Hakeem Jefferson

Hakeem Jefferson

  • Assistant Professor, Political Science
  • CDDRL Affiliated Faculty


Hakeem Jefferson is an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University where he is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Stanford Center for American Democracy. During the 2021-22 academic year he was also the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Hakeem’s work focuses primarily on the role identity plays in structuring political attitudes and behaviors in the U.S. His in-progress book project builds on his award-winning dissertation to consider how Black Americans come to support punitive social policies that target members of their racial group.

In other projects, Hakeem examines the causes of the racial divide in Americans’ reactions to officer-involved shootings; works to evaluate the meaningfulness of key political concepts, like ideological identification among Black Americans; and considers how white Americans navigate an identity that many within the group perceive as increasingly stigmatized. In these and other projects, Hakeem sets out to showcase and clarify the important and complex ways that identity matters across all domains of American life.

A public-facing, justice-oriented scholar, Hakeem is an academic contributor at FiveThirtyEight and his writings and commentary have been featured in places like the New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and other major outlets. He is also active on Twitter, and you can follow him @hakeemjefferson.


Conference Memos
January 2023

Democracy’s Racism Problem

Democracy’s Racism Problem

In The News

Voting booth

‘Democracy is on the ballot’: Professors react to midterm election results

As the results of the 2022 Midterm Elections are coming in, Stanford Professors Larry Diamond, Hakeem Jefferson, and Bruce Cain provided their insights on Tuesday night to The Daily.
‘Democracy is on the ballot’: Professors react to midterm election results