Marc M Howard




Department of Government
General profile



+1 202-687-5029


681 ICC

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Marc Morjé Howard is Professor of Government and Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative at Georgetown University. He is also Professor of Law (by courtesy) at the Georgetown University Law Center. And he teaches regularly in the Prison Scholars Program at the Jessup Correctional Institution. A native speaker of English and French, he is also 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 the criminal justice and prison systems. Howard's next book, Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017. His Prison Reform Project class, which included 15 Georgetown students and 16 incarcerated students working together, will be featured in a Washington Post Magazine cover story in August 2016.

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: The Politics of Citizenship in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2009) was honored by 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, and it was also translated into Serbian and Russian. In addition, Howard directed the "Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy" (CID) project, a major representative survey of Americans carried out in the spring/summer of 2005, which has resulted in several publications about American civic engagement in comparative perspective, most notably a special issue of Political Studies in March 2008. And he is the co-editor (with Vladimir Tismaneanu and Rudra Sil) of World Order After Leninism, which was published by the University of Washington Press in 2006.

Howard has published numerous articles in a variety of refereed academic journals (which can be accessed in PDF format from the Publications tab above). And he has received grants from such organizations as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Science Foundation, in support of his research.

In addition to his academic work, Howard has served as an Assistant Coach of the Georgetown tennis team. And he has published three articles in Tennis Magazine: “No Pain, No Gain: When Ivan Lendl called for a hitting partner, wild horses—or dogs—couldn’t keep this player away,” “The Tennis Chain-Saw Miracle,” and “Child's Play.” He also published an article in SportsIllustrated: “Lessons in Integrity with San Quentin State Prison's Tennis Team.”

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. Howard has published op-eds about Tankleff's case in the New York Times and Newsday. He also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show for an episode on Marty Tankleff and false confessions (click here to see the 4-minute clip). Howard and Tankleff were both recently featured on the podcast Undisclosed.


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  • 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)