Theda Skocpol

Founder and Director, Scholars Strategy Network
Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:

Connect with Theda

About Theda

Theda Skocpol is SSN’s Director.  She is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, where she has also served as Dean of the Graduate School and as Director of the Center for American Political Studies.  Skocpol is an internationally recognized scholar and has been elected to membership in all three of America’s scholarly honor societies: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; and the National Academy of Sciences. 

Skocpol’s work covers a broad spectrum of topics and her books and articles have been widely cited in political science literature and have won numerous awards.  Over the last two decades, her research has primarily focused on health care reform, public policy, and civic engagement amidst the shifting inequalities in American democracy. Among the many books she has authored or co-authored are Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life; Health Care Reform and American Politics; and The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.  Skocpol speaks regularly to community groups and writes for blogs and public-interest magazines.


How to Revitalize America's Local Political Parties

  • Kenneth T. Andrews
  • Hahrie Han
  • Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez
  • Lara Putnam
  • Daniel Schlozman
  • Vanessa S. Williamson
  • Sarah E. James
  • Caroline Tervo
  • Michael Zoorob

Conservative and Progressive Trans-State Policy Networks

  • Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez

Making Sense of the Koch Network

How Mobilized Small Businesses - Real and Disguised - Tilt the Partisan Playing Field on Tax Cuts

  • Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez

The GOP Civil War over Medicaid Expansion in the States

  • Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez

Debunking Myths about Medicaid - And Its Expansion

  • Colleen M. Grogan
  • Katherine Swartz

A Field Guide to the Politics of ObamaCare Implementation

  • Lawrence R. Jacobs

What Does Health Reform Do for Americans?

