Meet the Dean
Dean, Faculty of Social Science
Professor of Sociology, Political Science, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Robert Andersen is a political sociologist and social statistician with a primary academic appointment in the Department of Sociology. He is also cross-appointed in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences and the Department of Political Science. Before being appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at Western in July 2015, Andersen was Distinguished Professor of Social Science and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He also previously held faculty positions at McMaster University, where he was the Senator William McMaster Chair in Political Sociology, the University of Oxford and Brock University. He often consults for government agencies and provides statistical training to faculty and graduate students at universities across the world. Andersen has had research funds totalling more than $1,000,000. In 2017, Andersen received the Canadian Sociological Association Outstanding Contribution Award. The award recognizes significant contributions to Canadian sociology and 'exceptional scholarly merit'
Most of Andersen’s recent research explores the relationship between economic inequality and political attitudes and behaviours in a cross-national perspective. He is particularly concerned with how individual-level economic position—measured by social class or income—interacts with national economic conditions to influence outcomes considered important to the health of democracy, including tolerance, support for democracy, attitudes toward redistribution, and civic participation. He also explores the role of university in social mobility. Most of his research is cross-national. His published research includes Modern Methods for Robust Regression (Sage, 2008), and more than 65 academic papers including articles in the Annual Review of Sociology, American Journal of Political Science, American Sociological Review, British Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Sociology, Journal of Politics, and Sociological Methodology.
Andersen has also provided consulting for government and several non-governmental agencies, including the United Nations, the European Commission, the Canadian Government and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.
Andersen is still actively considering supervising graduate students in Political Science and Sociology.
More About Robert Andersen, PhD
- 1998 Ph.D., Sociology, McMaster University
- 1994 M.A., Sociology, University of Western Ontario
- 1992 Honours diploma, Sociology, University of Western Ontario
- 1991 B.A., Political Science, University of Western Ontario
BOOKS AND MAJOR REPORTS
- Andersen, Robert and Mitch McIvor (2013) Growing Inequality and its Impacts in Canada. Report to the European Commission, Brussels January 2013 (108 p.). GINI (Growing Inequalities’ Impacts international research project) 7th Framework Programme (www.gini-researc.org/CR-Canada)
- Andersen, Robert (2008) Modern Methods for Robust Regression. Sage University Paper series on Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences, 07- 152. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
- Andersen, Robert and Meir Yaish (2018, in press). 'Preferences for the distribution of incomes in modern societies: The enduring influence of social class and economic context,’ Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques.
- Brym, Robert, Robert Andersen and Scott Milligan (2018). ’Are Islam and Democracy Compatible?’ pp. 249-257 in Patrizia Albanese, Lorne Tepperman and Eily Alexander, eds. Reading Sociology: Canadian Perspectives, 3rd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
- Alexander, Trent, Robert Andersen, Peter Cookson Jr., Kathryn Edin, Jonathan Fisher, David B. Grusky, Marybeth Mattingly and Charles Varner (2017). 'Qualitative Census of Rural and Urban Poverty,' ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 672 (1): 143-161.
- Andersen, Robert and Robert Brym (2017). ‘How Terrorism Affects Attitudes towards Democracy: Tunisia in 2015,’ Canadian Review of Sociology, 54 (4): 519-529.
- Tony Huiquan Zhang, Robert Brym & Robert Andersen (2017). ‘Liberalism and Postmaterialism in China: The Role of Social Class and Inequality,’ Chinese Sociological Review 49 (1): 65-87.
- Andersen, Robert (2016). “What can Canada learn from Europe? Policies to promote low income inequality and high prosperity,” pp 10-30 in Brym, Robert, (ed.), Inequality and the Future of Canadian Society. Oakville ON: Rock’s Mills Press.
- Andersen, Robert (2016). ‘Economic Inequality and Acceptance of Minority Groups in Cross-National Perspective: Is Canada Uniquely Tolerant?’ Chapter 24 in Edward Grabb, Jeffrey G. Reitz, and Monica Hwang (eds.), Social Inequality in Canada: Dimensions of Disadvantage (6th edition). Toronto: Oxford University Press.
- Brym, Robert and Robert Andersen (2016). “Democracy, women’s rights, and public opinion in Tunisia,” International Sociology, 31:1-15.
- Andersen, Robert and Josh Curtis (2015). ‘Social Class, Economic Inequality and the Convergence of Policy Preferences: Evidence from 24 Modern Democracies’, Canadian Review of Sociology, 52: 266-288.
