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Richard Fleisher  


Department of Political Science
441 East Fordham Road
674 Faber Hall
Fordham University
Bronx, NY  10458
(718) 817-3952 (phone)
(718) 817-3972 (fax)



Teaching and Research Interests
I am a Professor in the Political Science Department at Fordham University. My teaching and research focuses on the study of Political Institutions and Processes, with specific interest in the U.S. Congress, the Presidency, and political parties and elections. I have published widely including The President in the Legislative Arena (University of Chicago Press), Polarized Politics (CQ Press) and American Political Parties: Decline or Resurgence (CQ Press). My list of publications also include articles that appeared in The American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Polity, Political Science Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly and Legislative Studies Quarterly. Currently my research focuses on the analysis of congressional roll calls, the causes and consequences of partisan polarization, and the impact of environmentalism on voting in presidential and congressional elections. Below, there are links to ordering information for each of the books, recent papers that I have written,course syllabi, data and other useful sites reflecting my teaching and research interests.


The President in the Legislative Arena Polarized Politics American Political Parties

Click on the book's cover for ordering information


 Reading these files requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

A Reassessment of Party Voting in the US House (Fleisher, Bond & Owens)

Global Versus Specific Opinion and Senator Roll Call Voting: The Case of Immigration Policy, 2006 (Cohen & Fleisher)

The Presumption of Success on Presidential Appointments Reconsidered: How Delay Has Become the Primary Method of Defeating Nominees (Bond, Fleisher & Krutz)

The Creation of an Endangered Species: Party Nonconformists of the U.S. Senate (Fleisher & Bond)

The Electoral Consequences of Presidential Support (Bond, Cohen, Durham, and Fleisher)

The Effects of State Level Presidential Approval on Support in the Senate (Durham, Cohen, Fleisher and Bond)

Maligned Neglect : How Senate Consideration of Presidential Nominations Has Changed (Bond, Fleisher and Krutz)

Chamber Medians, Party Medians and Theories of Party Politics in Congress. (Fleisher and Bond)


 Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Politics
American Political Parties
The U.S. Congress

 Graduate Courses

American Political Institutions and Processes

Data to Download

 Codebook - Reading this file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

President in the Legislative Arena Codebook for House and Senate Data Files


President in the Legislative Arena House Data - 1953 to 1996
President in the Legislative Arena Senate Data - 1953 to 1996


 Political Science Web Sites

American Political Science Association
Midwest Political Science Association
Southern Political Science Association
Western Political Science Association
American Political Science Review
American Journal of Political Science
The Journal of Politics
Political Research Quarterly
British Journal of Political Science
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Legislative Studies Section of the APSA

 Congress and President Sites

US Senate
US House of Representatives
The White House
Government Printing Office
The Dirksen Center
Washington Post Congressional Votes Database

 Parties, Elections and Campaign Finance Sites

The Federal Election Commission
Open Secrets
The Democratic National Committee
The Republican National Committee
ICPSR Home Page
The National Election Studies Home Page
The Roper Center Home Page
The Gallup Organization Home Page
Common Cause
Polling Report.Com
Democracy Corps

 News Media Sites

The New York Times
The Washington Post
Roll Call
ABC News
CBS News

 Environmental Politics Sites

National Parks Conservation Association
League of Conservation Voters
Wildlife Conservation Society
World Wildlife Fund
Defenders of Wildlife
Sierra Club

Non-Political Science

Nature Photography
Away from Political Science, one of the things that I really enjoy is nature photography. I particularly enjoy taking pictures of birds of prey and large mammals. Most of my experience has consisted of traveling to the National Parks in the western United States. Several years ago, I traveled to the Galapagos Islands where the photo opportunities for photographing wildlife are absolutely fantastic. I have also traveled to Alaska where we visited Denali, took a bush plane to the town of McCarthy in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, traveled on the Kenai Peninsula from Seward to Homer, and took a bush plane out of Homer to Geographic Harbor on the Katmai coast where we sat on the bank of a stream for an entire day watching Grizzlies come to the water to fish for Salmon. No exaggeration, at times we were no more than 50 yds from the bears (see the pictures below). If you want to see Alaska I strongly recommend that you travel inland. Last summer I went to Peru where I spent some time in the Amazon Basin and in the Andean Highlands. Last summer immediately after the spring semester ended I went to Tanzania where I was on safari in several of the national parks in the northern part of the country. We were successful in seeing "The Big Five" (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Cape Buffalo) as well as Cheetah, Hyenas, and an amazing assortment of birdlife. However, one does not have to venture as far as Africa or Alaska to be able to take pictures of interesting wildlife. I also include pictures of Red Tail Hawks that I have photographed in New York's Central Park, Brooklyn's Green Wood Cemetary, Queen's Flushing-Meadow Park, along Long Island's waterways, as well as on the Fordham campus.

The pair of Red Tails on the Fordham campus nested here for four consecutive years. In 2005, they built a nest on an old oak tree on the campus and successfully fledged two off-spring. In 2006, they moved their nest to a ledge on one of the buildings on campus, Collins Hall, that has pigeon spikes at the edge and is therefore similar to the nesting place of the Central Park Hawks. That year, our pair produced three live hatchlings (there were four but one died either before or shortly after hatching) sometime in early May. Before too long, they began to lose their fluffy white down and started growing feathers. In late May, they were seen practicing their flight. One of them started taking short flights during the second week in June. In both 2007 and 2008 the adults returned to nest on Collins Hall and again bred and raised three young Hawks. This year, however, the Hawks have relocated as they built a nest over at the NY Botanical Gardens. Once again, they have selected a building for the site oftheir nest. The type of building they opted for is very similar to the one they have used on campus. While the Fordham campus was an ideal setting for Red Tail Hawks to put up residence and raise young, new construction on campus close to the site of the old nest may have caused them to relocate. The campus is adjacent to the grounds of the NY Botanical Gardens, which also has an abundent, year round population of squirrels, rodents and pigeons to serve as prey. The adult Hawks have not totally abandoned us as they can still be seen rosting on the cross of the university church or on one of the light towers near the athletic field or hunting on campus as they chase one of our many pigeons.

