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 fifth book in the “All Souls” series from No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and Mount Holyoke College alum Deborah Harkness ’86 makes its debut this week.

Marcella Runell, vice president of student life and dean of students at Mount Holyoke College, spoke with MassLive about how the College is tackling the rising demand for mental health services.

Three long-serving members of the Mount Holyoke College faculty have retired.

Recent Publications

View More