Sidney Verba

Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor Emeritus and Research Professor of Government, Harvard University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • Civic Engagement
  • Media & Public Opinion
  • Voting

Connect with Sidney

About Sidney

Verba has taught and researched political issues related to functioning democracy for over fifty years, with a focus on citizen participation and engagement in civic and political life. A main concern is the equality of voice among all citizens. He considers his publications in this field to be both contributions to social science as well as works relevant to a significant set of public issues that deserve greater attention. Verba has also been involved in various activities aimed at benefiting needy individuals or groups. One set of activities was related to his role as Director of the Harvard Library for 24 years. Under his leadership, the Harvard Library supported many other libraries less well-endowed with books and other materials, as when the Harvard Library coordinated with other research libraries to replenish the collections of the Bosnian National Library after it was badly damaged during the siege of Sarajevo. In a different area, Verba has in recent years been active in the Human Rights field as Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academy of Sciences which works to protect scientists, engineers, and medical professionals from wrongful treatment for their views and activities.


Unequal Citizen Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

  • Henry E. Brady
  • Kay Lehman Schlozman

No Jargon Podcast

In the News


The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy (with Kay Lehman Schlozman and Henry E. Brady) (Princeton University Press, 2012).
Describes the inequality of political voice as expressed by individuals and organized interests in the United States, focusing on the persistence of that inequality and the joint effects of individual and organizational participation.
Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics (with Kay Lehman Schlozman and Henry E. Brady) (Harvard University Press, 1995).
Describes the nature and origins of political activity in the United States focusing on the source of unequal participation.
Designing Social Inquiry (with Gary King and Robert Keohane) (Princeton University Press, 1993).
Analyzes the various modes of social research design, focusing on the relationship of quantitative and qualitative work.
Injury to Insult: Unemployment, Class, and Political Response (with Kay Lehman Schlozman) (Harvard University Press, 1979).
Describes and explains the civic inactivity of unemployed citizens, analyzing why they are inactive despite their need for governmental support.
Participation and Political Equality: A Seven-Nation Comparison (with Norman H. Nie and Jae-on Kim) (Cambridge University Press, 1979).
Compares political participation in seven nations, highlighting the impact of political structures such as political parties on the nature of participation.
Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality (with Norman H. Nie) (Harper and Row, 1972).
Describes and explains the participatory actions of citizens in the United States.
The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations (with Gabriel A. Almond) (Princeton University Press, 1963).
Compares the political cultures of five democracies - the first systematic cross-national study of the subject.