About Trinity Admissions Academics Urban and Global Student Life Athletics News and Events Library
Photo
Kevin J. McMahon
John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science
Phone: (860) 297-4073 Office Location: Downes Memorial 205
Send e-mail to Kevin J. McMahon
Trinity College faculty member since 2005
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Degrees:
Ph.D., Brandeis Univ. (1997)
B.A., SUNY at Potsdam (1988)

Kevin J. McMahon is the John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science and Director of the Graduate Program in Public Policy. His research has largely focused on the presidency and the political origins and consequences of Supreme Court decisions. In 2014, the Supreme Court Historical Society awarded his book, Nixon's Court: His Challenge to Judicial Liberalism and Its Political Consequences (University of Chicago Press, 2011), its Erwin N. Griswold Book Prize. The Society only awards the Griswold Prize occasionally, approximately every three or four years. Upon receiving the award, the winner delivers a lecture on the book in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court. Nixon's Court was also selected as a 2012 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. Professor McMahon's first book, Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown (University of Chicago Press, 2004), won the American Political Science Association’s Richard E. Neustadt Award for the best book published that year on the American presidency. He is also the co-author/co-editor of three books on the presidency and presidential elections and author or co-author of many book chapters and journal articles. His current book project is tentatively entitled: Uncertain Legitimacy: The Supreme Court in the Age of Trump.

Professor McMahon earned his PhD at Brandeis University in 1997. As an advanced graduate student, he taught for two years in Russia with the Civic Education Project (a.k.a., the “academic Peace Corps”), first in Yekaterinburg and then in Krasnodar. Before arriving at Trinity in 2005, he taught at the State University of New York, Fredonia, where he was honored with the Hagan “Young” Scholar Award. In 2006, he was a Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at the University of Montreal. In the classroom, his teaching style is Socratic in spirit, driven by a philosophy that students perform best when they are asked to actively participate in their own learning.