Christopher Howard

College of William & Mary

Tyler Hall 363
300 James Blair Drive
Williamsburg, VA

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With Daniel Beland and Kimberly Morgan, I co-edited The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy (2015). My next focus will likely be the politics of poverty in the United States. In addition, I have recently written Thinking like a Political Scientist: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, which will be published in 2017 by the University of Chicago Press.

Howard, Christopher. 2017 (forthcoming). Thinking Like a Political Scientist: A Practical Guide to Research Methods (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
Abstract: With wit and practical wisdom, Christopher Howard draws on more than a decade of experience teaching research methods to transform a typically dreary subject and teach budding political scientists the critical skills they need to read published research more effectively and produce better research of their own. The first part of the book is devoted to asking three fundamental questions in political science: What happened? Why? Who cares? In the second section, Howard demonstrates how to answer these questions by choosing an appropriate research design, selecting cases, and working with numbers and written documents as evidence. Drawing on examples from American and comparative politics, international relations, and public policy, Thinking Like a Political Scientist highlights the most common challenges that political scientists routinely face, and each chapter concludes with exercises so that students can practice dealing with those challenges.
Daniel Beland, Christopher Howard, and Kimberly J. Morgan (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015).
Howard, Christopher, and Edward Berkowitz. 2008. "Extensive but Not Inclusive: Health Care and Pensions in the United States." In Public and Private Social Policy: Health and Pension Policies in a New Era, eds. Daniel Beland and Brian Gran. London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 70-91.
Howard, Christopher. 2009. "Making Taxes the Life of the Party." In The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective, eds. Isaac Martin, Ajay K. Mehrotra, and Monica Prasad, New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 86-100.
Howard, Christopher. 2007. The Welfare State Nobody Knows: Debunking Myths about U.S. Social Policy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Abstract: The Welfare State Nobody Knows challenges a number of myths and half-truths about U.S. social policy. The American welfare state is supposed to be a pale imitation of "true" welfare states in Europe and Canada. Christopher Howard argues that the American welfare state is in fact larger, more popular, and more dynamic than commonly believed. Nevertheless, poverty and inequality remain high, and this book helps explain why so much effort accomplishes so little. One important reason is that the United States is adept at creating social programs that benefit the middle and upper-middle classes, but less successful in creating programs for those who need the most help.rnrnThis book is unusually broad in scope, analyzing the politics of social programs that are well known (such as Social Security and welfare) and less well known but still important (such as workers' compensation, home mortgage interest deduction, and the Americans with Disabilities Act). Although it emphasizes developments in recent decades, the book ranges across the entire twentieth century to identify patterns of policymaking. Methodologically, it weaves together quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to answer fundamental questions about the politics of U.S. social policy. Ambitious and timely, The Welfare State Nobody Knows asks us to rethink the influence of political parties, interest groups, public opinion, federalism, policy design, and race on the American welfare state.rnrn

Substantive Focus:
Social Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History PRIMARY