Marc Morjé Howard has authored three books, co-edited another, co-edited a special journal issue, and published numerous academic journal articles. The common thread running through his research is an intellectual engagement with the forms, elements, features, and challenges of contemporary democracy. This has led him to write about a wide range of topics, including civil society in post-communist Europe, citizenship in the countries of the European Union, elections in non-democratic regimes around the world, civic engagement in the United States, and most recently criminal justice and prison reform in the U.S. and Western Europe. Geographically, much of his work deals with Europe—both the former Western and Eastern parts—and the U.S. Methodologically, his work has been both eclectic and diverse, sometimes using mainly qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods.
Howard's first book, The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2003, and it received three awards—one by the American Political Science Association, another by the organization Independent Sector, and the third from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
His second book, The Politics of Citizenship in Europe, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009, and it was honored by the International Studies Association and the European Union Studies Association.
His latest book, Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism, was published by Oxford University Press in July 2017.