Politics, Institutions and Public Policy
PhD, Political Science, Yale University
Daniel J. Galvin is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.
His current research focuses on labor policy and politics, worker organizations, and the enforcement of labor standards. He is writing a book on the changing politics of workers’ rights and the efforts of low-wage workers to build power and strengthen their rights and protections in the workplace, tentatively titled “Alt-Labor: Low-Wage Workers and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights.” He also researches and writes on presidential politics, political parties, and American political development. Galvin is the author of Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush (Princeton University Press), co-editor of Rethinking Political Institutions: The Art of the State (NYU Press), and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters.
His work has been recognized with several awards, including the Emerging Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) section on Political Organizations and Parties, the Mary Parker Follett best article prize from the APSA Politics and History section (for “From Labor Law to Employment Law: the Changing Politics of Workers’ Rights”), and the Best Paper Award from the APSA Public Policy section (for “Deterring Wage Theft: Alt-Labor, State Politics, and the Policy Determinants of Minimum Wage Noncompliance”). His research has been supported by the Russell Sage Foundation, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, the Economic Policy Institute, the National Science Foundation, the AT&T Research Fellowship, the Miller Center for Public Affairs, the LBJ Foundation, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation. His teaching has been recognized by the E. LeRoy Hall Award for Excellence in Teaching and the R. Barry Farrell Teaching Award, and he was twice elected by the Northwestern student body to the Faculty Honor Roll.
Galvin is currently chair of the Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy program at the Institute of Policy Research. He is also affiliated with the Comparative-Historical Social Science (CHSS) program and the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy (CSDD) at Northwestern.
The New Politics of Workers’ Rights. Over the last several decades, as national labor law has “ossified,” the U.S. workplace has “fissured,” and precarious, nonstandard, “bad” jobs have proliferated, a growing number of workers – disproportionately low-wage immigrants, women, and people of color – have become increasingly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in the workplace. In response, a new politics of workers’ rights has begun to emerge in new venues (state and local levels), focusing on new governing institutions (employment laws), and featuring new organizational forms (worker centers and other “alt-labor” groups), coalitions (including traditional labor unions, community groups, and social movements), and strategies (including innovative efforts to build political power for low-wage workers and their communities). These developments have resulted in new substantive rights and protections for workers and have helped to invigorate the labor movement, but at the same time, they have added new problems without resolving the problems produced by labor law’s drift in the first place. In this project, Galvin uses original quantitative and qualitative data to analyze the new policy innovations and document and assess the political development of alt-labor groups over the first two decades of the 21st century. This research, which has resulted in several journal articles and is currently a book manuscript-in-progress titled “Alt-Labor: Low-Wage Workers and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights,” is supported in part by the Russell Sage Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
Race, Geography, and Inequalities in Minimum Wage Enforcement. Galvin is the PI on a multi-year study titled Unequal Protections: Regional Disparities in Labor Standards Policies, Enforcement, and Violations funded by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. In this project, Galvin and coauthors examine the relationship between region, race, state enforcement capacities, and minimum wage violations in the United States, and what the mechanisms are by which weaker state enforcement capacities might produce a higher incidence of minimum wage violations. The researchers theorize a repertoire of mechanisms linking the legacy of slavery and the post-slavery racialized economy in the South to weak state enforcement capacity and minimum wage violations in order to understand the role of federalism in creating and maintaining Black-white racial disparities in wages and other outcomes.
Wage Theft and the Strategic Enforcement of Labor Standards. In collaboration with state and local departments of labor, Galvin and colleagues at the workplace justice lab@RU conduct policy studies to examine the relationship between the complaints agencies receive from workers and underlying estimated violation rates. By identifying dysfunctional industries that are high in estimated violation rates but low in complaint rates, Galvin and colleagues help government agencies develop strategic enforcement practices to root out systemic and pervasive wage theft. Collaborations are ongoing with the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, the Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards, the Chicago Office of Labor Standards, and King County (Washington) Office of Equity and Social Justice.
Galvin, D. 2010. Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Galvin, D., with Ian Shapiro and Stephen Skowronek, eds. 2006. Rethinking Political Institutions: The Art of the State. New York: NYU Press.
Articles and Book Chapters
Galvin, D. 2021. “Alt-Labor’s Turn Toward Politics and Public Policy to Combat the Exploitation of Low-Wage Workers: Building Power and ‘Punching Above Their Weight’” Economic Policy Institute (Washington, D.C.), 1-60.
Galvin, D. 2021. “Wage Theft in a Recession: Unemployment, Labor Violations, and Enforcement Strategies for Difficult Times.” International Journal of Comparative Labour Law & Industrial Relations 37 (2): 107-132. With Janice Fine, Hana Shepherd, and Jenn Round. [ungated]
Galvin, D. 2021. “Surprising Causes: Propensity-Adjusted Treatment Scores for Multimethod Case Selection.” Sociological Methods and Research. With Jason N. Seawright. [ungated]
Galvin, D. 2020. "Labor’s Legacy: The Construction of Subnational Work Regulation." ILR Review 74, 5 (October): pp. 1103–1131.
Galvin. D., and J. Hacker. 2020. "The Political Effects of Policy Drift: Policy Stalemate and American Political Development." Studies in American Political Development.
Galvin, D. 2020. "Party Domination and Base Mobilization: Donald Trump and Republican Party Building in a Polarized Era." The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.
Galvin, D. 2019. “From Labor Law to Employment Law: The Changing Politics of Workers’ Rights." Studies in American Political Development 33, 1 (April): 50-86
Galvin, D. 2019. “Let’s Not Conflate APD with Political History, and Other Reflections on ‘Causal Inference and American Political Development.’” Public Choice (July): 1-16, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-019-00695-3.
Galvin, D. 2017. The "changing of the guard" from labor law to employment law. Labor Studies Journal 42(3).
Galvin, D. 2016. Deterring wage theft: Alt-labor, state politics, and the policy determinants of minimum wage compliance. Perspectives on Politics 14(2): 324–50.
Galvin, D. with A. Davis, J. Fine, and J. Round. 2021. “Florida Policymakers Need to Reassess How the Minimum Wage is Enforced.” Joint Report by the Florida Policy Institute and the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization Report (March).
Galvin, D. with J. Vincent. 2021. “Democratic presidents have traditionally hurt their parties. Joe Biden may be different.” The Washington Post – Monkey Cage, January 21.
Galvin, D. with D. Schlozman and S. Rosenfeld. 2020. “What Happened to that ‘Blue Wave’?” The Washington Post – Monkey Cage, November 10.
Galvin. D., and J. Fine, J. Round, and H. Shepherd. 2020. Maintaining Effective U.S. Labor Standards Enforcement Through the Coronavirus Recession. Washington Center for Equitable Growth, September.
Galvin. D., J. Fine, and J. Round. 2020. Roadmap for Strategic Enforcement: Complaints and Compliance with San Francisco’s Minimum Wage. Center for Innovation in Worker Organization Data Brief, September.
Galvin, D. 2017. Wage theft is widespread, but politics and policies can play a powerful role in reducing it. London School of Economics US Centre’s blog on American Politics and Policy, March 13.
Galvin, D. 2016. Obama built a policy legacy. But he didn’t do enough to build the Democratic Party. The Washington Post – Monkey Cage, November 16.
Galvin, D. 2015. How to get paid what you’re owed, in three easy steps. (Okay, maybe not so easy.) The Washington Post – Monkey Cage, September 6.