Political Science

Matt Murphy

Matt Murphy

Assistant Professor

Phone: (318) 869-5186


A.B., German (Certificate in Politics), Princeton University
M.A., German & European Studies, Georgetown University
Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, San Diego

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

At Centenary College since 2012, Matt Murphy teaches on a wide range of topics in Comparative and International Politics, such as the challenges posed by transitions to democracy, ethnic and nationalist conflict, European politics, transitional justice and human rights, international law, international war and cooperation, foreign policy, and research methods. He is also a co-founder and advisor for the MENA Living Learning Community, focused on Middle Eastern affairs, and an advisor for Centenary's Model Arab League team.

His research interests focus on problems of democratization around the world, including "transitional justice" or dealing with the legacies of an authoritarian or violent past. His most recent projects concern the effects of transitional justice policies, such as criminal trials and screening/purge policies, in post-communist Eastern Europe, in the Middle East after the Arab Spring, and in historical cases of divided countries.

Before coming to Centenary he taught at Swarthmore College and Reed College. He received his PhD in Political Science from UC San Diego. Before deciding to pursue academics, Matt worked for this and that international development organization in Washington, DC for several years, got a Master's degree in German and European Studies, and held many temp jobs, some much more interesting than others.

His blog, "Politics on Mars", is dormant right now but will soon be restocked with fascinating commentary! The blog does not represent the views or opinions of Centenary College, it is purely Professor Murphy's responsibilty.

Murphy's May 2016 Course:

PSC 202: Games People Play

Murphy's August 2016 Course:

CDS 190: CIP: Study Paris Like a Social Scientist

Murphy's Fall 2016 Courses:

PSC 110: Comparative Politics

PSC 331: Democracy & Ethnic Conflict


PSC 110: Introduction to Comparative Politics (every Fall)
PSC 111: Global Politics (every Spring)
PSC 112: Historical Perspectives on the Middle East (every Spring/with Prof. Fulwider)
PSC 202: Games People Play (May term of even years)
PSC 258: Political Analysis (Spring of even years)
PSC 310: U.S. Foreign Policy (see PSC 312)
PSC 311: International Conflict and Cooperation (see PSC 312)
PSC 312: Foreign Policy and War (Fall of odd years)
PSC 324S: International Law and Justice (Spring of odd years)
PSC 325: European Politics (Fall of odd years)
PSC 327: Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict (see PSC 331)
PSC 329W: Comparative Democratization (see PSC 331)
PSC 331: Democracy and Ethnic Conflict (Fall of odd years)
PSC 395: Special Topics- Comparative Capitalism (Fall 2014)
PSC 473: Seminar in Political Science (Spring of odd years)

CDS 190: CIP: Study Paris Like a Social Scientist (August/First Year Students)

Research & Publications

"Transitional Justice" in The Oxford Companion to International Relations, Joel Krieger, ed. Oxford University Press, 2014.

"Truth and Reconciliation Commissions" in The Oxford Companion to International Relations, Joel Krieger, ed. Oxford University Press, 2014.

PhD Dissertation: Transitional Justice and Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe (Ellen Comisso, Chair)

"Transitional Justice" annotated bibliography in Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2011 (updated 2015). http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com

"Has the East Become the West or Vice Versa?" (with Ellen Comisso) in Evaluating Success and Failure in Post-Communist Reform, ed. Hilary Appel, Keck Center for International & Strategic Studies, 2005.

"Truth and Secrecy - Ten Years into the Transition. The German Bundestag's
Commission of Inquiry and the Stasi Records Law in Theoretical Perspective"
(with Anja Baukloh and Katy Crossley-Frolick) in Der Vereinigungsschock.
Vergleichende Betrachtungen zehn Jahre danach.
Comparative Observations Ten Years After) Schluchter & Quint, eds.
Weilerswist: Velbrück Press, 2001.

Collaborative Projects with Students:

Professor Murphy enjoys conducting in-depth collaborative research projects with his undergraduate students. He received supporting grants to work with a student during Summer 2005 on political parties in South Africa, and in 2008 on justice during the US occupations of Japan and Germany after World War II. During Summers 2014 and 2015 he and Centenary students conducted collaborative research projects on transitional justice in the Middle East and the post-communist world. In Fall 2015 he worked with a student carrying out statistical analysis of the effects of transitional justice policies.

Current and In-Progress Projects:

As Broyles Research Chair (2013-2014), Research Professor in the Social Sciences (2014-2015), and with Faculty Summer research support, Professor Murphy has been working on three projects. The first focuses on historical cases of transitional justice in divided countries, starting with the paper "Carpetbaggers, Scalawags, and Transitional Justice in post-Civil War Reconstruction" (presented at September 2013 meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL). The second examines the effects of the implementation of transitional justice on democracy and human rights across the world, with particular focus on post-communist countries. The third project is an analysis of recent transitional justice attempts in both democratic and authoritarian countries in the Middle East.