Terry M. Moe

Terry M. Moe (born June 25, 1949) is the William Bennett Munro professor of political science at Stanford University, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. Moe is a political scientist, an education scholar, and a bestselling author. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.[1]

Academic work

Moe has written and spoken extensively on the politics and reform of American education. In his latest book, Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools (Brookings Institution Press, 2011), he profiles America’s teachers unions, tracking their historical rise to power, the organizational foundations of that power, the ways it is exercised in collective bargaining and politics, and its consequences for schools and kids. Moe argues that the teachers unions are the most powerful force in American education—and he argues that this is the key to understanding why, after more than a quarter century of costly education reform, the nation’s schools have proven so resistant to change and so difficult to improve.[2] "Special Interest" received glowing praise from former NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, former Chancellor of Washington, D.C., Public Schools Michelle Rhee, and others, but was strongly criticized by education historian Richard Kahlenberg and The New Republic's Jonathan Chait.

As a political scientist, Moe has written on public bureaucracy, the presidency, and political institutions more generally. Moe was an early proponent (during the 1980s and into the 1990s) of putting the analytics of institutional theory to use in transforming the study of public bureaucracy and the presidency, and was instrumental in bringing significant progress to both fields.

Moe began his career in 1976 as an assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University, where he soon published his first book, The Organization of Interests (University of Chicago Press, 1980), which explored the organizational foundations of political interest groups. In 1981, he left for Stanford University, where he has been a member of its political science faculty ever since.

He took leave from Stanford from 1984–86 to be a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. There he engaged in collaborative work with John Chubb on what became Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools (Brookings Institution Press, 1990) – a book that, in showing how politics shapes and undermines the public schools and in arguing the value of school choice, had a major impact on the education reform movement. It is regarded as among the most influential and controversial works on education to be published in the last two decades.[3]

In 1992 Moe became a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and thereafter held joint appointments in both the Stanford political science department and Hoover. From 2003–07, he served as chair of the political science department. In 2003 he was also awarded the William Bennett Munro Professorship, an endowed chair in political science.[4]

In his 2016 book, Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government--and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency, co-authored with William G. Howell, Moe argues for constitutional reform.[5]


Selected books

Selected political science articles


External links

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