Colin Moore

Colin Moore

Associate Professor

Program Director, PACE

Matsunaga Institute for Peace


Saunders 723

(808) 956-8016



For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by politics and by politicians. Although my initial interest in political science stemmed from the excitement of campaigns and elections, I became increasingly focused on theories of institutional development and bureaucratic politics during my graduate studies in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty at UH Mānoa in 2011, I served as a research fellow at Yale University’s Center for the Study of American Politics and as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. Since arriving in Hawai‘i, I’ve developed a deep interest in local politics and public policy, and I frequently provide political analysis for media outlets across the state.


  • PhD, Department of Government, Harvard University, 2009
  • MA, Department of Government, Harvard University, 2006
  • BA, High Honors in Political Science, Swarthmore College, 2002


American political development; bureaucratic politics; American imperialism; Hawaiʻi politics and policy; and veterans health policy.


My research fits broadly into the American Political Development subfield of political science. I combine history and theories of institutional development to study how the structure of the US political system shaped social policies and the administrative state. My current historical research focuses on the political development of US territories and the politics of the veterans’ health care system. I also study politics and policy in Hawai‘i, and I’ve written on some of the major public policy challenges facing the state. My past work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, and Studies in American Political Development, among other venues. My recent book American Imperialism and the State: 1893 – 1921 examines how the US constitutional system shaped the governance of the American empire and highlights the essential tension between mass democracy and imperial expansion.