Dr. Jim B Cottrill
Assistant Professor, Political Science Department

Jim Cottrill teaches undergraduate courses in American government with an emphasis on the institutions of Congress and the presidency. His current research examines electoral competition in congressional races with special emphasis on the effects of the political environment on electoral outcomes. His previous research has examined a wide range of topics in American politics including representation, school violence, public opinion formation, and agenda studies. Before joining the political science department at Santa Clara, Dr. Cottrill taught for four years at Texas A&M University, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Political Science in 2001.


Dr. Cottrill's non-academic interests include college basketball, fantasy football, playing his Fender Rhodes electric piano (with his band, Floodgate), and most importantly, his lovely wife Emily.

  • Introduction to U.S. Politics
  • The Congress
  • The Presidency
  • Political Participation
  • Media & Politics
  • Public Administration

Recent Research:


"Scared Straight? Electoral Competition and Ethics in Congressional Representation." Presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"The Effects of Nonpartisan Redistricting Boards and Commissions on Competition in Congressional Elections." Presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago, Illinois.

"Measuring the Campaign Message: Comparing Congressional Candidate Rhetoric in Press Releases, Political Advertisements, and Media Coverage." Presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago, Illinois (with Kristen Campbell).
Office
Mailing address
  • Santa Clara University
    Political Science Department
    500 El Camino Real
    Santa Clara, CA 95053

    Vari Hall

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