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Philip Rocco
Philip Rocco, Ph.D.Marquette University

Wehr Physics Hall, 411

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3296
Curriculum Vitae

Assistant Professor

Political Science

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies

Philip Rocco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Prof. Rocco's research examines the political economy of policy expertise. He teaches courses on American politics, the policymaking process, and the politics of numbers. Prof. Rocco was formerly a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh's Health Policy Institute. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prof. Rocco is completing work on a book manuscript, Madison’s Engineers: How Policy Science Remade Federalism (under contract, Columbia University Press), which will analyze how policy experts reshaped the relationship between the federal government and the states during the latter half of the twentieth century. This book will show how advisory commissions on intergovernmental relations shaped how policymakers understood and governed the federal system. It will also analyze how fiscal austerity and the polarization of policy knowledge undermined federalism reforms. Prof. Rocco is also undertaking a new project investigating the causes and consequences of conflict over analyses produced by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Finally, he is co-editing a book on the politics of the Trump administration, American Political Development and the Trump Presidency (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2015

Courses Taught

  • POSC 2201 American Politics | Syllabus
  • POSC 4216 American Public Policy | Syllabus
  • POSC 3101 Writing / Argumentation in Pol. Sci.: Numbers, Policy, and Democracy | Syllabus
  • CORE 1929 Methods of Inquiry: Health and Wellbeing 



  • Béland, Daniel, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan. 2016. Obamacare Wars: Federalism, State Politics, and the Affordable Care Act. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

Edited Volumes

  • Zachary Callen and Philip Rocco, eds. 2020. American Political Development and the Trump Presidency. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. 


  • Philip Rocco, Ann Keller, and Andrew S. Kelly, “State Politics and the Uneven Fate of Medicaid Expansion,” Health Affairs 39 (3, 2020): 494–501. 

  • Philip Rocco and Andrew S. Kelly, “An Engine of Change? The Affordable Care Act and the Shifting Politics of Medicare Demonstration Projects,” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences (forthcoming).   

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “The Affordable Care Act in the States: Fragmented Politics, Unstable Policy,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 45(4, 2020): 647–60.

  • Daniel Béland, Michael Howlett, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Designing Resilience: The Experience of the Affordable Care Act and Lessons for Policy Design,” Policy Sciences (2020): 1–21. 

  • Andrew S. Kelly and Philip Rocco, “From Trial and Error to Major Reform: The Politics of Medicare Demonstration Projects.” Public Administration 97 (3, 2019): 621–38. 

  • Philip Rocco, Andrew S. Kelly, and Ann Keller, “Politics at the Cutting Edge: Intergovernmental Policy Innovation in the Affordable Care Act,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 48 (3, 2018): 425–453.

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Obamacare in the Trump Era: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going?,” The Political Quarterly 89 (4, 2018): 687–694.

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “The ACA and the Politics of Policy Feedback,” Policy Studies Journal (2018): psj.12286 

  • Daniel Béland, Anahely Medrano, and Philip Rocco, “The Politics of Bottom-Up Social Policy Transfer,” Political Science Quarterly 133 (Fall, 2018): 527–560.

  • Philip Rocco and Simon Haeder, “How Intense Policy Demanders Shape Post-Reform Politics: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 43 (2, 2018): 271-304.   

  • Philip Rocco, “The Anti-Analytic Presidency Revisited,” The Forum 15(2, 2017): 363–378.

  • Philip Rocco, “Informal Caregiving and the Politics of Policy Drift,” Journal of Aging and Social Policy 29 (5, 2017): 413-432.  

  • Marian Jarlenski, Philip Rocco, Renu Tipirneni, Amy Kennedy, Nivedita Gunturi, and Julie Donohue, “Making Health Policy for Low-Income Populations: An Assessment of Public Participation in a New Medicaid Waiver Process,” Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law 42 (6, 2017): 1039-1064.  

  • Philip Rocco, Andrew Kelly, Daniel Béland, and Michael Kinane, “The New Politics of US Health Care Prices: Institutional Reconfiguration and the Emergence of All-Payer Claims Databases,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 42 (1, 2017): 5–52.

