Zachary Courser, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Government

Areas of Expertise:
American Constitutionalism, American Culture and Politics, American Founding, American Politics, Congress, Electoral Politics, Government, Political Parties, Politics, Public Policy, Radical Right Wing, Representation

Please visit CMC's Policy Lab website for more information about Prof. Courser's research and teaching.

(909) 607-6724
Athenaeum 220

Office Hours

Tuesdays, 10:30-12:30pThursdays, 10:30-12:30pBy Appointment (contact via email)
  • Biography
  • Education
  • Research and Publications

Zachary Courser is Co-Director of CMC's Policy Lab and a visiting assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. He has published articles on the connection between political parties and democratic participation, most recently as a contributor and editor of the volume Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order (University Press of Kansas, 2018). The result of a year-long, multi-disciplinary research project, Parchment Barriers seeks to understand the dynamics of polarization through an examination of conflicts over the American constitutional order. His current project is entitled Democratic Discontent, a collaborative research project with French and American scholars on the rise of populism in the US and Europe. 

Prof. Courser has taught political science courses at a number of institutions, including the University of Virginia, Claremont McKenna College, Boston College and Washington and Lee University. In fall 2016, together with economics Professor Eric Helland, Prof. Courser established Policy Lab, an innovative new undergraduate course focused on public policy analysis of real world problems in coordination with DC think tanks. Since then, the Lab has conducted several successful research partnerships with a variety of partners, including the Bipartisan Policy Center, the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and the Office of Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. Courser and Helland are currently writing a public policy textbook based on their work on Policy Lab.

He also has taught and researched internationally at Sciences Po Lyon in France, and worked as a senior program director and fellow for the Legatum Institute in London. At Legatum, he served as the executive director of the Wellbeing Commission, chaired by former Cabinet Secretary for the United Kingdom Lord Gus O’Donnell. Commission members included Nobel Prize winning economist Angus Deaton.

He has experience working in Washington, DC, both on Capitol Hill and as the interim director of Claremont McKenna College’s Washington Program. He is a frequent elections commentator on NPR affiliate KPCC's AirTalk and Take Two programs in Los Angeles, and frequently gives talks on American politics. 

He holds a master’s and doctoral degree in government from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s in government from Claremont McKenna College. He also holds a diplôme universitaire d’études françaises from the Université Lumière Lyon 2, Centre International d’Études Françaises.

M.A., Ph.D. Government, University of Virginia, 2008 B.A. Government, Claremont McKenna College, 1999