John McCauley is an Associate Professor of Government and Politics and a Research Associate in the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM). He is also a Research Affiliate at the Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). His research focuses on ethnic and religious conflict, terrorism, and the political economy of development in Africa. He has conducted field research in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Madagascar, Niger, and Nigeria.  He is the author of The Logic of Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Africa (2017, Cambridge University Press).

Dr. McCauley received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a B.A. in Economics from the College of William & Mary and an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University. Prior to joining the faculty at Maryland, he was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In addition to his research, Dr. McCauley directs the departmental Honors program and teaches courses on the Politics of the Developing World, African Politics, Field Research Methods, and Religion and Politics around the World.  He is a past winner of the Excellence in Teaching award from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Dr. McCauley is on a research leave for the 2021 calendar year.



Areas of Interest

  • Comparative Politics, Ethnic and Religious Conflict, Terrorism, Political Economy of Development, Research Design and Causal Inference.


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    University of California, Los Angeles, Political Science
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Yale University, International Relations
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    College of William & Mary, Economics
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2117E Chincoteague Hall
Department of Government and Politics
mccauley [at]
Office Hours
By appointment