  • Lawrence R. Jacobs

What Americans Really Think about Health Reform

  • Lawrence R. Jacobs

The Tea Party Lives On - And Pulls Republicans to the Right

  • Vanessa S. Williamson

What the Ryan Budget Means for Missouri Families

  • David Brian Robertson

The Ryan Budget and Michigan: A Few Win, but Millions Lose

  • Luke Shaefer

Social Security is in Good Shape – And Does Not Drive the Deficit

  • Benjamin Veghte

Making Sense of the Tea Party

  • Vanessa S. Williamson

In the News

Interviewed in "Pushing Against Jim Crow: The Amazing Worlds of African American Fraternal Orders," Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, April 25, 2023.
Interviewed in "Upending American Politics," (with Caroline Tervo) Library of Congress, 2020.
Quoted by Craig R. McCoy in "The Coronavirus Could Pull Policies Like Universal Health Care from the Edge into the Mainstream," The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2020.
Opinion: "Women Are Rebuilding the Democratic Party From the Ground Up," Theda Skocpol (with Lara Putnam), The New Republic, August 21, 2018.
Interviewed in "The Political Reawakening Of The Middle-Aged Suburban White Woman," Huffington Post, July 19, 2018.
Interviewed in "How Middle-Aged Women May Save American Democracy," Pacific Standard, July 16, 2018.
Research discussed by David Leonhardt, in "This Is No Time for Liberal Despair," The New York Times, July 8, 2018.
Research discussed by Harris Meyer, in "Supreme Court Ruling on Union Fees Could Shift Healthcare Politics," Modern Healthcare, June 27, 2018.
Research discussed by Chris Edelson, in "Here's How Trump's Opponents Can Ride a 'Blue Wave' to Victory in the November Elections ," Market Watch, June 6, 2018.
Research discussed by Michael Tomasky, in "I’m Ready for the Female Takeover of the Democratic Party," The Daily Beast, May 18, 2018.
Research discussed by David Leonhardt, in "Dems in Disarray!," The New York Times, May 10, 2018.
Quoted by Julian Zelizer in "Democrats Focus on Midterms," CNN, May 6, 2018.
Quoted by Michelle Goldberg in "Hope in Arizona," The New York Times, April 23, 2018.
Quoted by Matt Grossmann and David A. Hopkins in "Why There is No ‘Liberal Tea Party’," The New York Times, April 17, 2018.
Quoted by Francis Wilkinson in "Democrats' 'Civil War' is More Civil than War," Bloomberg View, April 17, 2018.
Quoted by Michelle Goldberg in "Turning Revulsion into Votes," The New York Times, April 9, 2018.
Quoted by Eric Levitz in "Trump Has Turned Millions of Americans into Activists," New York Magazine, April 6, 2018.
Quoted by Dan Sisken in "Change is Coming: Grassroots Organizing, Democratic Politics and the 2018 Elections," Nation of Change, April 4, 2018.
Interviewed in "Putting a Face to Anti-Trump Voters," NPR, March 10, 2018.
Quoted by Neal Milner in "There's Change Afoot In America And We Don't See It Coming," Honolulu Civil Beat, March 8, 2018.
Quoted by Jonathan Malesic in "Please, Millennials, Don’t Destroy Us Just Yet," The New Republic, March 7, 2018.
Quoted by Helaine Olen in "American Women Raised Their Voices This Week. Loudly," The Washington Post, March 7, 2018.
Research discussed by J.P.P., in "Theda Skocpol’s New Work on Anti-Trump Activists," The Economist, February 28, 2018.
Quoted by David Leonhardt in "The Left is Energized. Now It Needs to Vote.," New York Times, February 25, 2018.
Quoted by Heather Digby Parton in "If Democracy Makes a Comeback, White Suburban Women Will Lead It," Salon TV, February 23, 2018.
Opinion: "Middle America Reboots Democracy," Theda Skocpol (with Lara Putnam), Democracy Journal, February 20, 2018.
Quoted by Rand Richards Cooper in "Sound Familiar? Trump & Nationalism, Here & Abroad," Commonweal, February 12, 2018.
Quoted by Masoud Kazemzadeh in "Five Possible Outcomes Following the Mass Protests in Iran," Radio Farda, February 6, 2018.
Research discussed by Meagan Day, in "Targeted Social Programs Make Easy Targets," Jacobin, January 14, 2018.
