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Dr. Susan Orr

Associate Professor

Phone: (585) 395-5676
Office: 209C Hartwell Hall


  • Ph.D, Political Science, (2010) University of Florida
  • M.A. Political Science (2004) University of Florida
  • B.A. Economics, suma cum laude(2002), Rollins College

Research Interests

  • My primary research interest is in the politics of organized labor in the US. I approach this topic from both empirical and normative perspectives. I am interested in how US labor law and politics shape the formation of labor unions, as well as how labor unions influence the behavior of their members. More specifically I am concerned with how the process of forming labor unions, as well as the internal rules that regulate the behavior of union members, comport with the democratic standards we find in American political institutions. In addition to these questions, my research explores how unions, and union membership, impact political outcomes and engagement. For example, one of my projects seeks to find out what effect labor union membership has on the likelihood that citizens with various demographic characteristics will turnout to vote. This research agenda is driven in part by my concern with democratic participation and civic engagement more broadly. On that note, I am currently beginning to delve into new research projects on citizenship and civic engagement especially as that relates to how classroom and campus experiences promote active citizenship among students.


  • On campus, I serve as chair of the faculty and staff organization the American Democracy Project that aims to promote civic engagement on campus. I am also co-coordinator of the LAUNCH mentoring program for minority students, and serve on the steering committee for the Institute for Engaged Learning. Beyond campus I have served as co-chair of the American Political Science Associations Labor Project, a group that seeks to promote scholarship and the exchange of research and ideas related to labor and politics. I co-chaired the Political Theory section of the 2014 Southern Political Science Association Conference.

Classes Taught

  • American Politics
  • Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • Politics of Work and Labor
  • Political Science Research Methods
  • American Political Issues
  • Perspectives on American Democracy
  • Perspectives on Citizenship

Selected Publications

  • Susan Orr and Dena Levy. 2014. “Balancing the Books: Analyzing the Impact of a Federal Budget Deliberative Simulation on Student Learning and Opinion” Journal of Political Science Education, Volume 10, Issue 1 (p62-80)
  • Susan Orr. 2013. “The Civic Institute Relocated: Designing a Syllabus for Undergraduate Students at a Public University” The Good Society, Volume 22, Number 2, 2013 (p172-186)
  • Susan Orr, “Is Democracy in the Cards?: A Democratic Defense of the Employee Free Choice Act” in Nelson Lichtenstein and Ellie Shermer, eds. The American Right and U.S. Labor: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination. University of Pennsylvania Press, Forthcoming
  • Susan Orr and Peter Francia. 2011 “Labor and Business Interest Groups” in CQ Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying, CQ Press, Washington DC.
  • Susan Orr. 2010. “Symposium: Forty Years since J. David Greenstone’s Labor in American Politics: Reflections and Future Directions,” (Editor and contributor). Polity
  • Susan E. Orr. 2007. Entries on “National Labor Relations Act”, and “Jones v Laughlin” inEncyclopedia of Political History, CQ Press, Washington DC.
  • Susan E. Orr and Michael Hoover. 2006. “Youth Political Engagement: Why Rock the Vote Hits the Wrong Note” in Dan Shea and John Green eds. Fountain of Youth: Strategies and Tacics for Engaging Young American Voters. Boulder, Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Raymond LaRaja, Susan E. Orr and Daniel A. Smith. 2006. “Surviving BCRA: State Party Finance in 2004” in John Green and Daniel Coffey, The State of the Parties (5th Edition). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield
  • Kenneth Wald, Richard Scher, Matthew DeSantis, and Susan E. Orr. 2005. “Fight for Florida: The Christian Right in Florida in the 2004 Election.” in John C Green, Clyde Wilcox and Mark J. Rozell eds. God and the Grassroots. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Susan Orr. 2005. Review of Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. Public Integrity, V7 no. 3

Last Updated 12/6/17

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