John T. Woolley

Photo of Professor Woolley
Professor Emeritus

Contact Phone


Office Location

Ellison 3714


American Politics, Politics of Public Policy, Political Economy

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980


John Woolley is Professor of Political Science at UC Santa Barbara and Co-Director of the American Presidency Project website—the premier web repository of presidential public papers.

For years, Professor Woolley's research has had two substantive foci.  One is the American presidency, especially presidential communication and unilateral action.  The other is US monetary policy and financial regulation. 

The award-winning American Presidency Project was founded in 1999 in partnership with Gerhard Peters and is hosted by UCSB.  Extending well beyond Presidential "public papers," the APP collection includes, for example, political party platforms, candidate debate transcripts, candidate statements and press releases and OMB-issued "Statements of Administration Policy."  Woolley has drawn on this database for analyses in scholarly publications and reported through the APP itself.  The APP has millions of users world-wide ranging across scholars, school-children, speech-writers, film-makers, journalists, and political junkies.

Professor Woolley published the first major political science analysis of US monetary policy, Monetary Politics with Cambridge University Press.  He has subsequently written extensively on monetary and financial policy including articles on the Dodd-Frank reforms.  Recent articles also present analyses of the transcripts of the meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee.

In 2005, Professor Woolley was appointed Political Science Department Chair following five years in University central administration as Associate Dean, Faculty Advisor to the Provost, and Acting Dean for Social Sciences.  He stepped down as Chair in July 2012.


"Do Presidential Memo Orders Substitute for Executive Orders?  New Data," (with Gerhard Peters), Presidential Studies Quarterly (forthcoming 2017)

"The Effect of Sunshine on the Quality of Deliberation:  The Case of the Federal Open Market Committee," (with Joseph Gardner), Social Science Journal (forthcoming 2017)

"The Federal Reserve," In Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency," Skowronek, Angerholzer, Kitfield, and Ornstein eds., Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Washington, DC. 2016

"Measuring Deliberative Conditions:  An Analysis of Participant Freedom and Equality in Federal Open Market Committee Deliberation," (with Joseph Gardner) Political Research Quarterly, 69 (3) 2016: 594-605.

"After Dodd-Frank:  Ideas and the Post-Enactment Politics of Financial Reform in the United States," (with J. Nicholas Ziegler), Politics and Society 44(2) 2016: 249-80.

"Persistent Leadership:  Presidents and the Evolution of U.S. Financial Reform, 1970-2007," Presidential Studies Quarterly, 42(2) 2012; 60-80.

"The Two-Tiered Politics of Financial Reform in the United States" (with J. Nicholas Ziegler), in Institutional Change in the Regulation of Financial Markets, Renate Mayntz, ed. (Frankfurt and New York:  Campus Verlag, 2012, pp. 29-65.

The Presidency A to Z, 5th ed (with Gerhard Peters).  CQ Press 2012.  Also 4th ed. 2007.

"The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Politics of Monetary and Financial Regulatory Policy," in Central Banking in the Age of the Euro, eds. Kenneth Dyson and Martin Marcussen.  Oxford University Press, 2009.

State of the Union: Presidential Rhetoric from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush. CQ Press, 2006 (with Kolb and Peters).  (Library Journal, "Best Reference" for 2006.)

"Watershed-based Partnerships and Coastal Ecosystem Planning" (with Michael V. McGinnis), California and the World Ocean '02, Orville T. Magoon et al., eds. American Society of Civil Engineers, 2005.

"The California Watershed Movement: Science and the Politics of Place" (with Michael V. McGinnis), Natural Resources Journal 42 (Winter 2002), pp. 133-183.

"Democracy and National Economic Performance: The Preference for Stability" (with Dennis Quinn), American Journal of Political Science 44 (July 2001), pp. 634-657.

"Using Media-Based Data in Studies of Politics," American Journal of Political Science 44 (January 2000), pp. 156-173.


PS 157

The American Presidency (undergraduate)

PS 185

Government and the Economy

PS 215

The American Governmental Process

PS 256

The American Presidency (graduate)