Robert Lowry

Robert Lowry

Professor of Political Science
PhD Advisor for Political Science
Associate Program Head and Director of Graduate Studies for the Political Science Program
GR 3.533
Robert Lowry's Webpage
Tags: Political Science Political Economy

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Political Economy and Government
Harvard University - 1993
University of California, Berkeley - 1983
B.S. - Economics & Civil Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - 1980

Research Areas

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Political Economy (fiscal policy, governance and finance of higher education, civil society)
  • American Politics (institutions and processes, political and civic organizations, campaign finance)


Lowry, Robert C. N.d. “The Context of State Public Policymaking: Why is Mississippi Still so Different from Maine?” In The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Politics, Donald Haider-Markel (ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming. forthcoming - Publication
Lowry, Robert C. 2013. Mobilizing Money: Political Action Committees and Political Participation. American Politics Review. Prepublished online February 7 as doi:10.1177/1532673X12472366. 2013 - Publication
Lowry, Robert C. 2012. “Fiscal Policy in the American States.” In Virginia H. Gray, Russell L. Hanson, and Thad Kousser (eds), Politics in the American States: A Comparative Analysis, 309-338. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 10th edition. 2012 - Publication
Lowry, Robert C. and Alisa Hicklin Fryar 2012. “The Politics of Higher Education.” In Virginia H. Gray, Russell L. Hanson, and Thad Kousser (eds), Politics in the American States: A Comparative Analysis, 405-435. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 10th edition. 2012 - Publication
Alt, James E. and Robert C. Lowry. N.d. Transparency and Accountability: Empirical Results for U.S. States. Journal of Theoretical Politics: forthcoming. 2010 - Publication
Lowry, Robert C. 2010. “Fiscal Policy.” In George Thomas Kurian (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Political Science. Vol. 2, 594-595. Washington, DC: CQ Press. 2010 - Publication
Lowry, Robert C. 2009. Reauthorization of the Federal Higher Education Act and Accountability for Student Learning: The Dog That Didn't Bark. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 39(Summer): 506-526. 2009 - Publication
Lowry, Robert C. 2009. Incomplete Contracts and the Political Economy of the Privatized Public University. In Christopher C. Morphew and Peter D. Eckel (eds.) Privatizing the Public University: Perspectives from across the Academy, 33-59. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2009 - Publication


Political Science Program Head
The University of Texas at Dallas [2007–Present]
The University of Texas at Dallas [2006–Present]
Iowa State University [2005–2006]
Iowa State University [2005–2006]
Visiting Scholar
Harvard University [2004–2005]
Associate Professor
Iowa State University [2000–2005]
Assistant Professor
Michigan State University [2000–2000]
Assistant Professor
Michigan State University [1993–1999]


Political Parties and Civil Society in Federal Countries
2009–2009 Global Dialogue on Federalism: USA Roundtable, sponsored by the Forum of Federations. University of Central Arkansas, November 6, 2009.
Incomplete Contracts and the Political Economy of the Privatized Public University
2006–2006 State of the Art Conference on The Privatization of the Public Research University, Institute for Higher Education, University of Georgia, September 7-9, 2006.
Understanding the Whole Package: Public Welfare Spending and Private Social Services in American States
2004–2004 University of Texas at Dallas, December 1, 2004.
Financing Higher Education Institutions in the 21st Century
2001–2001 Research conference, Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, May 22-23, 2001.
It's Better to Rely on Well-designed Institutions than on Well-behaved People
2001–2001 Research conference, University of California, Los Angeles, May 18-19, 2001.

Additional Information

Professional Service and Affiliations
Editorial boards
    State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2005-
    American Journal of Political Science, 2006-09

Executive Council, Section on State Politics and Policy, American Political Science Association, 2008-2010

Award committees
    Best Paper and Best Graduate Student Paper on State Politics and Policy presented at the 2008 meeting of the American Political Science Association
    Party Politics Award, APSA Section on Political Organizations and Parties, 2006
    Robert H. Durr Award for best paper applying quantitative methods to a substantive problem in political science, Midwest Political Science Association, 2003

Mentor, W.T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program, 2008-

Chair and discussant at various professional conferences. Recent participation includes:
        American Political Science Association 2007-09
        Midwest Political Science Association 2007, 2009, 2010

        American Political Science Association 2006
        Midwest Political Science Association 2009

Ad hoc reviewer, American Journal of Political Science; American Political Science Review; American Politics Research; British Journal of Political Science; Economics & Politics; Economics of Education Review; Economics of Governance; Electoral Studies; The Journal of Politics; Journal of Policy Analysis and Management; National Tax Journal; Party Politics; Political Research Quarterly; Politics & Policy; Politique Amricaine; Public Choice; Public Budgeting and Finance; Public Finance and Management; Public Finance Review; Publius: The Journal of Federalism; Southern Economic Journal; State and Local Government Review; State Politics & Policy Quarterly; McGraw-Hill Books, College Division; SAGE Publications; W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.; the National Science Foundation; The Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector Research Fund.

Member, American Political Science Association; Midwest Political Science Association; American Economic Association.
Honors and Awards
  • Iowa State University Department of Political Science, Alumni Award for Senior Faculty Excellence, 2005. 
  • Iowa State University, Faculty Professional Development Assignment, 2004-05. 
  • Predoctoral fellowship, Harvard-MIT Research Training Group in Positive Political Economy, 1992-93.
  • Member, California Law Review, 1982-83
  • Member, Chi Epsilon (national civil engineering honor society), 1979 
Professional Memberships
  • American Political Science Association
  • Midwest Political Science Association
  • American Economic Association.

News Articles

State of Policy, Politics to Take Center Stage at Pair of Conferences
The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences will host two conferences this week that will bring leading scholars to UT Dallas to share research on a range of political topics.

The 16th annual State Politics and Policy Conference, which runs today through Saturday, will focus on the relationship between the federal government and states
The Political Violence and Policy Conference, which will take place today and Friday, will explore theories on political violence.
The state politics conference is an annual event of the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA). The conference is expected to draw close to 150 political scientists for sessions focusing on topics including presidential primaries, redistricting, judicial elections and immigration policy. State Rep. Jason Villalba will deliver the keynote speech Friday
Public Forum to Examine Political Unrest in Mideast
Public Forum to Examine Political Unrest in Mideast UT Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences has scheduled a public forum to discuss the unprecedented wave of political protests breaking out in nations throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. Robert Lowry, program head for political science, organized the forum, which will take place Tuesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the UT Dallas Conference Center.

Students, faculty and staff members are invited to attend. The event is also open to members of the community who have an interest in the historic changes taking place this year in several nations in Asia and Africa.


National Party Committees, Competitive 6 Elections, and State Autonomy Before and After the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
$86,370 - National Science Foundation [2004–2008]
Congressional Parties and Campaign Finance: Improving Democratic Performance
$2,500 - American Political Science Association Small Research Grant [2003–2004]
Institutions and Decision Making in Higher Education
- Michigan State University, Program in Political Institutions and Public Choice [1995–1996]
State Governance Systems and Pricing Policies in Public Higher Education
$3,831 - Michigan State University All-University Research Grant [1994–1995]
State Level Funding Changes to Michigan Nonprofits: 1989-1993
- Michigan State University Nonprofit Research Initiative Grant [1994–1994]