Foster's research focuses on the U.S. presidency, ideology, parties, and local government. Themes in Foster's work include the importance of organized interests and levels of government in producing policy outcomes. Foster is interested in connecting with local and state policymakers to implement new solutions to the problem of "NIMBY" voters, who oppose housing development.
Finds the problem of NIMBYism can be solved by enabling contracting between developers and local residents. Finds replacing multiple approval stages with a referendum process and ability of residents to contract with developers is preferable to a state takeover of land use policy.