D. Stephen Voss

  • Associate Professor
  • Publicity Director
  • Political Science
1639 Patterson Office Tower
859-257-4313 (office, for general use), 859-333-0423 (mobile, for media calls only)
Other Affiliations:
  • Martin School
Research Interests:

Spring '16 Office Hours: Mondays, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm


Ph.D. in Government, Harvard University (2000)
A.M. in Government, Harvard University (1998)
B.A. in History, Louisiana State University (1990)
B.A.J. in Print Journalism, Louisiana State University (1990)
Graduated high school from Louisiana School for Math, Science, & the Arts (1986)


Steve joined the University of Kentucky in 1998, and spent his first two years in Lexington teaching at UK while he completed and published his doctoral dissertation.  He became an Assistant Professor in 2000, received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2004, and began acting in the capacity of Associate Chair a year afterward, a job he held off and on until 2015.  He served as President of the Kentucky Political Science Association in 2012-2013, and helped edit the KPSA's research journal during its inaugural issues.

Originally hired as a political methodologist to teach quantitative analysis to UK graduate students, Steve quickly saw his responsibilities in the undergraduate program grow as he accepted the roles of Director of Undergraduate Studies, A&S Educational Policy Committee member (also having chaired that body for a year), and Internship Director.  For his work with and for the students, Voss has won teaching awards from both the UK Alumni Association and the UK College of Arts & Sciences.  Steve also evolved into a prominent media expert on Kentucky politics, appearing regularly in the local, national, and international news to discuss state elections.

Steve's methodological training has allowed him to contribute to a variety of scholarly literatures.  His early work focused on race and the U.S. South, especially as regards elections and voting behavior.  However, his work expanded to included other topics influenced by culture and ethnicity such as research on American immigration attitudes, Quebec's secessionary politics, and social/cultural influences on international commerce.  His current work has shifted geography to look at ethnicity and migration politics in the Balkan region.

Before moving to Lexington, Steve lived for eight years in the Boston area while earning his doctorate from Harvard University (where he taught courses, worked as a research assistant, and edited a travel guide) and prior to that spent all of his life in Louisiana (where some of his jobs included working as a political reporter and working as a staffer in the State Senate).  Like the city of New Orleans where Steve was born, his own ancestry combines a wide ethnic mix, including German, (Cajun) French, and (Cuban) Spanish roots.


Steve's work has appeared in various professional journals -- including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, American Politics Research, International Studies Quarterly, and the inaugural edition of State Politics and Policy Quarterly.  His current research looks at interethnic attitudes and attitudes toward (im)migration in the United States and in the Balkans.

Graduate Training

Dissertation Title: "Familiarity Doesn't Breed Contempt: The Political Geography of Racial Polarization." Committee: Gary King (chair), James Alt, Bradley Palmquist (defended: February 2000).

Selected Publications: 

Voss, D. Stephen, Jason E. Kehrberg, and Adam M. Butz.  2012.  "The Structure of Self-Interest(s): Applying Comparative Theory to U.S. Immigration Attitudes."  In Gary P. Freeman, Randall Hansen, and David L. Leal (eds.), Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies.  New York: Routledge.  Chap. 4.

Voss, D. Stephen, and Donald Gross.  2011.  "Poster Child for the Tea Party: Rand Paul of Kentucky."  In William J. Miller and Jeremy D. Walling (eds.), Tea Party Effects on 2010 Senate Elections: Stuck in the Middle to Lose.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.  Chap. 8.

Bartilow, Horace A., and D. Stephen Voss. 2009. "Market Rules: The Incidental Relationship between Democratic Compatibility and International Commerce." International Studies Quarterly 53(March).

Fiorina, Morris P., Paul E. Peterson, Bertram Johnson, D. Stephen Voss, and William G. Mayer.  2008.  America’s New Democracy.  New York: Longman.  Fourth edition. 

Voss, D. Stephen.  2004.  “Using Ecological Inference for Contextual Research: When Aggregation Bias Is the Solution as Well as the Problem.”  In Gary King, Ori Rosen, and Martin Tanner (eds.), Ecological Inference: New Methodological Strategies.  New York: Cambridge University Press.  Pp. 69-96.

Lublin, David, and D. Stephen Voss. 2003. "The Missing Middle: Why Median-Voter Theory Can’t Save Democrats from Singing the Boll-Weevil Blues." Journal of Politics 65(February): 227-37.

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