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Department of Political Science


Nathan J. Kelly

Associate Professor

Department of Political Science

University of Tennessee

1001 McClung Tower

Knoxville, TN 37996-0410


Phone: 865-974-7186

Fax: 865-974-7037

Office Location: 810 McClung Tower



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My primary research agenda is driven by an interest in the causes and consequences of system-level political and economic change over time. I am working on several projects related to this research agenda. The first project focuses on how macro political dynamics influence, and are influenced by, income inequality. Several articles and a book published by Cambridge University Press (2009) have been generated from this project. I am currently extending this work in several directions, including analyses of state-level inequality, the income shares of the super-rich, and cross-national inequality in Latin America. I am also developing a project assessing how inequality shapes political rhethoric and public opinion in the United States. The second major project examines over-time change in national policy production. In this work I seek to explain the volume of policy production by Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court. I apply a methodology for combining contemporary and historical data into indexes of legislative, presidential, and judicial policy output that are available from 1789 to the present. I also have research interests in religion and politics, time series methods, and several smaller projects.