Rogers M. Smith

Smith Headshot 2016 1


Rogers M. Smith is Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  His BA is from James Madison College, Michigan State University, and his MA and PhD degrees are from Harvard.  Trained in the history of political thought and American constitutional law and politics, his scholarship blends empirical and normative concerns focused on the politics of citizenship and identity, especially issues of race, gender and religion in American constitutional development.  He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Political Peoplehood (2015) and Civic Ideals (1997), which won the APSA’s Bunche, Easton, and Greenstone awards.  He has authored or co-authored over 90 articles in journals and edited volumes, including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Studies in American Political Development, and Political Theory.  He received the Law and Courts Section’s 2004 Wadsworth Award for his APSR article on “The ‘New Institutionalism’ and the Future of Public Law.”  Smith has supervised 39 PhD theses and received Penn’s Provost Award for Distinguished PhD Mentoring; Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching; Dean’s Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research, and a Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Prize from Yale, where he taught from 1980 to 2001.

At Penn he served as department chair from 2003-2006 and is now Associate Dean for Social Sciences. He founded the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism in 2006 and has since directed it.  He also co-founded the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia, a university-public school partnership.  His APSA roles include chair of the Politics and History Section, 2001-2002; program chair of Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence, 2001-2002; co-chair of the Task Force on Graduate Education, 2002-2003; member of the Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession, 2004-2007; Council Member, 2005-2006; chair of the Perspectives on Politics editor search committee, 2008; Vice President, 2008-2009; member of the Task Force on Public Engagement, 2013-2014; and co-chair of the Migration and Citizenship Section, 2013-2015.  He received the Frank J. Goodnow Award in 2010.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the American Philosophical Society.

Statement of Views: I have long championed a discipline that uses plural methods to address major pressing and enduring political questions.  I hope to promote an association that is broadly inclusive and responsive, and a profession that aids in the flourishing of all research that advances these ends; that strengthens teaching; and that fights in the public sphere to protect and improve higher education in an era of declining support for honest, innovative scholarship and pedagogy.