Joshua Dyck

Joshua J. Dyck, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Professor, Director of the Center for Public Opinion

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


American Politics, Elections, Voting, Survey Research

Research Interests

American Government and Politics; State and Local Politics and Policy; Ballot Initiatives and Direct Democracy; Public Opinion and Voting Behavior; Parties and Polarization; The Politics of Race and Ethnicity; Political Context; Public Policy Analysis; Political Participation; Election Administration; Research Methods; Polling and Survey Research Design; Survey Experiments; Geographic Information Systems; Spatial Regression; Entropy Weighting · Multilevel Modeling


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


Joshua J. Dyck is a Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department 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.

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 the award-winning book 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, Joshua J. & Pearson-Merkowitz, Shanna. The Power of Partisanship. New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming. Expected Publication Date: 6/2023.
  • Dyck, Joshua J. & Lascher, Edward L., Jr. (2019). Initiatives without Engagement: A Realistic Appraisal of Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effects. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Publication Date: 3/1/2019.
    Awards: Virginia Gray Best Book Award, 2020 (State Politics and Policy Section of APSA)
    Reviews: Political Science Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, CHOICE
    Press: McCourtney Institute Democracy Works Podcast, New Books in Political Science Podcast, Democracy Paradox Podcast, The Conversation, Salon, The Fulcrum
  • Niemi, Richard and Dyck, Joshua J., Editors. (2013). Guide to State Politics and Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage/CQ Press. Publication Date: 11/12/2013.