L. Sandy Maisel

Visiting Instructor (Retired)

Box 5307

Phone: 207-859-5307
Fax: 207-859-5229
Mailing Address:
5307 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8853
Office Hours:
Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00-noon; Wednesday 9:30-noon
Maisel, L. Sandy


•Columbia University, Ph.D. 1971
•Harvard College, B. A. 1967 (magna cum laude)
•The Nichols School, Honors diploma 1963

Areas of Expertise

  • American political parties and elections
  • National Democratic party conventions and platforms
  • Political campaigns
  • College governance
  • Jews in American Politics
  • Ex-Presidents of the United States

Professional Information

Current position:

Department of Government, Colby College, 1971-present

Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of American Government, 2016-present

Earlier positions:

William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Government, 1993-2016

Visiting Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, 2013; 1993-94

Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies, PUC--Rio de Janeiro, 2012

Director, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, 2003-2012

Charles A. Dana Professor of American Democratic Institutions, 1989-93

Professor, 1983-1989; Associate Professor, 1979-83; Assistant Professor, 1971-79

Maine Professor of the Year, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, 1989

Chair, 1982-1987; 1989-1992; 1994-1998; 2000-2005; 2013-2016; Acting Chair, 1979-80

Chair, Social Science Division, 1984-1987

John Adams Fellow, Institute for United States Studies, University of London, 2002

Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institution, 1999
Philippine Centennial Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer, 1998

Visiting Professor of Government, Harvard University, 1987-88

Task Force Director, Task Force on Work Management, Commission on Administration Review of the House of Representatives (Obey Commission), 1977

Visiting Lecturer in Politics, University of Melbourne and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 1975

Instructor in Government, Barnard College, 1969-70

Current Research

Sources of Jewish American Political Identity; Public Lives of Ex-Presidents


Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process, 7th edition
Public Lives of Ex-Presidents


Parties and Elections in America

Running on Empty: Political Discourse in Congressional Elections
Edited by L. Sandy Maisel and Darrell M. West, Campaigning American Style, Rowman & Littlefield.
The level of discourse in campaigns and elections ideally should elevate citizens; knowledge about the candidates and the issues that face the polity. But elections today are often beset by negative campaigns and an emphasis on the 'horse race' over issues of substance. Running on Empty? looks at sixteen carefully selected, highly competitive races in the House and Senate during the 2002 midterm elections.

Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process

L. Sandy Maisel and Kara Z. Buckley, Rowman & Littlefield, 1987; Second Edition, 1993; Third Edition, 1999; Fourth Edition, 2001; Fifth Edition, 2010; Sixth Edition, 2012.
"Sandy Maisel's Parties and Elections in America draws on the author's active political involvement, the lessons he has learned as an effective teacher, and his comprehensive knowledge of political science research. The result is a text that is not only authoritative but also engaging, introducing students to the excitement and challenge of politics." ---- David Price

Jews in Ameican Politics

edited by L. Sandy Maisel and Ira N. Forman, Rowman & Littlefield. , 2001.
The editors and authors in this book summarize the long history of Jewish participation in the historic experiment that is American democracy. Just as I was inspired to enter politics by the examples of those who came before me...I hope this volume will help inspire a new generation of American Jews (and for that matter non-Jews) to dedicate themselves to public life and public office. -----from the introduction by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.)

Two Parties-Or More? The American Party System

John F. Bibby and L. Sandy Maisel, 1998; Second Edition, Westview, 2002. Amazon
In a concise and well-written book, Bibby and Maisel have once again demonstrated why they are two of the leading scholars on the American political party system. This book will challenge its readers to think more deeply about the value of and challenges to the two-party system in the United States. It is a valued addition to the literature in the field. ----Alan R. Gitelson, Loyola University, Chicago

The Parties Respond: Changes in the American Party System

(editor) 1990; Second Edition, 1994; Third Edition, 1998; Fourth Edition, 2002; Fifth Edition, 2013, Westview. Amazon
Parties and Politics in the American Past (Co-editor) (1994)
Maisel continues to be the gold standard for interpretation of American political parties. Spanning time from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, and canvassing the range of U.S. politics, this volume comprises original and provocative essays by leading scholars. It is an excellent source for teaching, for discussion and just plain thinking. ---Gerry Pomper, Rutgers University.
Parties and Politics in the American Past (Co-editor) (1994)
Rethinking Political Reform: Beyond Spending and Term Limits (Co-editor) (1994)
Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections (general editor) (1991)
From Obscurity to Oblivion: Running in the Congressional Primary (1982; Rev. Edition 1986)
Congressional Elections (Co-editor) (1981)
Political Parties: Development and Decay (Co-editor) (1978)
The Impact of the Electoral Process (Co-editor) (1977)
Changing Campaign Techniques: Elections and Values in Contemporary Democracies (editor) (1976)
The Future of Political Parties (Co-editor) (1975)
Recently Published Articles

View publications >

Candidate Emergence Study

Much of Sandy's recent work has involved the Candidate Emergence Study, a National Science Foundation-funded research project, done in collaboration with Professor Walter Stone at the University of Colorado. The project examines the ways in which potential candidates for the United States House of Representatives determine whether or not they will run for the House. A description of the project and links to publications from the project can be found on the Candidate Emergence Study website.


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