I am an Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Leicester. I've been here for a long time! I enjoy teaching and engaging with students as well as researching materials to enable that teaching. I am the author or co-author of six books including Obamacare Wars with Daniel Beland and Phil Rocco (University of Kansas Press 2016) and numerous journal articles and book chapters. I specialise in teaching and research on U.S. social policy particularly the politics and policy outcomes in health care and social welfare.
My research has primarily been concerned with US politics and particularly the development of American social policy. I have looked extensively at the causes and consequences of major reforms of the US welfare state such as the welfare reform of 1996 and the health care reform of 2010. In addition I have examined the potential and limits of the process of incremental policy change. When for example do a series of minor changes add up to something that might be described as ‘path breaking’ change? A central focus of the work is to investigate the relationship between ideas and institutions as an explanation for policy change or policy inertia.
Further to this I have written extensively about the Clinton and Obama presidencies. This work examines how the initially ambitious agendas of these two presidents were circumscribed as they encountered both ideological and institutional obstacles. Nevertheless Obama in particular left a significant legacy.
More recently I have looked at social policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in the US. What tools were employed by government to protect people against the economic consequences of shutting down large parts of the economy.
Eddie Ashbee, John Dumbrell and Alex Waddan, The American Right After Reagan, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Press, 2019 https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/the-american-right-after-reagan-9781788114790.html
Daniel BÃ©land, Philip Rocco and Alex Waddan, Obamacare Wars: Federalism, State Politics, and the Affordable Care Act . Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2016 https://kuecprd.ku.edu/~upress/cgi-bin/978-0-7006-2191-0.html
Daniel BÃ©land and Alex Waddan, The Politics of Policy Change, Welfare, Medicare and Social Security Reform in the United States, Georgetown University Press, 2012 http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/politics-policy-change
Refereed Journal Articles
Daniel BÃ©land, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan (2020), â€˜Stuck in Neutral? Federalism, Policy Instruments, and Counter-Cyclical Responses to COVID-19 in the United Statesâ€™, Policy and Society 39(3): 285-308
Daniel BÃ©land, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan (2019), â€˜Policy Feedback and the Politics of the Affordable Care Actâ€™, Policy Studies Journal 47(2):395-422
Alex Waddan (2019), â€˜Is Health Care in England Really on the Road to Privatization?â€™ Political Science Quarterly 133 (4):669-694
Alex Waddan (2019), â€˜President Obama, poverty, and the scope and limits of social policy changeâ€™ Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 35 (1), 96-111
Daniel BÃ©land and Alex Waddan (2017), "Why are there no universal social programs in the United States", World Affairs Journal, 180 (1): 64-92
Daniel BÃ©land, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan (2016), "Reassessing Policy Drift: Social Policy change in the United States", Social Policy & Administration, 50 (2): 201-218
Daniel BÃ©land, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan (2016), "Obamacare and the Politics of Universal Health Insurance Coverage in the United States", Social Policy & Administration, 50 (4): 428-451
PL1013: American Government and Politics
PL3071: The American Presidency
PL3114: American Political Development
PL7076: U.S. Foreign Policy
Undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation supervision
Contemporary US politics