James Mahoney

Gordon Fulcher Professor in Decision-Making
Professor of Sociology and Political Science

Mailing address:
Department of Sociology
1810 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60208-1330

(847) 467-0917 - 1810 Chicago Avenue
(847) 491-2626 - Scott Hall

Office Hours: F 1:00-3:00 PM and by appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website

Areas of Interest

Comparative-Historical Sociology

Relevant Link

Department of Political Science


James Mahoney is a comparative-historical researcher with interests in political development, Latin America, and methodology. His most recent books are A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences (with Gary Goertz; 2012); Colonialism and Postcolonial Development: Spanish America in Comparative Perspective (2010); and Explaining Institutional Change: Ambiguity, Agency, and Power (2010; coedited with Kathleen Thelen).

Mahoney has received several awards for his work on methodology from the American Sociological Association (ASA) and American Political Science Association (APSA). His book on Colonialism and Postcolonial Development received six major awards from sections in ASA and APSA.

Mahoney has been President of the Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section, APSA, Chair of the Comparative and Historical Sociology Section, ASA, and is Chair- Elect of the Development Section, ASA. He is currently Associate Chair of Political Science at Northwestern.

Courses Taught

SOCIOL 317: Global Development Syllabus
SOCIOL 439: Comparative Historical Analysis Syllabus
SOCIOL 476: Comparative Methods

Political Science:
POLI SCI: 490: Methods of Comparative Analysis Syllabus


A Tale of Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences
(with Gary Goertz)
Princeton University Press, 2012

Colonialism and Postcolonial Development: Spanish America in Comparative Perspective
Cambridge University Press, 2010

Explaining Institutional Change Ambiguity, Agency, and Power
(with Kathleen Thelen), Cambridge University Press, 2010

Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences
(with Dietrich Rueschemeyer), Cambridge University Press, 2003

The Legacies of Liberalism: Path Dependence and Political Regimes in Central America
John Hopkins University Press, 2001


List of Article Publications



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Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching provides a variety of programs and workshops for graduate students and faculty interested in developing their teaching practices. In addition, the Searle Center offers a variety of programs for graduate students seeking to develop their skills as Teaching Assistant (TA) and instructor , such as, a yearly conference for new TA's, a teaching certificate program and fellowship opportunities.


Upcoming Events

Sociology Colloquium - Professor Emmanuel Didier, UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics
April 30, 201512:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Culture & Society Workshop - Robin Bartram, NU Sociology
April 30, 20153:30 PM - 5:30 PM

April 6, 2015