Skip navigation

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

Degree Programs

Faculty & Staff

Seth Masket

  • Seth Masket

    Seth Masket

Professor and Chair
Sturm Hall, Room 469
Phone: 303-871-2718
Twitter: @smotus
Personal website

Areas of expertise/research interests

American politics, state and local politics (including state legislatures), political parties, campaigns and elections, polarization, social networks, political reform movements

Professional biography

Seth Masket is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Denver.

After receiving his BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991, Masket worked as a senior writer in the White House Office of Correspondence and as a direct mail consultant on several political campaigns in the mid-1990s.

Masket has a weekly on-line column with Pacific Standard and is a founder of and regular contributor to's Mischiefs of Faction blog.


PhD, political science, University of California at Los Angeles, 2004
MA, campaign management, The George Washington University, 1996
BA, political science, University of California at Berkeley, 1991


The Inevitable Party: Why Attempts to Kill the Party System Fail and How they Weaken DemocracyOxford University Press, 2016.

No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures , University of Michigan Press, 2009.

"Polarization without Parties: Term Limits and Legislative Partisanship in Nebraska's Unicameral Legislature," State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 2015, vol. 15, iss. 1, 67-90 (with Boris Shor).

"A Primary Cause of Partisanship? Nomination Systems and Legislator Ideology," (with Eric McGhee, Nolan McCarty, Steve Rogers, and Boris Shor). The American Journal of Political Science, 2014, 58 (2): 337-51.

"A Theory of Political Parties: Groups, Policy Demands, and Nominations in American Politics," Perspectives on Politics, 2012, vol. 10, iss. 3 (with Kathleen Bawn, Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel, and John Zaller).

"Partisan Webs: Information Exchange and Party Networks," British Journal of Political Science, 2009 (with Gregory Koger and Hans Noel).

"Where You Sit is Where You Stand: The Impact of Seating Proximity on Legislative Cue-Taking," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 2008, 3: 301-311.

"It Takes an Outsider: Extra-legislative Organization And Partisanship In The California Assembly, 1849-2006," The American Journal of Political Science, 2007, 51: 482-497.