Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and

Political Science and

Chair of Political Science Department

Brown University

Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Brown University

111 Thayer Street Box 1970

Providence, RI 02912-1970

Biographical sketch

I am the Julis Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department at Brown University, based at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

I am also Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. I previously held faculty positions at University of Virginia, UCLA and Yale University.

I received my PhD (political science) and MPP from University of California, Berkeley.


My research examines the politics of American national policymaking, focusing on health care, policy reform, implementation, and Congress.

I am the author and editor of nine books. My newest monograph is Countermobilzation: Policy Feedback and Backlash in a Polarized Age. Look for it at University of Chicago Press in November 2023.

I am also the coauthor (with Alan Gerber and Conor Dowling) of Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence Medicine (Princeton University Press, 2020, paperback edition), which received both the Don K. Price Book Award of the American Political Science Association and the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration.

My CV is here

My previous books include Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted (Princeton University Press, 2008), which received the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration; Dynamics of American Democracy (co-edited with Wendy Schiller, University Press of Kansas, 2021); Congress and Policy Making in the 21st Century (co-edited with Jeffery A. Jenkins, Cambridge University Press, 2016); Living Legislation: Durability, Change and the Politics of American Lawmaking (co-edited with Jeffery A. Jenkins, University of Chicago Press, 2012); Promoting the General Welfare: New Perspectives on Government Performance (co-edited with Alan Gerber, Brookings Institution Press, 2006) and Putting Trust in the U.S. Budget: Federal Trust Funds and the Politics of Commitment (Cambridge University Press, 2000; Chinese translation 2009).

I am also the coauthor (with Eugene Bardach) of the 6h edition of the textbook, A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving (CQ Press, 2019). Look for the 7th edition soon!

My essays have appeared in Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Governance, P.S., Policy Sciences, Policy Studies Journal, Studies in American Political Development, Health Affairs, Journal of Health Politics, Policy & Law, Social Service Review, and in many edited volumes.


I teach courses on policy analysis, health politics and policy, the politics of policy-making, Congress, bureaucracy, and the U.S. welfare state, and system dynamics. I received the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching at UVA.

Academic Administration

I currently serve as Chair of Brown's Political Science Department. Previously, I served as Director of Brown's Master of Public Affairs program. Earlier in my career, I played a key role in the design and launch of UVA's Batten School, which was made possible by a $100M endowment gift in 2007. During my time at the Batten School, I served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Acting Dean.

Eric Patashnik photo


My wife Deborah Gordon is a Senior Fellow at both RMI and the Watson Institute. She is an expert on energy and environmental policy, including the climate impacts of the oil sector.