- Curtis, Josh and Robert Andersen (2015). ‘How Social Class Shapes Attitudes on Economic Inequality: The Competing Forces of Self-Interest and Legitimation,’ International Review of Social Research, 5: 4-19.
- Cote, Rochelle, Robert Andersen and Bonnie Erickson (2015). ‘Social Capital and Ethnic Tolerance: The Opposing Effects of Diversity and Competition,’ pp. 91-106 In The Handbook of Research Methods and Applications on Social Capital, edited by Yaojun Li. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
- Sealey, Anthony and Robert Andersen (2015). ‘The Impact of Income Inequality on Popular Support for Redistributive Policies in Canada, 1993-2008,’ Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques, 41(1): 51-64.
- Milligan, Scott, Robert Andersen and Robert Brym (2014). ‘Assessing Variation in Tolerance in 23 Muslim-Majority and Western Countries,’ Canadian Review of Sociology, 51: (3): 239-261.
- Andersen, Robert and Mitch McIvor (2014). ‘Rising Inequality and Its Impact in Canada: The Role of National Debt’, pp. 172-195 in Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Thirty Rich Countries: Thirty Countries’ Experiences, edited by Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Andersen, Robert, Brian Burgoon and Herman Van De Werfhorst (2014) ‘Inequality, legitimacy and the political system’, pp. 218-238 in Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Thirty Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives, edited by Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Andersen, Robert and Josh Curtis (2013) ‘Public Opinion on Redistribution in Canada, 1980-2005: The Role of Political and Economic Context,’ pp. 141-164 in Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics, edited by Keith Banting and John Myles. Vancouver: UBC Press.
- Andersen, Robert (2013) ‘The Class-Party Relationship in Canada, 1965-2004,’ Chapter 7 (pp. 165-184) in Political Choice Matters. Political Choice Matters: Explaining the Strength of Class and Religious Cleavages in Cross-National Perspective, edited by Geoffrey Evans and Nan Dirk De Graaf. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Andersen, Robert (2012), ‘Support for Democracy in Cross-national Perspective: The Detrimental Effect of Economic Inequality,’ Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 30(4): 389-402.
- Yaish, Meir and Robert Andersen (2012), ‘Social Mobility in 20 Modern Societies: The Role of Economic and Political Context,‘ Social Science Research, 41 (3):527-538.
- Andersen, Robert and Josh Curtis (2012), ‘The Polarizing Effect of Economic Inequality on Class Identification: Evidence from 44 Countries,’ Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 30:129-141.
- Andersen, Robert (2012). ‘Methods for detecting badly behaved data: Distributions, linear models and beyond,’ in APA handbooks in psychology: Vol. 3. APA handbook of research methods in psychology: Data analysis and research publication, edited by H. Cooper (Ed.-in-Chief), P. Camic, D. Long, A. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. J. Sher. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
- Andersen, Robert, Robert Brym, and Badar Araj (2012) ‘Citizen inclusion in the Greater Middle East,’ pp. 65-93 in Dalia Mogahed, (ed.) The Abu Dhabi Gallup Forum: Research, Dialogue and Solutions. Abu Dhabi: Gallup.
- Andersen, Robert and David Zarifa (2012) ’Academic Performance and Expectations of Canadian Students: The Role of School Disciplinary Climate,’ pp. 42-73 in Improving Learning Environments in Schools: Lessons from Abroad, edited by Richard Arum and Melissa Velez. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
- Andersen, Robert and Scott Milligan (2011) ‘Immigration, Ethnicity and Voluntary Association Membership in Canada: Individual and Contextual Effects,’ Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29(2):139-154.
- Brym, Robert and Robert Andersen (2011) ‘Rational Choice and the Political Bases of Changing Israeli Counterinsurgency Strategy,’ British Journal of Sociology, 62(3): 482-503.
- Andersen, Robert and Josh Curtis (2011) ‘The Economy and Public Opinion on Welfare Spending in Canada,’ Chapter 57 in Reading Sociology, Second Edition, edited by Lorne Tepperman and Angela Kalyta. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
- Andersen, Robert and Herman van de Werfhorst (2010) ‘Education and Occupational Status in 14 Countries: The Role of Educational Institutions and Labour Market Coordination,’ British Journal of Sociology, 61(2): 336-355.
- Andersen, Robert (2009) ‘Nonparametric Methods for Modelling Nonlinearity in Regression Analysis,’ Annual Review of Sociology, 35: 67-85
- Grabb, Edward, Robert Andersen, Monica Hwang and Scott Milligan (2009) ‘Confidence in Political Institutions in Canada and the United States: Assessing the Interactive Role of Region and Race,’ American Review of Canadian Studies, 39(4): 379-397.
