Mark A. Peterson

Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law

  • A.B. University of Michigan, 1977
  • A.M University of Michigan, 1981
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1985

Mark Peterson is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science in the Department of Public Policy's Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. He earned his A.B. in 1977, his A.M. in 1981, and his Ph.D. in 1985, all from the University of Michigan. He is currently Chair of the Department of Public Policy, and also served in that role from 2002 to 2006. Peterson is a Faculty Associate of the Center for Health Policy Research and the Center for Society & Genetics; Co-Director of the Policy Core for the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services; and currently is on the faculty advisory committee of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy, and a member of the Community and Policy Advisory Board of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA and the Internal Advisory Board for the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He has previously served on the faculty boards of the Center for Policy Research on Aging and the Institute for Social Research.  He is also currently a member of the University of California's Faculty Senate Task Force on the Future of Health Benefits, and holds a joint appointment with the Department of Political Science.

A specialist on American national institutions, much of Peterson's scholarship focuses on interactions among the Presidency, Congress, and interest groups, evaluating their implications for policy making, both within the general domain of domestic policy and with special attention to national health care policy and Medicare reform. Peterson’s most recent research, for a book manuscript entitled “Hardball Politics, Hobbled Policy: Contexts, Choices, and Consequences in U.S. Health Reform,” examines how recognized problems in the health care system, the influence of public opinion, transformation of the interest group community, institutional dynamics in Congress, changes in the context and demands of political leadership, various dimensions of social learning by policy makers, and strategic and tactical choices by presidents both thwarted health care reform in the past and ultimately made possible the enactment of President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

For more information on Professor Peterson's work, please visit the Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs.