Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Adam Irish

Adam Irish

Mellon Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Political Science and International Relations

Professor Irish received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  While studying at Illinois, he received teaching awards at the department, college, and campus level - culminating the 2011 Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  Prior to graduate study at Illinois, Professor Irish served two years as a Teach For America corps member in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Professor Irish's academic career began at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, where he studied political science and philosophy.  Professor Irish graduated with honors after completing a senior honors thesis studying the rationality of the design of international human rights courts.  He credits his public school teacher mother, emergency planner father, and motorcycle-riding brother with helping him develop his passions for teaching, politics, and risk taking.


University of Illinois, Ph.D., Political Science, May 2013
University of Illinois, Masters, Political Science, May 2011
University of Michigan, B.A. with Honors Political Science (Minor-Philosophy), April 2004

Main Interests

Professor Irish is a "process" guy.  His primary academic interest is in understanding the processes by which laws are made and used.  He employs both quantitative (statistics) and qualitative methods (case studies) to investigate how institutions and politics affect the creation, ratification, and implementation of international laws.  Substantively, his work has focused on maritime treaties.  Professor Irish's teaching research agenda also focuses on process.  Specifically, he is interested in figuring out how students learn to write well and collaborate on research.

Research Interests

International Relations

International Law (especially treaty law)

Environmental Politics

National Security Policy-making

Foreign Policy

Teaching Interests

Writing Instruction

Simulation Structures

Reading-Writing Models

Other Interests

Once upon a time, Professor Irish was an intercollegiate rower and an All-American swimmer.  Most mornings he can be found at the Pappas Fitness Center frantically rowing on one of the erg machines.


2013  "Bridging the International Law-International Relations Divide: Taking Stock of Progress" (with Charlotte Ku and Paul Diehl) Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 41 (2): 359-388.

2012  “The Writer’s Workshop: A Solution for Better Writing and Learning.” The Political Science Educator 16 (1): 9-11.

2011  “The Bush Doctrine and the Use of Force: Reflections on Rule Construction and Application.” (with Paul Diehl and Shyam Kulkarni) Loyola University Chicago International Law Review 9 (1): 71-102.