Thomas Brunell

Professor of Political Science
Program Head of Political Science, Public Policy and Political Economy
Tags: Political Science

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Political Science
University of California at Irvine - 1997
M.A. - Political Science
University of California at Irvine - 1993
B.A. - Political Science
University of California at Irvine - 1991


Brunell, Thomas L. Notes on the 2008 U.S. General Election. Electoral Studies, forthcoming. forthcoming - Publication
Stone Sweet, Alec and Thomas L. Brunell. 2013. “Trustee Courts and the Judicialization of International Regimes: The Politics of Majoritarian Activism in the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization. Journal of Law and Courts 1(1): 61- 88. 2013 - Publication
Brunell, Thomas L. 2012. The One Person, One Vote Standard in Redistricting: The Uses and Abuses of Population Deviations in Legislative Redistricting. Case Western Reserve Law Review 62(4): 1057- 1077. 2012 - Publication
Brunell, Thomas L. and Harold Clarke. 2012. Who Wants Electoral Competition and Who Wants to Win? Political Research Quarterly 65(1): 124-137. 2012 - Publication
Stone Sweet, Alec and Thomas L. Brunell. 2012. The European Court of Justice, State Non-Compliance, and the Politics of Override. American Political Science Review 106(1): 204-213. 2012 - Publication
Grofman, Bernard, Thomas L. Brunell, and Scott L. Feld. 2012. Towards a Theory of Bicameralism: The Neglected Contributions of the Calculus of Consent. Public Choice 152(1-2): 147-161. 2012 - Publication
Merrill, Samuel, Bernard Grofman, and Thomas L. Brunell. 2011. “Do British Politics  Exhibit Electoral Cycles?” British Journal of Political Science 41(1): 33-55. 2011 - Publication
Adams, James, Thomas Brunell, Bernard Grofman, and Samuel Merrill, III. Why Candidate Divergence Should be Expected to be Just as Great (or even Greater) in Competitive Seats as in Non-Competitive Ones. Public Choice, forthcoming. 2010 - Publication
Smith, David and Thomas L. Brunell. Are Special Elections to the U.S. House a General Election Baromoter? Legislative Studies Quarterly, forthcoming. 2010 - Publication
Brunell, Thomas L. and Justin Buchler. Ideological Representation and Competitive Congressional Elections. Electoral Studies, forthcoming. 2009 - Publication


The University of Texas at Dallas [2009–Present]
Associate Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [2005–2009]
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Northern Arizona University [2003–2005]
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Binghamton University, SUNY [1999–2003]
American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow
Visiting Assistant Professor
University of California, Irvine [1997–1998]


The Relationship Between Descriptive Representation of African Americans in Congress and Attitudes Toward Government
2004–2004 With Rachel Cremona and Chris Anderson, presented at The Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 14-17, 2004.
The Entrance of Women into the U.S. Congress: The Widow Effect
2001–2001 with Lisa Solowiej. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. Atlanta, GA November 7-10, 2001.
Explaining the Proportion of Split House-President Outcomes, 1900-1996
2001–2001 with Bernard Grofman and Samuel Merrill. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Public Choice Society, San Antonio, Texas, March 9-11, 2001.
Evaluating the Political Effects of Partisan Gerrymandering
2005–2005 With Bernard Grofman. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, September 1-4, 2005.
Why Fewer Competitive Elections are Better in Single Member District Electoral Systems
2005–2005 May 27, 2005, Nuffield College, Oxford University.

