Daniel  Moak

Daniel  Moak

Assistant Professor of Government

Joined Connecticut College: 2022

B.A., Willamette University
M.A., University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania


American Politics

Race and Ethnic Politics

Public Policy

Constitutional Law

American Political Thought

Daniel Moak earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. He is interested in American politics, race and ethnic politics, public policy, and public law.  His work examines how social policy developments have shaped the incorporation of different groups, the scope of the broader social welfare state, the experience of citizenship, and the conceptualization of democracy in the United States. He is particularly interested in the ways in which race has been used in the United States to separate, segregate, and channel individuals and groups into different lanes of civic worth and opportunity.

His first book, From the New Deal to the War on Schools: Race, Inequality, and the Rise of the Punitive Education State was published in 2022 by the University of North Carolina Press. The book traces how a vision of education as a panacea for society’s flaws led us to turn away from redistributive economic policies and down the path to market-based reforms, No Child Left Behind, mass school closures, teacher layoffs, and other policies that plague the public education system to this day. His next book project, Thurgood Marshall: The Legacy and Limits of Equality Under the Law examines how Marshall’s success in the courtroom and active suppression of dissenting voices helped consolidate the broader Civil Rights Movement around a vision of racial democracy that helped harmonize calls for racial equality with capitalism– which continues to shape current discussions about racial inequality, Black politics, and constitutional law. With support from the California Endowment, he has also investigated the relationship between education and juvenile justice policy at the local and national level, specifically with regards to the origins of the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” narrative.  His work has appeared in the Journal of Policy History, Social Science Quarterly, and African American Political Thought: A Collected History

His teaching interests and experience includes courses on Race & the Criminal Justice System, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, Introduction to American Politics, Public Policy, African American Political Thought, Black Political Economy, and Politics of Poverty & Urban Development.  His primary objective as a professor is to help students discover how politics and policy structures their daily lives and to give students the tools necessary to become critical thinkers and engaged citizens both within and outside the classroom. Before his position at Connecticut College, he was an Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Ohio University. 

View the government department website.

Majoring in Government.

Contact Daniel  Moak

Mailing Address

Daniel  Moak
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


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