Sean McGraw

Sean McGraw

Assistant Professor

Fields of Study: Comparative Politics

Research and Teaching Interests: Comparative politics, European politics, political parties, civil society, religion and politics, and the study of Ireland

2051 Jenkins Nanovic Halls



Fellow of Kellogg Institute, Nanovic Institute for European Studies and Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies

Sean McGraw graduated from Notre Dame with a B.A. degree in Government and International Relations in 1992 and was a four-year member of the Men's Tennis Team. After graduation, McGraw completed a Master's in Western European Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He returned to Notre Dame in the fall of 1993 where he worked with Fr. Tim Scully, CSC, in founding the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) teacher training program. Since then, ACE has grown from a small service organization to a large-scale contributor to Catholic education in the United States, training more than 1,200 teachers and 125 administrators.

McGraw earned his Master's of Divinity from Notre Dame in 2000 and received his PhD from Harvard University in 2009. He returned to Notre Dame in the fall of 2009 as an Assistant Professor of Political Science teaching Comparative and European politics.

His research focuses on the Irish political system especially party competition and the changes in the political landscape at a time of unprecedented social and economic change. McGraw’s first book, How Parties Win: Shaping the Irish Political Arena (Michigan University Press, 2015), takes advantage of the Irish case to help explain how major parties seek to preserve their long-term electoral predominance in the face of dramatic social and economic change by shaping the choices available to voters during elections. McGraw has a couple of projects related to three parliamentary surveys he personally conducted in Ireland over the last ten years. His current book project explores the impact of the collapse of the Catholic Church’s institutional role within Irish politics and society and lessons this can provide in the broader comparative debate on secularization. His work has appeared in Irish Political Studies, Parliamentary Affairs and the European Journal of Political Research.

On Leave Fall 2018 and Spring 2019