Terry M. Moe

Senior Fellow
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Terry M. Moe is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the William Bennett Munro Professor of political science at Stanford University.

He has written extensively on the presidency and public bureaucracy as well as political institutions more generally, publishing many scholarly articles on these topics.  His most recent books are Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government--And Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency (with William Howell, 2016), and Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy (with William Howell, 2020).

He has also written extensively on the politics of American education.  His most recent books are The Politics of Institutional Reform: Katrina, Education, and the Second Face of Power (2019), The Comparative Politics of Education: Teachers Unions and Education Systems Around the World (edited with Susanne Wiborg, 2017), and Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools (2011). His prior work on education includes Politics, Markets, and America's Schools (1990) and Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education (2009), both with John E. Chubb, and Schools, Vouchers, and the American Public (2001).

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Reality Check: What Will It Take To Reopen Schools Amid The Pandemic? 5 Experts Weigh In On Politics And Education Reform

by Terry M. Moevia The 74 Million
Monday, July 20, 2020

This is the sixth in a series of invited responses to some of the big, unanswered questions facing America’s schools as they prepare to reopen in the fall. The Center on Reinventing Public Education, in partnership with The 74, fielded responses from a diverse roster of educators and policymakers in order to promote creative thinking and debate about how we can collectively meet student needs in an extraordinarily challenging school year, and beyond. 

In the News

Eyes On November

mentioning Terry M. Moevia Inside Higher Education
Friday, July 17, 2020

A recent political ad features a voter looking back fondly on a time before bipartisan cooperation vanished from Washington, D.C. The sentiment is hardly unusual, although it was strange to learn that the voter had 2014 in mind. To each their own golden age. Someday people will even feel nostalgia for this, the weirdest of all presidential election years.

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Terry Moe: The Future Of Education Reform And Its Politics | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Terry M. Moevia Hoover Podcasts
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Terry Moe Discusses The Future Of Education Reform And Its Politics.

Terry Moe: The Future of Education Reform and Its Politics

interview with Terry M. Moevia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Terry Moe: The Future of Education Reform and Its Politics
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

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An Imperfect Storm

by Daniel Disalvo featuring Terry M. Moevia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 20, 2020

Hoover fellow Terry Moe scrutinizes the creative destruction that Hurricane Katrina wrought, quite literally, on New Orleans’ schools. 

Policy StoriesFeatured

The Politics Of Institutional Reform

by Terry M. Moevia PolicyEd
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

In the New Orleans school system after Hurricane Katrina, we get the rare opportunity to observe what happens when vested interest power—which normally protects bad institutions from change—is removed from the equation, and decision makers are free to do whatever seems to work in seeking real reform.


Terry Moe On Educational Reform, Katrina, And Hidden Power

by Russell Roberts interview with Terry M. Moevia EconTalk
Monday, December 9, 2019

Political Scientist and author Terry Moe of Stanford University talks about his book, The Politics of Institutional Reform with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Moe explores the politics and effectiveness of educational reform in the New Orleans public school system in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Moe finds that policy-makers turned to charter schools for pragmatic reasons and students enjoyed dramatic improvements in educational outcomes as a result.


Terry Moe: Warren's Education Plans Are In Lockstep With The Teachers' Unions On Charters, Segregation, Special Education & What Is To Be Done?

interview with Terry M. Moevia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, November 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Terry Moe discusses Elizabeth Warren's plans for education.


An Accidental Revolution

featuring Terry M. Moevia City Journal
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Terry Moe explores how Hurricane Katrina prompted New Orleans to reinvent its dysfunctional school system—and why education reform is so hard to achieve.

The Politics of Institutional Reform: Katrina, Education, and the Second Face of Power

by Terry M. Moevia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, April 1, 2019

In this ground-breaking analysis, Terry Moe treats Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment that offers a rare opportunity to learn about the role of power in the politics of institutional reform. When Katrina hit, it physically destroyed New Orleans’ school buildings, but it also destroyed the vested-interest power that had long protected the city’s abysmal education system from major reform. With the constraints of power lifted, decision makers who had been incremental problem-solvers turned into revolutionaries, creating the most innovative school system in the entire country.