to reveal several truths behind the power of special-interest groups, from trade unions to senior citizen organizations, in modern American education, specifically in public school districts. "In this well-researched, engaging book, Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer … present an innovative study on fiscal policy responsiveness in public school districts, a sector of traditionally strong local control that is commonly characterized by popular sovereignty. More specifically, the authors examine whether public opinion, governing arrangements, and interest- group politics contribute to spending decisions among districts with comparable characteristics," wrote Kenneth K. Wong in his review of Ten Thousand Democracies for the Political Science Quarterly.
Many critics were impressed with the pair's efforts. "This is a substantial advance for studies of representation that generally have centered on Congress or in a few single individual states. Recent work has examined the effects of professionalism, direct democracy, and some committee procedures on policy responsiveness of the states, but Berkman and Plutzer take this kind of comparative institutional analysis to a new level," observed Public Opinion Quarterly critic Gerald C. Wright in his review of the book. "In short, this book provides an excellent empirical foundation for further inquiry on democratic politics and educational policy," maintained Wong. "A groundbreaking study of impeccable scholarship," observed an Internet Bookwatch critic. "One nice feature of Ten Thousand Democracies is that all technical details are relegated to the appendices. The authors do an excellent job of documenting and justifying their methods while leaving the body of the text easily accessible to the readers more interested in what they find than in how they did it. This is a landmark work in the study of the linkages between public opinion and public policy," maintained Wright.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September 1, 2006, A. Cooley, review of Ten Thousand Democracies: Politics and Public Opinion in America's School Districts, p. 166.
Internet Bookwatch, April 1, 2006, review of Ten Thousand Democracies.
Political Science Quarterly, March 22, 2007, Kenneth K. Wong, review of Ten Thousand Democracies, p. 154.
Public Opinion Quarterly, March 22, 2007, Gerald C. Wright, review of Ten Thousand Democracies, p. 164.
Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2006, review of Ten Thousand Democracies.
Pennsylvania State University Web site,http://www.personal.psu.edu/ (August 12, 2008), biographical information on Eric Plutzer.