Publications

Williamson, Vanessa. 2014. “Brother, can you spare a tax cut?” Democracy. 32(Spring).

Review of Isaac Martin's Rich Peoples' Movements.

Skocpol, Theda and Vanessa Williamson. 2013. The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. Oxford University Press.

The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism examines how the three components of the Tea Party – at the grassroots, in the media, and among Washington elites – successfully pushed the Republican Party farther to the right. You can read a recent review of the book in the Journal of Politics, and it was named one of the ten best political books of the year in the New Yorker. For more, visit the book's website.




Williamson, Vanessa. 2012. "The Tea Party" in The Oxford Companion to American Politics, David Coates ed. Oxford University Press.

Williamson, Vanessa. 2012. “Veiled threat to the land of the free.” Times Higher Education. January 24.

Review of Suzanne Mettler's The Submerged State.

Williamson, Vanessa, Theda Skocpol, and John Coggin. 2011. "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism." Perspectives on Politics. 9(1):25-43.

In the aftermath of a potentially demoralizing 2008 electoral defeat, when the Republican Party seemed widely discredited, the emergence of the Tea Party provided conservative activists with a new identity funded by Republican business elites and reinforced by a network of conservative media sources. Untethered from recent GOP baggage and policy specifics, the Tea Party energized disgruntled white middle-class conservatives and garnered widespread attention, despite stagnant or declining favorability ratings among the general public. As participant observation and interviews with Massachusetts activists reveal, Tea Partiers are not monolithically hostile toward government; they distinguish between programs perceived as going to hard-working contributors to US society like themselves and “handouts” perceived as going to unworthy or freeloading people. During 2010, Tea Party activism reshaped many GOP primaries and enhanced voter turnout, but achieved a mixed record in the November general election. Activism may well continue to influence dynamics in Congress and GOP presidential primaries. Even if the Tea Party eventually subsides, it has undercut Obama’s presidency, revitalized conservatism, and pulled the national Republican Party toward the far right.  

Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson. 2010. "Obama and the Transformation of U.S. Public Policy: The Struggle to Reform Health Care." Arizona State Law Journal. 42:1203-1205.

In this article, we first examine why the Obama presidency seemed poised to redirect U.S. domestic policy and probe the forces working for and against the accomplishment of major transformations. After delineating the overall context, we consider in detail the case of health care reform.