Walker’s research focuses on social movements, the political mobilization and influence of business, and organizational and organizing processes. His primary area of work involves understanding how businesses have adopted grassroots organizing practices, as well as the ways that social movement groups and community organizations challenge companies, governments, and other institutions. He is also interested in the politics of health and health care, contention surrounding energy politics and the environment, and corporate social responsibility. He has consulted with community organizations and foundations, and has taken part in efforts to build bridges between university research and the needs of local communities.
In the News
Provides a systematic review of the research literature on the strategies firms and industry groups deploy in order to advance their interests. Discusses how these strategies fit into business and broader political contexts.
Bases research upon ethnographic observations of Central Pennsylvania residents. Questions conventional wisdom that what are often seen as "locally unwanted land uses" are, in fact, accurately described as such.
Provides evidence that the anti-fracking documentary "Gasland" both shifted public discourse surrounding fracking and also encouraged communities to protest against the practice. Shows how these protests, in turn, influenced a community's likelihood of enacting a ban or moratorium on fracking.
Shows that there is a strong contextual association between Personal Belief Exemption rates and contexts of medical care, such that schools nearby high densities of family medical doctors tend to have higher Personal Belief Exemption rates. Reflects some combination of physician effects and self-selection.