Craig Murphy

Craig N. Murphy
Curriculum Vitae
Faculty emeritus
Political Science
B.A., Grinnell College; M.A., Ph.D., University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
Craig N. Murphy
Betty Freyhof Johnson ’44 Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Retired from undergraduate teaching, but continuing to study global problems..


Professor Murphy taught at Wellesley from 1981 through 2022, while occasionally working at other schools including the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he helped launch their doctoral program in global governance and human security. He has been a resident fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a visiting researcher at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and he served three years on the United Nations Secretariat.
He is past-president of the International Studies Association and recipient of its Distinguished Scholar Award in International Political Economy. Murphy also served chair of the Academic Council on the UN, and founding co-editor of its journal, Global Governance, which received the American Association of Publishers’ Best New Scholarly Journal award.

Murphy’s research includes studies of the global political economy of neocolonialism, race, class, and gender, but is best known for three books on the origin, operation, and impact of the global governance system: International Organizations and Industrial Change: Global Governance since 1850 (Oxford University Press, 1994), UNDP: A Better Way? (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting since 1880 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), written with his wife, JoAnne Yates, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management at MIT.
Yates and Murphy are now studying the contrasting ways in which private industrial standards become law in the United States and the European Union. In addition, Murphy is working with Catia Confortini on a history of Wellesley’s early radical women scholars of international relations and on an individual project investigating responses to global problems including the climate crisis, nuclear weapons, and persistent inequalities.