Welcome to my website! My name is Zachary McGee and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. Originally from the Appalachian region of Maryland, I received my B.S. in Political Science from Towson University in 2015 and my Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. My research and teaching interests center on American political institutions, especially the U.S. Congress and political parties, as well as on the decision-making processes of elites within the policy process. My research thus far has traced the influence of intraparty factions in the polarized United States Congress, explored the influence political parties have on interest groups’ policy agendas, probed the travel behavior of members of Congress, and identified the creeping and systematic influence of the conservative judicial movement on both Congress and the federal courts.

Above all, I find the American political system to be increasingly interconnected making it harder and harder for the average citizen to make sense of what is really going on in American politics. At Kenyon College, I help my students make sense of that noise; informed both by interdisciplinary research and innovative experiential learning opportunities, like visits to local government meetings and simulations of election betting markets, my courses insist that students take more than one explanation for our present political ills seriously. Students in my classroom engage with rigorous research and find a discussion-focused environment that highlights their peers’ perspectives over a top-down view of the material. While I certainly marshal my expertise for their benefit, their conversations with one another represent a powerful tool for their education and also illustrate the type of deliberative dialogue that is critical to any vibrant democracy.

Beyond my work at Kenyon, I am also a Faculty Associate with the U.S. Chapter of the Comparative Agendas Project, which actively maintains data series coded consistently for policy content to allow for comparisons over time. I also serve as an affiliate of the Bird Law and Public Policy Research Lab at Oklahoma State University, which helps build undergraduates’ research skills and supports important social science research on American politics. At Kenyon College, I am an affiliate of the Center for the Study of American Democracy, which prizes deliberative inquiry and civil, probing conversation by organizing conferences, lectures, seminars, and allows undergraduates to engage with cutting-edge research on American democracy. Each of these organizations aligns both with my values of a student-centered career as well as a commitment to the type of rigorous research necessary to hold elites in American politics accountable.

My research has been published in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Policy Studies Journal, and several other peer-reviewed journals and edited books. Current projects, including working papers, can be found here. Requests for drafts of working papers are welcome. To request a draft, please feel free to email me. If you would like a copy of my CV, it can be found here.