Bruce Bimber

Department Chair

Office Hours

Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30-4:45 pm in Ellison 3708

Contact Phone


Office Location

Ellison Hall 3830 - Chair's Office
Ellison Hall 3709 - Faculty Office


Political Communication and Behavior, Collective Action, Digital Media

Ph.D. Massaschusetts Institute of Technology, 1992


Bruce Bimber is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science. He is also affiliated with the Center for Information Technology and Society, the Department of Communication, and the College of Engineering's Technology Management Program. He studies political communication, with a focus on the relationship between digital media and patterns in human behavior, especially in the domains of political organization and collective action. 

One area of his research is the connection between political participation and the highly variable structural forms for collective action that are apparent in the current information regime in the US. That means studying things like who participates in events such as Occupy, BlackLivesMatter, and protests over same sex marriage.  Another area of research is the dynamics of public attention in the context of social media. This means studying when mass media call the attention of the public to an issue and when it works the other way around, and why.  A third line of research addresses selective exposure to political information, which includes examining people's preferences for news and information that reinforces their existing beliefs.
Professor Bimber's most recent book is Collective Action in Organizations, with Andrew Flanagin and Cynthia Stohl. He is author of Information and American Democracy, which won the Price Award for Best Book on Science, Technology and Politics from the American Political Science Association, and which is available in Chinese, Arabic, and Korean. His book Campaigning Online, with Richard Davis, won the McGannon Communication Policy Award for social and ethical relevance. He is also author of The Politics of Expertise in Congress and many articles in political science and communication journals.
Prof. Bimber has been a member of the UC Santa Barbara faculty since 1993. In 1999, he founded the Center for Information Technology and Society, which he directed until 2006. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has a doctorate in political science from MIT, and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Stanford.

For more information, please visit Professor Bimber's individual web site, which includes messages for prospective and new PhD students.


A few items forthcoming and recently published...

Bimber, B. (forthcoming). Three prompts for collective action in the context of digital media. Political Communication

Earl, J., Copeland, L., & Bimber, B. (forthcoming). Routing around organizations: Self-directed political consumption. Mobilization.

Feldman, L., Wojcieszak, M., Stroud, N.J., & Bimber, B. (forthcoming).  Explaining media choice: The role of issue-specific engaging in predicting interest-based and partisan selectivity. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

Copeland, L., Hasell, A., & Bimber, B. (2016). Collective action frames, advocacy organizations and protests over same-sex marriage. International Journal of Communication, 10, 3785-3807.

Wojcieszak, M., Bimber, B., Feldman, L., & Stroud, N. J. (2016). Partisan news and political participation: Exploring mediated relationships. Political Communication, 33(2). 241-260.