Social Policy

How do culture and values influence approaches to the public good? The actions of governments at all levels can ensure or detract from the material well-being of individuals. Schar School faculty research key topics – such as housing policy, regional development, transportation, and social welfare – that influence how societies respond to the growing global challenges of social, political, economic, and demographic change. Social policy is concerned with how governments at all levels set priorities, and along with that, the roles that power, inequality, and economic systems play in the design of public policies.

Areas of research include: 

  • Poverty alleviation
  • The design of welfare programs
  • Access to housing and education
  • Race, class, & gender
  • Religion and politics
  • Tax and welfare policies
  • Urban and housing policy

Interested in interviewing one of our experts? Contact Communications Manager Buzz McClain at or 703-993-9603.

  • Photo of Katrin B. Anacker

    Professor of Public Policy

    Areas of Research: Race and Ethnicity, Urban Policy, Housing
  • Photo of Christopher D. Berk

    Assistant Professor

    Areas of Research: Politics of punishment, Penal law, Law & society, Democratic theory
  • Photo of John S. Earle

    Distinguished University Professor
    Director, Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research (CMEPR)

    Areas of Research: Economic Policy; Employment Policy; Firm and Industry Dynamics; Labor Economics; Comparative, Institutional, and Transition Economics; Economic Development; Entrepreneurship; Microeconomics; Organizations; Political Economy; Quantitative Methods; Small Business Programs, Growth, and Innovation
  • Photo of Heba F. El-Shazli

    Instructional Associate Professor

    Instructional Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on International Relations Theory; Politics, Government and Society of the Middle East; Israeli-Palestinian Politics; and Islam and Politics.
  • Photo of Michael K. Fauntroy

    Associate Professor
    Founding Director, Race, Politics, and Poilcy Center

    Areas of Research: African American Political Behavior, Political Parties, Social Policy, The Presidency, U.S. Politics & Legal Studies, Voting Rights Policy
  • Photo of Justin Gest by Ron Aira

    Professor of Policy and Government

    Areas of Research: Comparative Politics, Diversity, Europe, Immigration Policy, International Migration, Islam, Middle East, Minority Politics, Muslim Politics, Qualitative Methods, Race and Ethnicity, United States
  • Photo of Jonathan L. Gifford

    Professor; Director, Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy

    Research Interests: Civil Engineering, Development and Delivery, Federalism/State and Local Government, Fiscal Policy and Budgeting, Infrastructure Finance, Public-Private Partnerships, Regional Development, Transportation Policy, Urban Policy
  • Photo of Anne Holton

    Professor of Public Policy and Education; Senior Fellow, EdPolicyForward

    Areas of Research: Education Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Urban Policy
  • Photo of Naoru Koizumi

    Professor, Associate Dean of Research and Grants

    Areas of Research: Biostatistics, GIS and Spatial Statistics, Health Care Services and Policy, Chronic Diseases and Organ Transplants
  • Photo of Siona Robin Listokin-Smith

    Associate Professor

    Areas of Research: Federalism/State and Local Government, Microeconomics, Political Economy, Quantitative Methods, Regulatory Policy, Private Regulation, Corporate Governance, Public Finance