Email: kmiler at umd•edu
Kris Miler studies constituency representation, legislative behavior, and the role of organized interests in legislative politics, primarily in the context of the U.S. Congress. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and her BA from the College of William and Mary. She was on faculty at the University of Illinois prior to joining the University of Maryland.
Professor Miler is the author of Constituency Representation in Congress: The View from Capitol Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which received the APSA’s Alan Rosenthal Prize for the best research of potential value to legislative practitioners. This book draws on cognitive psychology to examine empirically the important questions of which constituents legislators see when they look at their district and how these limited perceptions affect their behavior in the U.S. House. She argues that legislators see few constituents in their district relevant to a given issue, and their views of the constituents in their district are systematically shaped by financial contributions and constituency contact, which results in flawed representation of constituents. For a recent interview with C-SPAN Book TV, click here. Her research also has been published in journals such as Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Psychology, and American Politics Research..
Her current research focuses on the caucus system in the U.S. House of Representatives, including the role of caucuses in promoting constituency representation as well as interest groups’ use of the caucus system to gain access to legislators. Another project explores congressional behavior on trade policy, including members' participation before executive agencies and surprising patterns of voting on preferential trade agreements (PTAs).