Carolyn M. Warner, Ph.D.

Chair; Vail Pittman Professor of Political Science
Carolyn Warner


Carolyn Warner is chair and Vail Pittman professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. She conducts research and teaches primarily in the areas of religion and politics, with a focus on the impact of institutions and beliefs on behavior, religion-state interactions, and on malfeasance and the abuse of power within religious and quasi-sacred institutions. Those interests have led to a substantial project on clergy child sex abuse in the Catholic church and sexual assault in the military. She has an ongoing collaborative project on religion, culture and identity.

She is the author of several books, Confessions of an Interest Group (Princeton 2000)The Best System Money Can Buy: Corruption in the European Union (Cornell 2007), (a Choice Magazine “Outstanding Academic Title”), and Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam: Beliefs, Institutions and Public Goods Provision (Cambridge 2018), and a number of articles.

She has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, a Jean Monnet fellow at the European University Institute, a national fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, a fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, and has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Templeton/Science of Generosity Program and the Luce Foundation.

Warner has served on the executive board of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture, and is a regular faculty mentor at the Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics and Society's annual graduate workshop. She is a faculty affiliate in the Gendered Violence Research Network, and on the American Political Science Association's Departmental Services Committee.

Warner joined the University of Nevada, Reno in 2019, coming from Arizona State University. There, she served as faculty head of political science in the School of Politics and Global Studies, as a core faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, and on a number of university committees. She is proficient in French and Italian.

Research interests

  • Religion and politics
  • Catholic church and clergy child sex abuse
  • Gendered violence
  • Military and politics

Courses taught

  • Religion and Politics
  • The Military and Politics
  • Political Economy of Corruption
  • Comparative Politics Field Seminar
  • Politics of the European Union


  • Jennet Kirkpatrick and Carolyn M. Warner. "Care and Justice: Care Ethics and the Restricted Reporting Sexual Assault Policy in the US Military.” American Journal of Political Science, in press (Oct. 2022). 
  • Carolyn M. Warner and Mia A. Armstrong. "The Role of Military Law and Systemic Issues in the Military’s Handling of Sexual Assault Cases." Law & Society Review 54/1 (March 2020): 265-300.
  • Carolyn M. Warner, “Benevolent Secularism and the Recalibration of Church-State Relations in Ireland in the aftermath of Clergy Child Sex Abuse Scandals,” Journal of Church and State 62/1 (Winter 2020): 86-109
  • David S. Siroky, Carolyn M. Warner, Gabrielle Filip-Crawford, Anna Berlin, Steven L. Neuberg. “Grievances and Rebellion: comparing relative deprivation and horizontal inequality." Conflict Management and Peace Science. 37/6 (2020): 694-715.
  • Carolyn M. Warner. "The Politics of Sex Abuse in Sacred Hierarchies. A Comparative Study of the Catholic Church and the Military in the United States." Religions, 10/4 (April, 2019).
  • Carolyn M. Warner, Ramazan Kılınç, Christopher W. Hale and Adam B. Cohen. Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam: Beliefs, Institutions and Public Goods Provision. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Series in Economics, Choice, and Society, 2018.
  • Carolyn M. Warner. The Best System Money Can Buy: Corruption in the European Union. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.
  • Carolyn M. Warner. Confessions of an Interest Group: The Catholic Church and Political Parties in Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University, 1994
  • A.M., Political Science, Harvard University, 1988
  • B.A., Political Science, University of California San Diego, 1985