Rogers M. Smith

Rogers M. Smith

Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Political Science


Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, Room 329

Professor Smith centers his research on constitutional law, American political thought, and modern legal and political theory, with special interests in questions of citizenship, race, ethnicity and gender.  He was elected as an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow in 2004, a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2011, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2016. Professor Smith served as Penn's Associate Dean of Social Sciences from 2014 to 2018 and as President of the American Political Science Association in 2018-2019. He was the founding director of the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy and the co-founder of the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia. 

Office Hours
Office Hours By Appointment Only

PhD, Harvard University, 1980

M.A., Harvard University, 1978

B.A., James Madison College, Michigan State University, 1974

Research Interests

Public Law
American Political Thought
Political Theory

Courses Taught

Constitutional Law

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Race, Ethnicity, and American Constitutional Politics

American Political Thought

American Political Development

Citizenship in Theory and Law

Selected Publications

"Legal Civic Orders and Equitable Lived Citizenships," American Political Science Reviewdoi:10.1017/S000305542100068X (2021).

“Racial Reparations against White Protectionism: America’s New Racial Politics,” Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 6: 82-96 (2021) (with Desmond King).

"White Protectionism in America," Perspectives on Politics 19(2): 460-478 (2021) (with Desmond King).

That Is Not Who We Are!  Populism and PeoplehoodYale University Press, 2020.

“Presidential Address: What Good Can Political Science Do? From Pluralism to Partnerships,” Perspectives on Politics 18(1): 10-26 (2020).

Political Peoplehood: The Roles of Values, Interests and IdentitiesUniversity of Chicago Press, 2015.

Still a House Divided: Race & Politics in Obama's America, (with Desmond S. King), Princeton University Press, 2011.

“Political Science and the Public Sphere in the 21st Century,” Social Science Research Council Essay Series, posted September 1, 2011.

“Equality and Differentiated Citizenship: A Modern Democratic Dilemma in Tocquevillian Perspective,” in The Anxieties of Democracy, ed. Ira Katznelson and Partha Chatterjee (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012).

“Living in a Promiseland? Mexican Immigration and American Obligations” and “Reply to Barvosa, Alarcón, and DeSipio,” Perspectives on Politics 9:545-557, 571-573 (2011).

“Challenging History: Barack Obama and American Racial Politics,” with Desmond S. King and Philip A. Klinkner. Daedalus 140: 1-15 (2011).

“The Constitutionality of 'Attrition through Enforcement,'” Scotusblog, (July 13, 2011).

"Oligarchies in America? Reflections on Tocqueville's Fears," Journal of Classical Sociology 10: 189-200 (2010).

"From a Shining City on a Hill to a Great Metropolis on a Plain? American Stories of Immigration and Peoplehood," Social Research 77: 21-44 (2010).

"Differentiated Citizenship and the Tasks of Reconstructing the Commercial Republic," Journal of Social Philosophy 41: 214-222 (2010).

"Constitutional Democracies, Coercion, and Obligations to Include," in The Limits of Constitutional Democracy, ed. Jeffrey Tulis and Stephen Macedo (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 280-296.

"Understanding the Symbiosis of American Rights and American Racism," in America's Liberal Tradition Reconsidered: The Contested Legacy of Louis Hartz, ed. Mark Hulliung (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2010), 55-89.

"The Strangers in Ourselves: The Rights of Suspect Citizens in the Age of Terrorism," in Law and the Stranger, eds. Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010), 65-95.


American Political Science Association

National Conference of Black Political Scientists

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

American Academy of Political and Social Sciences

American Philosophical Society

CV (file)