Andrew Byrne Keefe

Andrew Byrne Keefe

Doctoral Student in Sociology & Social Policy
Andrew Keefe

Research Interests: Crime, criminal law, and criminal justice; economic inequality; empire; mass incarceration; network analysis; policing; political economy; political sociology; race and racism

Andrew Keefe is a JD/PhD candidate in Sociology & Social Policy and a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Andy uses mixed methods to study the origins and outcomes of racial and economic inequality in the U.S. criminal justice system. His ongoing ethnographic research examines how municipal agencies and neighborhood associations in Minneapolis, MN, have altered or severed ties with the city’s police department since the murder of George Floyd and how these actors have collaborated with social movement organizations to promote public safety. Data from Andy’s fieldwork help explain a finding from quantitative studies that radical movement organizations are more likely to participate in coalitions than their non-radical counterparts.

For his dissertation, Andy relies on comparative historical methods and late-sixteenth-century legal cases to investigate how British settler colonialism transformed Ireland’s criminal justice system and what influence, if at all, this system had on the development of English common law — an important basis of U.S. criminal law. This research promises to contribute to emerging scholarship in global and transnational sociology that connects criminal justice, racism, and empire.

With Adaner Usmani, Andy is also working on two quantitative projects. The first leverages U.S. survey data on incarcerated people’s earnings since 1974 to demonstrate a new method of estimating incarceration’s effect on income inequality. The second, a cross-national conjoint survey experiment, compares predictors of Americans’ attitudes about incarceration with those of people from other countries.

Last summer, Andy served as a Peggy Browning Fellow and an Equal Justice America Fellow at Greater Boston Legal Services. He earned his B.A. from Macalester College and was born and raised in Minneapolis.

Previous Degrees:
2013. BA, Linguistics and Media & Cultural Studies (Macalester College)

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