- Hirschorn, Kristine, Robert Andersen and Ivy L. Bourgeault (2009) ‘Canadian Family Physicians and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: The Role of Practice Setting, Medical Training and Province of Practice,’ Canadian Review of Sociology, 46(2): 143-159.
- Grabb, Edward, Monica Hwang and Robert Andersen (2009) ‘Bridging and Bonding: Ethnic Background and Voluntary Association Activity in Canada,’ Canadian Ethnic Studies, 41(1), 47-67.
- Andersen, Robert and Scott Milligan (2009). ‘Inequality and Intolerance: Canada in Cross-national Perspective,’ Chapter 27 in Social Inequality in Canada: Patterns, Problems, and Policies, edited by Edward Grabb and Neil Guppy (eds), Fifth Edition. Toronto: Prentice Hall.
- Andersen, Robert and Tina Fetner (2008) ‘Economic Inequality and Intolerance: Attitudes toward Homosexuality in 35 Democracies,’ American Journal of Political Science, 52 (4):942-958.
- Andersen, Robert and Tina Fetner (2008) ‘Cohort Differences in Tolerance of Homosexuality: Attitudinal Change in Canada and the United States, 1981 - 2000,’ Public Opinion Quarterly, 72:311-330.
- Hwang, Monica, Robert Andersen and Edward Grabb (2007) ‘Voluntary association activity in Quebec and English Canada: Assessing the effects of region and language,’ Canadian Journal of Political Science, 40 (1):209-232.
- Beaujot, Roderic and Robert Andersen (2007) ‘Time-Crunch: Impact of time spent in paid and unpaid work, and its division in families,’ Canadian Journal of Sociology, 32: 295-315.
- Andersen, Robert, Edward Grabb, and James Curtis (2006) ‘Trends in Civic Association Activity in Four Democracies: The Special Case of Women in the United States,’ American Sociological Review, 71: 376-400.
- Fox, John and Robert Andersen (2006) ‘Effect Displays for Multinomial and Proportional-Odds Logit Models,’ Sociological Methodology, 36: 225-256.
- Andersen, Robert, Min Yang, and Anthony Heath (2006) ‘Class Politics and Political Context in Britain, 1964-97: Have voters become more individualized?’ European Sociological Review, 22: 125-138.
- Evans, Geoffrey and Robert Andersen (2006) ‘The Political Conditioning of Economic Perceptions,’ Journal of Politics, 68: 194-207.
- Niemi, Richard and Herbert F. Weisberg (Editors) (2010). Controversies in Voting Behavior, 5th Edition. CQ Press.
- Arzheimer, Karl and Evans, Jocelyn (Editors). (2008). Electoral Behaviour. Sage.
- Andersen, Robert, James Tilley and Anthony Heath (2005) ‘Political Knowledge and Enlightened Preferences: Party Choice Through the Electoral Cycle,’ British Journal of Political Science, 35: 285-303.
- Andersen, Robert and Jocelyn Evans (2005) ‘The Stability of French Political Space, 1988-2002,’ French Politics, 3: 282-301. [Frank L Wilson Prize for Best Paper, French Politics Section, American Political Science Association, 2005].
- Van de Werfhorst, Herman and Robert Andersen (2005) ‘Social Background, Credential Inflation, and Educational Strategies,’ Acta Sociologica, 48: 323-42.
- Andersen, Robert and Jocelyn Evans (2005) ‘Identifying Europe? The Role and Dynamics of a European Cleavage,’ Politique Européenne, 16: 55-81.
- Weakliem, David, Robert Andersen and Anthony Heath (2005) ‘By Popular Demand: The Effect of Public Opinion on Income Inequality,’ Comparative Sociology, 4: 261-84.
- Weakliem, David, Robert Andersen and Anthony F. Heath (2005) ‘The Directing Power? A Comparative Study of Public Opinion and Income Distribution,’ Opinião Pública, 11: 366-400 [in Portuguese].
- Evans, Geoffrey and Robert Andersen (2005) ‘The Impact of Party Leaders: How Blair cost Labour votes,’ Parliamentary Affairs: A Journal of Comparative Politics, 58: 818-836.
- Evans, Geoffrey and Robert Andersen (2005) ‘The Impact of Party Leaders: How Blair cost Labour votes,’ in Britain Votes 2005, edited by Pippa Norris and Christopher Wlezien. Oxford University Press.
- Evans, Geoffrey and Robert Andersen (2004) ‘Do Issues Decide? Partisan conditioning and perceptions of party issue positions across the electoral cycle,’ British Elections & Parties Review, 14: 18-39.
