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Mark Setzler, PhD
Associate Professor of Political Science

High Point University

Department of Political Science
833 Montlieu Avenue
High Point, NC 27262

Office: Roberts Hall 343
e-mail: msetzler@highpoint.edu
Phone: (336) 841-9018


Tyrants, Dictators, and Democrats (FYS 1001)

Contemporary Politics and Issues
(PSC 1010)

American Government
(PSC 2310)

Comparing Foreign Political Systems (PSC 2510)

International Relations
(PSC 2710)

International Conflict and Security
(PSC 4710)

Latin American Politics 
(PSC 3510)

Senior seminar in Political Science
(PSC 4099)


HPU Dept. of Political Science

Smith Library (use the library's "Journal Finder" links to locate specific journals and articles; if you need an article or book that is not available through Smith's resources, see the "interlibrary loan" page" )

The University's Honor Code

Setzler e-mail policies (includes instructions on forwarding your HPU e-mail to an off-campus e-mail account)

Paper citation instructions for Setzler courses

Grading criteria for lower-division papers, take-home essays, and reports

Grading criteria for upper-division papers and take-home essays

Grading criteria for identification items on in-class exams

Grading criteria for class participation

Improve your research with Google Scholar (but keep in mind that for many of my assignments, you may not use outside sources)


I am a native of Washington State and grew up on a small ranch outside of Boise, Idaho. My BA in political science and Spanish literature is from Oregon's Pacific University. After college, I worked for a short while on Capitol Hill for US Rep. Larry LaRocco, who represented Idaho's First District and then clerked for a Washington, DC law office. My PhD in Government is from the University of Texas. While in Austin, I worked as an analyst for the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute, a non-profit research center that concentrates on urban, state, and Latino policy issues.

After brief stints as a visiting professor at Oregon's Lewis & Clark College and the University of Portland, I came High Point University's political science department in 2004. My teaching interests are quite broad: I have taught courses on US politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political science research methods. 

Most of my current scholarship focuses on how political systems can be made more democratic, responsive, and accountable. Building on interests I first developed as an undergraduate exchange student in Ecuador, much of my research examines why, when, and how citizens choose to use elections to demand democracy-enhancing political reforms from public officials. Much of scholarship has drawn on extensive field research in urban Brazil, where I have conducted several hundred interviews with state and local politicians, bureaucrats, academics, and community leaders.

My research interests also encompass a concern for deepening and improving democratic political life in the United States. It is from this research track that I have published several essays analyzing immigrant, racial, ethnic, and gender politics in America.



Setzler, Mark. 2003. “Recursos socioeconômicos, capital sociocultural e conhecimento político como determinantes da formulação de políticas públicas locais no Brasil.” Caderno CRH 39 (Jul-Dec), pp. 133-60. CRH is a peer-reviewed journal, published by the Federal University of Bahia.    

Freeman, Gary P., Luis F.B. Plascencia, and Mark Setzler. 2003. “The Decline of Barriers to Immigrant Economic and Political Rights in the American States: 1977-2001.” International Migration Review 37/1 (Spring), pp. 5-23. 

DeSipio, Louis, Rodolfo O. de la Garza, and Mark Setzler. 1999. “Awash in the Mainstream: Latinos and the 1996 Elections.” In Awash in the Mainstream: Latino Politics and the 1996 Elections, eds. Rodolfo O. de la Garza and Louis DeSipio. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999). Pp. 3-45. 

de la Garza, Rodolfo O., Scott Graves, and Mark Setzler. 1999. “Alive and Kicking: Municipal Affirmative Action Policy in Texas Cities, 1980s-1990s.” Policy Studies Journal 27/1 (March), pp. 45-63. Co-authored with Rodolfo O. de la Garza and Scott Graves. This article received the journal’s Theodore Lowi award for "best" published essay of the year.

Setzler, Mark. “From Cortiços to Favelas: Housing Policy in São Paulo in the Twentieth Century.” In Policymaking in a Redemocratized Brazil: Decentralization and Social Policy, ed. Robert H. Wilson. Austin: Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, 1997. Pp. 319-56.


Restricting Immigrant Access to Employment: An Examination of Regulations in Five States. Claremont, CA: Tómas Rivera Policy Institute, 1999 (with Luis F.B. Plascencia and Gary P. Freeman).

Bucking the Trend: Affirmative Action Policy in Texas Cities in the 1980s and 1990s (policy report and policy brief). Claremont, CA: Tómas Rivera Policy Institute, 1998 (with Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Scott Graves, and Franco Uccelli).   

The address of this site is: http://www.highpoint.edu/~msetzler