Marc M Howard


Director, Prisons and Justice Initiative


Department of Government
General profile



+1 202-687-5029


681 ICC

Office hours

by appointment


Marc Morjé Howard is Professor of Government at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment as Professor of Law (by courtesy) at the Georgetown University Law Center. He is the Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, which launched in February 2016 and brings together scholars, practitioners, and students to examine the problem of mass incarceration from multiple perspectives. He teaches regularly in the Prison Scholars Program at the Jessup Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Maryland. A native speaker of English and French, he is fluent in German and Russian, and has conducted primary research in all four languages.

For the past several years, Howard's research and teaching interests and passions have been primarily devoted to criminal justice and prison reform. Howard's next book, Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017. His prior work has addressed a variety of different topics, including democracy and democratization, immigration and citizenship, and civil society. He has written two award-winning books, co-edited a book and a special journal issue, directed a major representative survey project, and published numerous academic articles in refereed journals.

In addition to his academic work, Howard has remained very involved in the sport of tennis. A former two-time captain of the Yale men's tennis team and practice partner of Ivan Lendl, he has also served as an Assistant Coach of the Georgetown tennis team. And he has published three articles in Tennis Magazine and one in Sports Illustrated.

Howard's path to focusing on criminal justice and prisons began with his active involvement in the eventual exoneration of his childhood friend, Marty Tankleff, who was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for over 17 years before being freed in December 2007. This personal experience inspired him to pursue a J.D. degree, which he received in 2012, and to devote his professional energy to criminal justice and prison reform.

For more information, see


Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism, forthcoming with Oxford University Press in 2017

The Politics of Citizenship in Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2009 (received awards from the International Studies Association and the European Union Studies Association)

The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (received awards from the American Political Science Association, Independent Sector, and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities)

Edited Books and Special Journal Issues:

World Order After Leninism, University of Washington Press, 2006 (co-edited with Vladimir Tismaneanu and Rudra Sil)
“Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy,” March 2008 issue of Political Studies (co-edited with Dietlind Stolle)

Academic Articles in Refereed Journals:

See full list (and download the PDF of most articles) in the Publications tab above. Journals include the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Political Studies, Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, the International Migration Review, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, the Journal of Civil Society, Democratization, Democratizatsiya, German Politics, German Politics and Society, East European Politics and Societies, Middle East Policy, and the Journal of Democracy

Tennis-Related Articles:

Tennis Magazine - “No Pain, No Gain: When Ivan Lendl called for a hitting partner, wild horses—or dogs—couldn’t keep this player away
Tennis Magazine - “The Tennis Chain-Saw Miracle
Tennis Magazine - “Child's Play
Sports Illustrated - “Lessons in Integrity with San Quentin State Prison's Tennis Team

Op-Eds and Media Appearances Related to Marty Tankleff:

New York Times - Sundays With Marty
Newsday - Marty Was the Key
The Oprah Winfrey Show - episode on Marty Tankleff and false confessions (click here to see Howard's 4-minute clip)
Undisclosed podcast - interviewed together with Marty Tankleff by Rabia Chaudry


Download cv.pdf


  • J.D. (2012) Georgetown University, Law
  • Ph.D. (1999) University of California, Berkeley, Political Science
  • M.A. (1995) University of California, Berkeley, Political Science
  • B.A. (1993) Yale University, Ethics, Politics, and Economics


  • French (speak, read, write)
  • German (speak, read, write)
  • Russian (speak, read, write)