Frances E. Lee is jointly appointed in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs where she is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs.

Lee has broad interests in American politics, with a special focus on congressional politics, national policymaking, party politics, and representation. She is author of Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign (2016) and Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles, and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate (2009). She is also coauthor of Sizing Up The Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation (1999) and a textbook, Congress and Its Members (Sage / CQ Press). Her research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and other outlets.

Lee is editor of the Cambridge Elements Series in American Politics and a series editor for the Chicago Studies in American Politics. She was co-editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly from 2014 to 2019. 

Lee earned her B.A. from the University of Southern Mississippi and her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Selected Publications

Lee, Frances E. and Nolan McCarty, eds. 2019. Can America Govern Itself? New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lee, Frances E. 2016. Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Schickler, Eric and Frances E. Lee, eds. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of the American Congress. New York: Oxford University Press. Selected by Choice, the American Library Association’s reviews publication, as one of its top 25 outstanding academic titles for 2012.

Lee, Frances E. 2009. Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lee, Frances E. and Bruce I. Oppenheimer. 1999. Sizing Up The Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Davidson, Roger H., Walter J. Oleszek, Frances E. Lee and Eric Schickler. 2018. Congress and Its Members. 16th Edition. Washington, DC: Sage / CQ Press.  Prior editions in 2014 and 2016.

Frances E. Lee. Forthcoming. “Populism and the American Party System: Opportunities and Constraints,” Perspectives on Politics.

Curry, James M. and Frances E. Lee. Forthcoming. "What is Regular Order Worth? Partisan Lawmaking and Congressional Processes," Journal of Politics.

Curry, James M. and Frances E. Lee. 2019. “Non-Party Government: Bipartisan Lawmaking and Party Power in Congress,” Perspectives on Politics 17(1): 47-65.

Lee, Frances E. 2018. “The 115th Congress and Questions of Party Unity in a Polarized Era.” Journal of Politics 80(4): 1464-73.

Lee, Frances E. 2016. “Patronage, Logrolls, and Polarization: Congressional Parties of the Gilded Age, 1876-1896.” Studies in American Political Development 30: 116-127.

Hinchliffe, Kelsey L. and Frances E. Lee. 2016. “Party Competition and Conflict in State Legislatures.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 16: 172-197.  

Lee, Frances E. 2015. “How Party Polarization Affects Governance,” Annual Review of Political Science 18 (June): 261-282.

Gimpel, James G., Frances E. Lee and Michael Parrott. 2014. “Business Interests and the Party Coalitions: Industry Sector Contributions to U.S. Congressional Campaigns,” American Politics Research 42(6): 1034-1076.

Lee, Frances E. 2013. “Presidents and Party Teams: The Politics of Debt Limits and Executive Oversight, 2001-2013,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 43 (4): 775-791.

Lee, Frances E. 2008. “Dividers, Not Uniters: Presidential Leadership and Senate Partisanship, 1981-2004” Journal of Politics 70 (October): 914-928.

James G. Gimpel, Frances E. Lee, and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz. 2008. “The Check is in the Mail: Interdistrict Funding Flows in U.S. House Elections,” American Journal of Political Science 52 (April): 373-394.

Lee, Frances E. 2008. “Agreeing to Disagree: Agenda Content and Senate Partisanship, 1981-2004.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 33 (May): 199-222.

Gimpel, James G., Frances E. Lee, and Joshua Kaminski. 2006. “The Political Geography of Campaign Contributions.” Journal of Politics 68 (August): 626-639.

Lee, Frances E. 2003. “Geographic Politics in the U.S. House of Representatives:  Coalition Building and Distribution of Benefits,” American Journal of Political Science 47 (November): 713-727.

Lee, Frances E. 2000.“Senate Representation and Coalition Building in Distributive Politics,” American Political Science Review, 94 (March) 59-72. 

Lee, Frances E. 1998. “Representation and Public Policy:  The Consequences of Senate Apportionment for the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds,” Journal of Politics 60 (February): 34-62.

Selected Honors and Awards

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Chair in Congressional Policymaking, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress 2019

Barbara Sinclair Lectureship, American Political Science Association, 2019.

Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland, 2016-17.

D. B. Hardeman Prize, 2009

Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Award 2010

Steiger Fellow, APSA Congressional Fellowship Program, 2002-2003. 

D. B. Hardeman Prize, 1999

E. E. Schattschneider Award, 1998