Interview series: Professor Kent Weaver

Professor Kent Weaver joins IPPA for an interview discussing his academic journey from PhD student to professor. In the video, Weaver discusses his research on comparative welfare politics, think tanks, behavioural change via public policies, and his perspective on how the research environment shapes one’s scholarly work. He was interviewed in Singapore by PhD candidate Stuti Rawat.



Kent Weaver is Professor of Public Policy and Government at Georgetown University and a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Weaver joined the Georgetown Public Policy Institute in 2002, after 19 years at Brookings. Before going to Brookings, Weaver taught in the Political Science Department at Ohio State University for several years.

He is widely known for his research on think tanks, comparative welfare politics and the politics of blame avoidance. Much of his work has attempted to understand when and why politicians undertake actions that appear to offer more political risks than rewards and how they try to avoid blame when they do so, known as blame avoidance. His current research interest focuses on behavioural change by policies.

Weaver teaches a core course at the McCourt School on the Comparative Policy Process, as well as courses on policy implementation, behaviour change, and the welfare state.




Weaver, R.K. (1985) The Politics of Industrial Change. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.


Weaver, R.K. (1986) The Politics of Blame Avoidance, Journal of Public Policy, 6(4): 371-398.


Weaver, R.K. and McGann, J. (2000) Think Tanks and Civil Societies. New Brunswick: TransAction Publishers.


Weaver, R.K. (2000) Ending Welfare as We Know It. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.