Matt Grossmann

Matt Grossmann is Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Michigan Policy Network, and Liaison to the Washington Semester Program. He received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 2007. His research concerns American politics and policymaking, especially interest group representation and influence, political networks, campaigns, and federal policy change in the United States. This year, he is teaching Campaings & Elections, Parties & Interest Groups, and American Policymaking.

His first book, The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance, is available from Stanford University Press. The book explains why certain public groups, such as Jews, lawyers, and gun-owners, develop substantially more representation than others and why certain organizations, like the National Rifle Association, become the presumed spokespersons for these groups in all types of media and all branches of government.

His new book, Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945, is available from Oxford University Press. The book argues that significant policy change arises from coalitions and compromises among institutionalized policy entrepreneurs, including presidents, interest groups, and long-serving senators. The project relies on a content analysis of 268 books and articles on the history of 14 different major policy areas over 60 years, compiling and integrating their findings to assess the factors that drive policymaking. It shows that policymaking is insulated from external pressure in all branches of government and policy output fails to respond systematically to public opinion and election results.

Matt has published journal articles on policy change, issue area differences, political party networks, interest groups, the legislative process, negative campaigning, the consulting industry, group theory, ethnic representation, environmental organizations, technology policy debates, campaign professionalization, and public opinion about campaigns. His research appears in the Journal of Politcs, American Politics Research, and twelve other journals. He is also co-author of a Campaigns & Elections textbook (available now from W. W. Norton) and editor of the volume New Directions in Interest Group Politics (from Routledge).

His current research covers differences between the foundations of the Democratic and Republican parties as well as the evolution of their policy issue positions in Congress.

In addition to academic work, he wrote a state commission report on the use of the Internet in political campaigns and co-authored a book on campaign strategy for practitioners. He serves as the director of the Michigan Policy Network, an outlet for online reporting and research on state policy by MSU students. He is now on Twitter: @MattGrossmann

Matt welcomes inquiries from undergraduates interested in the Washington Semester Program, state policy reporting, or research assistance as well as prospective graduate students in American politics or public policy.


American Politics, Public Policy

Research Specializations

Political Behavior, Political Institutions, Elections, Political Economy

Recent Publications


Grossmann, Matt
Office: 311 S. Kedzie
Phone Number: 517-355-7655