His expertise is the US Congress, elections, political institutions, and policy making. His books include Why Congressional Reforms Fail: Reelection and the House Committee System (University of Chicago Press, 2002), and The Macropolitics of Congress (co-edited with John Lapinski; Princeton University Press, 2006), and Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving (co-authored with John Wilkerson; Cambridge University Press, 2012).
His current projects examine a variety of political institutions. One project, funded by the Hewlett Foundation’s Madison Initiative, examines Congress’s ability to renew and update expiring programs and laws over the last half-century. Other projects include research on presidential policy priorities, a study of the relationship between EU directives and policy making in the U.K., and an exploration of the behavior of cross-pressured lawmakers in Congress.
Additionally, Adler has expertise in college athletics administration, and does research on the politics and economics of college sports. His article, “Pushing ‘Reset’: The Conditional Effects of Coaching Replacements on College Football Performance,” (with Michael Berry and David Doherty) was award the 2014 Charles Bonjean Award for most outstanding paper published in Social Science Quarterly.