His central research interests focus upon the U.S. Presidency, especially as it can be understood through organization theory and on organizational governance generally.
Professor Walcott's research over the past two decades has focused principally upon understanding the structural evolution and workings of the White House Office.
Awards and Honors
Professor Walcott has also won several awards for teaching excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the Virginia Tech College of Arts and Sciences in 2003. In 2010 he was honored as the political science department's Outstanding Professor by the Virginia Tech chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society. He has also been honored for his teaching by inclusion on the University of Minnesota's Scholars Walk. He has written books and articles on the use of simulation-gaming techniques in the classroom. His current research includes a study of the role of the chief of staff in the contemporary White House and an analysis of the politics of Title IX and its impact on intercollegiate athletics.
Professor Walcott's research has been recognized with several significant awards. Governing the White House received the APSA's Richard E. Neustadt Award as the best book on the presidency published in 1995, and was selected for Choice Magazine's annual list of Outstanding Academic Books. Empowering the White House was likewise selected in 2005 for the Choice list of Outstanding Academic titles. "Organizational Design as Public Policy," by Hult and Walcott, received the Theodore Lowi Award from the Policy Studies Organization for the best article in the 1990 volume of the Policy Studies Journal; Walcott and Hult also won the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper at the 1985 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. He received an Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship from the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 2004, the Sturm Award for Excellence in Research from the Mu of Virginia chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008 and the Virginia Social Science Association's Scholar Award in Political Science, also in 2008.
He has written or edited five books, including Governing Public Organizations (Brooks/Cole, 1990), Governing the White House: From Hoover through LBJ (University Press of Kansas, 1995), and Empowering the White House: Nixon, Ford and Carter (University Press of Kansas, 2004), all co-authored with Karen M. Hult. He has had numerous articles published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Polity, the Policy Studies Journal, the Presidential Studies Quarterly, Congress and the Presidency, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, International Interactions, Perspectives on Political Science, and many edited volumes.
Among his recent articles in this vein is "White House Structure and Decision Making: Elaborating the Standard Model," Presidential Studies Quarterly June 2005, co-authored with Karen M. Hult. Other recent publications have arisen out of his participation in the Pew Charitable Trusts' White House Transition Project. The most recent of these is David Cohen, Charles E. Walcott, Shirley Anne Warshaw and Stephen J. Wayne, "The Chief of Staff" (2008). Earlier essays from this project are reprinted in Martha Joynt Kumar and Terry Sullivan, eds., White House World: Transitions, Organization, and Office Operations (Texas A&M University Press, 2003). He has written several evaluations of the White House under George W. Bush, most recently "Not Always According to Plan: Theory and Practice in the Bush White House," with Karen M. Hult and David B. Cohen,in Robert Maranto, Tom Lansford, and Jeremy Johnson, eds., Judging Bush (Stanford University Press, 2009) and "The Bush Staff and Cabinet System" with Karen M. Hult, in Mark J. Rozell and Gleaves Whitney, eds., Testing the Limits: George W. Bush and the Imperial Presidency (Rowmand & Littlefield, 2009). He and Hult also contributed an essay, "Influences on Presidential Decision Making," to The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Professor Walcott taught at the University of Minnesota for 21 years before coming to Virginia Tech in 1989.
Through July 2009, Professor Walcott was an editor of Congress and the Presidency, an interdisciplinary journal of research in political science and history; he now serves on the journal's editorial board. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Presidential Studies Quarterly, and is immediate Past President of the Presidency Research Group, which is the American Political Science Association's organized section on presidency scholarship. His research has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gerald R. Ford Library Foundation, the American Political Science Association, and the Bush Foundation, among others.