The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Walter Dean Burnham

Professor EmeritusPh.D., Harvard University



Professor Burnham is best known for his work on the dynamics of American politics (particularly electoral politics). His chief areas of concentration have been on the causes, characteristics and consequences of critical realignments in American history, and the modern-day decay of partisan linkages between rulers and ruled. Much of his recent work has also concentrated on the "turnout problem" and its relationship to other elements of change in American politics. Before coming to Texas in 1988, he was Ruth and Arthur Sloan Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He was the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for 1995-1996. Other honors and awards include an SSRC fellowship (1963-64) spent at the University of Michigan to help in the initial construction of the ICPSR archive; a Guggenheim fellowship (1974-75) spent in Great Britain; and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1979-80). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Political Science Association, and other associations.

Professor Burnham's major publications include Critical Elections and the Mainsprings of American Politics (Norton, 1970), The Current Crisis in American Politics (Oxford, 1982), Democracy in the Making (Prentice-Hall, 1983, 1986), and several dozen articles.

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  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704