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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

James Wallner


Office: 230 Brackett Hall



Vita: View

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Educational Background

Ph.D. Politics
Catholic University of America 2012

M.Sc. International and European Politics
University of Edinburgh, Scotland 2005

M.A. Politics
Catholic University of America 2009

B.A. Political Science
University of Georgia 2003

Courses Taught

American National Government (POSC 1010)
United States Congress (POSC 4030)
Interest Groups and Social Movements (POSC 4160)
Law, Courts, and Politics (POSC 4360)
American Constitutional Law: Structures of Government (POSC 4380)


James Wallner is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Clemson University and a senior fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Clemson faculty, James taught at American University and the Catholic University of America. He also served as the Group Vice President for Research at the Heritage Foundation. And he spent over a decade on Capitol Hill earlier in his career working in senior positions in both the House of Representatives and Senate. He was the Executive Director of the Senate Steering Committee during the chairmanships of Pat Toomey and Mike Lee. In that capacity, he served as the principal parliamentary advisor to the chairman and Steering's 16-member Executive Committee. Before this, James served as Legislative Director to Jeff Sessions and Pat Toomey. He began his career on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant in the House of Representatives.

Research Interests

James researches and writes about the theory and practice of democratic politics with a focus on the separation of powers, Congress, political parties, and the federal policy process. James aims to account for the unique nature of American political thought by bridging the gap in our knowledge of democratic politics and the policy process between theory and practice.

Research Publications

James is the author of three books, The Death of Deliberation: Partisanship and Polarization in the United States Senate, (Lexington Books, 2013), On Parliamentary War: Partisan Conflict and Procedural Change in the United States Senate, (The University of Michigan Press, 2017) and The Death of Deliberation: Gridlock and the Politics of Effort in the United States Senate (Lexington Books, 2020). In addition, he has authored several chapters in edited volumes on Congress. He has also published articles in the Journal of Policy History, Journal of Legislative Studies, Journal of Law and Politics, Humanitas, and The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.

Honors and Awards

Kluge Fellow, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, 2019-2020 (conducted research for forthcoming manuscript, American Socrates: James Madison and the Virtue of Political Conflict).

Fellow, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University, 2018-2021.

Senior Visiting Fellow, Center for the Study of Statesmanship, Catholic University of America, 2019-2020.

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