Promoted to Professor
Department of Political Science
Eric N. Waltenburg received his Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University in 1994 in American politics. He joined the Purdue faculty in 1994. His research focuses on explaining the political role of high courts in democratic systems. In particular, he asks the questions: How do political forces influence the supposedly non-political decisions of Supreme Court justices in both the U.S. and other nations? Under what conditions do litigants use courts to achieve their policy and institutional objectives? And what effect do apex courts have on democracies?
Eric investigates these issues primarily in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court, but he has recently begun to investigate the same questions in the context of other judicial systems, such as that of Norway. He has published articles in journals such as American Politics Research, Political Behavior, Scandinavian Political Studies, and Social Science Quarterly, and he is the author or co-author of five books on judicial politics. His most recent book (co-authored with Gunnar Grendstad and William Shaffer), Policy Making in an Independent Judiciary: The Case of Norway (European Consortium for Political Research Press, 2015), is the first large-N analysis of the decisional behavior of Norway’s Supreme Court justices. His current research continues in this vein, exploring the effect of political forces on the decisional processes of apex courts from a comparative perspective.