Sean Miskell

Political Science / Ph.D. Candidate


International Relations, Public Administration and Policy


In my academic research, I study the policy process with a focus on the dynamic interplay between policy design and organized political behavior as well as the development governance institutions and their interaction with private markets and interests. My ongoing research projects consider the politics of big data in education policy, the role of the submerged state in health policy, and the politics of 'policy drift' in US health and energy policy.

In my role as a Research Fellow with the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, my work focuses on the intersection of public and private coverage programs with an emphasis on Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange and market reforms.


In addition to my doctoral work at Maxwell, I am a Research Fellow at the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, where I conduct research on both public and private health coverage, and their intersection. 

Previously, I was a policy analyst at the Maryland Center on Economic Policy and an intern with the health policy team at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

I have taught courses in politics, policy, and public administration at Syracuse and Le Moyne College. In addition to my doctoral work, I also earned a  a Masters in Public Administration from Cornell University, and received my undergraduate degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Le Moyne College, where he majored in history and adolescent education.

In my copious free time, I am avid biker, guitar player, and adamant fan of the SU basketball team.


Sean Miskell and Joan Alker. “Federal 'Maintenance of Effort' Requirements Help Kids Maintain Health Coverage Amid Tough Budget Climates,” Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families, March 2015

Duffy, Gavan and Sean Miskell, “Linguistic Models in International Studies,” International Studies Association Compendium, 2010.  

Dissertation information

Title: Education Policy and the Politics of Performance

Committee: Sarah Pralle (Chair), Keith Bybee, Kristi Andersen, Mark Rupert

Research Projects

My academic research is motivated an interest in the dynamic interplay between policy design and organized political behavior. I consider the structure and political rationale of public policies and how these varying and evolving frameworks of governance influence patterns of political support through resource and interpretive effects that provide social actors with tools of agency while shaping how issues are defined and understood. To do so, I draw on the political history and implementation of education, health, and energy policies and their constellations of political and private institutions and their interaction.

My dissertation examines the politics of high-stakes test data created by the federal No Child Left Behind Act amid a broader data-driven political environment.

As a research fellow at the Georgetown University health Policy Institute, my research focuses on the intersection of public and private coverage programs with an emphasis on Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange and market reforms.

Funded Research

Tricia Brooks, Sean Miskell, Samantha Artiga, Elizabeth Cornachione, and Alexandra Gates, “50 State Survey of Eligibility, Enrollment, and Renewal in Medicaid and CHIP,” Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, forthcoming January 2016

Sabrina Corlette, Sean Miskell, Julia Lerche, and Justin Giovannelli, “The Affordable Care Act CO-OP Program: Entering the Insurance Business Easier Said than Done,” The Commonwealth Fund, forthcoming Fall 2015 

Joan Alker and Sean Miskell, “Medicaid Premium Assistance Approaches: Do Wrap-around Benefits Work?,” Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, forthcoming Fall 2015

The Commonwealth Fund, Project: Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Monitoring and Analysis of Market Reforms (various publications with Kevin Lucia and Justin Giovannelli)

Working papers

Miskell, Sean, “Submerging the State: The Politics of Medicaid Expansion” (under review)

Miskell, Sean. “Who Was Health Reform For? The Affordable Care, Act, the Submerged State, and Policy Drift”

Pralle, Sarah and Sean Miskell, “The Politics of US Energy Subsidies"

Teaching Information

Prospective course offerings: American Politics, American Political Institutions, Public Administration, State Politics, Federalism, Health Policy, Education Policy, Energy Policy, Interest group politics, International Relations

Courses taught:

Syracuse University:

Instructor: “Oil, Water, and War” - PSC/MES 367, Fall 2010, Spring 2011

Co-instructor: “Public Administration and Democracy” - PAI 755, Summer 2012, Summer 2013 (Syllabus)

Le Moyne College:

Adjunct Professor: “International Politics” - PSC 361, Fall 2008, Spring 2011(Also coordinated Service Learning placement and evaluation)

Teaching Assistantships

Syracuse University:

“Negotiation: Theory and Practice” - ANT 400/PAF 422 /SOS 622/IRP 400/IRP 600 (Professor Robert Rubinstein), Summer 2013

“Skillful Group Development,” - PAF 400/SOS 600 (Professor Christina Merchant), Summer 2012

“Mediation: Theory and Practice” - PAF 421/SOS 621 (Professor Christina Merchant), Summer 2011

“International Relations” - PSC 124 (Professor Mark Rupert), Spring 2010"

“International Organizations” - PSC 353 (Professor Francine D'Amico), Fall 2009

“Interest Group Politics” - PSC 309 (Professor Sarah Pralle), Spring 2009

“Making Foreign Policy” - PSC 359 (Professor James Bennett), Fall 2008

“Oil, Water, and War” - PSC/MES 367 (Professor James Bennett), Spring 2007

“International Relations” - PSC 124 (Professor Thomas Boudreau), Fall 2007

Cornell University:

“Business and Governments in the Global Economy” - AEM 432 (Professor Nancy Chow), Fall 2006


Awards and Honors:

• Roscoe Martin Fund Dissertation Award, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, 2011
• Syracuse University Research Assistantship, 2011
• Cornell Institute for Public Affairs Fellowship, 2005
• Le Moyne College Elizabeth Schlearth Memorial Medal in History (Awarded to the senior majoring in history with the highest cumulative GPA in all history classes), 2005