Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Eric M. Patashnik

Eric M. Patashnik

Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy
Professor of Political Science
Director, Public Policy program


Eric M. Patashnik is Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Brown Public Policy Program. He oversees Brown's Master of Public Affairs program.

Patashnik is the editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. He is also Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Before coming to Brown, Patashnik held faculty positions at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA, and the department of political science at Yale University.  During his time at UVA, he served as associate dean and acting dean at the Batten School. Patashnik is the author and editor of several books including Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted (Princeton University Press, 2008), which received the Louis Brownlow Book Award.

Patashnik received both his MPP and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. 


I am currently completing a book (with Alan Gerber and Conor Dowling) entitled Unhealthy Politics: The Battle Over Evidence-Based Medicine.  The book will be published by Princeton University Press in fall 2017.  The research for this project has been supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation.

Other recent projects include a study of the performance of Congress as a problem-solving institution and a study for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on the durability and flexibility of environmental policies.


Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine (with Alan S. Gerber and Conor M. Dowling). (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017)

Congress and Policy Making in the 21st Century (co-edited with Jeffery Jenkins). New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, 5th edition (with Eugene S. Bardach). (Washington: CQ Press, 2016)

Living Legislation:  Durability, Change, and the Politics of American Lawmaking (co-editor with Jeffrey A. Jenkins) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).  

Promoting the General Welfare: New Perspectives on Government Performance (co-editor with Alan S. Gerber) (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2006)

Putting Trust in the U.S. Budget: Federal Trust Funds and the Politics of Commitment (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2000).  [Chinese translation, 2009]


Foundations of Public Policy

News|Recent News

Bring Back Earmarks (comments by Eric Patashnik)

January 11, 2018 U.S. News & World Report

Political scientist Eric Patashnik comments on the banned practice of earmarks, saying "Restoring earmarks is not strong enough medicine to cure the dysfunctions of today's Congress. Polarization runs much too deep. But it is still a sensible thing to do."


Unhealthy politics: The battle over evidence-based medicine (research by Eric Patashnik cited)

October 25, 2017 Yale News

A book review of "Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine" that draws on public opinion surveys, physician surveys, case studies, and political science models to explain how political incentives, polarization, and the misuse of professional authority have undermined efforts to tackle the medical evidence problem and curb wasteful spending. 


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