This research seeks to explain how government officials design and manage complex or indirect policies, which are frequently implemented through private actors and firms. A series of co-authored papers use case studies to address how they such policies are implemented, and why they are so frequently overlooked.

Writings on this topic include:

  • Defining the State from Within: Boundaries, Schemas, and Associational Policymaking” (with Damon Mayrl). This article in Sociological Theory  analyzes an associational educational policy to identify mechanisms that govern how officials classify hybrid programs as appropriately belonging or not belonging to the state.
  • Beyond the Hidden American State: Rethinking Government Visibility”(with Damon Mayrl). A chapter in The Many Hands of the State: Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control, edited by Ann Orloff and Kimberly Morgan (Cambridge University Press) that analyzes fights over an associational health policy to show how classification struggles can render complex policies more or less visible.