Dr. Udi Sommer


Email: udi.sommer@gmail.com

Webpage:  http://people.socsci.tau.ac.il/mu/udis/


I am associate professor at the Political Science Department at Tel Aviv University and a member of the Israeli Young Academy for Science. I joined the faculty at Tel Aviv in Fall 2010 after teaching at the University at Albany: State University of New York at the political science department there (PhD, Stony Brook University, 2007; MA Tel Aviv University, 2002; BA The Hebrew University, 1999). I am member of the Scientific Council of the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center. In 2016-7 I am at Columbia University of New York as Israel Institute Visiting Professor.


My broad research interests are in American and comparative politics, public law and political methodology. I specialize in the analysis of political institutions and legal evolution. My book about agenda setting on the Supreme Court of the United States was published in 2014 with Palgrave-MacMillan and my book about sexual minority rights in a comparative perspective is forthcoming with SUNY Press in 2016. My popular nonfiction book about Israeli parents in America was published in Hebrew in 2010 and was broadly covered by the media. My scholarship has appeared in publications such as Comparative Political Studies, The Law and Society Review, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Political Studies, Judicature, and the Justice System Journal.


I am a recipient of several grants and fellowships including the Marie Curie Grant from the European Union, Fulbright Doctoral Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. My work has been presented at the annual meetings of the American, European, Midwest, Southern and Western Political Science Associations. I have teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels in Tel Aviv University, the University at Albany and Stony Brook University. Classes include at the PhD level-Math for Political Scientists, Civil Rights and Liberties, Research Methods, Survey Class in Judicial Politics; at the MA level-Advanced Statistics for Public Policy; and, at the BA level-Comparative Politics, American Supreme Court, Constitutional Law and Politics: USA and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.


I appear as expert commentator on WKGO San Francisco, Israeli TV Channels 1, 2 & 10, Christian Science Monitor, Haaretz.com (English), ynet.co.il, Haaretz newspaper, Galatz Israeli Radio and Knesset TV Channel. Likewise, I am regularly engaged in community activity on and off campus including giving talks to the general public, advising government and NGOs, being invited to give a commencement speech, and volunteering with individuals with disabilities. Prior to my academic career, I had been the founder and director of several social programs for youth of underprivileged background, including at Dor Shalom (Generation for Peace) and the Summer Youth University, and had had advanced training in clinical psychology.






Legal Path Dependence and the Long Arm of the Religious State: Gay Rights and Sodomy Laws in a Comparative Perspective (Forthcoming with SUNY Press 2016)


A Supreme Agenda: Strategic Case Selection on the Supreme Court of the United States (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014)


Home but Away: The Exprience of Immigrant Israeli Parents in America (2010) (in Hebrew)


Selected peer-review articles:

Original Sin: A Cross National Study of the Legality of Homosexual Acts". 2013. Comparative Political Studies (forthcoming) (with Victor Asal) 


"Judicial Decision Making in Times of Financial Crises: State Supreme Courts and Mortgage Moratorium Laws in the Great Depression." 2011. Judicature (forthcoming) (with Quan Li) 


"Representative Appointments: The Effect of Women Constituencies on Supreme Court Confirmation Votes." 2011. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy (forthcoming)


"Setting a Supreme Agenda: Opinion Minded Justices and the Decision on Certiorari." 2011. Rationality and Society (forthcoming) 


"Extreme Dissensus: Why Plurality Opinions Happen on the US Supreme Court" Justice System Journal 31(2), 2010 (with Pamela Corley, Art Ward and Amy Steigerwalt

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