Social & Education Policy

Colin Gordon

  • Distinguished Faculty Affiliate, Social and Education Policy Research Program
  • Professor, Department of History
  • Senior Research Consultant, Iowa Policy Project


Colin Gordon is a professor of history at the University of Iowa, a distinguished faculty affiliate with the Public Policy Center Social and Education Policy Research group, and a senior research consultant with the Iowa Policy Project. His research and teaching interests focus on the history of public policy in the United States. He is the author of New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics, 1920-1935 (1994), Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth Century America (2003), and Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (2008), and Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality (2013). His recent work has employed historical GIS and data visualization, and includes the web-based projects Mapping Decline and The Telltale Chart. He is a regular contributor to Dissent, where he writes on politics and the economy. In partnership with the Public Policy Center, he co-teaches the "Big Ideas" course and a regular course, "Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America," each Fall semester.

Research Interests

  • Labor policy
  • Health care policy
  • Economic development
  • Urban history
  • Historical GIS

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., History, University of Wisconsin, 1990
  • M.A., History, York University, 1986
  • B.A., History, University of Alberta, 1985