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Jason Arnold

Information politics: government secrecy and transparency; surveillance; whistleblowing; political knowledge and ignorance; right to know movements; political ideologies


Jason Ross Arnold is Associate Professor of Political Science at VCU. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2008, and hasn’t grilled steaks outside with below zero windchills and ice hockey sounds from the nearby park since then.

Professor Arnold’s first book, Secrecy in the Sunshine Era: The Promise and Failures of U.S. Open Government Laws, explained the persistence of excessive government secrecy despite decades of transparency reforms and promises. A review in the Journal of American History called the book “the foundational text for understanding governmental secrecy in the modern era.” His earlier research examined a range of issues in comparative public opinion, such as public ignorance, corruption perceptions, and ideology.

Professor Arnold recently completed a manuscript for his second book, Secret-Spillers: Whistleblowers, Leakers, and Their Networks, from Snowden to Samizdat. He is also working on a project about the politics of surveillance in the U.S. during the past half century.

In his free time, he kitchen dances with his daughters and writes stories his English teacher wife claims to like. That plus a lot of music and tacos.

Secrecy in the Sunshine Era: The Promise and Failures of U.S. Open Government Laws (University Press of Kansas, 2014)

Articles and chapters
“The Electoral Consequences of Voter Ignorance,” Electoral Studies, 2012
“Citizen Political Awareness and Corruption Perceptions in Latin America,” Acta Politica, 2012
“Parliaments and Citizens in Latin America,” The Journal of Legislative Studies, 2012
“Evidence from Public Opinion” (with David Samuels), In Levitsky and Roberts, eds., The Resurgence of the Latin American Left (JHU Press), 2011


Arnold CV March2017