Alexis N. Walker
Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Walker studies how public policies shape and constrain citizens and groups’ behavior in American politics with particular concern for how policies can enhance or diminish the quality of our democracy. Her current research examines how public policies have influenced the size, composition and effectiveness of organized labor in American politics. She is also interested in the feedback effects of other policies including electoral rules and social policies.
Explains how federal lawmakers from both parties have increasingly preempted state power across a number of policy areas, with Democrats doing so to expand regulation across the states and Republicans attempting to curtail it.
Looks at the strategic use of federal preemption to enhance federal power and limit state authority by Democrats and Republicans. Both parties preempt in equal measure, but Democrats put forward preemption legislation that maximizes regulation by mandating a floor of protection across the states, whereas Republicans enact preemptions that cap regulation by utilizing ceilings that curtail the states’ ability to regulate .
Explores how the exclusion of public sector employees from national labor law in the 1930s and 1940s altered the development trajectory of public sector unions. This exclusion delayed public sector union development preventing a large public/private union movement in the middle of twentieth century and resulting in public sector employees' more unequal, vulnerable collective bargaining rights.
Provides an overview of the diverse literature exploring the relationship between social rights and citizenship, with particular attention to the ways social policies can promote or diminish inclusion, political participation, and full citizenship.
Examines the robust tradition dating back to the 1870s of conservative presidential hopefuls and presidents advancing and defining their careers through union busting.