Clarissa Rile Hayward

Associate Chair of Political Science
Professor of Political Science, Philosophy (By Courtesy), and Urban Studies (Affiliate)
PHD, Yale University
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    • Washington University
    • MSC 1063-228-207
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Professor Hayward is a contemporary political theorist whose research and teaching focus on theories of power, democratic theory, theories of identity, and American urban politics.


    Hayward's research and teaching focus on questions central to understanding and evaluating political life:

    • What is social power, and how does it shape human freedom?
    • What does democratic government entail, and what are its practical and institutional implications?
    • How do social actors create and maintain identities?

    Her most recent book, How Americans Make Race: Stories, Institutions, Spaces (Cambridge University Press, 2013), was co-winner of the American Political Science Association's prize for the Best Book in Urban Politics in 2014. Hayward is also author of De-Facing Power (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and co-editor (with Todd Swanstrom) of Justice and the American Metropolis (University of Minnesota Press, 2011). In addition, she has published many articles in edited volumes and in journals, such as the American Political Science Review, Constellations, Contemporary Political Theory, the Journal of PoliticsPolity, and Political Theory. Her research has been supported by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, and Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

    Professor Hayward has been the Associate Chair of Political Science since July 2023.

    Selected Publications

    How Americans Make Race. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    "What Can Political Freedom Mean in a Multicultural Democracy?" Political Theory 39:4 (August 2011), 468-97.

    De-facing Power. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.


    Introduction to Political Theory

    Foundations of American Democracy (American political thought)

    History of Political Thought II (social contract theory)

    History of Political Thought III (19th century political thought)

    Power, Justice, and the City

    Democracy: Theory and Practice

    Graduate Proseminar in Political Theory

    De-Facing Power

    De-Facing Power

    In this major contribution to the power debate, Clarissa Rile Hayward challenges the prevailing view of power as something powerful people have and use. Rather than seeing it as having a "face," she argues for a view of power as a complex network of social boundaries--norms, identities, institutions--which define individual freedom, for "powerful" and "powerless" alike. The book's argument is supported by a comparative analysis of relationships within two ethnically-diverse educational settings--a low-income, predominantly African-American urban school; and an affluent, predominantly white, suburban school.

    Justice and the American Metropolis

    Justice and the American Metropolis

    Today’s American cities and suburbs are the sites of “thick injustice”—unjust power relations that are deeply and densely concentrated as well as opaque and seemingly intractable. Thick injustice is hard to see, to assign responsibility for, and to change.

    Identifying these often invisible and intransigent problems, this volume addresses foundational questions about what justice requires in the contemporary metropolis. Essays focus on inequality within and among cities and suburbs; articulate principles for planning, redevelopment, and urban political leadership; and analyze the connection between metropolitan justice and institutional design. In a world that is progressively more urbanized, and yet no clearer on issues of fairness and equality, this book points the way to a metropolis in which social justice figures prominently in any definition of success.

    How Americans Make Race

    How Americans Make Race

    How do people produce and reproduce identities? In How Americans Make Race, Clarissa Rile Hayward challenges what is sometimes called the “narrative identity thesis”: the idea that people produce and reproduce identities as stories. Identities have greater staying power than one would expect them to have if they were purely and simply narrative constructions, she argues, because people institutionalize identity-stories, building them into laws, rules, and other institutions that give social actors incentives to perform their identities well, and because they objectify identity-stories, building them into material forms that actors experience with their bodies.