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Markus Prior

Professor of Politics and Public Affairs
209 Fisher Hall


Markus Prior is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

He is the author of Hooked: How Politics Captures People’s Interest (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and Post-Broadcast Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Hooked received the 2020 Robert E. Lane Award from the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Association and the 2020 Alexander George Book Award given by the International Society of Political Psychology. Post-Broadcast Democracy won the 2009 Goldsmith Book Prize, awarded by Harvard`s Joan Shorenstein Center, and the 2010 Doris Graber Award for the “best book on political communication in the last 10 years” given by APSA's Political Communication Section. Prior's work has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Annual Review of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Communication.

Prior’s research has examined how people learn about politics, the role of media in politics, the measurement of news audiences, and the impact and origins of political interest. As part of his Time in Politics Project, he is currently studying the time horizons of individuals’ evaluations of costs and benefits. One goal of the project is to measure “policy patience,” the extent to which people are willing to accept small sooner costs for larger later collective benefits.

Post-Broadcast Democracy examines how broadcast television, cable television, and the Internet changed politics in the United States, by affecting how people learn, who learns, and who voters. The book offers an explanation for the link between media choice and partisan polarization. Hooked analyzes how and why some people develop greater political interest than others. The project draws on public opinion surveys from the United States and Europe--including, most prominently, household panel surveys from Britain, Germany, and Switzerland.

Prior received his Ph.D. from Stanford’s Department of Communication in 2004. Prior is the winner of the 2008 Emerging Scholar Award by the Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and recipient of the E. E. Schattschneider Award for the best dissertation in American politics, awarded by the American Political Science Association.