Maciej Potz

Maciej Potz

  • Visiting Scholar at The Europe Center, 2021-2022


Maciej Potz is a professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Systems, Faculty of International and Political Studies, University of Łódź, Poland. He earned his Ph.D. in 2006 from the Silesian University in Katowice and his post-doctoral degree from the University of Łódź in 2017, both in Political Science. His primary area of interest is religion and politics, with special focus on theocracies (as a Foundation for Polish Science scholar, he studied Shaker and Mormon theocracies in the USA in 2009 and 2012) and political strategies of religious actors in contemporary democracies, especially in Poland and the USA. His other research interests include political theory (especially theory of power and democratic theory), comparative politics and, most recently, evolutionary political science.

Maciej Potz published three monographs: (i) Granice wolności religijnej [The Limits of Religous Liberty] 2008 (2nd ed. 2015), Wrocław: FNP, on religious freedom, church-state relations and confessional politics in the USA; (ii) Amerykańskie teokracje. Źródła i mechanizmy władzy usankcjonowanej religijnie [American Theocracies. The Sources and Mechanisms of Religion-Sanctioned Power] 2016, Łódź: UŁ, theorizing theocracy as a type of a political system and emprically exploring North American theocracies; (iii) Political Science of Religion: Theorizing the Political Role of Religion, 2020, London: Palgrave MacMillan – a theoretical framework for the analysis of religion’s impact on politics. He also authored several journal articles, including in Religion, State and Society, Journal of Political Power, Politics and Religion and Studia Religiologica.

Maciej Potz has taught political science-related courses in the University of Lodz and, as guest lecturer, at other European universities, including University of the West of Scotland in Glasgow, Buskerund College and NTNU (Norway), University of Joensuu (Finland), University of La Laguna (Spain). He participated in a number of international conferences, including “XXI World IAHR Congress in Erfurt (2015), IPSA World Congresses of Political Science in Santiago (2019), Madrid (2012) and Poznań (2016), APSA Annual Meeting (forthcoming in 2021).  

The research project he will be pursuing at Stanford, entitled Costly signaling Under His Eye: explaining the commune longevity puzzle, uses costly signaling theory of religion to explore the determinants of cohesion and longevity of (communitarian) religious groups. It also proposes a novel political interpretation of signaling behavior. Over the next three years, he will head a research team undertaking an empirical study (funded by National Science Centre of Poland) of power and status in Catholic religious orders.