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Dr Samuel DeCanio

Lecturer in Political Economy


Postal Address

Department of Political Economy

King’s College London

Strand Campus

Bush House (North East Wing)

30 Aldwych

London WC2B 4BG


Room number: 9.11 Bush House (North East Wing)

Office Hours

Tuesday: 10:30 - 11:30am
Wednesday: 10:30 - 11:30am


Samuel DeCanio is a lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College, London. He studies American politics, focusing on American political development, democratic theory, representation, state theory, and public opinion. Prior to arriving at King’s he was an Assistant Professor in the political science department at Yale University.


  • American Political Development
  • Comparative Political Economy


Dr. DeCanio’s research examines general theoretical questions about how knowledge interacts with social institutions, and specific historical questions about the creation of modern states. His book, Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State (Yale University Press, 2015), argues high levels of voter ignorance grants democratic governments significant autonomy from popular control, and examines the creation of the American regulatory state in the late 19th century. His current research compares how knowledge interacts with markets and firms, democratic politics and political parties, and international relations among states.


DeCanio, Samuel. 2015. Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State (New Haven: Yale University Press).

DeCanio, Samuel. 2014. “Democracy, the Market, and the Logic of Social Choice,” American Journal of Political Science 58(3): 637-652.

DeCanio, Samuel, and Corwin Smidt. 2013. “Prelude to Populism: Mass Electoral Support for the Grange and Greenback Parties.” Party Politics 19(5): 798-820.

DeCanio, Samuel. 2011. “Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They Aren’t Out to Get You: Rejoinder to Bensel.” Studies in American Political Development 25(2): 200-205.

DeCanio, Samuel. 2011. “Populism, Paranoia, and the Politics of Free Silver.” Studies in American Political Development 25(1): 1-26.

DeCanio, Samuel. 2007. “Religion and 19th Century Voting Behavior: A New Look at Some Old Data.” Journal of Politics 69(2): 337-348.

DeCanio, Samuel. 2007. “The Autonomy of the Democratic State: Rejoinder to Carpenter, Ginsberg and Shefter.” Critical Review 19(1): 23-32.

DeCanio, Samuel. 2006. “Mass Opinion and American Political Development,” Critical Review 18(1): 143-155.  Reprinted in Jeffrey Friedman and Shterna Friedman Eds., The Nature of Belief Systems Reconsidered (New York: Routledge, 2012).

DeCanio, Samuel. 2005. “State Autonomy and American Political Development: How Mass Democracy Promoted State Power.” Studies in American Political Development 19(2): 117-136.

DeCanio Samuel. 2000. “Bringing the State Back In...Again.” Introduction to Critical Review 14(2): 139-146.

DeCanio, Samuel. 2000. “Beyond Marxist State Theory: State Autonomy in Democratic Societies.” Critical Review 14(2): 215-236.

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