Dr Gareth Davies has worked mainly on the politics of social policy in the United States during the twentieth century, and on how government grows in an anti-statist political culture. He has published on the political crisis of the United States during the 1960s; on the emergence of ‘big government’ conservatism since that time; on the institutional and policy legacy of the Great Society; on education politics; on the comparative development of social policy in Canada and the United States; on Ronald Reagan’s welfare policies; and on the foundation of the New Deal welfare state. He is currently writing a book about the changing politics of natural disasters. In it, he will use changing responses to disaster over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to explore how, why, and when American expectations of government have grown.
- See Government Grow: Education Politics from Johnson to Reagan (Lawrence, 2007). Awarded the Richard E. Neustadt Book Prize by the Political Studies Association's American Politics Group.
- From Opportunity to Entitlement: The Transformation and Decline of Great Society Liberalism (Lawrence, 1996). Awarded the Ellis W. Hawley Book Prize by the Organization of American Historians.
- (Co-edited with Cheryl Hudson), Ronald Reagan and the 1980s: Perceptions, Policies, Legacies (New York, 2008).
- "Education Politics from the New Deal to the Great Society," in Brian J. Glenn and Steven M. Teles, eds., Conservatives and American Political Development (New York, 2009).
- "Towards Big Government Conservatism: Conservatives and Federal Aid to Education in the 1970s," Journal of Contemporary History, October 2008, 621-635.
- "Nixon and School Desegregation," Journal of Policy History, November 2007, 367-394.
- "The Welfare State," in Elliott Brownlee and Hugh Davis Graham, eds., The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and Its Legacies (Lawrence, 2003), 209-231.
- "The Great Society After Johnson: The Case of Bilingual Education," Journal of American History, June 2002, 1405-1429.
- (with Martha Derthick), "Race and the Social Security Act of 1935," Political Science Quarterly, Summer 1997, 226-249.
- "Understanding the War on Poverty: The Advantages of a Canadian Perspective," Journal of Policy History, November 1997, 425-449.