Quoted by Luis Fleischmann in "Trump, US Need Committed Foreign Policy Team on Iran," Newsmax, January 9, 2018.
Quoted by Lucile Scott in "A Polarized Country is Worse for Democrats than Republicans," Vice, November 15, 2017.
Research discussed by Judith Shulevitz, in "Year One: Resistance Research," The New York Review of Books, November 9, 2017.
Quoted by Max de Haldevang in "The American Left Has Its Own Tea Party, and It’s Coming for Donald Trump," Quartz, September 16, 2017.
Quoted by Igor Bobic in "Trump Erodes Moral Authority of the Presidency in Wake of Charlottesville," Huffington Post, August 16, 2017.
Opinion: "What Can (or Should) Activists Learn from the Tea Party?," Theda Skocpol (with Vanessa S. Williamson), The Washington Post, May 11, 2017.
Research discussed by Eric Black, in "No, Donald Trump's Triumph is Not a Setback for the Koch Brothers," Minnesota Post, April 7, 2017.
Quoted by Clare Malone in "The Left Might Have a Hard Time Replicating the Tea Party’s Success," FiveThirtyEight, March 13, 2017.
Quoted by Dana Milbank in "Here’s How You Can Deal with Trump — besides Drinking Everclear," The Washington Post, February 10, 2017.
Quoted by Allegra Kirkland in "How the Obamacare Town Hall Script Totally Flipped This Week," Talking Points Memo, January 19, 2017.
Opinion: "A Guide to Rebuilding the Democratic Party, from the Ground Up," Theda Skocpol, Vox, January 5, 2017.
Opinion: "Trump is Going After Health Care. Will Democrats Push Back?," Theda Skocpol, New York Times, December 21, 2016.
Opinion: "Behind "Make America Great," the Koch Agenda Returns with a Vengeance," Theda Skocpol (with Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez and Caroline Tervo), Talking Points Memo, November 21, 2016.
Quoted by Bert Gambini in "Acclaimed Scholar Sees Lasting Impact of a Trump Presidency," UBNow, November 18, 2016.
Opinion: "Theda Skocpol Responds to Judis," Theda Skocpol, Talking Points Memo, November 11, 2016.
Quoted by David Leonhardt in "What Democrats Need to Do," New York Times, November 10, 2016.
Quoted by David Scharfenberg in "Pundits, Politicians Failed to Detect Depth of Trump’s Support," Boston Globe, November 10, 2016.
Quoted by Michael Tomasky, Jack Meserve, and Sophia Crabbe-Field in "How to Debate Trump," Democracy Journal, September 23, 2016.
Opinion: "A Tale of Two Insurgencies," Theda Skocpol, The American Interest, August 22, 2016.
Quoted by Tierney Seed in "Will Delegitimizing a Clinton Presidency Outlast Trump's Campaign?," Talking Points Memo, August 9, 2016.
Opinion: "Trump and Trumpism Could Win in November, Unless the Rest of Us Set Aside Our Differences," Theda Skocpol, Bangor Daily News, August 2, 2016.
Quoted by Daniel W. Drezner in "The Tricky Thing about Studying the Politics of Philanthropy," Washington Post , July 26, 2016.
Guest on Colorado Public Radio, June 22, 2016.
Research discussed by Sean McElwee and Roberta Barnett, in "Inside the Donor Network: Studies Unravel the Towering Influence Money Has over Politics - on the Right and Left," Salon, June 18, 2016.
Opinion: "Republicans Ride the Trump Tiger," Theda Skocpol, Project Syndicate, May 30, 2016.
Opinion: "Why Hillary Clinton is the Strongest Equality Candidate," Theda Skocpol, Huffington Post, May 26, 2016.
Quoted by Francis Wilkinson in "The GOP is Failing. Democracy Can, Too.," Bloomberg View, May 5, 2016.
Research discussed by Amanda Taub, in "After Trump: How Authoritarian Voters Will Change American Politics," Vox, April 28, 2016.
Quoted by Jane Mayer in "Is This the End of Big-Money Politics?," The New Yorker, March 3, 2016.
Interviewed in "Trump Will Win or Lose. Either Way, the Koch Network Will Still Shape the Republican Party.," (with Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez and Henry Farrell) The Washington Post, February 29, 2016.
Quoted by Sean McElwee in "Moneyed Interests are Blocking U.S. Action on Climate Change," Al Jazeera America, February 8, 2016.
