Rebecca U. Thorpe (Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2010) joined the faculty at the University of Washington as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2010. She was a Research Fellow at The Brookings Institution from 2008-2009. During the 2009-2010 academic year she worked on Capitol Hill as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.
Her research focuses on national political institutions, policymaking and American political development. Her forthcoming book, The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending (University of Chicago Press, 2014), examines the development and persistence of the U.S. military complex and growth in presidential power to launch military actions. She has published articles on geographic biases in defense contracting and federal spending, and has conducted research on the institutional politics of U.S. warfare from the constitutional founding to the twenty-first century. She is currently working on a project examining the development and expansion of the American prison apparatus.
Thorpe teaches courses on US political institutions, state development and research methods. Her classes typically feature subjects such as executive power, legislative accountability, the national security state and the politics of crime and punishment.