Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy
Eric M. Patashnik

Eric M. Patashnik

+1 401 863 6428
111 Thayer Street, Room 304


Downloadable CV

Eric M. Patashnik

Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy
Professor of Political Science
Chair, Department of Political Science

Areas of Interest: The politics of policymaking, health policy, fiscal politics, policy reform, implementation, the welfare state, Congress.


Eric M. Patashnik is Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science, and Chair, Department of Political Science.

Patashnik 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 nine books including Countermobilization: Policy Feedback and Backlash in a Polarized Age (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine (with Alan Gerber and Conor Dowling, Princeton University Press, 2017)  and Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted (Princeton University Press, 2008). He has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration and also won the Don K. Price Book Award of the American Political Science Association. He was a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution during 1995-96, served as President of the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association during 2017-18, and was the editor of Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law during 2016-2019.

Patashnik received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. 


I am currently working on a book manuscript on the politics of policy backlash. 


A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, 6th edition (with Eugene S. Bardach). (Washington: CQ Press, 2019)

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]


  • MPA 2445  Introduction to Public Policy
  • MPA 2765  System Dynamics: Policy Analysis for a Complex World
  • MPA 2160 Management and Implementation in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • POLS 1825E Health Care Politics and Policy

News|Recent News

Are Republicans losing the health care debate? (comments by Eric Patashnik)

October 26, 2018 FiveThirtyEight

This weekly "polling roundup" quoted public policy professor Eric Patashnik, who said that “it is already clear that Republicans have made it even harder for their party to govern if they manage to retain control of both chambers and take another stab at dismantling Obamacare.”


The Health 202: Medicare for all is new Democratic mantra in congressional races (comments by Eric Patashnik)

July 9, 2018 The Washington Post

Progressive political candidates motivated by Bernie Sanders' insurgent run against Hillary Clinton in 2016 are advocating for Medicare for all as part of their platforms. Professor Eric Patashnik said that the political viability of the idea will ultimately depend on its details -- such as whether the program would eliminate the private-insurance system altogether.


Unhealthy Politics: The Battle Over Evidence-Based Medicine

June 13, 2018

Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine, co-written by Public Policy program director Eric Patashnik, describes the U.S. medical system, the most advanced in the world, and its insufficient evaluation process of treatments that often become widespread. 


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."