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Sean McGraw

Local Affiliate


Sean McGraw

Sean McGraw earned his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University and taught political science at the University of Notre Dame for several years. His primary research has focused on the Irish political system, especially party competition and the changes in the political landscape at a time of unprecedented 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. His work has appeared in Irish Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, Government and Opposition, and Parliamentary Affairs.

At CES, McGraw will be working on his second book project, Ireland’s ‘Quiet Revolution’ and the Decline of Religious Authority: A Case Study in Secularization. This book explores breathtaking changes in the once dominant Catholic Church and its role in shaping morality and social policies in education and health in Ireland.

In addition to his scholarly work, McGraw co-founded Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) teacher training program in 1993 and helped lead the program for several years. 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.


  • Local Affiliate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Visiting Scholar 2019-2020, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University