Additional Information

Service & Professional Activities
  • 2007-present Associate Program Head and Director of Graduate Studies, Political Science, UT Dallas.
  • 2005-2007 Executive Committee, Political Science, UT Dallas.
  • 2006 American Politics search committee, UT Dallas.
  • 2003-2005 Faculty Senate, Northern Arizona University.
  • 2000-2001 Faculty Senate, Binghamton University.
  • 2000-2001 Graduate Committee, Department of Political Science, Binghamton University.
  • 2000-2001 American Politics Search Committee, Binghamton University.
  • 1999-2000 American Politics Search Committee, Binghamton University.
  • 1999-2000 Graduate Committee, Department of Political Science, Binghamton University.
  • Reviewer, National Science Foundation, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Journal of Theoretical Politics, American Politics Review, National Science Foundation, Public Choice, Political Research Quarterly, Electoral Studies, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of European Public Policy, European Journal of Political Research, and Party Politics.
Grants and Awards
  • Intramural Grants Program, Northern Arizona University. $5,000 for a study on the impact of redistricting on House elections. Summer 2004.
  • Deans Workshop Grant, "Methods and Politics," $3000, 2002-2003, with David Clark, David Rueda and Wendy Martinek.
  • Deans Workshop Grant, "Democratic Institutions, Preference Aggregation and World Politics," $4000, 2001-2002, with David Clark and Patrick Regan.
  • Dean's Research Semester Award. Binghamton University, 2001-2002.
  • American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship, 1998-99
  • Order of Merit. Outstanding Graduate Scholarship. School of Social Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 1996-1997
  • University of California Regents Dissertation Fellowship, Spring 1997.
  • Scaife Foundation Fellowship to attend ICSPR summer statistical program, 1993.
Other Publications and Community Involvement
  • Appeared on Think with Krys Boyd on KERA Channel 13 here in Dallas talking about my book.
  • Quoted extensively in a Huffington Post story by Tom Edsall on political cycles.
  • Appeared on local radio station (KRLD 1080 am) as a guest political commentator for a 3 hour election wrap up program for the Texas presidential primary election, March 4, 2008.
  • Was one of four invited speakers, including one member of Congress, at North Central Texas College's 2nd Annual Conference on American Leadership, April 12, 2008, where I spoke about redistricting and representation.
  • My research on cycles in American electoral politics was featured on Discovery's website
  • Quoted in Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Thursday March 27 about jury deliberations.
  • Quoted in Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday April 2 about jury deliberations.
  • My research with Patrick Brandt involving predicting the 2006 Congressional elections was quoted extensively in an article U.S. News and World Report.
  • Wrote an op-ed for Newsday (New York) on the impact of timing of events for presidential elections. Published 1/4/04. This was reprinted in the Dodge City Daily
  • Globe (Kansas) on 1/8/04 and in the Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee) on 1/25/04.
  • Spoke to Pi Sigma Alpha meeting on the Presidential Primary Process, February 2004.
  • Delivered a speech to the League of Women Voters of Broome and Tioga Counties entitled "Redistricting after Census 2000: Playing Political Hardball." September 25, 2001
  • Appeared as an hour long guest on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" to discuss the decennial census. March 7, 2001.
  • Stone Sweet, Alec and Thomas L. Brunell. 2000. "The European Court, National Judges, and Legal Integration: A Researcher's Guide to the Data Set on Preliminary References in EC Law, 1958–98." Working paper. Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. European University Institute.
  • Brunell, Thomas L. and Amihai Glazer. 1999. "Evidence for the Irrationality of Governmental Policy." Working paper, Center for the Study of Democracy, U.C. Irvine.
  • Stone Sweet, Alec and Thomas L. Brunell. 1997. "The European Court and the National Courts: A Statistical Analysis of Preliminary References, 1961-95." Working paper 14/97, Jean Monnet Center, Harvard Law School.
  • Appeared on News Channel 34 (ABC) on 11/12/00 discussing the process by which we amend the constitution.
  • Appeared on Fox 40 on election night 11/7/00 as an analyst discussing the election.
  • Appeared on WBNG TV (CBS) on 11/2/00 discussing voter fatigue.
  • Appeared on News Channel 34 (ABC) on 11/2/00 discussing the Electoral College.
  • Quoted in Press and Sun-Bulletin on 10/14/00 in an article about the 26th district Congressional election in New York.
  • Appeared on WBNG TV (CBS) with students in my class discussing the second Clinton/Lazio debate, 10/8/00.
  • Appeared on News Channel 34 (ABC) discussing Presidential debate, 10/4/00
  • Appeared on News Channel 34 (ABC) discussing Presidential debate, 10/3/00
  • Appeared on News Channel 34 (ABC) discussing the 2000 NY Senatorial primary, 9/12/00.
  • Appeared on WBNG TV (CBS) News discussing the 2000 presidential primaries. March 7,2000.
  • Appeared on WBNG TV (CBS) News discussing Census 2000 and its likely impact on New York. January 20, 2000.
  • Appeared on WBNG TV (CBS) and News Channel 34 (FOX) talking about turnout in local elections. October 2, 1999.
  • Brunell, Thomas L. "Accurate Census Count Vital for New York." The Press & Sun-Bulletin. July 25, 1999. Page 6E.

News Articles

EPPS Names New Associate, Assistant Deans
UT Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) has named a new associate dean for graduate programs and assistant dean for undergraduate studies. Dr. Tom Brunell, professor of political science, will oversee the graduate students, and Dr. Sarah Maxwell, clinical assistant professor in criminology and public policy, will work with students seeking bachelor’s degrees. Brunell succeeds Dr. Euel Elliott, professor of political science, who helped oversee a major expansion of the school during his 15 years in the position. Dr. Kruti Dholakia-Lehenbauer, clinical professor in public policy and political economy, formerly assisted the undergraduates.
Professor Questions Traditional Election Assumptions
For the first time in decades, the nation is witnessing an intensively competitive race for the Democratic nomination for president.onventional wisdom holds that competitive elections are good for the electorate because they attract more people to the polls and keep elected officials honest by making them more closely follow the wishes of the electorate. But is competition always a good thing for voters? Given a choice, American voters would rather win than compete, according to Thomas Brunell, an associate professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas, whose new book argues for less competition in general elections, not more. In his new book, Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are Bad for America, (2008, Routledge), he says rather than draw districts 50-50, draw them so that they are overwhelmingly of one party or the other. Such a non-competitive system, would result in more competitive primary elections, better representation for all and less gerrymandering, the process in which the party in power draws district lines in order to dilute votes from the other party.