John Ferejohn's primary areas of scholarly interest include the development of positive political theory and especially its application to the study of legal and political institutions and behavior. His work aims to restore some of the traditional focus on the structure, practices and interactions of political and legal institutions that was once common in political science, while leveraging the innovative tools of modern social science.
His current research focuses on the United States Congress and policy making, courts within the separation of powers system, constitutional adjudication from a comparative perspective, democratic theory and law, and the philosophy of social science.
Ferejohn began his career on the faculty of the California Institute of Technology. In 1983, he joined the Stanford University faculty as Professor of Political Science (alongside courtesy appointments in Economics and the Graduate School of Business) where he served until 2009. He was a regular visiting professor at the New York University Law School from 1993 to 2009, when he joined the faculty.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and is a member of the editorial boards of Social Choice and Welfare, Democratization, Supreme Court Economic Review and the Cambridge Press series Philosophy and Law and Economics and Philosophy.
He earned his doctorate at Stanford in 1972.