Political Science Faculty

Michael Hartney

Assistant Professor


Michael Hartney joined the Boston College political science faculty in fall 2017. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Politics at Lake Forest College. Professor Hartney’s main research and teaching interests include: state and local politics, interest groups, and public policy.

His scholarship has been published in leading academic journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science  Review, Perspectives on Politics, and Public Administration Review and has garnered coverage in the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. 

In 2022, the University of Chicago Press will publish his first book: How Policies  Make Interest Groups: Governments, Unions, and American Education. The book explains the rise of teachers unions to their current place of status and influence in American education, detailing how state and local governments adopted policies that subsidized—and in turn strengthened—the power of unions in education politics.

At Boston College, Hartney teaches courses on the politics of education, environmental policy, and US state and local politics. He is also a research affiliate at Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG), and, in 2020-21, a national fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.   

Prior to academia, Hartney worked as a policy analyst for the National Governors Association, where he provided technical analysis to governors on a wide range of K–12 education reform issues, from teacher and principal quality to high school redesign. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree, also in political science, from Vanderbilt University.