The Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP) was created in 1999 as a research program within the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. The Center supports research and educational programming on democratic political institutions and behavior. A major aim of the Center is to encourage rigorous social scientific analysis that informs our understanding of the public policy process, elections, and policy decisions.

Welcome from the CSDP Co-Directors

As Winston Churchill noted in 1947, “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time….” Questions about democracy and all its varied components are raised daily, both in the US and internationally. The study of democratic politics, rigorously performed and effectively communicated, helps us determine where the successes lie, what the problems are, and what the effective policy solutions are likely to be. CSDP is dedicated to this pursuit, and we encourage your involvement.


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Frances E. Lee is jointly appointed in the Department of Politics and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs where she is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs.





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Tali Mendelberg is the John Work Garrett Professor of Politics at Princeton University and director of the Program on Inequality at the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice.