Cameron deHart

Ph.D. Graduate
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Dissertation Title
The Proliferation of State and Local Elections in the United States, 1776-1900
Picture of Cameron DeHart

Cameron is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Stanford University specializing in American and comparative politics. His research focuses on state and local politics, elections, and the evolution of institutions over time. Beginning in autumn 2019-2020, he will be the Thomas D. Dee II Graduate Fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West.  

In his book-style dissertation he addresses the puzzle of American electoral exceptionalism: why does the U.S. fill so many government offices by direct election? Pairing a novel dataset of state and county elected offices from 1776 to 1900 with a difference-in-difference approach, he shows that the nation did not begin with expansive local democracy, but evolved over time to elect more and more public officials. The primary driver of this evolution, he argues, was suffrage expansion at the state-level that threatened the incumbent elites' monopoly on power. 

His other research projects focus on representation, separation of powers, and the impact of elections on public policy.

He holds an M.A. in Political Science from Stanford, and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from The Ohio State University. His research has been supported by the Tobin Project, the Hoover Institution, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West.


Research Interests

Fields of Study
American Politics
Comparative Politics