Mayhew Named to Sterling Professorship at Yale

David R. Mayhew, a noted specialist on American government and politics, has been named Sterling Professor of Political Science by vote of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University.

Mayhew is an authority on American political parties, party control of the national government and Congress. His award-winning books on these subjects are: “Divided We Govern: Party Control, Lawmaking, and Investigations 1946-1990,” published by the Yale University Press in 1992, which won the Richard E. Neustadt Prize; and “Congress: The Electoral Connection,” published by the Yale University Press in 1974, which was co-winner of the Washington Monthly book award. His other books include “Party Loyalty among Congressmen: The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans, 1947-1962” and “Placing Parties in American Politics.” Mayhew is often cited by the media in articles and reports on Congress, national government and U.S. politics in general. He is currently at work on a book titled “Actions in the Public Sphere: Members of Congress from James Madison to Newt Gingrich and Beyond.”

Mayhew’s research on the organization and behavior of American political parties and his examination of government have drawn national attention. In “Divided We Govern,” he debunked the conventional notion that national government functions more effectively when both the executive and legislative branches are controlled by one political party. His analysis of Congress’ performance over a 44-year period concluded that split party rule has little or no effect on the frequency of lawmaking or major investigations.

Mayhew earned his B.A. degree from Amherst College and his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 1963-67 before joining the Yale faculty in 1968. He was promoted to a full professorship in 1977 and was appointed the Alfred Cowles Professor of Government in 1982. He served as acting chair of the political science department 1976-77 and as chair 1979-82.

Mayhew has served as a member of a number of professional committees, including the national council of the American Political Science Association (APSA). He has chaired the APSA nominating committee and has been a member of the Board of Overseers of National Election Studies. In addition, he has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Politics and Polity.

In recognition of his scholarship, Mayhew has received numerous awards, including Woodrow Wilson, APSA Congressional, Yale Junior Faculty, Hoover National and Guggenheim fellowships, and a grant from the National Science Foundation. He has been a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Sherman Fairchild at the California Institute of Technology and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His other honors include election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1984.

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