Department of Political Science


Contact Information
Phone. (619) 594-6244
Fax: (619) 594-7302

Nasatir Hall 126
Mail Code: 4427
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego CA, 92182-4427
Office Hours: M-F 8:30-4:00

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Last Update: 1/5/15



Ronald King

Professor Ronald King joined the SDSU faculty in Fall 2003 and spent his first seven years here as Chair of the Political Science Department. He previously taught at Tulane (15 years) and Cornell (9 years). A native of New York City, his undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and his graduate degrees are from Oxford (BPhil) and the University of Chicago (PhD).

Professor King’s main area of specialization is American Politics and Public Policy. He has written four books, including major studies of U.S. taxation policy (published by Yale University Press) and welfare entitlements (published by Georgetown University Press). In addition, he has edited three collections of essays and published more than 30 articles and book chapters, appearing in journals such as: American Political Science Review, Political Science Quarterly, Polity, Politics and Society, Policy Sciences, Journal of Public Policy, European Political Science, Studies in American Political Development, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History.

Recently, Professor King has been working on democratization over the course of American political development, examining the effect of institutional rules upon the results achieved. So far, he has completed studies of the removal of the property qualification for voting, the 17th Amendment (direct election of senators) and corrupted elections in the South during the late Reconstruction period.

He has received two separate Fulbright awards and grants from the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and the Twentieth Century Fund.

He has served as senior consultant for social science curriculum development to the Faculty of Political and Administrative Sciences, Babeş-Bolyai University in Romania, and has received a certificate “For Nurturing Romanian Political Science” from the Romanian national political science association. Often in collaboration with Cosmin Gabriel Marian, he has published articles addressing Romania’s complex post-communist democratic transition.  In Summer 2007, Professor King was awarded an honorary title, “Profesor Onorific de Ştiinţe Politice,” by Babeş-Bolyai University.

Professor King is fanatic about baseball (go Yankees!) and opera. He is a competitive fencer and is highly ranked in the Veterans’ men’s foil division.  Three times he has represented the U.S. at the World Fencing Championships, taking 6th place in his age bracket in 2009 (Moscow) and 13th in both 2010 and 2011. Although now a resident of San Diego, he remains a member of his New Orleans Mardi Gras organization and often can be seen in costume and beads during Carnival season.

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