Pushing the Scholarly Frontier.

Research at MIT Political Science integrates theoretical perspectives with real-world insights. We use field observations and empirical data to test—and sometimes challenge—conventional wisdom. At times, our work affirms existing models and deepens our understanding of how institutions and policies influence events and cultures. In other cases, we develop new models that better explain and predict the forces that shape our societies.

As part of the MIT community, we have the resources to develop groundbreaking initiatives like the MIT Political Experiments Research Lab (PERL), where innovative research spans a variety of fields. We regularly engage with thinkers and practitioners in related disciplines like economics, history, urban planning, law, linguistics, management, labor, national security, and diplomacy. In all our work, we are committed to producing fresh scholarship that promotes positive change.

Current research at MIT Political Science includes these subfields:

The Political Methodology Lab (PML) is MIT's center of activities related to quantitative methods in political science. Our primary mission is to foster research and education in quantitative political methodology through various channels. We are always looking for innovative ways to fulfill our mission in the midst of constantly advancing technology. 

MIT Election and Data Science Lab (MEDSL)
Advances and disseminates scientific knowledge about the conduct of elections, primarily in the United States, but with attention to the rest of the world.

MIT Governance Lab (MIT GOV/LAB)
Collaborates with practitioners to research socially and politically innovative programs and technologies for increasing citizen voice and improving government responsiveness.

Poverty, Violence, and Development Working Group
Joins scholars to discuss work-in-progress, providing feedback and ongoing support at all stages of research, from idea generation, to research design, to implementation, to final analysis of results.

Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE)
Seeks to analyze the state of production in the United States and to propose new routes from innovation through manufacturing to jobs and growth in the United States.

Political Experiments Research Lab (PERL)
Created to allow researchers to conduct experiments on campus, off site at community centers, and over the internet, all using state of the art experimental software.

Voting Technology Project
Seeks to develop better voting technologies and improve election administration through study of all aspects of the election process both in the United States and abroad.

Explorations in Cyber International Relations(ECIR)
ECIR is a collaborative and multi-disciplinary research program of MIT and Harvard to understand the mutual and reciprocal interconnections of the cyber and the international relations domains.

about image about image Fotini Christia video

Discusses her current research