Michael Neblo

Michael Neblo

Michael Neblo

Professor of Political Science and (by courtesy) Philosophy and Public Policy


2058 Derby Hall
154 N Oval Mall
Columbus, OH

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Curriculum Vita 2018

Professor Neblo's research focuses on deliberative democracy and political psychology. His new book, Politics with the People: Building a Directly Representative Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2018), develops and tests a new model of politics connecting citizens and elected officials to improve representative government. His first book, Deliberative Democracy between Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2015), cuts across the deadlock between supporters of deliberative theory and their empirical critics by focusing on the core goals of the larger deliberative political system. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in a wide range of academic journals, including Science, The American Political Science Review, Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, The Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Analysis, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, Political Communication, Acta Politica, The Journal of Medicine & Law, Social Science & Medicine, among others.

He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) from Northwestern University. He teaches courses in deliberative democratic and general political theory from the introductory level up to graduate seminars, as well as graduate seminars on Social Theory for Social Scientists and the philosophy of Jürgen Habermas. He has tertiary interests in applied philosophy of social science, politics and the emotions, race politics, health politics, immigration, politics and technology, and politics and the arts. With various colleagues, Neblo has been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Kettering Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Veterans Administration, the International Society for Political Psychology, the Ash Institute, and a large grant from the National Science Foundation to design and study electronic town-hall meetings with the cooperation of members of the U.S. Congress.

Selected Publications



With William Minozzi, Hyunjin Song, David  Lazer, and Katherine Ognyanova Forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science

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With Claire Abernathy, Kevin M. Esterling, Justin Freebourn, Ryan Kennedy, William Minozzi, and Jonathan A. Solis. Forthcoming in Legislative Studies Quarterly

, with Kevin Esterling and David Lazer. Forthcoming in Perspectives on Politics

, with Jon Green and Jon Kingzette. Forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Political Decision-Making.


. With Dryzek, et al. Science 363, no. 6432 (2019): 1144-1146.

. With Brian Rubineau and Yisook Lim. Social Networks 56 (2019): 33-44.

. With Avery White. In The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy (2018): 447.

Politics with the People: Building a Directly Representative Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2018; with Kevin Esterling and David Lazer).

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with William Minozzi, Kevin Esterling, Jonathan Kingzette, Jon Green, and David Lazer. Science, (2017).

Deliberative Democracy between Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Field experiment evidence of substantive, attributional, and behavioral persuasion by members of Congress in online town halls. (With William Minozzi, Kevin Esterling, and David Lazer.) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(13), 3937-3942, (2015). Supporting Information.pdf

“Expanding the Conversation: Multiplier Effects from a Deliberative Field Experiment,” with David Lazer, Anand Sokhey, Kevin Esterling, and Ryan Kennedy. Political Communication. (2015).

“Reform Pluralism as Political Theology and Democratic Technology.” Election Law Journal. 13(4): 526-533, (2014).

"Connecting to Constituents: The Diffusion of Representation Practices among Congressional Websites [pdf]," (2012) Political Research Quarterly, 66(1):102-114.(with Kevin Esterling, & David Lazer)

"What is Good Quality Public Deliberation? [pdf]" (2012) Hastings Center Report. 42(2): 24-26. (with Susan Dorr Goold, Scott Y. H. Kim, Raymond de Vries, Gene Rowe, and Peter Muhlberger)

"Deliberation's Legitimation Crisis [pdf]" (2011) Critical Review. 23(3): 405-419.

"The Multiple Institutional Logics of Innovation [pdf]." (2011) International Public Management Journal (with David Lazer, Ines Mergel, Curt Ziniel, and Kevin Esterling)

"Representative Communication: Website Interactivity & 'Distributional Path Dependence' in the U.S. Congress [pdf]." (2011) Political Communication (with Kevin Esterling and David Lazer)

"The Internet and the Madisonian Cycle: Possibilities and Prospects for Consultative Representation [pdf]." (2011) In Building Democracy Through Online Citizen Consultation. MIT Press. Edited by Peter Shane. (with Kevin Esterling and David Lazer)

"Means, Motive, and Opportunity in Becoming Informed About Politics: A Deliberative Field Experiment [pdf]." (2011) Public Opinion Quarterly. (with Kevin Esterling & David Lazer) (Web Appendix [pdf])

"Estimating Treatment Effects in the Presence of Selection on Unobservables [pdf]." (2011) Political Analysis. (with Kevin Esterling & David Lazer)

"Who Wants To Deliberate — And Why? [pdf]" (2010) American Political Science Review. (with Kevin Esterling, Ryan Kennedy, David Lazer, and Anand Sokhey) (Web Appendix [pdf])(Replication Materials [zip])

(Winner of the 2011 Heinz Eulau Award for the best article published in the American Political Science Review.)