Quoted by Christina Pazzanese in "The Costs of Inequality: Increasingly, It’s the Rich and the Rest," Harvard Gazette, February 8, 2016.
Opinion: "Billionaire Ideologues, Unruly Voters, and the Future of the Republican Party," Theda Skocpol, Dissent Magazine, February 3, 2016.
Quoted by Jane Mayer in "New Koch," The New Yorker, January 25, 2016.
Opinion: "Legal Hurdles to the Affordable Care Act," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), Oxford University Press Blog, January 17, 2016.
Research discussed by Thomas B. Edsall, in "The Republican Party’s 50-State Solution," New York Times, January 13, 2016.
Quoted by Lydia DePillis in "Meet the Lefty Club behind a Blitz of New Laws in Cities around the Country," The Washington Post, January 4, 2016.
Quoted by David Frum in "The Great Republican Revolt," The Atlantic, December 23, 2015.
Quoted by Michael Knigge in "Why Paul Ryan is Unlikely to Unite the Republican Party," Deutsche Welle, October 23, 2015.
Quoted by John B. Judis in "The Return of the Middle American Radical," National Journal, October 2, 2015.
Opinion: "How the Right Trounced Liberals in the States," Theda Skocpol (with Alexander Hertel-Fernandez), Democracy Journal, Fall 2015.
Quoted by Paul Basken in "Embrace of Deception in Experiments Puts Social Scientists in an Ethical Bind," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 14, 2015.
Opinion: "Will Maine Share in Health Reform’s Success or Follow Old Confederacy?," Theda Skocpol, Bangor Daily News, July 21, 2015.
Interviewed in "ObamaCare Stands, Now Focus Shifts to Costs," Health Leaders Media, July 1, 2015.
Opinion: "A Turning Point for Health Care — and Its G.O.P. Opponents," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), New York Times, June 25, 2015.
Quoted by Eryn Brown in "Do a State's Politics Influence Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Yes, Study Says," Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2015.
Research discussed by Patrick J. Egan, in "Why the GOP Loses if the ObamaCare Lawsuit Wins," The Washington Post, June 1, 2015.
Opinion: "Wells Report Distorts Workplace Realities," Theda Skocpol, Boston Globe, May 18, 2015.
Quoted by Lisa Rapaport in "More American Doctors Favor Democrats," Reuters, April 27, 2015.
Opinion: "ObamaCare's Remarkable Progress," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), The Hill, April 2, 2015.
Quoted by Lisa Riley Roche in "Tea Party Movement Still Strong, Harvard Professor Tells U. Students," Deseret News, March 26, 2015.
Quoted by Rick Cohen in "Theda Skocpol on the Self-Imposed ACA Quandary of Republican Governors," Nonprofit Quarterly, February 23, 2015.
Opinion: "Who's Afraid of a Health-Care Ruling?," Theda Skocpol, The Atlantic, February 20, 2015.
Quoted by Charles Gaba in "The Latest on the King Thing,", January 27, 2015.
Quoted by Sahil Kapur in "SCOTUS Ruling against Obamacare Threatens GOP in 2016 Swing States," Talking Points Memo, January 20, 2015.
Research discussed by Dylan Scott, in "CBO Undercut the SCOTUS Case against O-Care 68 Times," Talking Points Memo, January 16, 2015.
Research discussed by Kevin Drum, in "No, Congress Never Intended to Limit Obamacare Subsidies to State Exchanges," Mother Jones, January 16, 2015.
Opinion: "53 Historians Weigh in on Obama's Legacy," Theda Skocpol, New York Magazine, January 11, 2015.
Quoted by Ned Resnikoff in "House Republican Skirmish over Top Spot Could Expose Party Fissures," Al Jazeera America, January 5, 2015.
Opinion: "'Grubergate' Shows the Sad State of Debate on ObamaCare," Theda Skocpol, Los Angeles Times, December 9, 2014.
Quoted by Daniel Strauss in "The Benghazi Report Truthers: Even the GOP Can't Get to the Bottom of It," Talking Points Memo, December 3, 2014.
Quoted by Elias Isquith in "Tom Coburn’s Lunacy and the Real Meaning of the Immigration Fight," Salon, November 20, 2014.
Quoted by Michael Tomasky in "Will GOP Govs Really Rescue Obamacare?," The Daily Beast, November 12, 2014.
