Research in the Department of Political Science is organized around four subfields – American Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and International Relations. The Department also pursues, hosts and collaborates with a series of research initiatives. Additionally, Political Science faculty are affiliated with a number of research centers and programs at Johns Hopkins University .


Research Initiatives

Racial Politics Research Theme

The Department’s Racial Politics Research Theme explores how political science and its subfields treat race as an object of study and as an important axis of political thought, institutions, and behavior; how race has been “written out” of political science; and how we might rethink political science in order to grapple with both the discipline’s own history and the challenges of racial politics in the contemporary world.

The department hosts an annual Graduate Summer School on Racial Politics.

Associated Research Initiatives

  • The American Prison Writing Archive seeks to replace misrepresentation of prisons and imprisoned people with first-person witness by those living in legalized confinement.
  • Money/Power explores the mysteries of money, engaging with some of the crucial money problems that societies face today.
  • The Net-Zero Industrial Policy Lab combines the technical analysis of clean energy supply chains with the study of net-zero industrial policies to catalyze strategic collaborations between government and industry.
  • Rethinking the Right to the City through the Black Radical Tradition is a Mellon Foundation funded Sawyer Seminar which brings together intellectuals, organizers and artists to rethink the Marxist tradition through the Black Radical Tradition.

Workshops & Seminar Series

The Political Science Department Seminar Series

Faculty and graduate students convene weekly to build intellectual community with external speakers, faculty debates, and graduate focused topics (including practice job talks). The full program for the Fall 2023 Department Seminar Series can be found in events.

The 2023-2024 Political Theory Workshop

The 2023-2024 Political Theory Workshop brings together four core theory events featuring Hopkins’ graduate students and faculty and combines them with external theory guests speaking at the Political Science Department Symposium, the Seminar on Political and Moral Thought, and other occasional series.  

Across these events, political theory faculty and graduate students and a broader inter-subfield/inter-disciplinary group engage collegially with cutting-edge research and sustain critical conversations that enrich the subfield’s communal and intellectual life.