The Center for Political Studies (CPS) is recognized around the world as a leading center for the quantitative study of politics. Scholars at the Center investigate the interactions among institutions, political processes, and individuals - themes united by a concern for understanding a wide array of political outcomes. The Center has a commitment to quality and transparency in research and the development and dissemination of public goods for the benefit of science, policy, and society.
CPS is very interdisciplinary, with scholars with appointments in the fields of communications, complex systems, history, natural resources, political science, psychology, public policy, social work, and statistics. CPS is also very international, with experts in geographic areas such as Africa, China, Europe, India, the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia, and Southeast Asia, in addition to the United States. It includes comparative scholars who examine the similarities and differences between countries the world over. The Center’s scholars make use of a variety of research tools – advanced computing, datasets, experiments, formal modeling, spatial analysis (Geographic Information Systems/GIS), statistical modeling, and surveys, among others.
CPS provides a collaborative, supportive environment for its associated faculty, students, staff, visiting scholars, and projects. The Center organizes workshops, seminars series, and lectures on a regular basis. Experienced, professional staff members provide an array of services in the areas of administration, communication, research development and implementation, and technology.
Over its three-decade history, the Center has expanded its research focus. The Center’s origins were in individual voting behavior, including the development of the American National Election Studies (ANES). Later it turned to institutions and their effects on policies and individual behavior. Today, CPS is diverse in its intellectual agendas and methodologies - building links between comparative, world, and American politics, and building bridges between the study of individual behavior and political and economic institutions. The Center's mission has further extended to helping develop local capacity for social science research in other institutions and countries, training in quantitative analysis and survey research methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration with other fields on common issues and scientific problems.