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People: Deceased Emeritus Faculty

Roy Pierce

Deceased Emeritus Faculty


Professor of Political Science, LS&A


Ph.D. Cornell 1950

Scholarship Award

The Roy Pierce Scholars Fund provides summer support for two graduate students in the University of Michigan Political Science Department to work with a member of CPS faculty. The Pierce Fund honors Roy Pierce, who for almost 50 years was associated with Michigan’s Department of Political Science.


About Roy Pierce

Roy Pierce was a professor of political science in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and faculty associate in the Center for Political Studies and had a career at the University of Michigan that lasted for 37 years.

Born in New York City, Professor Pierce earned his B.A, M.A, and Ph.D. degrees in 1947, 1948, and 1950, respectively, from Cornell University. He interrupted his graduate training to serve as an auditor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris in 1949. Before joining the Michigan faculty, he taught at Smith College. From 1952-53, he served as director for the Junior Year in International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He has had visiting appointments in France as a Fulbright Lecturer in Nice, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and has been a visitor at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Professor Pierce made important contributions to our understanding of comparative politics across a range of topics from French political theorists to French political institutions to the spatial location of parties and electorates on the Left-Right dimension. His landmark analysis of representation in France, Political Representation in France, co-authored with Phil Converse, won the Woodrow Wilson prize in 1987. This is the discipline’s top prize. The work delves deeply into the political orientations of mass publics and political elites, as well as the linkages between them. He has published widely in the major political science journals on elections and public opinion France.

Professor Pierce trained a large number of scholars in the area of Western European and comparative politics and has served graduate students well and often as director of graduate studies and placement officer in the Department of Political Science. He was a devoted and engaged teacher of undergraduates.