R Kent Weaver

Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and
Comparative Government Field Chair, McCourt School of Public Policy

Kent Weaver joined the Georgetown Public Policy Institute as Professor of Public Policy in the fall of 2002, after 19 years at the Brookings Institution. From 2002 to 2002, he served as co-director of the Welfare Reform & Beyond Initiative at Brookings, which sought to build a better understanding of social science research findings among policymakers and advocates in the lead-up to congressional debate on reauthorization of welfare reform legislation. Before coming to Brookings, Weaver taught in the Political Science Department at the Ohio State University for two years.

Weaver's major fields of interest are American and comparative social policy, comparative political institutions, and the politics of expertise. He is particularly interested in understanding how political institutions, past policy choices and the motivations of politicians interact to shape public policy choices. Much of his work has attempted to understand when and why politicians undertake actions that appear to offer more political risks than rewards, and how they attempt to avoid blame when they do so. Professor Weaver teaches core courses on the American Policy Process and Comparative Policy Process at MSPP, as well as courses on policy implementation and the welfare state.

Weaver is the author of Ending Welfare As We Know It (Brookings, 2000), Automatic Government: The Politics of Indexation (Brookings, 1988) and The Politics of Industrial Change (Brookings, 1985). He is also the co-author and editor of The Collapse of Canada? (Brookings, 1992) and co-editor of and contributor to numerous books including Do Institutions Matter?: Government Capabilities in the U.S. and Abroad (Brookings, 1993), Think Tanks and Civil Societies (TransAction Publishers, 2000), and The Government Taketh Away: The Politics of Pain in the United States and Canada (Georgetown University Press, 2003). He is currently completing a book on what the United States can learn from the experiences of other advanced industrial countries in reforming their public pension systems. He is also writing another book on how states have implemented welfare reform legislation in the United States.