Associate Professor
Political Science


Ph.D., Political Science, University of Houston, 2000
B.A., German Area Studies, University of Houston, 1993

Regional and Thematic Interests

Central Asia
Government/Political Systems


Vanessa A. Baird (Ph.D., University of Houston, 2000) joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 2000 after completing her graduate education at the University of Houston. Her undergraduate education centered on the study of German literature and she studied at the University of Siegen, in Germany. She has published her work in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of PoliticsPolitical Research QuarterlyPolitical PsychologyPolitical Studies and Comparative Political Studies, and Social Science Quarterly. Her book, Answering the Call of the Court: How Justices and Litigants Set the Supreme Court's Agenda, was published in 2007 by the University of Virginia Press. Her research interests include understanding the process by which courts acquire legitimacy, the causes and effects of the perception of procedural justice, and the mechanism by which courts can rely on extra-judicial resources to amass political power. Her newest research focuses on the effect of political violence on non-violent political action in Russia, specifically with regard to ending the cycle of ethnically motivated violence.

Selected Publications

2009 Baird, Vanessa A., and Tonja Jacobi. “Judicial Agenda Setting through Signaling and Strategic Litigant Responses.” Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 29: 215-239.

2007 Answering the Call of the Court: How Justices and Litigants Set the Supreme Court Agenda. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

2007 Baird, Vanessa A., and Debra Javeline. “The Persuasive Power of Russian Courts.” Political Research Quarterly 60, no.3: 429-442.

2007 Javeline, Debra, and Vanessa A. Baird. “Who Sues Government? Evidence from the Moscow Theater Hostage Case.” Comparative Political Studies 40: 858-885.