Karthick Ramakrishnan is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on civic participation, immigration policy, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States. He is project director of the National Asian American Survey, which conducted the first national opinion survey of Asian Americans in 2008, and will continue with surveys in 2012 and beyond.

Ramakrishnan received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, and has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Public Policy Institute of California. He has received several grants from sources such as the James Irvine Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, and has provided consultation to public officials at the federal and local levels.

Ramakrishnan’s articles have appeared in International Migration Review, Urban Affairs Review, Social Science Quarterly, and The DuBois Review. His books include Democracy in Immigrant America (2005), Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities (2011, with Janelle Wong, Taeku Lee, and Jane Junn), and two edited volumes on immigrant politics and civic engagement: Transforming Politics, Transforming America (2006, with Taeku Lee and Ricardo Ramirez) and Civic Roots and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations, and Political Engagement (2008, with Irene Bloemraad).


B.A. Brown University, magna cum laude in International Relations and Political Science, 1996;  Ph.D. in Politics, Princeton University, 2002

Project Summary

For Project: “For Party and Nation: The Politicization of U.S. Immigration at the State and Local Level”

In the past two decades, states and local governments in the United States have produced a flurry of legislative activity related to immigrants and immigration.  Standard explanations for these developments usually center on demographic changes from recent immigration and associated policy challenges such as wage competition or linguistic diversification.  This book examines the extent to which these factors are important, in a context where party dynamics and issue entrepreneurship also seem to play important roles.