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Jason MacDonald
Associate Professor of Political Science

About me

I am an Associate professor in the  Department of Political Science at West Virginia University. My scholarly interests center on the ability of American government to fulfill the mandates articulated in the Preamble to the Constitution. To what degree does government foster the general welfare? From my perspective, the answer to this question hinges on two matters. First, does government policy-making constructively addresses problems hindering the ability of citizens to, as Jefferson put it, pursue happiness? Second, is policy-making responsive to democratic practices?

In particular, I have examined whether lawmaking coalitions design the conditions under which agencies make policies so that bureaucratic policy-making is likely to respond to the intent of laws. In addition, my research reveals that rules governing the appropriations process provide congressional majorities with much greater leverage over day to day, and substantively important, bureaucratic policy decisions than prior research has appreciated. Please see the research page on this site for more information on my research.

At the undergraduate level at WVU, I have taught Introduction to American Government and the U.S. Congress. At the graduate level at WVU, I have taught courses on the U.S. Congress, research methods, introductory statistics and linear regression. See the classes page for more information on these courses.