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.
“Teachers Unions and School Board Elections: A Reassessment,” Interest Groups and Advocacy, January 2022.
“Off-Cycle and Off-Center: Election Timing and Representation in Municipal Government” with Adam Dynes and Sam Hayes, American Political Science Review, Vol. 115, No. 3 (August 2021) pp. 1097-1103.
“Off-Cycle and Out of Sync: How Election Timing Influences Political Representation,” with Sam Hayes, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, March 2021.
“Politics, Markets, and Pandemics: Public Education’s Response to Covid-19,” with Leslie Finger, Perspectives on Politics, June 2021.
“Financial Solidarity: The Future of Labor Unions in the post-Janus Era,” with Leslie Finger, Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 19, No. 1 (March 2021) pp. 19-35.
“Closures and Consequences,” with Renu Mukherjee, City Journal, December 8, 2021.
“What determined if schools reopened? How many Trump voters were in a district,” with Leslie Finger, Washington Post, November 10, 2020.
School Reopening Decisions Linked to Trump Vote Share and Catholic School Presence,” with Leslie Finger, Education Next, October 29, 2020.
“Stop Playing Politics with School Re-openings,” Newsweek, October 16, 2020.
“Teachers Unions in the post-Janus World,” with Daniel DiSalvo, Education Next, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Fall 2020).
“Show Who the Money? Teacher Sorting Patterns and Performance Pay across U.S. School Districts,” with Michael Jones, Public Administration Review, 77(6): 919-931.
“Racial Inequality in Democratic Accountability: Evidence from Retrospective Voting in Local Elections,” with Patrick Flavin, American Journal of Political Science, 61(3): 684-697.