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Laurel Harbridge-Yong

Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University

Laurel Harbridge-Yong’s teaching and research focuses on partisan conflict and the lack of bipartisan agreement in American politics. Her research examines why Congressional parties prioritize partisan conflict, focusing on both institutional changes and public preferences for bipartisanship. Her 2015 book, Is Bipartisanship Dead? (Cambridge University Press), explores how party leaders in the House of Representatives changed from prioritizing legislation with bipartisan agreement in the 1970s to prioritizing legislation with partisan disagreement by the 1990s. Her newest book, Rejecting Compromise: Legislators' Fear of Primary Voters (2020, Cambridge University Press) examines how legislators' perceptions of primary voters is an obstacle to legislative compromise, and examines what types of reforms can increase compromise.

She earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University in 2009 and her work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Behavior, and American Politics Research, among others. This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation Time Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS), the Social Science Research Council, and the Dirksen Congressional Center. She is actively engaged with the Institute for Policy Research, the Applied Quantitative Methods Workshop, and the American Politics Workshop.

Select Publications
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want: How Majority-Party Agenda-Setting and Ignored Alternatives Shape Public Attitudes” (with Celia Paris). Forthcoming. Legislative Studies Quarterly.
Rejecting Compromise: Legislators' Fear of Primary Voters (with Sarah E. Anderson and Daniel M. Butler). 2020. New York: Cambridge University Press.
“The Effects of Blaming Others for Legislative Inaction on Individual and Collective Evaluations” (with David Doherty). Forthcoming. Legislative Studies Quarterly.
"Who is Punished? Conditions Affecting Voter Evaluations of Legislators who Do Not Compromise" (with Nichole M. Bauer and Yanna Krupnikov). 2017. Political Behavior 39(2): 279-300.
Is Bipartisanship Dead? Policy Agreement and Agenda-Setting in the House of Representatives. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2015.
"Legislative Institutions as a Source of Party Leaders’ Influence” (with Sarah E. Anderson and Daniel M. Butler). 2016. Legislative Studies Quarterly. 41(3): 605-631.
“How Partisan Conflict in Congress Affects Public Opinion: Strategies, Outcomes, and Issue Differences” (with D.J. Flynn). 2016. American Politics Research. 44(5): 875-902.
“Public Preferences for Bipartisanship in the Policymaking Process” (with Neil Malhotra and Brian F. Harrison). 2014. 39(3): Legislative Studies Quarterly. 39(3): 327-55.
“The Policy Consequences of Motivated Information Processing among the Partisan Elite” (with Sarah Anderson). 2014. American Politics Research. 42(4): 700-728.
“Electoral Incentives and Partisan Conflict in Congress: Evidence from Survey Experiments” (with Neil Malhotra). 2011. American Journal of Political Science. 55(3): 494-510.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University