Joshua Dyck

Joshua J. Dyck, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Professor

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science, Global Studies, Digital Media, Public Administration
Dugan Hall - 201E


American Politics, Parties and Interest Groups, Public Policy

Research Interests

American Politics; Public Opinion, Elections and Voting Behavior; State Politics; The Politics of Race and Ethnicity; Direct Democracy; Political Parties and Polarization


  • Ph D: Government and Politics, (2006), University of Maryland - College Park, Maryland
  • MA: Government and Politics , (2004), University of Maryland - College Park, MA
  • BA: Economics/Political Science, (2001), Western Washington University - Bellingham, WA


Joshua J. Dyck is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he has been on faculty since 2012. He received his bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University and both his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland. Dyck was previously Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY and a Dissertation Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Professor Dyck teaches classes in the American Politics and Political Communication subfields in Political Science and also in the Master’s in Public Administration Program. He teaches Introduction to American Politics, Electoral Politics, Parties and Interest Groups, Survey Research, Political Participation, and the MPA seminar in Public Policy Analysis.

He is the author of Initiatives without Engagement: A realistic appraisal of direct democracy’s secondary effects, 2019, University of Michigan Press, with Edward L. Lascher, Jr. and more than two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles. The largest subsection of his research is on both the primary and secondary effects of the ballot initiative process in the American states where he is known as a leading skeptic of participatory democratic theory and has published extensively about the false hope of electoral institutional reform. As Director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, Dyck has also been the force behind more than twenty polling projects since 2012, including collaborations with the Washington Post and Boston Globe and polls he directed have been covered in the following outlets: The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, The Associate Press, The Associated Foreign Press, Yahoo News, Reuters, Time, The Globe and Mail, NBC News, MSNBC, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, The Hill, and many others.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Excellence Award (2020) - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Virginia Gray Best Book Award (2020) - State Politics and Policy section of the American Political Science Association
  • Teaching Excellence Award (2016), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Visiting Scholar (2015) - Center for California Studies, CSUS-Sacramento
  • Innovation in Teaching (2013), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Lisa Hertel Outstanding Professor Award (2007), Teaching - University at Buffalo, Political Science Department

Selected Publications

  • Dyck, J., Hussey, W. (CSUS, Sacramento), Lascher, Jr., E.L. (CSUS, Sacramento) (2019). American State Ballot Initiatives and Income Inequality. Politics and Governance , 7(2) 380-409.
  • Dyck, J., Pearson-Merkowitz, S. (University of Rhode Island) (2019). Ballot Initiatives and Status Quo Bias. State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 19(2) 180-207.
  • Cluverius, J., Dyck, J. (2019). Deconstructing Popular Mythologies about Millennials and Party Identification. The Forum, 17(2) 271-294.
  • Dyck, J., Lascher, Jr., E.L. (2019). Initiatives without Engagement: A Realistic Appraisal of Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effects. University of Michigan Press
  • Dyck, J., Cluverius, J., Gerson, J. (2019). Sports, Science, and Partisanship in the United States: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and the Polarisation of an Apolitical Issue. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(1) 133-152.
  • Dyck, J., Pearson-Merkowitz, S., Coates, M. (2018). Political Distrust and Support for the Insurgent Candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Primary. PS: Political Science and Politics, 51(2) 351-357.
  • Pearson-Merkowitz, S., Dyck, J. (2017). Crime and Partisanship: How Party ID Muddles Reality, Perception and Policy Attitudes on Crime and Guns. Social Science Quarterly, 98(2) 443-454.
  • Pearson‐Merkowitz, S., Filindra, A., Dyck, J. (2016). When Partisans and Minorities Interact: Interpersonal Contact, Partisanship, and Public Opinion Preferences on Immigration Policy. Social Science Quarterly, 97(2) 311 - 324.
  • Seabrook, N.R., Dyck, J., Lascher, E.L. (2015). Do Ballot Initiatives increase General Political Knowledge? Political Behavior, (37) 279-307.
  • Dyck, J., Pearson-Merkowitz, S. (2014). To Know You is Not Necessarily to Love You: The Partisan Mediators of Intergroup Contact. Political Behavior, (36) 553-580.
  • Dyck, J., Johnson, G.B., Wasson, J.T. (2012). A Blue Tide in the Golden State: Ballot Propositions, Population Change, and Party Identification in California. American Politics Research, 40(3) 450-475.
  • Dyck, J. (2012). Racial Threat, Direct Legislation, and Social Trust: Taking Tyranny Seriously in Studies of the Ballot Initiative. Political Research Quarterly, 65(3) 617-630.
  • Dyck, J., Pearson-Merkowitz, S. (2012). The Conspiracy of Silence: Context and Voting on Gay Marriage Ballot Measures. Political Research Quarterly, 65(4) 745-757.
  • Dyck, J., Seabrook, N.R. (2010). Mobilized by Direct Democracy: Short-Term Versus Long-Term Effects and the Geography of Turnout in Ballot Measure Elections. Social Science Quarterly, 91(1) 189-208.
  • Dyck, J. (2010). Political Distrust and Conservative Voting in Ballot Measure Elections. Political Research Quarterly, 63(3) 612-626.
  • Dyck, J., Lascher, Jr. , E.L. (2009). Direct Democracy and Political Efficacy Reconsidered. Political Behavior, 31(3) 401-427.
  • Dyck, J. (2009). Initiated Distrust. American Politics Research, 37(4) 539-568.
  • Dyck, J. (2008). The Public Side of Representation: A Study of Citizens' Views about Representatives and the Representative Process (72:2 pp. 392-394). Public opinion quarterly