James E. Vike

James E. Vike, PhD

  • Associate Dean of Social Science
  • Director of Masters of Public Administration
  • Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Politics & Government

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Political Science (1996)
    Syracuse University (NY)
  • BA, Political Science (1986)
    Willamette University (OR)

About Me

I received my PhD in political science with concentrations in American politics and public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Since joining the Widener faculty, I've taught graduate-level courses for the masters in public administration program and a range of undergraduate courses relating to American politics and statistics for the political science department.

My teaching philosophy centers on creating an energetic and interactive classroom atmosphere, wherein students commit to learning the core principles of the field, while also building requisite skills to further their careers and promote a lifetime of engaged citizenship.

I'm proud that the department has adopted political engagement as a core student learning outcome and that we passionately work to further that objective. My associations with Project Pericles and the Widener Political Engagement Committee involve working with others to promote engaged citizenship across the campus as a whole.

Research Interests

My current research interests spread across the disparate fields of bureaucratic politics and political engagement. My work on bureaucratic politics focuses on examining the extent of political influence on the regulatory scope and enforcement outputs of federal and state-level regulatory agencies.

My work on political engagement focuses on isolating key factors for promoting political engagement among young citizens without simultaneously triggering partisan polarization and uncivil discourse.

Media Expertise

  • American presidency
  • Elections
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • Political/bureaucratic relations


  • Vike, J.E. (2007). The bureaucracy as a battleground: Contentious politics surrounding OSHA 1980–2004. Politics & Policy, 35(3), 570–607.
  • Vike, J.E. (2003). State influence in the presidential selection process: Assessing Pennsylvania's non-participation in the frontloading trend. Commonwealth: A Journal of Political Science, 12, 51–75.
  • Vike, J.E. (2014, April). Is civil political engagement possible? Examining factors associated with non-polarized political engagement in a deeply divisive era. Presentation at the President's Invited Lecture, Widener University, Chester, PA.


  • Trainer Faculty Fellow, Widener Leadership Institute (2014)


In the Media