Bernardo Zacka

Assistant professor of political science, MIT

nardoz [at]

I am a political theorist with an interest in ethnographic methods. My research focuses on the normative challenges that arise in the course of public policy implementation. I am also interested, more broadly, in normative political theory, architecture and urbanism, and 20th century European political thought. 

I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard and hold a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.Prior to joining MIT, I was a junior research fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford.

My first book, When the State Meets the Street, examines the everyday moral life of street-level bureaucrats. It won the 2018 Charles Taylor Book Award from the American Political Science Association for the “best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods.” You can read more about it here

Related articles and interviews have appeared in The Atlantic, the Boston Review, Salon, Rorotoko, and Vox

Full reviews can be found in Political Quarterly, Contemporary Political Theory, The University Bookman, Constellations and the LSE Review of Books