Michael Hankinson

Michael Hankinson
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Monroe Hall 408
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

American politics, political behavior, public opinion, state and local politics, public policy, inequality


Michael Hankinson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the George Washington University.

Dr.Hankinson studies how institutional spatial scale affects political behavior to undermine democratic representation. He uses original data to show that collective outcomes in housing, health policy, and voting behavior are all shaped by the spatial scale of institutions. Previous research has suggested that when institutions are designed to shift power to smaller spatial scales, they may result in normatively positive outcomes. His research indicates that the smaller spatial scale of institutions may change political behavior in ways that prevent the development of needed public goods, such as housing and public health infrastructure. In short, the design of political institutions can subvert representation and collective action around the siting of things society needs, but nobody wants nearby.


Ph.D., Harvard

B.A., University of Virginia



“Concentrated Burdens: How Funding and Implementation Shape Opinion on Opioid Treatment Policy.” American Political Science Review 113(4): 1078-1084. November 2019. (with Justin de Benedictis-Kessner)

 “When Do Renters Behave Like Homeowners? High Rent, Price Anxiety, and NIMBYism.” American Political Science Review 112(3): 473-493. August 2018.

 “Racial and Spatial Targeting: How Segregation Affected Subprime Lending and the Housing Crisis.” Social Forces 93(3): 1081-1108. 2015. March 2015. (with Jackelyn Hwang and Kreg Steven Brown)

Office Hours

 Wednesdays, 2 to 4 pm