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Alex Denison


University of Kentucky, PhD, Political Science (2022)
Western Illinois University, MA, Political Science (2014)
University of Missouri, BJ, Broadcast Journalism (2012)


Alex Denison is a PhD and Visiting Assistant Professor at Miami University in the study of judicial politics, law, political behavior, and American institutions. He is previously a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia teaching constitutional law and American government.

A journalist by training, Alex worked in media for several years as a television reporter and anchor, news editor, radio host and columnist. Much of his research now focuses predominantly on the media's role in capturing Supreme Court activities and the subsequent effects these portrayals have on public perceptions of the Court. His dissertation work examines the relationship between the judiciary, the news media, and the general public, analyzing how judicial behavior and professional biases affect news coverage, and consequently, public attitudes toward the institution. Utilizing unique datasets of news articles covering decisions and confirmation hearings, Alex's dissertation identifies trends in coverage that question both the media's ability to provide responsible coverage of the institution that bolsters democratic ideals, as well as ways in which justices and political actors can affect coverage.

Recent research projects include co-authored studies (with UK professors Dr. Justin Wedeking and Dr. Michael Zilis) into how Supreme Court justices' negative rhetoric in opinion content shapes news coverage of decisions, and whether news content adequately emphasizes the content of opinions. Alex's current ongoing projects, including his completed dissertation, focus on how judicial behavior and news bias contribute to politicized portrayals of the Supreme Court. Other research includes how race affects disparate perceptions of political freedom and constitutional protections in the U.S., media focus on dissenting opinion work and individual justices, as well as new research interests in judicial interactions and interventions in professional sports. His broader research interests include the impact of political rhetoric, political psychology, and the implementation of judicial policies. His research can be found in Social Science Quarterly, Michigan State University Law Review, and Elon Law Review, as well as co-authored chapters for editions of The Oxford Handbook of Political Representation in Liberal Democracies and The Conservative Revolution of Antonin Scalia

Alex currently teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses at Miami University, Oxford in judicial politics, constitutional law, research writing and analysis, legal analysis, and American government. Alex has previously taught courses at the University of Kentucky in the areas of judicial politics, American government and politics in film. At the University of Georgia, he also taught constitutional law and American government.

Courses Offered

Miami University - Visiting Assistant Professor
American Governmental Process
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
Constitutional Law: Institutional Powers and Constitutional Discussion
Intro to Political Analysis
Judicial Politics (Both Undergraduate and Master's Level)

University of Kentucky - Primary Instructor/T.A.
Intro to American Politics
Law and Courts
Politics and Film

University of Georgia - Visiting Lecturer
Intro to American Politics
Constituional Law I: Institutional Powers
Constitutional Law II: Rights and Liberties

Selected Publications:


Denison, Alexander, Justin Wedeking, and Michael Zilis. 2020. "Negative Media Coverage of the Supreme Court: The Interactive Role of Opinion Language, Coaliton Size and Ideological Signals." Social Science Quarterly. 

Wedeking, Justin and Alexander Denison. 2017. "Using Text as Data to Measure Latent Legal Constructs: A Dictionary-Based Approach." Michigan State Law Review. 

Zilis, Michael, Alexander Denison, and Justin Wedeking. 2017. “Hitting the Bullseye in Supreme Court Coverage: News Quality in the Court’s 2014 Term.” Elon Law Review IX(2):489-523.


Peffley, Mark, Alexander Denison, and Travis N. Taylor. 2020. "Print, Electronic, and Social Media and the Transformation of Democratic Representation." The Oxford Handbook of Political Representation in Liberal Democracies. Eds. Robert Rohrschneider and Jacques Thomassen. 

Wedeking, Justin and Alexander Denison. 2018. "The Confirmation Hearing Legacy of Antonin Scalia." The Conservative Revolution of Antonin Scalia. Eds. David Schultz and Howard Schweber. 

Denison, Alexander and Justin Wedeking. 2018. "Elena Kagan." Encyclopedia of Civil Rights and Liberties. Eds. John Scheb and Karen Stooksbury.