Michael Hartney

Michael T. Hartney is a Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and an assistant professor of political science at Boston College. Hartney’s scholarly expertise is in American politics with a focus on state and local governments, interest groups, and K–12 education policy. His work has been published in top journals such as the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science and received press coverage in the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Hartney has also written for popular outlets including City Journal, Education Next, National Review, and the Washington Post.


In 2022, the University of Chicago Press published his first book, How Policies Make Interest Groups: Governments, Unions, and American Education. The book examines the origins, power, and activities of America’s teachers’ unions. It details how state and local governments subsidize teachers’ unions’ political organizing efforts, enabling them to wield outsized influence in education policymaking.


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), and, in 2020-21, a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell Hoover National Fellow.


Before embarking on an academic career, Hartney worked as a policy analyst for the National Governors Association (NGA), where he provided technical analysis to state policymakers on a wide range of 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 from Vanderbilt University.