Judith Kelley

ITT/Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy Studies

External Address: 
240A Sanford Bldg, Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708-0245
(919) 613-7343
Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Institutions

Judith Kelley (PhD, Harvard) is the Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and the Senior Associate Dean at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy. She is also a senior fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics. In 2009-2010 she was a visiting fellow at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Her publications reflect her research interests in the role of international actors in promoting political and human rights reforms. In 2012 she was inducted into the Bass Society of Fellows at Duke, which recognizes faculty for excellence in both teaching and scholarship. The Smith Richardson Foundation has supported her as a Policy and Strategy Fellow. She also was the Chair of the Editorial Board of International Organization.

Kelley's work focuses on how states, international organizations and NGOs can promote domestic political reforms in problem states, and how international norms, laws and other governance tools influence state behavior. Substantively, her work addresses human rights and democracy, international election observation, and human trafficking. Past work has focused on the International Criminal Court, the European Union and other international organizations. Details on her election monitoring project are on the web at Project on International Election Monitoring. Her newest work focuses on the global fight against human trafficking. She is leading a major research project to study the effectiveness of the diplomacy of the United States on human trafficking. She is the PI on a grant from the National Science Foundation for this project and another from the Smith Richardson Foundation. Her work has been published by Princeton University Press, and in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Common Market Studies. Her most recent book, Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works and Why It Often Fails (Princeton 2012) was "One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013" and also received the Chadwick F. Alger Prize, which is awarded by the International Studies Association to recognize the "best book published in the previous calendar year on the subject of international organization and multilateralism." Her newest book is on human trafficking. "Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading states to influence their reputation and behavior," is published with Cambridge University Press, 2017. More about the book can be found at www.scorecarddiplomacy.org.


  • Ph.D., Harvard University 2001
  • M.P.P., Harvard University 1997
  • B.A., Stanford University 1995

Heiss, A, and Kelley, J. "Between a rock and a hard place: International NGOs and the dual pressures of donors and host governments." Journal of Politics 79.2 (April 1, 2017): 732-741. (Review) Full Text

Kelley, JG, and Pevehouse, JCW. "An Opportunity Cost Theory of US Treaty Behavior." International Studies Quarterly 59.3 (September 2015): 531-543. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kelley, JG, and Simmons, BA. "Politics by number: Indicators as social pressure in international relations." American Journal of Political Science 59.1 (January 1, 2015): 55-70. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kelley, JG. "International influences on elections in new multiparty states." Annual Review of Political Science 15 (2012): 203-220. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kelley, J. "Election observers and their biases." Journal of Democracy 21.3 (2010): 158-172. Full Text Open Access Copy



Uncovering the effectiveness of strategies of influence awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2018

Mechanisms of Influence: the case of human trafficking awarded by Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc. (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2016

Analyzing the Effects on International Election Monitoring awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2009

Soft Balancing: Explaining the Transatlantic Crisis awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2004 to 2006