Douglas J. Amy

  • Professor Emeritus of Politics

Douglas Amy is a leading expert on electoral voting systems, including proportional representation, redistricting issues in the United States, and the plight of third party candidacies. His books on this subject include Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems (2000) and Real Choices, New Voices: How Proportional Representation Elections Could Revitalize American Democracy (2002), which won the George H. Hallett Award from the American Political Science Association. 

Amy's most recent book is Government Is Good: An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution (2011)—based on his website of the same name. The book and website detail government's crucial role in improving Americans' lives and promoting the public good. Amy also takes on the major criticisms of government put forward by the anti-government movement and shows that most are exaggerated or just plain wrong. He argues that democratic government is one of the main ways we work together to pursue the common good and make the world a better place, and he concludes that “if we want an America that is prosperous, healthy, secure, well-educated, just, compassionate, and unpolluted, we need a strong, active, and well-funded public sector.”

Areas of Expertise

Debate over size of government; response to attacks on government; reforms to make government more democratic; voting systems; proportional representation


  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
  • M.A., B.A., University of Washington,

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent Campus News

The McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at Mount Holyoke has received a grant to support first-generation and low-income students in obtaining their U.S. passports.

Robert Darrow, visiting faculty in Politics at Mount Holyoke College, has written an editorial decrying the inaction of Congress on gun violence.

According to a recent Gallup poll, how Americans feel about the end of affirmative action in college admissions depends not just on their race but also on their age. Mount Holyoke College President Danielle R. Holley spoke about why.

Recent Publications

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