  • Shih-Jiun Shi, Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Paths to Decentralization: Territorial Dynamics and Social Policy in the People’s Republic of China and the US,” Environment and Planning C  (2017), 10.1177/2399654417725527 

  • Juleen Rodakowski, Philip Rocco, Maqui Ortiz, Barbara Folb, Sally C. Morton, Richard Schulz, Lu Hu, Sally Caine Leathers, and A. Everette James, “Integrating Caregivers of Older Adult Patients into Discharge Planning to Lower Resource Utilization: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials,” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 65 (8, 2017): 1748-1755. 

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Obamacare and the Politics of Universal Health Insurance Coverage in the United States,” Social Policy & Administration 50(4, 2016): 428-451.

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Reassessing Policy Drift: Social Policy Change in the United States,” Social Policy & Administration 50 (2, 2016): 201-218.

  • Philip Rocco, Walid F. Gellad, and Julie M. Donohue, “Modernizing Medicaid Managed Care:Can States Meet the Data Challenges?,” JAMA 314 (15, 2015):1559–60.

  • Lars Tummers and Philip Rocco, “Serving Clients When the Server Crashes: How Frontline Workers Cope with E-Government Challenges,” Public Administration Review 75(6, 2015): 817-827.

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Polarized Stakeholders and Institutional Vulnerabilities: The Enduring Politics of the Affordable Care Act,” Clinical Therapeutics 37 (4, 2015): 720–726.

  • Philip Rocco, “Making Federalism Work? The Politics of Intergovernmental Collaboration and The PPACA,” Journal of Health and Human Services Administration 37(4, 2015): 412–461.

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Implementing Health Reform in the United States: Intergovernmental Politics and the Dilemmas of Institutional Design,” Health Policy 116 (Spring, 2014): 51–60.

  • Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan, “Obamacare, Universal Credit, and the Trilemma of Public Services,” Public Administration Review 74(2, 2014): 142–3.

  • Philip Rocco and Chloe Thurston, “From Metaphors to Measures: Observable Indicators of Gradual Institutional Change,” Journal of Public Policy 34 (1, 2014): 35–62.

  • Sara Chatfield and Philip Rocco, “Is Federalism a Political Safety Valve? Evidence from Congressional Decision-Making, 1960–2005,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 44 (1, 2014): 1–23.

Book Chapters

  • Philip Rocco and Zachary Callen, “Introduction,” in American Political Development and the Trump Presidency, eds. Zachary Callen and Philip Rocco (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).  

  • Philip Rocco, “The Policy State and the Post-Truth Presidency,” in American Political Development and the Trump Presidency, eds. Zachary Callen and Philip Rocco (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).  

  • Philip Rocco, “The Quiet Politics of Medicaid Work Requirements,” in Medicaid: Enrollment, Eligibility, and Key Issues, ed. Daniel Lanford (Hauppage, NY: Nova Science Publishers, forthcoming).

  • Philip Rocco, “Medicaid Expansion: Intergovernmental Reform meets Nationalized Politics,” in Medicare and Medicaid: A Reference Handbook, ed. Greg Shaw (ABC-CLIO, forthcoming).

  • Philip Rocco, “Wissensproduktion in der RAND Corporation,” in Macht und Geist im Kalten Krieg, Bernd Greiner, Tim B. Müller, Claudia Weber, eds. (Hamburg: Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung, 2011): 301–320.

Selected Working Papers

  • Philip Rocco, Daniel Béland, and Alex Waddan, "Stuck in neutral? Federalism, policy instruments, and counter-cyclical responses to COVID-19 in the United States," Available at SSRN:

Honors and Awards

  • Helen Way Klingler Young Scholar Award (2019) 
  • APSA Organized Section on Public Policy: Best Poster on Public Policy Award (2017, shared with Andrew Kelly) 

  • APSA William Anderson Award for best dissertation in the general field of federalism or intergovernmental relations, state and local politics (2016) 


  • Summer Faculty Fellowship, Marquette University (2018)
  • Regular Research Grant, Marquette University (2018)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Policy Research Grant (shared with Ann Keller and Andrew S. Kelly, 2016)


Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Political Science
Wehr Physics Building, Room 468
1420 W. Clybourn St. 
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-6842

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