William Howell, Ph.D.

Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics


William Howell is the Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at Chicago Harris and a professor in the Department of Political Science and the College. He has written widely on separation-of-powers issues and American political institutions, especially the presidency. He currently is working on research projects on Obama's education initiatives, distributive politics, and the normative foundations of executive power.

William recently published two books, one with coauthors Saul Jackman and Jon Rogowski entitled The Wartime President: Executive Influence and the Nationalizing Politics of Threat (University of Chicago Press, 2013); and the other, with David Brent, entitled Thinking about the Presidency: The Primacy of Power (Princeton University Press, 2013).  He also is the co-author (with Jon Pevehouse) of While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers (Princeton University Press, 2007); author of Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action (Princeton University Press, 2003); co-author (with Paul Peterson) of The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools (Brookings Institution Press, 2002); co-author (with John Coleman and Ken Goldstein) of an introductory American politics textbook series; and editor of additional volumes on the presidency and school boards. His research also has appeared in numerous professional journals and edited volumes.

William has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.  His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation.  He is the recipient, among other academic awards, of the William Riker award for the best book in political economy, the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the best book on Congress, the Richard Neustadt award for the best book on the American presidency, and the E.E. Schattschneider Award for the best dissertation in American Politics.  He has written for a wide variety of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Education Week, and Education Next

Before coming to Chicago Harris, William taught in the government department at Harvard University and the political science department at the University of Wisconsin. In 2000, he received a PhD in political science from Stanford University.