CAROL MERSHON is a Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. In Fall 2015, she was elected to the Hugh S. and Winifred Cumming Chair in Politics at UVa, an appointment to be effective August 2016-August 2019. She is also a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Global Health at UVa. For the 2015-2016 academic year, she serves as Interim Co-PI / Program Director for UVa CHARGE, the NSF ADVANCE program at UVa. Mershon received her Ph.D. in Political Science, with distinction, from Yale University. Her research focuses on intraparty competition, the dynamics of party systems, the politics of multiparty government, legislative politics, political institutions, and the political determinants of health. Mershon’s articles have appeared in journals such as American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Journal of Politics,Journal of Theoretical Politics, and Politics & Gender, among others. She is the author of The Costs of Coalition (Stanford 2002) and the co-editor of Italian Politics: Ending the First Republic (Westview 1994) and Political Parties and Legislative Party Switching (Palgrave Macmillan 2009). Her most recent book is Party System Change in Legislatures Worldwide: Moving Outside the Electoral Arena, with Olga Shvetsova (Cambridge 2013; paperback 2015).
Mershon served as Political Science Program Director at the National Science Foundation, on detail from UVa, from 2009 to 2011. The recipient of three awards from the National Science Foundation, Mershon has also held three Fulbright grants and a Social Science Research Council Fellowship. A former president of the Conference Group on Italian Politics and Society, she now serves on the International Scientific Board, Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica / Italian Review of Political Science and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Politics. Mershon has held visiting positions at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, and at Sciences Po Lille. In Spring 2015, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin.
Mershon’s current research builds on her longstanding expertise and also explores new terrain. One of her in-progress article manuscripts examines "The Supply of Safe Water in South Africa.” Mershon and Denise Walsh have co-edited "Advocating for Change in the Discipline," a multi-article Critical Perspectives symposium in Politics & Gender (September 2014). Mershon and Walsh have also co-edited the symposium on "How Political Science Can Become More Diverse" in PS: Political Science & Politics (July 2015). In her NSF-funded project with Denise Walsh, entitled "Building Collaboration across Diverse Groups to Improve Scholarship," Mershon is developing strategies for diversifying leadership and addressing bias in political science and academe more broadly.