University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Brenda K. Bushouse

Professional Title: 

Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy


Thompson 624

Phone Number: 



Office Hours: 

By appointment for Spring semester 2018


Ph.D., Indiana University 1999, M.P.A. Syracuse University 1992


My research program has two intersecting foci.  The first is a lasting interest in the realm of activity that is neither market nor state.  I research the politics of nonprofit organizations in the policy process (see my 2017 Policy Studies Journal article).  What intrigues me is the work of people and organizations who work to fulfill a social mission.  I am particularly interested in utilizing institutional analysis to understand the provision of goods and services by nongovernmental actors (see Bushouse 2011 and Bushouse et al. 2016).  Currently I am exploring the role of foundations as actors in the policy process, an understudied but important policy player.    

A second lasting area of my research focuses on the most vulnerable in our society: children.  In Universal Preschool: Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts (SUNY Press 2009; awarded the Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize) I explain why state governments invested in pre-kindergarten education.  This research focus took me to New Zealand to understand why it chose a similar policy (Bushouse 2008, 2009).  Currently I am working on a book manuscript  (with Doug Imig) analyzing social movements and policies for children in the U.S. from 1900 - 2015.  Utilizing New York Times coverage, Congressional Hearings, and historical documents, we analyze policy processes for child labor, child health and nutrition, child abuse, and early education.  





Area of Study: 

  • Public policy and organizations

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (84.4 KB)


  • Nonprofit organizations


  • Political Science