Michael Hartney

Michael Hartney is a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, an associate professor in the department of political science at Boston College, and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is also a research affiliate at Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG), and, in 2020-21, a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell Hoover National Fellow.


Hartney’s expertise is in American politics and public policy with a focus on state and local government, interest groups, and K-12 education policy. His scholarly work has been published in top academic journals such as the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science and received media coverage in the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. His writing has also appeared in popular outlets such as City Journal, Education Next, National Review, the New York Post, and the Washington Post.


Hartney’s first book, How Policies Make Interest Groups: Governments, Unions, and American Education was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022. The monograph helps explain the origins, power, and political activities of America’s teachers’ unions showing how state and local governments helped teachers unions gain outsized influence in American education.


Before embarking on his academic career, Hartney worked as a policy analyst for the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, where he provided technical analysis and assistance to state policymakers on a wide range of school reform issues, from teacher and principal quality to high school redesign. Hartney earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.