Mike McGinnis

Associate Dean for Social and Historical Sciences and Graduate Education

Professor of Political Science

Office of the Executive Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science

  • mcginnis@indiana.edu
  • 812-856-7207
  • 812-855-2060
  • Website
  • Owen Hall 205D
    College of Arts and Sciences
    790 E. Kirkwood Avenue
    Bloomington, IN 47405-7101


  • B.S. Ohio State University, 1980
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1985


Michael (Mike) McGinnis has spent his entire academic career at Indiana University. He came to Bloomington in 1985 as a freshly-minted Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota. Before that he completed a B.S. in mathematics from The Ohio State University. He served as chair of the Department of Political Science for one year (2015-16) and as director of graduate studies on three separate occasions between 1990 and 2010.

In 2013 he was designated a senior research fellow in the Ostrom Workshop (then known as the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis), an interdisciplinary research and teaching center focused on the study of institutions, resource management, and democratic governance. He served as co-director in 2009-10 and as director in 2010-12, a hectic but exciting period that began with the awarding of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences to Elinor (Lin) Ostrom.

His research has been inter-disciplinary from the very start – in his dissertation he used the mathematical tools of game theory to compare three cases of security rivalries between regional powers during the Cold War. At various points in his career he has taught courses and published on topics in international conflict, nuclear arms control, intelligence and security policy, humanitarian aid, the role of religion in domestic and international politics and policy implementation, U.S. health policy, institutional analysis, research design, and research methods. His current research applies principles of commons governance to prospective reforms of regional systems of health care delivery in the United States.

Mike holds affiliate appointments in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (IUB) and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (IUPUI). He has been a research fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies (University of Notre Dame), the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, and the Division of Resource Economics, Humboldt University, Berlin.