I have read and content analyzed 231 books and 37 articles that review the history of American domestic policy in 14 issue areas from 1945-2004. The histories collectively uncover 790 notable policy enactments and credit 1,306 actors for their role in policy development. I use this dataset to look at the history of American policymaking, differences in the policy process across issue areas, the determinants of policy change, and the factors associated with the ideological direction of policy. I also build governing networks of the people and organizations credited with policy change in each time period and issue area.

The project culminated in the publication of Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks in American Policy Change Since 1945 by Oxford University Press. Work from the project is also  published in the Journal of Politics and Interest Groups & Advocacy.

The JOP article is available here:

The Variable Politics of the Policy Process: Issue Area Differences and Comparative Networks.

The Interest Groups & Advocacy article is available here:

Interest Group Influence on U.S. Policy Change: An Assessment Based on Policy History.

The datasets for the project are available here:

Issue-Level Data

Policy-Level Data

Biennium-Level Data

Biennium-Issue-Level Data

Explanation-Level Data

Please email me at matt@mattg.org if you are planning to use the datasets and tell me what information you are seeking. The datasets may require some explanation but I can help you find what you need.