Michael Parkin

  • Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Erwin N. Griswold Professor of Politics


  • BA (Hons), University of British Columbia, 1996
  • MA, University of Toronto, 1997
  • PhD, University of Minnesota, 2006


Michael Parkin is the Erwin N. Griswold Professor of Politics.

His research focuses on the relationship between political candidates, the media, and voters in the United States. He is particularly interested in how candidates use ‘‘new media’’ (e.g., the internet, entertainment television) and the effect this has on voters. 

Parkin’s research has appeared in American Political Science ReviewJournal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Political Communication.  He teaches courses in American politics that deal with political psychology, media and mass political behavior, campaigns and elections, and quantitative research methods.

Through Oberlin’s partnership with Pioneer Academics, Parkin works with talented high school students from around the world on advanced research projects in American media and politics.


Michael Parkin Contributes Chapter

November 27, 2018

Professor of Politics Michael Parkin contributed a chapter, "The Context for Comedy: Presidential Candidates and Comedy Television," to the edited volume Political Humor in a Changing Media Landscape. The chapter argues that contextual factors like timing, momentum, and legitimacy have been critically important in establishing the connection between presidential candidates and comedy television during the past few decades.  

Michael Parkin Receives National Science Foundation Grant

October 15, 2018

Michael Parkin, professor of politics, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study candidate use of the internet during the 2018 congressional campaign. This is the fifth NSF grant that Parkin and his co-authors James N. Druckman (Northwestern) and Martin Kifer (High Point University) have been awarded for their work on congressional campaign behavior and its impact on voting and representation.

Michael Parkin Coauthors

August 3, 2018

Michael Parkin, professor of politics, coauthored an article in the Social Science Computer Review on how congressional campaign insiders viewed and used the web in 2016. The article, titled "Resisting the Opportunity for Change," shows that congressional campaigning on the web is largely driven by stable factors that transcend technological advancements and shifts in the political environment.

Michael Parkin Publishes Book

October 2, 2014

Associate Professor of Politics Michael Parkin recently published a book titled Talk Show Campaigns: Presidential Candidates on Daytime and Late Night Television. The book explores the history and impact of candidate appearances on entertainment talk shows like The Tonight Show, The Daily Show, and The View. Parkin uses extensive data to show that these interviews are much more than a gimmick--they are a key part of how candidates communicate with voters. As such, they reveal a lot about how campaigns have changed over the past two decades.

Michael Parkin Coauthors Article on The Voting Rights Act and Latino Registration

May 16, 2014

Associate Professor of Politics Michael Parkin recently coauthored an article, “The Voting Rights Act and Latino Registration: Symbolic Assistance for English-Speaking Latinos,” which appears in The Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. The paper shows that VRA provisions motivate English-speaking Latinos to register while having minimal impact on the registration intentions of Latinos who do not speak English. This suggests that the positive effects of VRA coverage are due to a “welcoming” symbolic effect, rather than substantial reductions in administrative barriers to registration.

Michael Parkin Publishes on Campaigns in an Internet Age

February 19, 2014

Associate Professor of Politics Michael Parkin recently coauthored an article, “U.S. Congressional Campaigns in an Internet Age,” which appears in The Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties. The paper shows how candidate use of the Internet is driven by such political considerations as the potential loss of message control, the candidate’s status in the race, and the employment of campaign consultants.


The Transition From Student Senate to Washington, D.C.

December 8, 2020

When he was growing up, Machmud Makhmudov ’15 noticed how communities from different parts of the world created lives that struggled, grew, and thrived alongside one another. That insight served him well as a policy advisor for the presidential campaign and stands to be an impression in his new role with the incoming Biden Administration.