Opinion: "Both Parties are Keeping Americans in the Dark about Healthcare Reform," Theda Skocpol (with Colleen M. Grogan), The Hill, October 13, 2014.
Quoted by Jon Greenberg in "George Will: America Hasn't Had Sustained Confidence in Government since Ronald Reagan," PunditFact, October 5, 2014.
Quoted by Rebecca Traister and Judith Shulevitz in "Feminism Has Conquered the Culture. Now Comes the Hard Part.," New Republic, September 14, 2014.
Opinion: "The Unfortunate Turn against Performance Politics in US.. Elections," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), The Hill, September 5, 2014.
Opinion: "Where Pragmatism about Health Reform Lives," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), The Hill, July 8, 2014.
Opinion: "ObamaCare is Working. Why Isn’t Maine Taking Full Advantage of It?," Theda Skocpol, Bangor Daily News, July 4, 2014.
Quoted by Allison Kopicki in "Support is Thin for Tea Party, but It Retains Its Muscle," New York Times, June 24, 2014.
Quoted by Jack Stripling in "Higher Ed, the Tea Party’s Unlikely Farm Team," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2014.
Opinion: "How Strong is the Tea Party? They've Won by Leverage, Not Popularity," Theda Skocpol, New York Times, May 18, 2014.
Research discussed by Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks, in "Fox News' Divisive Race Strategy: How O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter Intentionally Tore America Apart," Salon, May 17, 2014.
Opinion: "Organize to Re-Democratize the Nation," Theda Skocpol, New York Times, April 21, 2014.
Quoted by Isaac Buck in "Piecemeal Suffrage," Harvard Political Review, April 20, 2014.
Opinion: "Republicans Need to Suck It Up and Learn to Love ObamaCare," Theda Skocpol, Talking Points Memo, April 4, 2014.
Quoted by Matt Bai in "What Really Matters on Health Care: Making It Work," Yahoo News, March 27, 2014.
Research discussed by Fareed Zakaria, in "Both Sides Not Equally at Fault in Washington," CNN, February 17, 2014.
Research discussed by John Marshall, in "Why Americans Work," Talking Points Memo, February 10, 2014.
Research discussed by E.J. Dionne and co-hosts, in "Meet the Press," NBC News, February 9, 2014.
Opinion: "ObamaCare Cures 'Job Lock'," Theda Skocpol (with Katherine Swartz), USA Today, February 6, 2014.
Quoted by in "Outside Groups Hail Fired GOPer as 'Conservative Fireball' under Ted Cruz," Talking Points Memo, January 14, 2014.
Research discussed by Michael Tomasky, in "States Edge Closer to Medicaid Expansion: Who'll Go First?," The Daily Beast, January 8, 2014.
Research discussed by Dylan Scott, in "The Price of GOP ObamaCare Sabotage in One Chart," Talking Points Memo, January 6, 2014.
Opinion: "The Christmas Story, as Told by the Affordable Care Act," Theda Skocpol, Talking Points Memo, December 24, 2013.
Quoted by in "Mapping Environmentalism's Role Ahead," E&E News, December 9, 2013.
Opinion: "The White House 'Fix'," Theda Skocpol, Talking Points Memo, November 15, 2013.
Guest on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show", October 23, 2013.
Research discussed by Spencer Kimball, in "Republicans Lose Budget Battle, but U.S. Fiscal War May Continue," Deutsche Welle, October 17, 2013.
Quoted by in "Will the Kamikaze Caucus Doom the GOP?," National Journal, October 10, 2013.
Interviewed in "The Left Thinks Business Controls the Republican Party. They're Wrong.," Washington Post, October 8, 2013.
Opinion: "Worst Shutdown in Modern U.S. History," Theda Skocpol (with Ellen Fitzpatrick), CNN, October 2, 2013.
Quoted by in "Why the Health Care Law Scares the GOP," New York Times, October 1, 2013.
Opinion: "What Does Health Reform Do for Americans?," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), OUPblog, September 23, 2013.
Research discussed by Ronald Brownstein, in "How to End the ObamaCare Debate," National Journal, September 19, 2013.
