Moshik Temkin

Associate Professor of Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Office Address
124 Mt. Auburn - Suite 200N-250
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 74
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-496-1392
Elizabeth Steffen (617-495-5066)
Moshik Temkin


Moshik Temkin, Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, joined the Harvard Kennedy School faculty in 2008. Previously he taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and at Columbia University. A specialist in the history of the modern United States in global and comparative perspective, with a focus on the connections between history and public policy, he is particularly interested in the interaction between Americans and non-Americans–the effects that American politics have had on the wider world, the roles that international politics have played in American society and policymaking in the United States, and the dynamics created when American and international politics come into contact, or conflict.

He is the author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (Yale University Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the Cundill International Prize, as well as several articles and book chapters. His current research interests include the history of the death penalty in comparative perspective, the impact of war on public policy intellectuals since World War I, Malcolm X's career and politics in a global context, the relationship between American civil rights and global human rights, and the contest between global political activism and travel control since the Cold War. He is currently at work on a book provisionally titled Undesirables: Travel Control and Surveillance in an Age of Global Politics, to be published by Harvard University Press.

At Harvard, he is affiliated with the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Center for European Studies, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he convenes the Harvard Seminar on History and Policy and is the co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Initiative on History and Public Policy. In 2010-2011, he co-convened the Harvard International and Global History Seminar. He received his B.A. at the Hebrew University and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in History at Columbia University.


Web Links:

Harvard Magazine feature on death penalty research

HKS Insight interview on Tsarnaev, the death penalty, and Boston

HKS Podcast on Viewing Ferguson Through a Global Lens

Essay in the Nation on Ferguson, Human Rights, and American Foreign Affairs

Op Ed in the Los Angeles Times on the death penalty

Profile for the History News Network's "Top Young Historians" Feature





  • DPI-720 Leaders and Leadership in History


  • DPI-714 The United States and the World: Politics, Policy, and the Uses of History


For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Book Chapters
    • Temkin, Moshik. "American Internationalists and the Politics of Travel Control in the Era of Vietnam." Outside In: The Transnational Circuitry of US History. Ed. Preston, Andrew, and Doug Rossinow. Oxford University Press, 2016.

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