Caroline J. Tolbert

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Caroline J. Tolbert
Professor, University Distinguished Chair
307 SH
Drop-in hours:
by appointment
Phone number:
(319) 335-2471

Research Areas

American Politics
Political Methodology


Caroline Tolbert is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. She is the author/coauthor of eight books, as well as dozens of articles in scholarly journals. Her research explores voting, elections, public opinion and representation widely defined. She has contributed to many subfields including digital politics and information technology policy, voting and elections, public opinion, American state politics, direct democracy and race and politics. She is the coauthor of Why Iowa? How the Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nomination Process (2011 University of Chicago Press). Tolbert is coauthor of Educated by Initiative: The Effects of Direct Democracy on Citizens and Political Organizations in the American States (2004) and co-editor of Democracy in the States: Experiments in Election Reform (2003) and Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States (1998). She has written three books on the Internet and politics/policy, including Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity (2012), Digital Citizenship (2008) and Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide (2003). She is also coauthor of the American politics textbook We the People with Lowi, Ginsberg and Wier (2013, W.W. Norton). Tolbert was named a Collegiate Scholar at the University of Iowa for outstanding research and teaching in 2009. The award is given annually to the top professor standing for promotion to full professor throughout the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


PhD University of Colorado–Boulder, 1996