Opinion: "Could 'ObamaCare' be Accepted in Oklahoma by Another Name?," Theda Skocpol, Tulsa World, August 7, 2013.
Research discussed by Becky Bowers, in "Americans and Australians on Carbon-Control Politics," PolitiFact, July 30, 2013.
Research discussed by David Freedlander, in "The Tea Party Isn't Dead Yet," The Daily Beast, July 29, 2013.
Research discussed by Ben Geman, in "Obama Channels His Inner Al Gore in Climate Change Messaging Shift," The Hill, July 6, 2013.
Research discussed by Colleen Walsh, in "Tracking a Cultural Shift," The Harvard Gazette, June 25, 2013.
Research discussed by Charles M. Blow, in "This is Not 2009," New York Times, May 24, 2013.
Interviewed in "Five Minutes with Theda Skocpol," London School of Economics, May 13, 2013.
Opinion: "On Social Security, Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program for All," Theda Skocpol, New York Times, April 17, 2013.
Research discussed by Nicholas Lemann, in "When the Earth Moved," The New Yorker, April 15, 2013.
Opinion: "Learning from the Cap-and-Trade Debate," Theda Skocpol, Grist, March 6, 2013.
Quoted by in "The War on Entitlements," New York Times, March 6, 2013.
Research discussed by Erin Weaver, in "Controversial Study Probes Reasons for Climate Bill Failure," Environmental Building News, February 7, 2013.
Research discussed by Suzanne Goldenberg, in "U.S. Environmentalists Challenged to Get Climate Change Laws through Congress," The Guardian, January 17, 2013.
Research discussed by Brad Plumer, in "Why Has Climate Legislation Failed? An Interview with Theda Skocpol," The Washington Post, January 16, 2013.
Research discussed by Philip Bump, in "Why the Environmental Movement Couldn't Get Cap-and-Trade Passed," Grist, January 14, 2013.
Research discussed by Bill McKibben, in "Beyond Baby Steps: Analyzing the Cap-and-Trade Flop," Grist, January 14, 2013.
Quoted by in "The Ten Best Political Books of 2012," The New Yorker, December 14, 2012.
Opinion: "Bringing Academics into the Grassroots Game," Theda Skocpol, The American Prospect, December 14, 2012.
Research discussed by Michael Knigge, in "The Republican Party: Desperately Seeking Voters," DW, November 20, 2012.
Research discussed by Chrystia Freeland, in "Obama, the Super Rich, and the Election," Reuters, November 8, 2012.
Research discussed by David Leonhardt, in "Who Gets Credit for the Economy's Recovery?," New York Times, October 26, 2012.
Opinion: "Majority of New Mexico Better Off under ObamaCare," Theda Skocpol (with State Senator Dede Feldman), The Albuquerque Journal, September 24, 2012.
Opinion: "Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Could Hurt Many Missourians," Theda Skocpol (with David Robertson), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 18, 2012.
Research discussed by Chrystia Freeland, in "Obama Makes His Case amidst Reagan's Shadow," Reuters, September 6, 2012.
Opinion: "A Fairer Tax Future," Theda Skocpol, The Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2012.
Interviewed in "What Does the Tea Party Stand For?," WGBH, August 1, 2012.
Opinion: "Affordable Care Lives: A Benefit and Challenge for Maine," Theda Skocpol, Bangor Daily News, June 29, 2012.
Opinion: "Bending Toward Universal Health Care," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), New York Times, June 28, 2012.
Opinion: "Getting Past Healthcare's Individual Mandate," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2012.
Opinion: "Mitt Romney, the Stealth Tea Party Candidate," Theda Skocpol, The Washington Post, February 3, 2012.
Opinion: "Can Republicans Rescind Obamacare?," Theda Skocpol (with Lawrence R. Jacobs), Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2010.
Regular contributions by Theda Skocpol to the Arena on
Opinion: "Why the Tea Party's Hold Persists," Theda Skocpol, Democracy, Winter 2014.
Research discussed by Mark Engler and Paul Engler, in "Climate of Change: What Does an Inside-Outside Strategy Mean?," Dissent, Summer 2013.


