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Box 90245
Durham, NC 27708-0245
240A Sanford Bldg, Box 90245
Durham, NC 27708


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Judith Kelley
ITT/Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy Studies
Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Senior Associate Dean in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Professor of Political Science

Areas of Expertise


Ph.D., Harvard University (2001)
M.P.P., Harvard University (1997)
B.A., Stanford University (1995)


Scorecard Diplomacy book jacketScorecard Diplomacy: Grading States to Influence Their Reputation and Behavior by Judith G. Kelley (Cambridge University Press, 2017) shows that, despite lacking traditional force, public grades are potent symbols that can evoke countries’ concerns about their reputations and motivate them to address the problem. The book develops an unconventional but careful argument about the growing phenomenon of such ratings and rankings.

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Judith Kelley (PhD, Harvard) is the Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and the Senior Associate Dean at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy. She is also a senior fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics. In 2009-2010 she was a visiting fellow at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Her publications reflect her research interests in the role of international actors in promoting political and human rights reforms. In 2012, she was inducted into the Bass Society of Fellows at Duke, which recognizes faculty for excellence in both teaching and scholarship. Kelley has also been awarded the Sanford School’s Susan E. Tifft Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award, and she was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Brownell-Whetten Award for Diversity and Inclusion. The Smith Richardson Foundation has supported her as a Policy and Strategy Fellow. She also was elected Chair of the Editorial Board of International Organization.


Kelley's work focuses on how states, international organizations and NGOs can promote domestic political reforms in problem states, and how international norms, laws and other governance tools influence state behavior. Substantively, her work addresses human rights and democracy, international election observation, and human trafficking. Past work has focused on the International Criminal Court, the European Union and other international organizations. Details on her election monitoring project are on the web at Project on International Election Monitoring. Her newest work focuses on the global fight against human trafficking. She is leading a major research project to study the effectiveness of the diplomacy of the United States on human trafficking. She is the PI on a grant from the National Science Foundation for this project. Her work has been published by Princeton University Press, Cambridge University Press, and in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Common Market Studies. Her book, Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works and Why It Often Fails (Princeton 2012) was "One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013" and also received the Chadwick F. Alger Prize, which is awarded by the International Studies Association to recognize the "best book published in the previous calendar year on the subject of international organization and multilateralism." Her newest book is on human trafficking and the rising phenomenon of global ratings and rankings. "Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading states to influence their reputation and behavior," is published with Cambridge University Press, 2017. More about the book can be found at