Michael T. Hartney is a Hoover Fellow and an assistant professor of political science at Boston College. His research focuses on U.S. state and local politics and policy, especially American K–12 education policy. Hartney’s work has been published in leading academic journals such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and Perspectives on Politics and has garnered coverage in the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. His first book, How Policies Make Interest Groups: Governments, Unions, and American Education will be published by the University of Chicago Press in the summer of 2022. 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 state and local politics. He is also a research affiliate at Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG), an Adjunct Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and, in 2020-21, a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell Hoover National Fellow.

Prior to academia, Hartney worked as a policy analyst for the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. At NGA, he provided policy analysis to governors on a wide range of K–12 school reform issues, from teacher and principal quality to high school redesign. Hartney 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.

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