Lawrence R. Jacobs
Member of SSN Steering Committee and Director of the Minneapolis-St. Paul SSN Regional Network; Walter F. and Joan Mondale Professor of Political Studies, and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, Hubert Humphrey School and Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota
Expertise & Civic Involvements
Jacobs’s research focuses on presidential and legislative politics; elections and voting behavior; public opinion and polling; Social Security and health care policy; political dynamics in midwestern swing states; and American political history. His center is one of the leading university-based bodies on politics and public policy in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. It regularly hosts high-profile public forums with senior government officials and experts, serves as a go-to resource for journalists, and brings together community and public officials to address pressing real-world problems.
SSN Basic Facts, August 2012
Co-Authored with Theda Skocpol, SSN Basic Facts, May 2012
SSN Key Findings, December 2011
Co-Authored with Theda Skocpol, SSN Basic Facts, October 2011
Reaching for a New Deal: Ambitious Governance, Economic Meltdown, and Polarized Politics in Obama’s First Two Years (with ) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011). Analyzes the policy successes and failures of the early Obama presidency – and explains why, despite many reform accomplishments, Obama and the Democrats have faced uphill political battles, right-wing obstruction, and popular disillusionment.
Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know (with ) (Oxford University Press, 2010). In a readable narrative, explains how health reform legislation finally passed in 2010, and assesses the equality-enhancing aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Looks ahead to what will unfold as the legislation is implemented nationally and in the states amidst partisan divisions and interest group maneuvers.
"Trusting What You Know: Information, Knowledge, and Confidence in Social Security" (with ). Journal of Politics 72, no. 2 (2010): 1-16. Shows how Social Security's personal statement increases knowledge and confidence in the program.
Class War? What Americans Really Think about Economic Inequality (with ) (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Political debates often pivot on whether government is portrayed in the abstract, which triggers conservative reactions among majorities (including many Democrats), or in terms of specific programs and needs, which activates pragmatic liberalism (including among many Republicans).
The Private Abuse of the Public Interest (with ) (University of Chicago Press, 2008). Conservative efforts to expand markets and shrink government often have the paradoxical effect of expanding government’s reach by creating problems that force legislators to enact new rules and regulations. A comprehensive history of American economic and social welfare policy reveals that properly functioning markets require government to initiate, sustain, and repair them over time.
"Who Influences U.S. Foreign Policy?" (with ). American Political Science Review 99, no. 1 (2005): 107-124. Business leaders exert a disproportionate influence on U.S. diplomatic and economic policy making, with organized labor and public opinion generally having considerably less impact.
- "Minnesota Tax Reform: A Three-Act Play," Star Tribune, March 2, 2013.
- Guest to discuss the fiscal debate and entitlements on MPR News (with ), December 3, 2012.
- Lawrence R. Jacobs's research on single-party dominance in state government discussed in , "One-Party Control Opens States to Partisan Rush," New York Times, November 22, 2012.
- Lawrence R. Jacobs's research on the polarization of opinions about the government's role in school nutrition policy discussed in , "Students against Lunch Calorie Caps Mobilize Republicans," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 21, 2012.
- Lawrence R. Jacobs's research on the use of "crafted talk" and "simulated responsiveness" in politicians' speech discussed in , "Pre-Debate Analysis: The Mad Science of U.S. Presidential Campaigns," In These Times, October 3, 2012.
- "Getting Past Healthcare's Individual Mandate" (with ), Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2012.
- Lawrence R. Jacobs's research on the battle for health care reform in his state cited in "In Fight Over Obama Health Law, a Front in Minnesota," New York Times, April 30, 2012.
- "Health Reform - Genie is Out of the Bottle," The Hill's Congress Blog, April 24, 2012.
- "The GOP and Health Care Reform," Star Tribune, November 12, 2011.
- "What Do They Do Now?," Star Tribune, November 7, 2010.
- "Can Republicans Rescind Obamacare?" (with ), Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2010.
- "Minnesota's Next Big Battle," Star Tribune, May 21, 2009.
- "Expect a Year of Debate," Minnesota Medicine, October 6, 2009.
- "Whatever Happened to Starting Small?," Star Tribune, March 16, 2008.
Talks and Briefings
- "Public Opinion, Elite Mobilization Strategies, and Government Policy," Leonard Davis Institute Lecture, University of Pennsylvania, January 1, 2011.
- "From Situational to Structural Framing," Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University, December 1, 2010.
- "The Paradox of Representation: Health Care Reform and De-Democratization," “The Politics of Ideas and the Politics of Representation” Conference, Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, November 1, 2010.
- "The Politics of Inequality in America: A Political Economy Framework," Columbia University, November 1, 2010.
- "Reaching for the New Deal: President Obama's Agenda and the Dynamics of U.S. Politics," (with Theda Skocpol), Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees, October 1, 2010.