By Stan Paul
When Martin Gilens joins the Public Policy faculty of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs this fall, he will be coming home.
“Returning to UCLA is returning to my roots,” the longtime Princeton professor of politics said.
The addition of Gilens to UCLA Luskin was announced Jan. 31, 2018, by Dean Gary Segura. Gilens, who previously taught in the Departments of Political Science at UCLA and at Yale, joined the faculty of Princeton University in 2003, where he is professor of politics and public affairs.
“Martin Gilens is an outstanding scholar whose work on race, class, social inequality and their representational effects in the political system has earned him an international reputation and enormous impact in the literature,” said Segura, who noted Gilens’ award-winning books, including 2012’s “Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America.” In November 2017, Gilens released his latest book, “Democracy in America?: What Has Gone Wrong and What We Can Do About It,” with co-author Benjamin Page.
A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Gilens will be teaching graduate and undergraduate students at the Luskin School, as well as students from across the UCLA campus. His instruction will focus on the politics of inequality, the promise and shortfalls of American democracy, and American public opinion.
“Dr. Gilens’ insights into the dynamic causes of racial, economic and political inequality will strengthen the Luskin School’s ability to design policy solutions to these societal problems,” said J.R. DeShazo, chair and professor of public policy at UCLA Luskin. “His study of the political behavior of people and interest groups complements the many Luskin faculty who seek to reduce social disparities in health, education, criminal justice and social policy.”
In addition to his previous post at UCLA, Gilens, who grew up in Los Angeles, has other strong ties to the university. Both of his parents were UCLA Bruins. And “even my grandfather, Nathan, was a UCLA alum, back in the 1920s, before the campus moved to Westwood.”
Much may have changed at UCLA since his grandfather’s time, but “UCLA’s commitment to the highest quality research and teaching has not,” Gilens said. “I’m thrilled to be returning to UCLA.
“As the country’s leading public university, UCLA is providing an exceptional education to tens of thousands of students every year,” he said. “I am extremely fortunate to again be a part of this critically important mission.”
Gilens earned his doctorate in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the Russell Sage Foundation.