Jeffrey Tulis's interests bridge the fields of political theory and American politics, including more specifically, American political development, constitutional theory, political philosophy and the American presidency. His publications include The Presidency in the Constitutional Order (LSU, 1981; Transaction, 2010), The Rhetorical Presidency (Princeton, 1987), The Constitutional Presidency (Johns Hopkins 2009), The Limits of Constitutional Democracy (Princeton, 2010) and recent journal articles and chapters on constitutional interpretation, the logic of political change, and the meaning of political success. Four collections of essays on The Rhetorical Presidency with responses by Tulis have been published, most recently a special double issue of Critical Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Politics and Society, (2007), where his book is described as "one of the two or three most important and perceptive works written by a political scientist in the twentieth century."
He has served as President of the Politics and History Section of the American Political Science Association. He received the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Texas. He has held research fellowships from NEH, ACLS, Olin Foundation, Harvard Law School, and the Mellon Preceptorship at Princeton University, where he taught before moving to Texas. He has held visiting positions at Notre Dame and Harvard. He has served as associate chair of the Department of Government from 1989-2001 and was acting chair during 1992-93. and for part of each year between 1989 and 2001. During the academic year 2008-09, he was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton.
Recent publications include "Andrew Johnson and the Politics of Failure" (with Nicole Mellow), in Stephen Skowronek and Matthew Glassman, eds. Formative Acts: Reckoning with Agency in American Politics, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. His forthcoming books include: Democratic Decay and the Politics of Deference (Princeton, 2013), Legacies of Loss in American Politics , with Nicole Mellow (Princeton, 2013), and an expanded edition of The Rhetorical Presidency (Princeton, 2014). For two decades he served as co-editor of the Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought, and he currently co-edits (with Sanford Levinson) a new series titled Constitutional Thinking, at the University Press of Kansas.