Sulkin, Tracy 1975–

views updated

Sulkin, Tracy 1975–


Born March 18, 1975. Education: Western Washington University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1997, M.A., 1999; University of Washington, Ph.D., 2002.


Office—Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 361 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801. E-mail—[email protected].


Academic and political scientist. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, assistant professor, 2002—, Center for the Study of Democratic Governance, research fellow, 2006-07. University of Washington, graduate fellow, 1997-99 and 2001-02; National Science Foundation graduate research fellow, 1998-2001.


American Political Science Association (Legislative Studies Section, secretary-treasurer, 2007—).


Research award, Dirksen Congressional Center Congressional, 2001-02; E.E. Schattschneider Award, American Political Science Association, 2003, for the best dissertation in American politics completed in 2001 or 2002; Arnold O. Beckman Award, University of Illinois Campus Research Board, 2003-04 and 2005; CQ Press Award, Legislative Studies Section for "Legislative Responsiveness to Campaign Challenges," 2005, for the best paper in legislative studies presented at the 2004 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting; Department of Political Science Clarence Berdahl Award, Pi Sigma Alpha, 2005, for excellence in undergraduate teaching; Richard F. Fenno Prize, American Political Science Association, 2006, for the best book on legislative studies published in 2005, for Issue Politics in Congress; Alan Rosenthal Prize, American Political Science Association Legislative Studies Section for Issue Politics in Congress, 2006, for the best book or article in legislative studies published in 2005 by a junior scholar that has potential value to legislative practitioners.


Issue Politics in Congress, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals and academic journals, including American Politics Research, American Political Science Review, Political Analysis, Political Psychology, Journal of Politics, and Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics. Reviewer for numerous academic journals, including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Research, Political Research Quarterly, National Science Foundation Editorial Board, Political Science Network, eJournal on Legislatures, and American Political Science Review.


Tracy Sulkin is an academic and political scientist. Born on March 18, 1975, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science, graduating magna cum laude from Western Washington University in 1997. Two years later she had completed a master of arts degree, also in political science, from the same university. Sulkin completed the requirements for a Ph.D. in political science in 2002 at the University of Washington.

Sulkin entered academia as an assistant professor in 2002 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, jointly appointed to the department of political science and the department of speech communication. Her research interests include political communication, legislative media strategies, representation and agenda-setting, and communication in congressional campaigns. Starting in 2007 Sulkin began serving as the secretary-treasurer of the American Political Science Association's Legislative Studies Section.

Sulkin has been recognized for her scholarship in political science a number of times. She received the E.E. Schattschneider Award from the American Political Science Association in 2003 for presenting the best dissertation in American politics completed in 2001 or 2002. She also received the Arnold O. Beckman Award from the University of Illinois Campus Research Board in the 2003-04 school year and in 2005.

Sulkin published her first book, Issue Politics in Congress, in 2005. It was awarded both the Richard F. Fenno Prize from the American Political Science Association and the Alan Rosenthal Prize from the American Political Science Association Legislative Studies Section in 2006. The account looks into the phenomenon of newly elected or reelected politicians embracing the primary platforms and issues of their main competitors and offers theories as to why this happens so frequently.

Rebekah Herrick, writing in the Journal of Politics, noted that "the research Sulkin conducts is meticulous. Although one may quibble with some measurements of key concepts," the author "offers a strong defense" of the methods and measures she used. Herrick summarized that "uptake theory significantly increases our understanding of elections, policymaking, and responsiveness. The book meticulously and empirically tests the theory and its assumptions with reasonable measures, offering numerous new insights. As such, this book is likely to be of considerable interest to scholars interested in issues of representation, elections, campaigns, and legislative behavior. It is also clearly written and could be used in upper division undergraduate or graduate classes."

Eric S. Heberlig, reviewing the book in the Political Science Quarterly, explained that the "exploratory" book "will be a substantial contribution to the literature because it goes to the core of the nature of republican democracy." Heberlig concluded that "it is an extremely creative and meticulously empirical approach to studying representation. It shows that elections matter in setting the policy agenda in Congress—even when the candidate who highlighted the issue loses the election."



Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June 1, 2006, S.E. Schier, review of Issue Politics in Congress, p. 1904.

Journal of Politics, February 11, 2007, Rebekah Herrick, review of Issue Politics in Congress, pp. 876-895.

Political Science Quarterly, September 22, 2006, Eric S. Heberlig, review of Issue Politics in Congress, p. 532.

Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2006, review of Issue Politics in Congress.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Speech Communication Web site, (May 13, 2008), author profile.

University of Washington Web site, (May 13, 2008), author profile.