Stephen M. Engel

Affiliated Scholar

Stephen M. Engel is Professor and Chair of Politics at Bates College and an Affiliated Scholar of the American Bar Foundation. After serving on the faculty in political science for two years at Marquette University, Professor Engel came to Bates College in 2011. His research and teaching focus on American political development, inter-branch relations, constitutional law, and social movements, particularly LGBTQ socio-political and legal mobilization.

His most recent book, Disrupting Dignity: Rethinking Power and Progress in LGBTQ Lives (NYU Press 2021), explores how politicians, policymakers, media leaders, and even some within the LGBTQ+ communities have used the concept of dignity to shame and disempower members of those communities. Engel and co-author Timothy S. Lyle convincingly show how dignity – and the subsequent chase to be defined by its terms – became a tool of the state and the marketplace thereby limiting its more radical potential.

Engel is also the author of Fragmented Citizens: The Changing Landscape of Gay and Lesbian Lives (NYU Press 2016),  American Politicians Confront the Courts: Opposition Politics and Changing Responses to Judicial Power (Cambridge University Press 2011), and The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Cambridge University Press 2001).