Matt Murphy

Matt Murphy

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Centenary College Research Professor in the Social Sciences, 2014-2015

Phone: (318) 869-5186

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.

His research interests focus on problems of democratization, including "transitional justice" or dealing with the legacies of an authoritarian or violent past, and the development of party systems in new democracies of post-communist Europe, South Africa, and India. His most recent work concerns the effects of transitional justice policies, such as criminal trials and screening/purge policies, in post-communist Eastern Europe.

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 consulting 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 responsibility.


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 Vita (pdf)


PSC 110: Introduction to Comparative Politics (every Fall)
PSC 111: Global Politics (every Spring)
PSC 112/Hist 112: Historical Perspectives on the Middle East (every Spring)
PSC 258: Political Analysis (Spring of even years)
PSC 312: Foreign Policy and War (Fall of odd years)
PSC 324S: International Law and Justice (Spring of odd years)
PSC 325: European Politics (Spring of even years)
PSC 331: Democracy and Ethnic Conflict (Fall of even years)
PSC 395: Special Topics- Comparative Capitalism (on demand)
PSC 473: Seminar in Political Science (Spring of odd years)

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, 2012

"Transitional Justice" annotated bibliography in Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2011.

"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 Summer 2014 he and a Centenary student conducted a collaborative research project on transitional justice in the Middle East.

Current Projects:

As Broyles Research Chair (2013-2014) and Research Professor in the Social Sciences (2014-2015) 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 regime consolidation in all post-communist countries. This work should result in an article manuscript during Summer 2015.

The third project is an analysis of current transitional justice attemps in both democratic and authoritarian countries in the Middle East. This has already resulted in a conference presentation ("Arab Spring and Fall: Transitional Justice in the Middle East," presented at the Southern Political Science Association meeting in New Orleans, January 2015), which will be revised into an article manuscript in Spring or Summer 2015.