David J. Olson
Professor Emeritus


David Olson (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Harry Bridges Endowed Chair Emeritus in Labor Studies. He researches state, urban and labor politics in the United States. He is the co-author or co-editor of Black Politics: The Inevitability of Conflict (Holt, Rinehart and Winston) Theft of the City: Readings in Corruption in Urban America (Indiana), Commission Politics: The Processing of Racial Crisis in America (Trans-Action Books), Governing the United States (McGraw Hill), and To Keep The Republic (McGraw Hill). He also has published numerous articles on urban politics, state politics, political violence, seaport politics, congestion pricing, living wage campaigns, term limits, and labor politics. In 2005 he received the S. Sterling Munro Public Service Teaching Award and in 2007 was named the inaugural Distinguished Civic Educator Award by the Washington State Senate. In 2006 Olson was knighted by the King of Norway as knight of the first class, order of merit for contributions to US/Norway scholarly exchange relations.

Outside the University, Olson has advised or served as a consultant to various state, county, and municipal governments as well as community groups and the Ford Foundation on subjects ranging from evacuation under radiological emergency, to seaport organization, to publicly owned railroads, to political primary systems, to transportation organization, to trade union contract disputes.