Lawrence M. Mead III

Professor of Politics
Ph.D. 1973 (political science), M.A. 1968 (political science), Harvard; B.A. 1966 (political science), Amherst College.

Email:  lmm1 [at] nyu.edu
Phone:  (212) 998-8540
Office Address:  NYU Department of Politics, 19 W. 4th Street, New York, NY 10012
Office Room Number:  209

For a full list of my work, see my Vita.

Areas of Research/Interest: American politics and policy making; social policy; implementation; America as a world power

About Me: I teach American politics and public policy. My approach is to use major policy issues to understand government. That is, I link policy analysis to political analysis. I ask first how government should handle some difficult issue, and then how it actually does. The difference reveals much about the character of a regime, and the potential for change. I think political science should be what the ancients intended—a master science that helps government improve the human condition. Much of my research has been about poverty and welfare in America. I ask how policy in these areas might be improved, and also how politics shapes those efforts. My books provided the principle theory behind welfare reform in this country and abroad.

My Current Work: I continue to study social problems where the potential both to improve policy and illuminate government are great. My most recent book is about how to extend work requirements from welfare mothers to poor men. I recently finished a long-term study of the politics surrounding welfare reform in Congress. A forthcoming book is about the moral and theological issues surrounding helping the poor. In several recent articles, I questioned trends toward over-refinement in political science research. I am currently writing a book on the nature of American world power, based on the course on American primacy described on my teaching page.

Useful Links

Select Publications:

“Welfare Politics in Congress,” PS: Political Science & Politics 44, no. 2 (April 2011): 345-56.
Scholasticism in Political Science,” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 2 (June 2010): 453-64.
Expanding Work Programs for Poor Men, AEI Press, 2011.
Government Matters: Welfare Reform in Wisconsin, Princeton University Press, 2004.
The New Paternalism: Supervisory Approaches to Poverty, Brookings. 1997.
The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America. Basic Books. 1992.
Beyond Entitlement: The Social Obligations of Citizenship. Free Press. 1986.

Prof. Mead's Research Page

Fellowships/Honors: Policy Council, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, 1999-2000; John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs and Company Visiting Professor, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1994-1995; Visiting Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1993-1994; Visiting Distinguished Professor, La Follette Institute of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 1987.

External Affiliations: American Political Science Association, Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, Policy Studies Organization, American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy.

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