- Andersen, Robert and Jocelyn A.J. Evans (2003) ‘Framing change in political bloc development: a rejoinder to Grunberg and Schweisguth,’ French Politics, 1 (3): 349-354.
- Andersen, Robert (2003) ‘Do Newspapers Enlighten Preferences? Personal Ideology, Party Choice, and the Electoral Cycle: The United Kingdom, 1992-97,’ Canadian Journal of Political Science, 36: 601-620.
- Cheung, Sin Yi and Robert Andersen (2003) ‘Time to read: family resources and educational outcomes of British children,’ Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 34: 413-433.
- Andersen, Robert and Anthony Heath (2003) ‘Social Identities and Political Cleavages: The Role of Political Context,’ Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 166: 301-327.
- Andersen, Robert and Geoffrey Evans (2003) ‘Who Blairs Wins? Leadership and voting in the 2001 election’, British Elections & Parties Review, 13: 229-247. [Best Paper Award, Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Political Studies Association, 2003]
- Andersen, Robert and Anna Zimdars (2003) ‘Class, Education and Extreme Party Support in Germany, 1991-98,’ German Politics, 12: 1-23.
- Andersen, Robert and Meir Yaish (2003) ‘Social Cleavages, Electoral Reform and Party Choice: Israel’s ‘Natural’ Experiment,’ Electoral Studies, 22 (3): 399- 423.
- Andersen, Robert and Jocelyn A.J. Evans (2003) ‘Values, Cleavages, and Party Choice in France, 1988-1995,’ French Politics, 1 (1) :83-114.
- Evans, Geoffrey and Robert Andersen (2003) ‘Endogenizing economic perceptions: the impact of prior political preferences,’ pp 117-44 in Revue de la Maison Francaise d’Oxford: Political attitudes and voting behaviour in Europe. Innovative methods and challenging results, edited by Anthony Heath and Anne Jadot. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Heath, Anthony, Robert Andersen and Richard Sinnott (2003) ‘Do less knowledgeable voters make political mistakes? Political knowledge and electoral choice,’ pp 69-86 in Revue de la Maison Francaise d’Oxford: Political attitudes and voting behaviour in Europe. Innovative methods and challenging results, edited by Anthony Heath and Anne Jadot. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Andersen, Robert and Jocelyn A.J. Evans (2003) ‘Contemporary Developments in Political Space in France,’ pp. 171-187 in The French Party System: Continuity and Change, edited by Jocelyn A.J. Evans. Manchester: University of Manchester Press.
- Andersen, Robert and Anthony Heath (2002) ‘Class Matters: The Persisting Effects of Contextual Social Class on Individual Voting Behaviour in Britain, 1964-97,’ European Sociological Review, 18 (2): 125-138.
- Andersen, Robert, Anthony Heath and Richard Sinnott (2002) ‘Political Knowledge and Electoral Choice,’ British Elections & Parties Review, 12 :11-27.
- Andersen, Robert and Anthony Heath (2001) ‘Integrating Theory and Methods: A New Approach to Comparative Research on Social Cleavages,’ Politica y Sociedad, 38: 173-196. [In Spanish]
- Andersen, Robert and John Fox (2001) ‘Pre-election Polls and the Dynamics of the 1997 Canadian Federal Election,’ Electoral Studies, 20: 87-108.
- Andersen, Robert (2000) ‘Evaluating Media Reports of Public Opinion Polls: the 1997 Canadian Federal Election,’ International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 12: 285-98.
- Fox, John, Robert Andersen and Joseph Dubonnet (1999) ‘The Polls and the 1995 Quebec Referendum,’ Canadian Journal of Sociology, 24: 411-24.
- 2017, Canadian Sociological Association Outstanding Contribution Award. Recognizes significant contributions to Canadian sociology and 'exceptional scholarly merit'
- 2008, 2010-14 Dean’s Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto
- 2006 Premier’s Research Excellence Award, Government of Ontario Awarded to Ontario’s best recently-appointed researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions (within 10 years)
- 2005 Frank L Wilson Prize for Best Paper (with Jocelyn Evans) French Politics section, American Political Science Association
- 2003 British Elections and Parties Review Best Paper Award (with Geoffrey Evans) Elections, Public Opinion and Parties section of the Political Studies Association
- 1998 Alfred Hunter Memorial Award, McMaster University; Excellence in dissertation research.
- 1996 American Sociological Association/ICPSR Clifford Clogg Scholarship; Recognition of outstanding potential to be a successful social science research professional.
For more information on the Dean’s research, teaching and administrative experience, see his CV.