"Disentangling Diversity in Deliberative Democracy: Competing Theories, Their Blind Spots and Complementarities [pdf]." (2010) The Journal of Political Philosophy. (with Andre Bächtiger, Simon Niemeyer, Jürg Steiner, and Marco Steenbergen)

"The Coevolution of Networks and Political Attitudes [pdf]." (2010) Political Communication. (with David Lazer, Brian Rubineau, Carol Chetkovich, and Nancy Katz)

"Three-Fifths a Racist: Context and Meaning in the Race Politics Debate [pdf]." (2009) Political Behavior. (2002 Winner of the Roberta Sigel Best Paper Award, International Society for Political Psychology) (Web Appendix [pdf])

"Meaning & Measurement: Reorienting the Race Politics Debate [pdf]." (2009) Political Research Quarterly. (Web Appendix [pdf])

"Veterans' Views on Balancing Privacy & Research in Medicine: A Deliberative Democratic Study [pdf]." With Joy Pritts, Laura Damschroder, & Rodney Hayward. Journal of Medicine & Law (January, 2008).

"Family Disputes: Diversity in Defining and Measuring Deliberation [pdf]." Swiss Political Science Review 13(4): 527-57, Dec. 2007.

"Philosophical Psychology with Political Intent [pdf]." in The Affect Effect: Dynamics of Emotion in Political Thinking and Behavior, (eds.) W. Russell Neuman, George E. Marcus, Ann N. Crigler, Michael MacKuen. (2007) University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

"Patients, Privacy, & Trust [pdf]." Social Science & Medicine. January 2007. (with Joy Pritts, Laura Damschroder, John Creswell, Rosemarie Kalarickel & Rodney Hayward.)

"Measuring and Explaining the Quality of Web Sites in the (Virtual) House of Representatives [pdf]." in Current Issues and Trends in E-Government Research. Donald F. Norris (ed.). The Idea Group. (2007; with Kevin Esterling & David Lazer)

"Thinking Through Democracy: Between the Theory & Practice of Deliberative Politics [pdf]." Acta Politica, 40:2, July, 2005

"Home (Page) Style [pdf]." International Journal of E-government Research, 1(2), 48-62, April-June 2005. (with Kevin Esterling & David Lazer)

"Giving Hands & Feet to Morality." Perspectives on Politics, March 2004, Vol. 2, Number 1.

"The Emergence of Post-Culturalism [pdf]." Human Development, 1998; v.41.(with Larry Nucci).

Selected Working Papers

"The Role of Familiarity in Democratic Representation: A Field Experiment on Constituent Attitudes toward Members of Congress" with Kevin Esterling, David Lazer, and William Minozzi

"The social control of political participation: Conflict and contagion as processes (de)mobilizing voting" with David Lazer, Katya Ognyanova, and William Minozzi

"Directly Representative Democracy: Constituent Consultation for a 21st Century Republic.pdf" (with Kevin Esterling and David Lazer)

Picking People or Pushing Politics.pdf (with David Lazer and Brian Rubineau)

Thrasymachus's Blush: The Science and Politics of Motivated Reasoning and 'Principled Rhetoric'.pdf (with William Minozzi)

Logos, Ethos, Pathos: Mechanisms of Persuasion in a Deliberative Field Experiment.pdf (with William Minozzi, David Lazer, Kevin Esterling)

Is Anxiety About Immigration a Response to Perceptions of Risk or Uncertainty?.pdf (with Sarah Bryner and Christopher Devine)


" Illegality, National Origin Cues, and Public Opinion on Immigration.pdf." (with Karthick Ramakrishnan, Kevin Esterling, and David Lazer)

"The Weight of Passion: A Revisionist History of Political Emotion.pdf."

"Change for the Better?: Linking the Mechanisms of Deliberative Opinion Change to Normative Theory [pdf]."

"Impassioned Democracy: The Role of Emotion in Deliberative Theory.pdf."

"Narrative Democracy: Myths of Founding and Re-founding in Magical Realist Novels [pdf]."

"Motive Matters: Liberalism & Insincerity.pdf."

"A Theory of Deliberation as Interactive Reasoning [pdf]." (with William Minozzi and David Siegel)

"Barbarians at the Gate & Neighbors Next Door: Policy Knowledge, Anxiety, & Public Opinion about Immigration in the U.S. [pdf]" (with Robert Gulotty)

"Counting Voices in an Echo Chamber: Cognition, Complexity, and the Prospects for Deliberative Democracy.pdf"

OpEds & Book Reviews



. With David Lazer and Kevin Esterling. Roll Call, Nov. 30th 2018.


. With Jonathon Kingzette, Jon Green, and Ryan Kennedy. Nov. 2018

“Can Members of Congress Change Your Mind?” (with David Lazer) Politico: April 19th, 2015 

“Politicians and citizens talking without shouting? It can happen.” The Washington Post: March 16th, 2015 

“Digital town halls take political discussions beyond sound and fury” The Conversation: March 16th, 2015 

"Town Halls without the Screaming or Scripting [pdf]." The Boston Globe, August 30th, 2009.

Review of Thomas Schelling's Strategies of Commitment and Other Essays [pdf], Ethics Oct. 2007 (with Benjamin Jones).

Review of Joseph Heath's Communicative Action and Rational Choice [pdf], Ethics, October, 2003.

Review of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (eds.) Choices, Values, and Frames [pdf], Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Summer, 2003.

Review of Dennis Chong's Rational Lives: Norms and Values in Politics and Society [pdf], Ethics, April, 2002.