Judith Kelley

Judith Kelley

Professor of Political Science

External Address: 
124A Sanford Bldg, Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708-0245
(919) 613-7309
Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Institutions

Judith Kelley became the Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy in July 2018. Kelley, an expert on international relations, researches how international actors can promote democratic and human rights reforms. Kelley is also a senior fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics and an elected member of the board of the journal 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. Her work has been published by Princeton University Press, Cambridge University Press, and in journals such as American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Common Market Studies. Her 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, Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading States to Influence their Reputation and Behavior (Cambridge University Press, 2017), is on human trafficking and the rising phenomenon of global ratings and rankings. More about the book can be found at www.scorecarddiplomacy.org.In 2012, Kelley was inducted into the Bass Society of Fellows at Duke, which recognizes faculty for excellence in both teaching and scholarship. Kelley has also been awarded the Sanford School’s Susan E. Tifft Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award, and she was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Brownell-Whetten Award for Diversity and Inclusion. The Smith Richardson Foundation has supported her as a Policy and Strategy Fellow. In 2009-2010 she was a visiting fellow at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. She also was elected Chair of the Editorial Board of International Organization.


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

Heiss, A, and Kelley, JG. "From the Trenches: A Global Survey of Anti-TIP NGOs and Their Views of U.S. Efforts." Journal of Human Trafficking 3.3 (July 3, 2017): 231-254. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kelley, JG, and Pevehouse, JC. "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

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. "Do International Election Monitors Increase or Decrease Opposition Boycotts?." Comparative Political Studies 44.11 (November 2011): 1527-1556. Full Text Open Access Copy



Selected Grants

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