Fordham is also close to the Bronx Zoo which presents wonderful opportunities to see and photograph wildlife. There are several exhibits that in my opinion standout. among my favorites are the Congo Gorilla Forest, Tiger Mountain and the new exhibit on Wild African Dogs.

There are many amazing wildlife photo opportunities in NYC and the immediate suburbs. Please contact me if you share this interest, have advice or to exchange photos of scenary and wildlife. In addition to using a Canon DSLR with a Canon 500mm or 300mm lens , many of my photos of the Hawks were shot by digiscoping (using a digital camera to take photos through a spotting scope). The spotting scope that I use is a Pentax 80ED-A and the digicam is a Nikon P5100 (I have also used a Canon A95 for digiscoping). I have also taken photos by attaching the DSLR to the scope using a 50mm lens. The cameras are attached to the scope's eyepiece using threaded adapters and step-up(step-down) rings. Some of the photos were edited using Adobe Photoshop. If anyone shares an interest in wildlife photography, please email. Some recent pictures that I took on various trips including ones to Africa, the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Alaska and the Grand Tetons & Yellowstone as well as the Red Tail's and Ospreys from New York are posted below.

  • To view the wildlife photos from various trips click on Travel Photos
  • For photos of the Red Tail Hawks on the Fordham campus click on Fordham Hawks
  • For photos of Red Tail Hawks from nests in other parts of NYC including Central Park, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Green-Wood cemetary in Brooklyn, the site of the 1964 Worlds Fair in Flushing-Meadows Park in Queens, Riverside Park click on Hawks of NYC
  • For photos of various Ospreys that nest along the waterways of Long Island click on Long Island Ospreys
  • For photos of Bald Eagles taken in various settings click on Bald Eagles
  • For photos taken at the Bronx Zoo click on Bronx Zoo

There are a number of excellent sites that are dedicated to raptors in NYC. These sites are blogs in which the content changes very frequently. I recommend checking in on these sites on a regular basis. The links for these sites are:

The City Birder
Urban Hawks
Marie Winn's Blog
NYC Audubon Hawkcam, Live Video

Rock Music
Another non-political science interest is rock music. My interest in rock music is quite broad spanning from the folk rock and classic rock of the 1960s and 1970s to the alternative rock of today. In each of the last two years I was able to see the Allman Bros. Band at the Beacon. Both were amazing concerts. The ABB is a great live band and seeing them at the Beacon makes them even better. Derek Trucks on the slide guitar is a sight to behold and a gem to listen to.

My favorite band, however, has to be Crosby, Stills and Nash - when they play with Neil Young (which in my opinion is not often enough) it is as good as it gets. In 2006, I saw a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert at the Beacon and CSNY at Jones Beach. At the beach, they played a great deal of music from Neil's Living with War album. Hearing CSNY play music with such an explicitly political message reminded me of the first time that I heard them play Ohio at the Fillmore East in June of 1970. I saw Neil Young at the United Theatre where he performed with Crazy horse. He played an acoustic set as well as an electric one. This was part of the tour promoting Chrome Dreams II. I also saw Neil play at Madison Square Garden (see my comments below regarding the Garden as a concert site).

For anyone who ever attended the Fillmore or just want to see pictures taken there I strongly recommend Live at the Fillmore East: A Photographic Memoir-- by Amalie R. Rothschild. This collection features a photographic journey into the rock and roll hall of fame. The Beacon Theatre on the west side of Manhattan is the closest thing to seeing a concert at the Fillmore East. The sight lines as well as the sound is much better than at larger venues such as Madison Square Garden. I have, however, seen some very good shows at MSG. For example, I saw Billy Joel in his 12th sold out performance at the Garden. We sat just off of the floor and it was ok. He played a high energy, tight performance - three hours, no intermission going through an almost full complement of songs - his hits as well as those that receive less airplay on the radio. I also saw Billy play the last concert at Shea Stadium. A very memorable night with loads of guest stars but in the end, I guess I just prefer a smaller concert hall. Recodings of old concerts, including many from the Fillmore can be heard at
Finally, I enjoy all of the major sports. In particular, having grown up in NY I root for the Mets (traced back to my roots in Brooklyn), Jets, Knicks and Rangers. I have been lucky enought to have seen each of these teams celebrate championships. Although it has been a while since any of these teams won, memories of past championships keeps me eternally optimistic.

In addition, to the web pages of the local NY newspapers, each of these teams has blogs devoted to them. For the true fan, these blogs contain interesting and useful information, gossip, things to ponder not contained in the normal media coverage of the teams. Links to these sites are posted below.
   Mets Blogs

Amazin Avenue
Mets Analyst
Adam Rubin's Met Blog
Newsday's Met Blog

   Jets Blogs

Tom Rock's Jets Blog in Newsday
Rich Cimini's Jets Blog in the Daily News

   Rangers Blogs

John Dellapina's Blueshirts Blog in the Daily News
Steve Zipay's Ranger Blog in Newsday
Outside the Garden Blog
Blueshirt Bulletin