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Benjamin Larsen received his PhD in Political Science at Northeastern University in 2018. Within the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University, he specializes in public policy and comparative politics. His dissertation is titled “Cities Take the Lead: LGBT Nondiscrimination Policy Adoption by Local Governments.” Ben’s research interests include state and local politics, LGBT policy and politics, social movements, and American public policy. He served as an instructor for undergraduate courses, including American Government and Quantitative Techniques.

Research Interests

Ben’s primary research interest is state and local politics in the United States. Much of his research is concerned with LGBT rights policy at the local level, particularly LGBT nondiscrimination policy in cities. In addition, Ben has been involved in research about state legislative politics. Other broad interests include social movement behavior and social policy change. Ben also has research interests relating to social activism and the promotion of diversity and inclusive education.

Work Experience

Ben has worked for the Department of Political Science as a teaching assistant and course instructor. As a teaching assistant, he has experience in courses such as comparative politics, international relations, globalization, and methods. He has taught American Government and Quantitative Techniques at Northeastern. Beyond his teaching experience, Ben has worked as a research consultant for the Fenway Institute. In 2013, Ben was a legislative consultant for Tate’s Rents, a construction equipment company in Boise trying to increase penalties for rental equipment theft in Idaho. Ben currently works as an instructor for the TRIO McNair Scholars Program at Boise State. He leads program seminars, tutors for the GRE, mentors student research, and organizes program recruitment. Working for the McNair Program has sparked Ben’s interest in diversity and inclusive educational programming.


Ben was born in Modesto, California and his family relocated to rural Idaho when he was a small child. Ben grew up in Idaho and attended Boise State University upon graduation from high school. At BSU, he earned a bachelor’s degree and was a member of the Boise State Debate Team, which won a national championship title in 2011. Ben currently lives in Boise, Idaho, where he works as an instructor for the McNair Scholars Program at Boise State.

Conference Presentations

Larsen, B. (2018). “Cities Leading the Pack: An Examination of LGBT Nondiscrimination Policy Adoption by Local Governments.” The 89thAnnual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. New Orleans, Louisiana.

Hedlund, R., Larson, C. and Larsen, B. (2015). “Know When to Hold ‘em, Know When to Fold ‘em, Know When to Take a Risk, Know When to Run: Risk Taking in Committee Assignments.” The 73rdAnnual Conference of the Midwestern Political Science Association. Chicago, Illinois.

Larsen, B.(2014). “Idaho’s Steps Backward and Forward on LGBT Rights: A Dynamic Approach to Social Movement Political Opportunities.” The 46thAnnual Meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association. Boston, Massachusetts.

Hedlund, R., Larson, C. and Larsen, B. (2013). “Untangling the Web of Impact Factors: A Multi-Level Analysis of State Committee Assignment Success.” The 45thAnnual Meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Degrees Earned and Institution

BA, Boise State University

MA, Northeastern University

PhD, Northeastern University

Research Interests

State and Local Politics, LGBT Policy and Politics, Social Movements, American Public Policy

Contact Info