"Institutional Capacities, Partisan Divisions, and Federal Tensions in U.S. Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic" (with Sarah E. James and Caroline Tervo). RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 8, no. 8 (2022): 154-180.

Documents COVID-era policy decisions at the state level. Demonstrates that the extent to which state officials supported Trump's approach to the pandemic is correlated with the timing and type of COVID policies implemented.

"How the Right Trounced the Liberals in the States" (with Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez). Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, no. 39 (2016).

Discusses the work and organizational innovations on the Right, the sputtering liberal efforts to counter the American Legislative Exchange Council, the success of Center-Left research networks. Discusses the shortcomings of the Left and what can be learned from the Right.

"Business Associations, Conservative Networks, and the Ongoing Republican War over Medicaid Expansion" (with Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez and Daniel Lynch). Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 41, no. 2 (2016): 239-296.

Finds that partisan differences between Democrats and Republicans are central, but goes beyond earlier analyses to measure added effects from two dueling factions within the Republican coalition: statewide business associations and cross-state networks of ideologically conservative organizations. Shows that GOP-leaning or GOP-dominated states have been most likely to embrace the expansion when organized business support outweighs pressures from conservative networks. Helps make sense of ongoing state-level debates over a core part of health reform and sheds new light on mounting policy tensions within the Republican party.

"Middle America Reboots Democracy" (with Lara Putnam). Democracy: A Journal of Ideas (2018).

Reports that the political practices of college-educated, middle-aged women are the most changed under Trump. Discusses the revitalization of the local Democratic party and that newly mobilized and interconnected grassroots groups are rebuilding the foundations of U.S. democracy. 

"The Koch Network and Republican Party Extremism" (with Alexander W. Hertel-Fernandez). Perspectives on Politics 14, no. 3 (2016).

Draws from research on changes since 2000 in the organizational universes surrounding the Republican and Democratic parties to highlight a major emergent force in U.S. politics: the recently expanded "Koch network" that coordinates big money funders, idea producers, issue advocates, and innovative constituency-building efforts in an ongoing effort to pull the Republican Party and agendas of U.S. politics sharply to the right. Reviews the major components and evolution of the Koch network and explores how it has reshaped American politics and policy agendas, focusing especially on implications for right-tilted partisan polarization and rising economic inequality. 

"Asymmetric Interest Group Mobilization and Party Coalitions in U.S. Tax Politics" (with Alexander Hertel-Fernandez). Studies in American Political Development (2015).
Identifies the mechanisms that have propelled tax resistance in contemporary U.S. politics, and our analysis contributes to theoretical understandings of the ways in which political parties are influenced by policy feedbacks and by coalitions of policy-driven organized economic interests.
"How the Scholars Strategy Network Helps Academics Gain Public Influence" Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3 (2014): 695-703.

Broadcasts the Scholars Strategy Network as an innovative way to engage policymakers and fellow citizens. Discusses the work of the Scholars Strategy Network and the benefits of membership.

"The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism" (with Vanessa Williamson) (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Shows how grassroots activism, the right-wing media, and elite funders and policy advocates interact to allow the Tea Party to boost the GOP and prod it to the hard right. Includes interviews with grass roots activists and an analysis of the role of the Tea Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

"Reaching for a New Deal: Ambitious Governance, Economic Meltdown, and Polarized Politics in Obama’s First Two Years" (with Lawrence R. Jacobs) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011).
Offers an overview of the policy successes and failures of the early Obama presidency – and explains why, despite many reform accomplishments, Obama and the Democrats have faced uphill political battles, right-wing obstruction, and popular disillusionment.
"Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know" (with Lawrence R. Jacobs) (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Traces how the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 and explains why this health reform will benefit the vast majority of Americans. Looks at ongoing political controversies over repeal and implementation.
"Civic Engagement in American Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life " (University of Oklahoma Press, 2003).
Looks at civic voluntarism from the American Revolution through the late twentieth century, showing that Americans once organized membership associations that involved dues-paying members across class lines and linked local groups to state and national politics. After the 1960s, membership associations declined while professionally led organizations proliferated, leaving many ordinary citizens on the outside looking in.
"The Missing Middle: Working Families and the Future of American Social Policy" (Norton, 2000).
Successful social programs in U.S. democracy bridge the needs and values of the middle class and the less privileged. Citizens get support in return for making contributions to the nation. Explains why this formula for popular and effective social programs has fallen apart in recent decades, and considers how it might be revived.