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Sean McGraw

Sean McGraw has a BA in Political Science (1992) and a M.Div. (2000) from the University of Notre Dame, a M.Sc. in Western European Politics (1993) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a PhD from Harvard University in 2009. He has been an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame from 2010-2018.

McGraw also co-founded along with Fr. Timothy Scully Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) teacher training program in 1993. Since then, ACE has grown from a small service organization to a large-scale contributor to Catholic education in the United States, training more than 2000 teachers and administrators for Catholic schools in the US, Ireland, Chile, and Haiti.

McGraw’s primary research has focused on the Irish political system especially party competition and the changes in the political landscape at a time of unprecedented social and economic change. McGraw’s first book, How Parties Win: Shaping the Irish Political Arena (Michigan University Press, 2015), takes advantage of the Irish case to help explain how major parties seek to preserve their long-term electoral predominance in the face of dramatic social and economic change by shaping the choices available to voters during elections. McGraw has several projects related to three parliamentary surveys he personally designed and conducted in Ireland over the last ten years. His current book project explores the impact of the collapse of the Catholic Church’s institutional role within Irish politics and society and lessons this can provide in the broader comparative debate on secularization.

His work has appeared in Irish Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, Government and Opposition, and Parliamentary Affairs.

This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame
  • Assistant Professor (Fall 2018), Harvard Extension School
  • Local Affiliate, CES, Harvard University